Using miles – our first go around

I’ve used hotel points for years, scoring free stays, upgrades, and the like on all of our vacations.  Like I said, we go where the Starwood’s go.  But I had never used miles before.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a bit, you’ll know that my husband and I are avid readers of The Points Guy.  His main mantra – don’t hoard your points, so why was I hoarding miles?

I’d always been afraid of miles, they seemed like the great unknown, with black-out dates, limited availability, it seemed that winning the lottery was easier than mileage redemption so I shied away from it.  Well that has changed, readers!  But first, some context.

If you’re not too familiar with air travel, many airlines have partner or sister airlines where your miles are redeemable across various chains.  Since I am based out of Philly, I am constantly flying US Airways/American Airlines.  As a result of building up miles in what they call the One World network, my miles are good on Cathay Pacific, Qantas, British Airways, and Qatar Airways to name a few.  If you are looking to use your miles, check out what partnerships your preferred airline has, so you don’t feel like you are inhibited to just where that specific airline flies.

Now, to our bold little transaction.  While I’m sure many have rocked the around the world ticket (something I would one day LOVE to do), we were not so brazen.  After picking a destination, I called up American Airlines to see if they had any award flights available during the month of April (we were flexible).  After listening to the itinerary options and availability, we put an itinerary on hold.  With American Airlines you can hold an itinerary for 4-5 days before you actually book it.  In that period of time if you don’t call back to make it official, the itinerary is removed from your trips without any damage being done.  As a result, the hubs and I are headed to Thailand next year for the low cost of taxes and fees.  And yes, all hotels will be booked on points, so flight and accommodations in Thailand will cost a whopping total of $190, yes, and please, and thank you.

Thank you Points Guy for unknowingly helping us along the way!

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