When I went to book my honeymoon, my options seemed limitless at first. I had a crazy amount of US Airways miles and the world was my oyster. Thailand? Singapore? …Antarctica?
But this is my honeymoon, and the more complicated I made an itinerary, the more I realized I would be missing out on, according to the definition of honeymoon by wikipedia, time to celebrate my marriage in “intimacy and seclusion.”
I operate at 7,000 miles an hour and could see a trip to Paris happening in fast-forward. Okay, the Louvre, here are some wineries, Marie Antionette’s house–and scene. So I decided to do something a bit closer to home that would help me slow down.
Our original plans involved us using points to stay at Hyatt Regency Curacao, and that would have been an “adventure” in itself. Why? Hyatt got booted out as operator by the owner of the hotel and has no access to reservations. Who knows what would have happened to my points!
Because of unimportant circumstances, we changed our trip to Hawaii. And we got really low fares. Like, less than a thousand low. So I didn’t considering using miles. It would be about 100,000 a person to use a partner airline, and 175,000 per person to use US Airways. Ouch.
I would rather save those points for a 7,000 miles an hour trip in the future, and pay the Hawaii fare today.
I used KVS (a great tool–see Gary from View from the Wing’s List) to find flights that had upgradable space right now. I based the honeymoon dates around this. What was interesting was there seemed to be no pattern to what was available and what wasn’t. I had more options with Maui (OGG) than Kauai (LIH), and took notes as I tried to figure out a roughly three week stay between those upgradable flights.
I finally found a good stretch but with one problem. The first flight only left about an hour to connect to my Hawaii flight. And there weren’t really any other options. This is not a good situation to be in. You do not want to miss a (soon to become) first-class long-haul flight.
With visions of being separated from each other in middle seats in coach, I tried doing a multi-city booking, booking the connection separately from the main flight. I found a flight to the connection (Phoenix) the night before. I figured I could book a hotel night there easily (it was not so easy), and we could confidently make the flight the day after. And the flights were coming up $50 cheaper each!
As soon as I booked the flights, I was on the phone with US Airways. It cost me 60,000 miles to upgrade our Hawaii flights and $0 (elites get their fees waved). I did not upgrade DC-PHX because they weren’t available. Normally, would watch the space in first class and decide whether or not to upgrade my flight based on that, but for my honeymoon, I was unwilling to take that chance.
So for DCA-PHX-OGG and back with the OGG legs in first, I shelled out $890 per flight plus 30k in miles. Not cheap, but not bad at all!