Welcome Million Mile Secrets Readers! I’ve been a huge fan of Daraius and his site since the beginning and it was great to take part in his interview series. I’m really looking forward to earning with all of you! Feel free to subscribe to the blog by clicking the comments link in any post, scrolling to the bottom, and selecting “notify me of new posts by email”, you can also follow the blog on Twitter @pointme2plane or like it on Facebook for updates.
About two and half weeks ago I received the awesome news that I was going to have the opportunity to attend the London 2012 Olympics. I was psyched to see up-close the sports that I somehow only pay attention to every four years – Swimming, Athletics (Track & Field), Volleyball, and Diving. I was also excited to see some Team USA basketball. I decided that I would look for flights and hotels upon returning from work that night, though I definitely had some trepidation that I wouldn’t be able to find any reasonable availability…boy was I wrong.
My first step was securing flights and I wanted to use some of my Delta SkyMiles. I have an insane amount of SkyMiles, though I find myself constantly redeeming awards with my AA and UA miles instead, refusing to book a medium or high level award on Delta. Delta has three direct flights a day from JFK to LHR, but I was even willing to accept a connection at the low level. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all three direct flights (for all three potential departure days) had low level award availability at the 60k round-trip pricing. Business class was pricing at the medium level of 200k round-trip, though I could have grabbed a combo Low/Medium award at 150k with a 5 hours layover in Paris via Air France on the way there and a 9 hour layover on the way home. I went ahead and booked the economy flight at the low level for 60k miles and created a reminder to check each morning for business class availability. One day later, business on all three flights opened up on both the departure and return and I changed my flight for an additional 40k miles and about $100 in additional taxes.
Well, two weeks later and it’s more of the same, not only on Delta but UA and AA as well. Seats are available to the Olympics at the low level in Economy or Business for most of next week:
I expected to see a big tax difference when comparing the AA flights to BA flights, though I was surprised to see Delta’s fees when advancing to the final screen as compared to the other carriers, despite the graphics above (not sure why they are being displayed at $2.50):
AA – Economy ($89.40 each way), Business ($134.20 each way)
BA – Economy ($219.70 each way), Business ($347.70 each way)
Delta – Economy ($88.15 each way), Business ($139.20 each way)
United – Economy ($89.40 & Business ($134.20 each way)
Any readers aware of what the correct pricing for the Delta flights should be?
Anyway, the takeaway here is that low level award flights are easy to obtain, even this late in the game. I found hotels to be just as easy, some of the rates were so low that i didn’t even bother using points, though point options were readily available, more on this in tomorrow’s post. It sure seems like there is excess inventory for both flights and hotels. Event tickets as well have been easy to secure. I was given tickets to a few events but wanted to purchase some others. I had no problems finding cheap options on the official London 2012 site (where tickets are sporadically released) and on eBay, full updates on event tickets tomorrow as well.