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The current fare war that is going on (in large part due to the Southwest 40% off sale) had me spending most of the day on Tuesday shopping for airfare. I have locked in one or two trips for myself so far (hello sushi and wine in Seattle!), but I was most interested in a fare from Wichita to Houston and back that was going for just over $200. I know I am almost the only one in the world interested in that fare, but since that is where my in-laws are located, it is a route of great interest to me.
We normally make sure that they and Little C have time together every couple of months so that they are able to build a really solid relationship, but it was starting to look like we would be going from September – February without a visit. That isn’t the end of the world, but it is a longer stretch than we really like. It certainly be the longest period of time thus far since C was born. However, that all changed today when we saw a direct flight on United from Wichita – Houston and back that was way cheaper than the normal going rate. That route is often around $500, so this $200 fare was a substantial discount. We called the grandparents and offered to fly them down for Little C’s third birthday weekend in December as their Christmas gift.
They were thrilled! Josh said that his dad “yelped”! I’m not exactly sure what that means, but it sounds like a good thing. This will be the first time they have been able to be here for her birthday party, and it will also be close enough to Christmas that we will be able to have a little holiday celebration as well. This was a totally unplanned event that was made possible by a well-timed airline sale. As an extra bonus, we were able to utilize the Chase Freedom Visa’s 4th Quarter 5x bonus category that includes airline ticket purchases, so we earned a little over 2,000 Ultimate Reward points for the purchase. We also saved an extra 5% on the flight via Veteran’s Advantage and earned money toward a future United flight via the United $5 Club.
So instead of mailing some sweaters, a blanket, or other knick-knacks to Kansas for their Christmas presents, we gave them the ability to come to their grand daughter’s third birthday party. They seem pretty happy, we are pretty happy, and our daughter should be thrilled with her special birthday guests.
I know that not everyone can make an impulsive airfare purchase due to a fare sale, but I do encourage you to look at some different routes you are interested in and see if now is the time to make a reservation for yourself, or someone you love. There really are some great deals available like Austin – Portland RT for $160, San Francisco – Ft. Lauderdale RT for $200, or JFK – Burbank RT for $218. You can always call it a Chrismahanakwanzika present, right?!
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