I had a sudden work commitment come up in Chicago this week with only days notice. Of course, I knew flight prices would be through the roof, so the first thing I turned to was aa.com, because I knew I would be able to book EWR-ORD each way for just 7,500 Avios if sAAver space was showing.
When I first started my search, availability looked horrific; there was nothing but connecting flights (terrible for the distance-based Avios program).
I decided to book a few United awards for 12,500 miles each just as “placeholders”. Worst-case scenario, I would take the United flights, because it was better than spending $300+ one way, but I was banking on redepositing the miles (free with Platinum and 1k status) if something better opened up.
Last night, I decided to check aa.com for sAAver space one last time and boom. The most perfect flight appeared.
I quickly logged on to BritishAirways.com and tried to book it there, but it wasn’t showing up in the search results. Ironically, at the same time I was going through this dilemma, so was Ben. He posted that he was having a similar problem booking NY-ORD flights on BA.com.
I usually despise calling British Airways for an award booking because hold times are so long, but thanks to a tip to call the Singapore office, I had myself ticketed in 6 minutes.
I love how that having status and a nice balance of points and miles across many programs allows you to “gamble” and get the flights you really want. With free redeposits, there’s really nothing to lose.
Have you ever felt a similar feeling of “victory” when a last-minute award opened up? Would love to hear about some of your stories and strategies!