Getting back in the swing of things

It’s been awhile since I posted but I went on vacation so when I returned to work last week I had to pay for taking time off.  That’s the way it always works, isn’t it?

One thing I look forward to each year is taking my ski trips. I aim for two week-long trips each year, usually one in January and the other in February. I know a lot of folks like the warmer spring skiing in March but (to a point) I don’t mind the cold and since I’m not locked into a school schedule, I like skiing when school is in session and not out for spring break.

I typically travel with a ski club which means the only thing I can use points for is my airfare. But I don’t mind. I’ve been skiing with the club for over 20 years and have made a lot of new friends this way. And no matter who is in my condo, we’ve always had a good time – and this year was no exception.

I’d used Delta miles for my flight which meant I could either route via Atlanta or Minneapolis for my trip to Colorado. While it may seem counter-intuitive to travel east to go west, in this case it made more sense to route via warm Atlanta instead of potentially snowy MSP.

One downside of skiing is that you often fly into small mountain towns with limited/seasonal service and therefore the airlines can gouge you on pricing. In this case I was flying into Hayden, Colorado which is about 45 minutes outside Steamboat Springs. I have miles on the three major airlines that fly there but none had low-level availability when I was looking for airfare this summer. American wanted something ridiculous like 80K miles for an economy seat and United wanted 50K. Delta seemed a bargain at 45K – and I’d rather save my AA & UA miles for international travel anyway. I’d originally planned to vacation from Saturday to Saturday, arriving home in the 7-8 pm hour, just in time to go into work at 11 pm Saturday night. Then Delta changed the flight such that I wouldn’t land in Memphis until just after 10 pm. Uh, no, that was not going to work.

In the end, a few days before I left for vacation I changed my flight to return on Friday. I hated to lose the day of skiing but was able to sell the last day of my lift ticket and had a much easier day on Saturday because of it and since the flight on Friday was a bit cheaper, I got back 5000 miles. That didn’t make up for the pain of the $150 change fee, since I’m not elite, but it helped a little.

Next up: a review of our slopeside lodging in Steamboat

Categories: Award Travel, Delta | Leave a comment

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