Sometimes when you are booking award travel, things don’t come easily. Let’s talk about when they don’t, and we have to begin troubleshooting award travel.
Three of my daughters and I were traveling to Croatia from the US and meeting another daughter there. We easily found 3 business class award flights and booked those. One daughter booked a seat in economy class, and we figured another business seat would open up closer to travel. It didn’t. She couldn’t fathom traveling there in economy class (oh, we are so spoiled with points and miles now!), so I started troubleshooting award flights to see how we could all get business class seats.
We were already positioning ourselves to Chicago for flights to Dubrovnik with United Miles on a Lot Polish flight. When she couldn’t find another business class seat, I volunteered to cancel my flight and travel with her on another flight. I started looking at other airports to get to Dubrovnik with our United miles. I found some from JFK and EWR, and I thought we were done.
I excitedly called my daughter, and she told me she didn’t have enough miles. Well, that wasn’t going to work! Unfortunately, you can’t just transfer miles to someone for free to top off their account. She did mention she had over 100K Capital One Venture Miles. It was back to the drawing board to figure out this award travel!
At this point, I looked at the Capital One travel partners and saw that Air France is a partner. What if we could find a direct flight from Denver to a European city like Paris and then grab a cheap flight to Croatia? That is what I checked out, and I was able to find this.
Even better, Air France was offering a promotion that you could transfer Chase points to them and get 20% more miles. The ticket price was 81.5K points and $201 in taxes and fees. I transferred 66K Chase points to book this. I did have to pay the higher taxes and fees, but I also saved money because I canceled my positioning flight to Chicago on my original flight. The flight to Croatia was also on Air France, so I transferred another 7K Chase points to book it.
All in all, I paid 73K plus about $230 in taxes and fees for my flight to Croatia. My daughter was very excited that we now all had business class seats for our trip.
We always say that flexibility is key in finding award travel. You can see how troubleshooting award travel helps you eventually find what you are looking for. You have to think “out of the box” often, but when you finally put all the pieces together, there is a lot of satisfaction in finding the right flight for you.
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