Thursday, June 18, 2009

Silly Girl

Author's Note: I wasn't going to blog about this. Because it's about travel and I have approximately 15 people that I need to go visit and must fly to see, but cash to only take about one of those trips. But please know that if it were up to me, I would visit each and every one of you. Seriously. If IUPUI weren't currently sucking up all extra cash, I would TOTALLY be there for a weekend.

I'll be honest. I use credit cards for their rewards. So when I decided to take a trip for my 30th birthday, I opened a credit card that would give me reward miles to make the airline costs more manageable nonexistent. And I succeeded. (go me!) And to be honest, I didn't look at that credit card again.

But in January, I received a voucher for a companion flight. I read the fine print, and it seemed the companion could fly free with me to anywhere in the contiguous US. Which seemed fortunate because there's this boy, and there's this family that he has yet to meet.*

So I finally pin the boy down on dates, I confirm that they're good with the fam, and I decide to do some online research so I don't book these tickets completely blind. What I found is:

1) Bad: The airline that so thoughtfully gave me a free ticket for my 30th birthday (heretofore known as EvilAir) is significantly higher priced than other airlines that I could also use to get to my family.

2) Good: I have some remaining airline miles!! I can use them to take $150 off the cost of my ticket!

3) Meh: I'm only 20 miles away from being able to take $200 off the cost of the ticket.

So I decide that since it's easy to spend approximately $40 on a new outfit gas, I'll go ahead and use the charge card to get the miles, and THEN purchase my ticket. (I know, right? My logic makes no sense. Even to me and I live here.)

First I must find the credit card. Then I must dust it off. $200 here I come!! Yes, well, there's this expiration date on the card. And it has passed. And Emily didn't notice because she doesn't use the card. Silly girl.

So she calls to get a new card and finds out that it will be a week. Mmmmmkay. So Emily will forgo the extra $50 and just get the tickets anyway. After all, who knows if the price will go up, and my usual MO of waiting until the last minute for cheap flights doesn't seem as smart when there are two people traveling (one of whom will use a companion flight voucher.)

And so I call to book the tickets, only to find out that I must put the tickets on my airline credit card.

Boo hockey.

As I am about to hang up, I decide to use this opportunity as a fact finding mission to find out whether or not the companion flight is everything that it seems to be.

Oh it is. No blackout dates, companion has the exact same itinerary as the other passenger. No standby! Sweet.

And then there's this passing mention of how the other ticket - MY ticket - must be paid full price. I backup to clarify. But, I have airline miles! Lots and lots of airline miles!! I can't use them?

I'm sorry, no. You must pay full price for your ticket in order to use the companion flight. (silly girl)



But but!!



Now, the cost of my ticket on EvilAir is still cheaper than two tickets on the other airline that I could take (and be much happier,) so I can't just abandon the plan. But I can sit here and seethe about it for a week until I get my new credit card. After all, it's not that I'm cheap per se. It's just that it hurts me to pay more for something that I know I can be getting for less. Sigh.

But, on the bright side, I also have a week to think scheme and think of alternative plans to save money. Ideas anyone?

*There are also redwoods. We must not understimate the importance that the redwoods have had on getting this boy to actually agree to travel that must be done by air.


zlionsfan said...

I find several things about this post rather amusing.

I'm guessing the part about how it suddenly became much more difficult to plan when you left everything until the last minute will be music to the boy's ears.

I mean, you can spin it as an example of how not to do things, but I bet he won't hear it that way.

ems said...

I didn't leave everything until the last minute. I have over a month before traveling. I just can't buy the tickets exactly when I wanted to...

Candace said...

I am not sure if I consider a month "planning in advance" for an airline ticket.

Secondly, it would BURN me up to have to pay full price when I have miles. I think you need to figure out more scheming. There isn't another airline that goes there that is cheaper?

Jaclyn said...

We like to book about 21 days in advance on a Tuesday or Wednesday night - it seems to be cheapest then. Maybe you can watch prices this week and see how much they fluctuate...maybe EvilAir will be cheaper on a certain day or something.

ems said...

Candy, the other airlines are cheaper, but with the other airlines, I have to buy two tickets. Which is greater than the cost for one ticket on EvilAir.

J, that's a good idea. I hadn't thought that prices would fluctuate throughout the week. I'll keep an eye out while I'm waiting for the replacement credit card :-)

alisa said...

During the need to feed my travel itch, I've learned the time of day can also affect the prices of airline tickets. During lunchtime on a Monday is much more expensive than say 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. Don't ask me why, but I've seen it over and over again. Hope you and the boy have fun. Is this the first trip together outside of the states adjacent to IN?

ems said...

Good tips! I'll check again on Tuesday apparently :-)

Alisa, yes, it's our first trip on an airplane. The boy has never said it, but I don't think he's a huge fan of airplanes. Should be interesting.