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  1. #1
    No hero that's understood
    Reputation: q_and_a's Avatar
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    Not so fast.....or read the fine print

    Let me preface this by accepting full responsibility and full recognition that this is all of my own doing.

    After a recent impromptu reunion, my wife and her female cousins have decided to take a trip to Paris. My wife called me yesterday to tell me that the flight would be approx. $750. I realized that I had some miles on that particular airline and offered to pay for part of the trip with miles. It turns out that you really can't pay for part of the trip with miles, so I decided to check into the cost of the additional miles required for the trip. I quickly learned that it would be about $675 for the miles so I bought them. As I was "checking out", I realized there was a $50 transaction fee, so my $75 savings quickly turned into a $25 savings. Oh well, no harm no foul.

    Next I went to book the ticket. I accidentally for got to indicate that I would be using miles and the round trip flight that showed up was actually $582 (plus taxes and fees). We were both quite surprised, so I called the airline to see if they could just reverse the mileage purchase and put the money back on my credit card. Turns out that the little box that you check when you don't read the terms and conditions allowed them to tell me that this was a non-refundable transaction. (confirmed by supervisor)

    Since life is too short and it was only about $150 after taking into account taxes and fees, I decided lets just book the ticket with the miles and move on down the road.

    When I went to use the miles, there was a $135 processing fee for the privilege of using the miles I over paid for.

    I'm not sure what the lesson is, but I think I learned it.
    Often wrong, never in doubt

  2. #2
    Zaphod Beeblebrox
    Reputation: DLMKA's Avatar
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    I had a bunch of miles racked up on AA, I wanted to use them for a domestic flight, I figured that after paying the fees, taxes, etc that it would have cost slightly MORE than just booking the flight outright! I never used the miles or went on that trip, what a crock.

  3. #3
    your text here
    Reputation: weltyed's Avatar
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    the lesson is the airline company is dirty and for some reason cant figure out why people hate them.
    but they do have the ability to fly, so...

    btw, where are you getting flights to paris so cheap? last we looked it was like $1200 per. maybe you are just buying your wife a one way ticket?
    I don't normally "do people." - Dr. Roebuck

  4. #4
    No hero that's understood
    Reputation: q_and_a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weltyed
    the lesson is the airline company is dirty and for some reason cant figure out why people hate them.
    but they do have the ability to fly, so...

    btw, where are you getting flights to paris so cheap? last we looked it was like $1200 per. maybe you are just buying your wife a one way ticket?
    I was surprised too. USAir out of Philadelphia. $581 round trip non-stop (which apparently fluctuates up and down through out the day). This is for March of next year though. Perhaps planning that far in advance helps.
    Often wrong, never in doubt

  5. #5
    hit it
    Reputation: NUTT's Avatar
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    I only use miles for upgrades to first class.

    // I've only used miles once.
    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty2Hotty View Post
    But I'm not a douche. I'm awesome.

  6. #6
    Windrider (Stubborn)
    Reputation: Len J's Avatar
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    been there, done that, got the tee shirt.

    A few years ago I was using FF miles as a Chairman Preferred traveler to book flights for my wife and I to Europe. No Problem. A freind, wo used to be a Chairman Preferred, but retired and was now only a silver, tried to use his older miles and was told there were no seats available. I called the Chairmans help desk and was told that if he transferred the miles to me (for $25), I could get him and his wife seats under my reservation....cool. Only problem was it took a day to execute...by the time it was done.....you guessed it, no more seats.

    It cost us $25 to move the miles back too. (The Charimans desk ended up crediting both chharges but.......it still was not terrific.

    Len



    "Evil....is the complete lack of Empathy!"

    ""We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. " Aristotle

    No one is as bad as the worst thing they have done & no one is as good as the best thing they have done.........think of that when you feel like you understand someone.

  7. #7
    Meow!
    Reputation: indysteel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by q_and_a
    I was surprised too. USAir out of Philadelphia. $581 round trip non-stop (which apparently fluctuates up and down through out the day). This is for March of next year though. Perhaps planning that far in advance helps.
    Ugh; the airlines are such a racket. Out of curiosity, I plugged in some dates from Indianapolis to CDG for next February/March. On Orbitz, some flights from United came up for around $422 with another $455 in taxes and fees. Of course, they don't tell you what those taxes and fees are. Pull up the same flight on United's own website and the fare comes in around $700, plus $133 in taxes and fees. They do give some breakdown of what those charges are, but they don't provide you the actual and specific figures for anything. I think that's a crock. Charge me what they will, but be straight up about it.
    You can't change people. They have to change themselves. Just like babies.

