My first (international) reward travel

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by savingrace, Aug 22, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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    A big thanks to milepoint, and all the frequent posters. I just booked my first reward travel, business/first class from Colorado to Nairobi for my husband and myself.

    AA agent was great, I had looked up the flights I wanted on Quantas. He picked the same flights before I even opened my mouth. So two non-stop flights on BA, DFW-LHR, then LHR-NBO. 70,000 points and $666 each.

    Coming back on Continental, flying Virgin Airlines from NBO-LHR, overnight stay in London, then Continental for LHR-DFW, and DFW-GJT. 60,000 miles and approx $180 each, which including buying a few thousand miles.

    AA miles used were from the 75,000 Citi card that we both got, and Continental by transferring our 50,000 points on Chase Star sapphire that we also both had gotten. I had a few United miles that I also transferred over.

    So it probably could have been done better, cheaper, etc., but I don't care. I did it!

    My husband asked me what I would do with my time now, and I told him I have only just begun. Starting from scratch except for 40,000 US air miles, we would like to do a Rome-Croatia-Romania trip or NE Brazil, or Western Australia. :)
     
  2. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Congrats! Now back to the earning!
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Well done and welcome (again) to MP
     
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  4. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    exactly, you did it. Too many folks worry about getting an exact return on their points/miles with all the stars aligning, problem is sometimes that never happens and they don't go anywhere. Please write a trip report on your experience, I'm sure there is more than one MP'er who could learn and is interested in your trip (like myself).

    Congrats !!
     
  5. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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    Yes, I originally signed in with my husband's facebook account. I saw Gargoyle's avatars, and had to have one. So I got my own account. - Cheryl
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I agree very much with this philosophy. What matters is to get a reasonable (not the "rip of the novices" sort but not necessarily at the lowest possible mileage level ever) award that works for you and makes you happy. If you can do this without paying a lot of time and money to get the booking, you're in great shape for a fabulous trip.
     
  7. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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    Well, I patted myself on the back too quickly. I just sent my flights to the travel agent, and she wondered why we were leaving on Feb. 8th when our safari ends on the 5th...

    Reminder to self: always check dates!
     
  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Time to see/do some other things before leaving? Shopping, sightseeing in the city, perhaps a day excursion in a different direction? Two full extra days doesn't sound bad. Also, where does the safari end and at what time? You might be travelling back on the 6th or arrive back in town late on the 5th. Trying to fly out immediately after the safari ends might not be wise, just as one should arrive early for a cruise. Can you perhaps do a day or so in a fancy lodge to relax? This is no major problem unless you need to be back at work, but the other direction would obviously create problems.
     
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  9. Travelsavant
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    Travelsavant Gold Member

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    Congratulations on your 1st INTL award booking; exciting isn't it, especially when the journey is just a fraction of the whole! A couple extra days at the end sounds quite nice; chance to do some personal exploring before heading home or maybe, if you can change NBO-LHR portion & extend your one night to 3 in London?

    As to 40k in US Air account: you do know they are offering double miles for purchase right now, yes?
     
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  10. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    Congrats on the booking! It sounds like it will be a lovely trip! Surely you will find something amazing to do with those 2 extra days. Can't wait to hear what it is!
     
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  11. miles and smiles
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    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    When you look back, months/years from now, you will remember the trip not how many miles it cost. Miles come and go. Experiences that are special stay with us much longer (and give bigger rewards).
     
  12. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Just booked my first last week as well for my wife and I. It's a great feeling, and the piles of knowledge acquired from many of the other posters here were a massive help in getting it done. We almost ended up connecting through NBO, but ended up switching away from that itinerary (and destination). Eastern Europe and South America are high on our list for future travel as well, and our last international trip was to Rome! Excellent choice of destinations!
     
  13. Toula
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    Toula Gold Member

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    Sounds like a fantastic trip. Only problem is you will never want to fly down the back of the plane ever again and your addiction has only just started.
     
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  14. Kung Pao

    Kung Pao Gold Member

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    Well done, enjoy your trip :)
     
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  15. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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    I didn't stress over using the wrong date, we are just taking out one of our days on the island of Lamu, and spending three days outside the Masai Mara reserve. All for the best.

    And I have been waffling on buying the US airways miles. It would help me with my $4500 SPG Amex spending, and they have some decent partners. But I am trying to understand the US Airways "Grand Slam" before I purchase.
     
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  16. PedroNY
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    PedroNY Silver Member

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    Congrats! These are the types of stories we love to hear here!

    Who cares if you fly coach or in F, who cares if you got the "best value" for your miles, heck as long as you get to go somewhere fun and it costs much less than regular travel agent and you get to really stretch you travel budget that way, well way to go!!!

    Make sure you tell us about the trip and what did you think of all different airlines and keep on flying.

    Cheers,

    PedroNY
     
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  17. jmrich1432
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    jmrich1432 Silver Member

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    I have thought about buying US airways miles since the bonus was was announced, but it never occured to me to do it to help reach my spend! I just got the SPG Amex too and want to make sure I make it!

    Thanks for the idea! :D
     
  18. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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  19. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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  20. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    Buying US Air miles counts as a "hit" in their Grand Slam promotion. Multiples of 4 hits earn you Dividend Miles bonus points. So if you can wait until September 14 to make the purchase, it will count as a "hit." It is fairly easy to get a few hits and bonus points, but they have tightened the rules this year, to make it harder to get the maximum number of hits.

    I couldn't agree with you more! I'm addicted to this, not because I like collecting miles, but because I treasure each experience which I otherwise wouldn't have had, but for this hobby.
     
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  21. savingrace

    savingrace Silver Member

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    Yes, looking at the Grand Slam Promotion I can get 8 hits, one of which is buying points. Game on...

    And yes, the experiences are what we are doing this for. My husband and I have been to 25 countries, always flying coach and consulting our LP handbooks. Heck, I will still use LP handbooks, but I don't know if I will be able to fly the back of the plane on international flights.

    But the one thing I have noticed over the years, I have always felt more at home inside when I was traveling, then when I was home. I guess that is the difference between a traveler and a tourist.
     
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