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how far would you drive to use frequent flier miles?

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Jun 23rd, 2009, 11:34 AM
  #1
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how far would you drive to use frequent flier miles?

We cannot get flights from our home town, or a nearby airport. I could drive to a hub city and get great flights using our frequent flier miles. There is the drive, hotel stay, etc.

Even paying for the flight from home does not give us decent flights. What to do? How far would you drive?
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:21 PM
  #2
yk
 
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Have you tried partner airlines?

Not only there's the drive + hotel, there's also cost of parking while you're gone.

It depends on:
Where I'm flying to
How much is the plane ticket out of pocket
How many miles I will give up earning by using FF ticket
etc etc etc
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 01:34 PM
  #3
 
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yks right, there are additional cost to take into consideration. For me the time factor and aggrevation is enough to stop me from even considering this.

"Even paying for the flight from home does not give us decent flights". Maybe, the connections from you hometown don't work well for your destination. From/to where are you travelling?
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 03:02 PM
  #4
 
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We have driven 4 hours from our home to get good flight prices. We usually will drive to near the airport the day before, stay at a hotel that has free transportation to the airport and offers free parking of our car while we are gone. Then when we return, get the free shuttle to the hotel, and drive home. Sometime we have saved $800 EACH on the price of the flight by doing this, but mostly saved $200 or $300 each. If you are using FF miles, you are only paying the taxes and the overnight at a hotel (if you stay over).
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:03 PM
  #5
 
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"What to do? How far would you drive?"

Personally, I wouldn't drive, but I live in Chicago so that's not an issue, although I wouldn't have done it where I lived before. Is it worth it for you? Without knowing where you live and the cost of the ticket from your town (airline miles-wise and paying) versus the expense of driving to and staying at the hub, it's impossible to say.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 05:40 PM
  #6
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Flights from home are looking much better this evening. We are trying to get from upstate NY to St. Thomas, without a stop in San Juan.
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Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:32 PM
  #7
J62
 
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JFK to St. Thomas, non-stop.

Depending on your definition of 'upstate' I would (and do) drive to JFK for non-stop and/or FF flights.
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Jun 24th, 2009, 04:49 AM
  #8
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Ironically, Phil is closer than NYC. I found decent flights for $450.00 a piece, and DH says drive to Phil. We've never been there, so we could make a weekend of it before we go, the drive home would suck.
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Jun 24th, 2009, 10:05 AM
  #9
 
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What about Newark?
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Jun 24th, 2009, 10:26 AM
  #10
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Thanks NanBug, but I think Phil is probably closer than Newark. We need a USAir hub anyway. I just really want to visit St. John again. We'll figure it out, otherwise we'll go someplace else. No worries mon. As I said, DH is all for driving.
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Jun 24th, 2009, 12:21 PM
  #11
 
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Many times there is little or no availability from or to small regional airports. My airline of choice had only 1 flight a day Sarasota to Miami and plus the fact they used small regional planes meant that the number of seats for awards was extremely limited, so for example, when I was checking SRQ-MIA-LHR it showed no availability. At the same time Tampa had numerous flights to MIA, ORD or JFK so there was plenty of availability from TPA-???-LHR for the same dates. For me it was about an 1+ hour each way and I really didn't mind.

Never had to drive anywhere else.
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Jun 24th, 2009, 11:16 PM
  #12
 
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I must be missing something. You must be in western NY state for PHL to be closer than NYC.

What is the problem with stopping in San Juan that would make you drive, what 8 hours total, to avoid it?
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Jun 25th, 2009, 06:16 AM
  #13
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Yes, we are in upstate/western NY. All somewhat smaller airports. I'm afraid of those commuter planes now!!

Our FF miles are with USAir. We would not fly for free on a flight through San Juan. DH really wants to fly for free. He sees our annual ski trip out west being threatened (it just gets costlier and costlier each year).

We also like to get to St. John in time to get a rental car, grocery shop etc. We have a tough time doing that when we fly from home and make one stop. Either the St. Thomas car ferries stop or the rental shops on St. John close. The price to pay to vacation there.

I would also like to use up the miles and I really don't see it getting easier from our airports. As I said, the drive there would not be bad, the drive home would suck.
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Jun 25th, 2009, 07:49 AM
  #14
 
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Is there a way to take public transport to JFK from where you live? A bus that goes into NYC? Then you could take the Airtrain via the LIRR or Subway to JFK, or an airport bus from the Port Authority.

It would take longer, but if you don't want to drive, it may be worth it.
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