My husband and I have booked a cruise starting in Venice in mid-Sept and returning via Rome in early Oct. Being infrequent flyers we have a hodgepodge of miles (57,000 UA, 45,000 AA) and points (100,000 Thank You points from one Visa and 100,000 Scorecard points from another Visa--which both now use the Connexions online booking system). Due to budget restraints we usually redeem for steerage (Coach) seats which we HATE. Should we try to book sooner or hope that we might find some TATL business fares on sale in future and use our points towards those mythical sale prices? Or what about those UA Economy + seats or similar on the long-haul flights. Could we enroll in annual UA Econ + and upgrade from Coach after tickets are purchased? Or should we use our points for RT direct flights USA/FCO with separate RTs ABQ to whatever US city has direct flights and purchase a cheap 1-Way from FCO-VCE? My head is spinning from so many online searches and considerations. Any ideas from seasoned flyers will be welcomed.