To a place that I don’t want to stay at unless my hotel is available…
In the world of points and miles you will be told that you can travel for FREE just like MEEE but in reality, booking a trip is a lot harder than people want you to believe. I explained this recently in my post ‘The Pattern‘ where getting the order of things correct, based on the rules of engagement and probability assessment is the key to success.
This morning I decided we needed to book our Free trip to The Cove at Atlantis. The reason for this is also a Pattern decision. While I have the option to book/travel by June 30th, next week mLife gets the opportunity to realize I’m not as fun as they first thought, so I want to lock in my offers now.
The annoying thing with this offer is that you have to call in to book it, and I couldn’t reach them on a Sunday. However, if I wait until tomorrow to ask for available space on this room, I allow a window of opportunity where I lose the flights. Knowing that we have a 24hr cancel policy on certain airlines, I decided to book my flights on Delta and Jetblue in the hope that the room comes through… if it doesn’t I lock in an alternative room and rebook the flights.
When booking flights – I try to do everything as fast as possible, with two airlines there is a chance that I could lose inventory, so I used two browsers, and the end result is like this:
All in, this trip comes in at 10K DL pp, 9200 JetBlue pp, and unfortunately $100 pp in fees as Nassau has horrible taxes.. still, for a 4 night vacation it’s not too shabby. The Cove is retailing for about $580 per night at that time.
This week, time permitting I’m going to cash in some other ‘chips’ including my latest cruise offer, 4-5 nights in an Oceanview on Royal Caribbean or Celebrity with free booze. I priced out that as $620 for 3 people in an inside cabin on the Independence of the seas (including tips) all the way up to $1490 for 3 in an ocean side Balcony on the Allure of the Seas. Will be checking in with Celebrity to see their prices tomorrow.
Timing, and the order of things is the key… having been through the ringer in the points and miles game I feel a pressure to lock in the flights now, which is something you might not do until you’ve been burned, and seen your availability vanish on you. Remember the rules of the program you’re using, and feel the pressure to lock things in the moment you can, especially when they allow you to change your mind.