April is off to a great start! The sun has been out, drying up the water from the rain we got over the last few days, and even though it's still a bit cold, it at least looks like spring. What a gorgeous day today!
I've been trying to plan a trip to Portland (which has basically become an annual thing) for the end of May, and I've been watching the airline tickets for a couple of months, waiting for a good deal to come along. But they've been crazy expensive! Normally, a ticket would be about $400--but the ones for the dates that I want were $550+, and even those ones in the $500's had odd flight times. It was starting to look like the only way to get a ticket would be to spend over $600, which I was not willing to do. I started thinking about using a buddy pass, but there are other problems that arise when using a pass, so I wasn't sure if it'd be worth it.
Jerry and I each have SkyMiles accounts, and as of this morning, my balance was 29,727. Jerry's balance was 23,708. To purchase the ticket with SkyMiles would have cost about 50,000-ish miles. I could get the ticket with some SkyMiles plus cash, but the minimum miles needed in order to do that was 30,000--and I'm just shy of that number.
So, I wanted to ask Delta if I could merge Jerry's and my miles. Since we are married, I assumed it wouldn't be a big deal. Well, Delta doesn't allow transfers of SkyMiles without a big penalty fee--even between spouses--and it would have cost $250 to transfer Jerry's miles to ME, his wife. I thought that was ridiculous, and I was not about to agree to that. I had a very unpleasant experience with the SkyMiles customer service, and got nowhere. The woman acted like I was an idiot for even asking if I could merge our miles into one account.
Then, I called American Express to see if they could do anything, since it's a Delta SkyMiles Amex. The service rep was super nice, but said they don't have authority to do much with the SkyMiles plan--Amex and SkyMiles are two separate accounts. She was able to offer me 12,500 miles for being a good-standing customer, but said the miles wouldn't show up in my account on time for this ticket. It was really cool of her to help how she could! But I still wasn't sure what to do about my ticket.
I started trying to think of an alternative/creative way to use our miles, and I decided that maybe I could get two one-way tickets instead of a round trip ticket--pay for one with my miles, and for the other with Jerry's miles. Perfect!
So, I checked the flights, and there was pretty much NOTHING for less than 30,000 miles. (To get my miles balance up to 30,000, I would only have to spend $273 on my American Express card--but the miles wouldn't appear in my account on time to buy the ticket.) If I decided to do the one-way tickets, then I would have to pick a crappy flight time in order to have enough miles for it, and arrive in Portland at midnight. Just as I decided fine, I'll do that, I noticed a flight that had no availability for coach, but it had a first class ticket available... for 25,000 miles. Say what?! I was shocked. I never even look at first class, because it's way too expensive.
I thought it had to be a glitch (or April Fools joke?), but I quickly started the process to buy the ticket. The departure and arrival times were fantastic, and it was first class with one short layover. I couldn't believe how lucky I'd gotten! And then when I'd filled in ALL my info, I clicked "purchase"--and the screen said that the ticket at that price was no longer available.
I almost cried I was so frustrated. I tried again a few more times, with the same result, so I called Delta again. The woman who I spoke with was amazing, and she said someone else must have purchased it right out from under me while I was filling in my info. Because of the inconvenience, she allowed me to choose a different flight, first class, at the same cost--25,000 SkyMiles + $5.60. So, I bought a first class ticket with flight times I was happy with, and I was able to get the whole thing with my SkyMiles! I was thrilled.
The only flight that I had enough SkyMiles to buy to get home from Portland (using Jerry's miles) was a redeye, but I actually like redeye flights... so it was my top choice anyway, and it was only 15,500 SkyMiles + $5.60.
I can't even tell you how stoked I am that I was able to get both tickets for a combined total of 40,500 SkyMiles and $11.20... and I'll be in first class on the way there! I had almost given up even trying to go on this trip because I just wasn't sure how I was going to be able to pay for the ticket. As frustrating as it was earlier, everything worked out perfectly!
Have any of you started watching 13 Reasons Why on Netflix? I read the book a couple of times several years ago, and I loved it--I was really excited when I saw that it was going to be a series on Netflix! I started watching it yesterday; and already, I like it a lot. It's been a while since I read the book, so I can't really remember everything that happens.
Anyway, I was just excited about the plane ticket story, so I wanted to share :) Happy Saturday!