Last year I convinced 4 people in my family to sign up for the British Airways visa card. With 8 people in Jacksonville, we would have enough points for all of us to go to Europe. My family, while they would love business or first, prefer 2 trips instead of one, so we usually look for economy tickets. After a lot of research, I had settled on Aer Lingus as the most cost effective way to get over there. After realizing the BOS-DUB was going to be 25,000 miles after the BAEC changes in Nov '11 we knew that we could take all 10 of us on the trip. We booked the tickets in January. It took about 2 hours on the phone with the agent as we had 3 accounts to deal with and 2 sets of dates. My sister in MEM could only go for one week, so she was flying into SNN and overnighting in BOS on the way back. We were able to get JAX-ATL-BOS for $190 ai and BOS-MEM for $450 + $99 companion ticket on DL. Of course my Dad then says "I don't know why we are going all that way to Ireland with out going over to Scotland, it is so close", so we added DUB-EDI for about $125 per person. Just an aside that the "it's so close" comment is usually uttered by someone in my family on every trip, it just happened to be my Dad on this trip. Our final itinerary: Edinburgh (3 days) - Holiday Inn Express Royal Mile/Holiday Inn Express Dublin Airport Belfast (1 day) - Holiday Inn Express Queens Quarter Letterkenney (1day) - Radisson Blu Letterkenney Sligo (2 days) - Clarion Hotel Sligo Galway (2 days) - Radisson Blu Galway Cork (2 days) - Clarion Hotel Cork Dublin (3 days) - Clarion Hotel IFSC (Holiday Inn Express Boston Garden 1 night for sister) Total points and miles used 250,000 Avios points + $1,440 in taxes and fuel surcharges 1 $99 DL companion ticket 165,000 PC points + $600 (cash+points) 100,000 CC points + $1,010 (cash+points - approx) 200,000 Choice points (purchased at Daily Getaways $750) Total points and miles earned: 15,000 PC points (10% rebate) 375,000 CC points (approx with spend and booking bonus) 35,000 DL miles (approx) List of people traveling - my parents, my sister in JAX, her husband and her 3 kids (14,12 & 9), my sister in MEM and her husband and of course - me! Our flight from JAX-ATL-BOS was uneventful. We carried on our bags as we only had 3 hours in BOS and I did not want to have to deal with checked luggage. We had talked to EI about our BOS-DUB flight and adding on the DUB-EDI flight. And they said that the bags would be checked all the way through. We paid for the check bags from DUB-EDI. I did not know if they would charge us for it, but this was already a complicated trip and we did not want to through another variable into the mix. I explained to the agent about the combination of award and paid flights and that we were going to EDI. She took our passports and started tagging the luggage. That's when we realized that she had only tagged them to DUB and 3 of the bags were already sent on their way. She finally was able to check us all the way to EDI and tag the luggage. There was an orange tag that was also added to the bags that said Transfer in DUB. The EI flight was fine. The main issue that we had was that it was only 5 hours long. No, i don't want to be on a plane longer, but after they served dinner and dimmed the lights, there was only about 1 1/2 hours of time available for sleep. The flight from DUB-EDI was on a small plane (I don't know planes, but it had propellers) and didn't take long. We arrived in Edinburgh around 8:00 AM. Well, the humans and 7 pieces of luggage arrived - my bag was no where to be found. I finally found the lost luggage area and they took a report. The gentleman working the lost luggage area said that it probably did not get transferred in time and that it should be on one of the next flights. From the nonchalant attitude, it seemed to me that this is a regular occurrence. Anyway, they give you a claim number and they have a website where you can track your claim. The other important piece of information is that the agent in BOS had put all of the luggage under my BIL's name. We take the Airlink bus to the hotel and stored the luggage. After breakfast, we get on the hop-on hop-off bus and take a nap as they show us the city in the cold and rain. We head back to the hotel and take a nap. We had a walking tour scheduled for 7:00 pm The tour was fun, but went on a little too long. By that time, we are looking for dinner and we are at the Royal Mile. Did you know that children are not allowed in many restaurants after 8:00pm? Not even Pizza Hut. It has something to do with the liquor laws. After being turned away from about 5 restaurants, we finally found a middle eastern restaurant where we could get dinner. We then went back to the hotel and crashed! Holiday Inn Express Royal Mile Holiday Inn Express Royal Mile Royal Mile I will finish up Edinburgh on the next installment!