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Booking: Racing the Clock

Oh, how I wish I hard started this miles push just a little earlier. Mainly because of something I didn’t know when I started: We need to book our flights by Monday, March 21, or we’ll have to pay more miles for each ticket, because American Airlines is raising the rates. Despite my best efforts, it’s now clear that not all the miles I racked up will be credited to our accounts by Monday, so we’ll only be able to book some of our group’s flights then, and will have to pay more for the others.

If we are lucky, on Monday I’ll be able to book six one-way flights with my frequent flyer account, and three with Erik’s. My mom, who’ll be traveling with us, should also be able to book hers. For all these flights, we’ll pay the current rate of 37,500 each.

That leaves just one one-way flight that I’ll have to get later, after more miles credit from the bonus to one of the Mastercards I signed up for. I’ll pay 40,000 miles for that one-way flight. It’s only a loss of 2,500 miles, but I’m bummed that it means we’ll have our reservations spread across more than two record locators. However, I think I can ask customer service to link our itineraries so that the airline knows we’re traveling together.

The best news today is that the 50,000 mile bonus my mom earned from signing up for a Citibank Platinum card just posted to her account, so I’ll be booking her flight today!

I’ll also put the remaining tickets on hold, so that we don’t have trouble booking all of our frequent flyer seats on the same flight. So far, there has been plenty of award availability on the SFO-Sydney flight of our choice, so that shouldn’t be hard. I hope!