Success!! Booked flight for my honeymoon - Hello Maldives...

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by tulane09, Nov 9, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    After a lot of effort (I won't call this work), some careful planning, and some good luck (Qatar Airways to Oneworld) I've finally booked my honeymoon flight for next September.

    I started this whole points hobby back in January of this year after coming back from an expensive and poorly planned 10 days in Moscow and Paris (not to say I didn't have a good time). I knew there had to be a better way to travel and more importantly pay for it. I've outlined how I accumulated my hoard of points in another thread (http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/my-first-foray-into-aors.59462/#post-2193667). But it's nice to get the payoff, as outside of the Southwest Companion Pass I haven't used any points because I needed versatility for my ever changing honeymoon plans.

    My goal for the honeymoon was to go some where that required 24 hours travel (we're taking 2 weeks and I don't know the next I'll have that flexibility). So while the soon to be wife was fine with the Caribbean or Hawaii I wanted something far more exotic. Enter Bora Bora, Maldives, or Thailand. With Thailand always being a distant third.

    Initially I wanted Bora Bora, but I was having a lot of trouble coming up with point combinations on the right airlines (I have troves of UR/MR/Avios so Oneworld was pretty much a must). And then Hilton's devaluation hit too.

    Around August I hit some good luck though. Qatar Airways announced they were joining Oneworld meaning I could maximize my points and book through British Airways starting in October. So from August on I was focusing on the last credit cards I need to finish the points puzzle.

    So here is how it breaks down:

    9/9/2014 IAD-MLE landing on morning of 9/11 - Business Class Qatar Airways
    7 nights hopefully at the Hyatt, but Hilton will be an option
    9/18/2014 MLE - LGW Business British Airways
    2 nights in London, I'll be glad to get some urban time which I'll need after 7 days on a beach, these two nights will be at one of the Radisson Blu's (only cost one nights points because of the ClubCarlson card)
    9/20/2014 LHR - IAD Premium Economy British Airways - will upgrade closer in, right now they only had first class availability and I didn't have the 60,000 extra avios required

    Total points - 350,000 Avios (had 100,000 avios, transferred 40,000 SPG = 50,000, transferred 160,000 MR plus 20% bonus = 192,000, then capped off with a few thousand UR)

    Total $$ - $2,481.52 in combined taxes.

    High taxes I know, but I'm just glad it worked. All it took was an easy 30 minute call with British Airways (call fee waived because there was an error online).

    Not sure the best way to calculate cents/point here. BA won't isn't showing Qatar flights when I go to do a dummy booking. If I do multicity on ITA total cost is $37,000 (caveat being flight from LHR to IAD should be premium economy not business), but even still $30,000. If I were to do just Qatar IAD - MLE with no London it would be over $19,000. So once you back out taxes you're looking at between 4.7c/pt to 7.8c/pt. Which I am more than pleased with.

    Biggest fear was doing all of this and award availability wouldn't work out or some other hiccup would arise once I transferred all my eggs in to the Avios basket.

    Thoroughly happy, and a lot relieved.
     
    Flyer1976, iolaire, YULtide and 4 others like this.
  2. James K.

    James K. Silver Member

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    That's awesome, man! Definitely high taxes, but assuming that's per person, 1200 each for flights to and from the Maldives is pretty defensible. I hope you have an awesome time!
     
  3. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    yeah, that was total cost. $1,200/person.

    And to update on the hotel, I'm now leaning more towards Hilton. I'll have points for either. I will have to decided in December though as Hyatt's new devaluation goes into affect in January.
     
  4. tulane09

    tulane09 Silver Member

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    Everything is finally complete. Just booked Conrad for 7 nights with a confirmed upgrade to Superiour Water Villa for only $288/night. So total cost of my honeymoon (travel and hotels) is $4,700. That includes business class IAD-DOH-MLE; MLE-LGW; and premium economy LHR-IAD; 7 days overwater at Conrad Rangali and 2 nights at the Mayfair in London.

    I ended up using 395,000 hhonors and both weekend certificates. Thurs will be 95,000; then both weekend certs; and the last 4 nights are AXON for 300,000.

    Booking the same trip on expedia (same flights and hotels) would've totaled $43,692. Now I admit if I was paying I would've chosen different flights and probably exluded London altogether, but I'm more than pleased. 350,000 Avios + 395,000 hhonors + 2 weekend certs + 50,000 club carlson = 795,000 and two certs

    $43,692 - $4,700 = $38,992 / 795,000 points = 4.9 cents/point, so even factoring in the two weekend certs I'm over 3 cents/point which to me seems like a good redemption. Super pleased.

    Now I have a year to plan for our first anniversary...!!
     
  5. Desidivo

    Desidivo Silver Member

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    Congrats. Put in as much effort on your married life as you have on the honeymoon and you will have a long as happy life.

    To quote my priest. "If you want a happy life, make sure you have a happy wife" :)
     
    tulane09 likes this.

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