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Flying By the Seat of Your Pants

The one thing I really love about miles is how flexible it makes travel.

Last month, my ice skating coach of ~15 years passed away, and I was trying to get funeral and service information.  I found out the service by the other figure skaters was in a few hours.

The problem?

It was in New York.

I hopped in a cab to the airport.  While I was in the car, I booked a flight on my cell phone using miles.  I didn’t have my US Airways Mastercard on me to save 5k in miles, but I still scooped up a last minute ticket for 25k miles and $8, and made it to the service.

In a less somber scenario, I was able to do a seat of the pants trip to Boston.

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I have a lot of friends in Boston, and I miss them often!  They were having a get together in a little over a week, but I didn’t know for sure that I could go.  So I already mentally committed to using points if I needed to.

I just booked my flight last second for this trip.  Because of my US Airways Status (Gold, Platinum, or Chairman), both the Quick Ticketing Fee–a fee paid when flights are booked within 21 days of departure–and my award booking fees were waived.

DSCN0428Not knowing my friends’ schedules to meet me, I booked my flight to come in as early as possible so I could be really flexible to their schedules.  This gives me time to meet them wherever they want, and I can enjoy the US Airways Club Lounge through my club membership while I wait.  This gives me access to the internet to get some work, writing, or Plants vs. Zombies done.

I know where I’m staying for the beginning of the trip, but didn’t worry about my hotel for the last night.  Between my Hyatt points and my massive stockpile of Club Carlson points, if I can’t find an affordable hotel, I will still have a place to stay.

The friends I’m spending the weekend with aren’t my only friends in Boston.  I booked one of the latest flights back.  If I can grab one of them for dinner or lunch, I’ll meet them before leaving.  If not, I’ll MoveUp my flight earlier. You can use MoveUp to move up flights by up to 6 hours at the airport for a fee.  Fees are waived for US Airways Dividend Miles Members–You don’t even have to be an elite!

If I find out plans won’t work out for dinner before my flight starts, I can edit my travel plans for no fee since I am a US Airways Chairman.  One of the huge benefits of hitting top status with US Airways is being able to move around the flights you’ve booked with your own miles with no fee.  (So if you book a companion’s tickets, you can move theirs as well).

It’s situations like these that remind me why I love the benefits of being an elite.  I have the flexibility to just pick up and go somewhere.  It makes the world feel so accessible and the possibilities unlimited 😀

Disclaimer: I do not receive any affiliate credit for telling you how much I love travel; however, this post was a bit self-indulgent.

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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