I heard this morning that Club Carlson is removing the most valuable part of their award program.. the last night free. I’ve pretty much got all my travel for the next year booked up already, but I decided to book a new vacation based on this news. I decided that Aruba sounded like a great property, and I’m pretty sure I’d be happy about going to Aruba in February… so I pulled the trigger on 4 nights, 2 on my account, and 2 on the better halfs.
This means that we get the following:
- Thursday 50K pts
- Friday Free
- Saturday 50K pts
- Sunday Free
I’ve heard that most people are able to combine the two bookings at the time of the first check in, but worst case we will check out on Saturday and hang out by the pool until the second room is ready.
As we are traveling as a family now the only precaution I took before booking was to confirm that there were a few different ways for me to get to Aruba nonstop from NY.. It seems that Delta and United fly the route. I didn’t bother checking for award space because I don’t have the inclination. However I did decide that booking from a Thursday to a Monday might increase my chances of finding space. From experience, finding those sweet spot flights that depart on a Friday night and get you home on Sunday are always in highest demand, so by aiming around that I think I may have more luck.
Changing Awards Online
Despite my cunning plan to book Thurs/Sat, I messed up and booked Fri/Sun for the first award booking. The reservation confirmation had a link to ‘change reservation’ and I found it very easy to do so.
This may create opportunities for people to book now and push the dates in the future.
Though of course, rebooking like this brings in an element of risk that they will charge you for that second night should you attempt this after the cut of point. Greg mentions in his post that D Day is May 28th.
Remember, award space is finite, and you have people like me booking your rooms now, so I wouldn’t wait too long. My advice… Just book!
Club Carlson elites (elite Gold comes from holding the credit card) are allowed to combine accounts that have been:
- Open for 1 year
- Not had any address changes in 30 days
Our balances after these awards are:
- Me 10K
- Wife 42K
The final decision that I will make on this is whether to transfer the points from me>wife or wife>me. The only factor to consider there is if we would want to book a distinct trip somewhere, or if we wanted to bolt on to Aruba and make it a 6 night stay. In that case if we started on Tuesday the points should move to the wifes account, or end on the Wednesday, they should be sent to mine.
Procrastination is the enemy here. If you have no upcoming trips I recommend just booking far enough out to be speculative, and ‘make it work’.