  8. #8
    donuts?
    Reputation: asciibaron's Avatar
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    this is why
    1. i don't use FF miles
    2. i don't fly anymore.
    -Steve
    Quote Originally Posted by Chain
    Next time, save your energy for tomorrows ride and try not to come in 6th.

  9. #9
    haole from the mainland
    Reputation: jorgy's Avatar
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    Hah--just had my own FF issues this weekend. Planned to buy RT tickets for my sister and me. By the time I got around to it, only first class was available on one of the legs so I didn't have enough miles. I could buy the miles, however. Only $300 to buy enough miles and $100 transaction fee. For a ticket that would cost me $400 on the open market.

    Ended up getting my sister the FF ticket and just buying mine. She'll be up in first class while I'm in coach.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JCavilia's Avatar
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    You have to learn how the system works. You never buy miles -- it's amost always a bad deal. You get a flight with miles, if you have enough, and if there are award flights available on the dates you want. Often there aren't. If you can't get the flight with the miles you have, you find the best price you can, and save your miles for another trip.

    We all fume about the airlines, and flying isn't as much fun as it used to be, but the truth is they struggle to make any money at all, and have gone through considerable money-losing periods lately. The crazy fare structures are maddening, for sure, but with all the online booking sites they're easier to negotiate than they used to be.

    Weltyed, where are you looking at fares? I just did a quick search on Expedia for New York to Paris flights. I could get under $900 for next week, and under $750 for a few weeks further out.

    Not that I'm going anywhere anytime soon.

  11. #11
    waterproof*
    Reputation: Creakyknees's Avatar
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    amazon is now accepting my Amex points, with a really easy one-click process. I luff dem.
    * not actually a Rock Star

  12. #12
    banned from the museum
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    My "I'll drive instead of fly" distance recently went from 600 miles to 900 miles.

  13. #13
    I like waterboarding...
    Reputation: mymilkexpired's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees
    amazon is now accepting my Amex points, with a really easy one-click process. I luff dem.
    I saw that too, but the wife wants to take an intl trip so I'll save my points / miles for the trip. Between my onepass miles and amex points we can fly free round trip (me, wife , kid) and cover most of the hotel expenses!!
    .......__o
    .......\ <,
    ....( )/ ( )

  14. #14
    No hero that's understood
    Reputation: q_and_a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia
    You have to learn how the system works. You never buy miles -- it's amost always a bad deal. You get a flight with miles, if you have enough, and if there are award flights available on the dates you want. Often there aren't. If you can't get the flight with the miles you have, you find the best price you can, and save your miles for another trip.

    We all fume about the airlines, and flying isn't as much fun as it used to be, but the truth is they struggle to make any money at all, and have gone through considerable money-losing periods lately. The crazy fare structures are maddening, for sure, but with all the online booking sites they're easier to negotiate than they used to be.

    Weltyed, where are you looking at fares? I just did a quick search on Expedia for New York to Paris flights. I could get under $900 for next week, and under $750 for a few weeks further out.

    Not that I'm going anywhere anytime soon.
    They were having a 2 for 1 miles sale which is why it occurred to me that it might be a better idea.

    I'm actually not complaining about the airlines, I was again reaffirming that rushing into something with out doing the requisite homework does not serve me well. This was just an example.
    Often wrong, never in doubt

  15. #15
    Just Plain Bitter
    Reputation: rward325's Avatar
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    I never really travel to far the last couple of years. All of the quick flights I take are Southwest or Alaska. If I have Southwest points for a ticket then great. If not I buy it and move on. Thank god it's easy for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Catzilla;
    Like, if "troubling" were a level seven worry, "concerning" would be a six, with "frightening" being an eight and "unexplained genital rash" being a nine.

    2007 Pegoretti Duende Campy SR 11 Campagnolo Neutron
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