Category Archives: Airlines + Miles

Stuck at Home? Listen to Grant on the Saverocity Observation Deck Podcast

Good morning everyone.  A few weeks ago, I was a guest on the Saverocity Observation Deck podcast.  We talked about my Ireland trip (now cancelled), my British Airways / Match.com love story, and what’s in my iPhone wallet.  The episode is ~40 mins for regular listeners or ~60 minutes if you are a Patreon paid subscriber (you will hear Laura make her podcast debut).  Listen to the episode on your favorite podcasting app or listen online here.  Have a great day everyone.

I Cancelled My Last Minute Trip to Hawaii [Rescheduled for June]

Reposted on 3/17/20 at 7:30am


Updated 3pm PT on 3/14/20: I was planning on going to Kauai in March but have rescheduled my trip to Kauai for June.  I have cancelled / rescheduled all the reservations below.


Good afternoon everyone, I hope your Friday is going well.  As a sequel to yesterday’s post (I Cancelled My Trip to Ireland), we decided to go to Kauai instead for Laura’s spring break (we went to Kauai 2 years ago for Laura’s spring break as well).  I checked flights from the Bay Area to Hawaii and flights were in the $100-$130 price range each way to all the Hawaiian Islands.  Prices were so cheap that it was a better deal to pay for flights than to book award tickets.

Laura had ~52K Southwest Airlines Points in her account, so we booked 2 roundtrip tickets from Oakland (OAK) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) using 50,292 SWA points and $22.40 in taxes/fees ($5.60 per person per flight).  About an hour later, I checked the flight prices and saw a price drop.  I immediately rebooked the SWA flight for free and saved 8,174 SWA points.  This morning, I checked the flights again and saw more price drops.  I quickly and easily rebooked those flights using the SWA app.  After the dust settled, our SWA flights now cost a total of 35,087 SWA points (a savings of 15,205 SWA points in ~12 hours).  I kind of feel bad that the prices keep dropping so dramatically (but I will keep checking the flight prices to see if they get any cheaper).

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I Cancelled My Trip to Ireland

Good afternoon everyone.  Yesterday, after hearing about the Europe travel ban, we decided to cancel our trip to Ireland.  It’s disappointing but life is unpredictable right now.  Thankfully, most of the trip was booked with miles and points, so cancelling was easy.  I was able to cancel my Hyatt award stay and all 5 Radisson Blu award stays since I was outside the cancellation period and the hotel points were immediately redeposited to my accounts.   I cancelled my rental car reservation booked through Priceline.  I had purchased a few activities through Expedia and was able to cancel those as well.  I should receive the credit card refund in a few days.

Lastly, I needed to cancel my round trip SFO-DUB Aer Lingus award ticket booked with British Airways Avios.  Online, it shows a $55 cancellation fee per passenger.  I called BA and asked if they could waive the cancellation fee but was told that the flight is still operating as scheduled and that if the phone agent cancelled the reservation, there would be an additional $25 fee.  I decided to cancel the award ticket online and the BA Avios were immediately redeposited to my BA account.  The cash refund should arrive in the next 1-2 weeks.

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2020 Datapoint: AMEX Airline Fee Credit for American Airlines Posted in 7 Days

Good morning everyone, I hope your weekend is going well (despite the daylight saving time change).  Last week, I wrote Use American Express Chat to Change Airline Fee Credit Airline Choice (Almost 100% Automated).  In that post, I showed you how you could easily change your airline choice for the American Express airline fee credit by using the AMEX chat feature.  In today’s post, I will share my experience getting the airline fee credit for a few American Airlines seat upgrades.  As you can see by this email from American Express, my airline choice was changed to American Airlines on 10:16am on February 29, 2020.

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My Travel Philosophy for Redeeming Miles vs. Paying Cash for Flights (w/ Account Balances as of March 2020)

Good morning everyone, happy Friday!  I just finished listening to the Miles to Memories podcast (latest episode) and enjoyed listening to them talk about Disney when they redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I don’t have a hard and fast rule that I live by, so I thought it would be fun to share my travel philosophy of when I redeem miles vs. pay cash for flights.  I specifically mention flights because I plan to write a similar article about hotels and didn’t want to make this article too long.  Lastly, when I use the word cash, that could mean paying for the flight with a credit card, or paying with an airline gift card, or using credit card rewards to pay for the flight – basically anything other than booking an award ticket with airline miles.

I also think it is important to share how many credit card reward points I have, since my thinking would be much different if I had 1,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points vs. 1 million Chase Ultimate Reward Points.  With that said, here are my transferable points balances, as of March 2020, from smallest to largest:

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