In order to fly anywhere at this point in history, you have to show up 2 hours early, bring nothing with you, be manhandled by security, and pay through the nose in order to get a seat. On top of that, the airlines now charge you $15 per bag that you want to check, which means that everyone will try to wedge their over-stuffed suitcases in the overhead compartments, making taking off on time a thing of the past. Fuel prices have increased ticket fares by some huge percentage, meaning a flight from New Mexico to Chicago is now running about $400…for a 2.5 hour flight. Thankfully, we had miles to spend to mitigate the damage to our wallet…
Remembering that I have thousands of miles on Delta, USAir and American Airlines, we went to work trying to find a free ticket – and believe me, it was incredibly difficult. If you are thinking of trying to use miles to get one, good luck to you. After about an hour of trying the different airlines and different dates, we finally scored a ticket – 37,500 miles for a trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix to Chicago, and the same thing on the return. A 2.5 hour flight is now a 6 hour adventure each way – but it saved us $400. So now my wife gets to go visit her family for free, and I get to get rid of some of these miles that I had been building up.
We have an AA Citibank credit card for all major purchases, and my debit card gives me USAir miles, so no matter which I use I get to rack up the miles. Seems that all those years of paying with debit finally paid off for something!
Good thing we already bought our tickets for the Amtrak train at Christmas to Boston – with fuel prices continuing to go up, if you are planning any trips this year, I would definitely start booking them now to try to get a travel deal!