I probably sound like a broken record by now, but my single most favorite thing about points and miles is the freedom of having the world at your fingertips at any given moment. Last week, I helped a friend of “flee the country” with just hours notice to help cheer her up.
A few of my travel buddies were participating in the StarMegaDo5 and were scheduled to be in Toronto last Thursday for the event kickoff. I attended last year’s StarMegaDo (which was an absolute blast), but I had some scheduling conflicts this time around, so I wasn’t able to commit to the full event. As the event approached, the excitement from my friends who were participating naturally heightened… and so did mine – I wanted to somehow be part of the action too!
I knew that a round trip ticket to Toronto from New York was just 9,000 Avios and ~$56 in taxes – a complete steal and awesome redemption that I always had my eyes on. I convinced myself that I had the perfect excuse to meet my friends in Toronto for the night, so without further thought, I booked myself a ticket.
The night before I was scheduled to leave, a good friend of mine reached out and ask if we could have a night of “girl talk”. We all have our ups and downs in life, and my friend Jeannette was experiencing a low-point in her relationship at home. She playfully said, “man, Ang, I wish I could just get up and go… and just leave the country!”
A true points and miles fanatic never takes “leaving the country” requests lightly. Without thinking, I blurted out, “Uhh… Want to go to Canada for a night with me? … in 8 hours? My treat.”
She paused and looked at me like I had 5 heads for a second, but to my surprise, she agreed!
Luckily, I was able to book her a ticket with my Avios account for the same flights I had booked myself departing the next day (for some reason NYC-YYZ and [vice versa] availability is always there). I told her to go home, pack, and be ready at the crack of dawn.
As this was all happening, it was all settling in. Even for me. I thought to myself, “wow, isn’t it cool that miles and points let us do incredible things, such as help a friend flee the country when they’re having a bad day?” Like any other social media addict, my thought quickly made it to my twitter feed:
Jeannette and I ended up having an amazing “pick-me-up” get away – just 24-hours in a new place was enough to get her to feel better, and I’m proud of her for two reasons: 1.) like many people, she always had the “itch to be spontaneous”, but rarely acted upon it, and 2.) She hasn’t traveled in years, so this was a big step for her. I’m glad she was able to get out and travel to enjoy herself.
Have you traveled impulsively lately? Better yet – have you helped someone “get away” when they needed it most? If so, where did you go/where did you send them? What miles made the trip possible? Would love to hear your stories!
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