Confession time: I’m not great at planning my travels. Or the way I’d like to look at it, I always have “aspirational” travel plans. I’d hate to lock in a non-refundable domestic ticket when I could potentially have that destination be a stopover on a larger award ticket.
Fast forward to this coming weekend. I’m going to the Chicago Seminar Do, except I haven’t booked my flight yet. Why? Well, because I started looking at tickets about two months ago, and never saw fares below $500 roundtrip, which seemed crazy. So I monitored prices figuring they’d go down eventually, but they haven’t. Now I have a really hard time pulling the trigger on $500 roundtrip tickets, so even a few days out I still haven’t booked my ticket. Prices haven’t actually gone up substantially from there, so I don’t feel like I was necessarily wrong not to pull the trigger yet, but I’m still trying to get creative.
As y’all know US Airways has a promotion right now whereby you can more or less generate miles for 1.1 cents each. US Airways charges 90,000 miles for business class between the US and North Asia, so that’s roughly $1,000 for the miles needed for such a ticket.
So I can either pay ~$600 for a roundtrip ticket between Seattle and Chicago, or go to Asia for ~$1,100 (with taxes) and incorporate a stopover in Chicago. Perhaps it’s time to finally fly the “Dreamliner?”
My other thought is to try and book an American award to Europe via Chicago, but that would require Chicago to be my international gateway, or else I couldn’t have a stopover there. Now Air Berlin does fly to Chicago and I’d actually like to try them out, but they don’t have award space for the dates I need. British Airways is another option that actually is available, but they impose fuel surcharges, and at that point it just seems to make more sense to book a roundtrip flight between Seattle and Chicago.
Guess I should’ve paid a bit more attention in my college economics class when they discussed marginal value and sunk costs or whatever that stuff is… 😉
Anyone have any better ideas?