to travel / saving miles for a rainy day

Another Thanksgiving in Paris!


Bastille Day under the Eiffel, 2007.

I’ve always gotten Black Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving) off. This year, I’m also getting the Wednesday off, so it got me thinking — I should go somewhere! But, it has to be relaxing and thinking about the trip can’t stress me out. As much as I would love to cross another city off my list, I need some R&R in a more familiar setting. Paris quickly came to mind as a bosom friend moved there not so long ago and I like visiting cities where I’ve knocked out most of the touristy sites so I can relax and enjoy the city. Not to mention, I miss quality time with my friend.

I’m not in the mood to spend beyond a crazy bargain fare for a flight. As luck would have it, I have a small hoard of airline miles across American Airlines, British Airways, Delta, and United/Continental. I typically don’t fly airlines that don’t accumulate miles on these airlines and will even pay a teensy bit more in order to accumulate miles on my target (currently United/Continental). Tip: make sure you check the classes of each leg against the airlines’ policy. Some airlines won’t credit you until you fly a certain, more expensive class.

I did a quick search online (too lazy to broaden my search) and American Airlines was the winner. 40,000 miles for a direct roundtrip. After details of the United/Continental merger sifted out, I am wondering if I should’ve focused on AA instead. Their awards have been the most useful. “Cheap” awards in general, great award availability calendar, one-way redemptions, and you can hold a reservation without booking. Not to mention I have a healthy flow of miles on a monthly basis, thanks to my current rent payment arrangement. Here were the losers:

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