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going back to Italy again!

I am going back to Italy!! I just bought my ticket, paying the most I have ever paid - $1868.45 flying into Milan and out of Zurich. It was about $60.00 cheaper last weekend, but I missed that boat on that great deal. I still have that 24 hour window where I can cancel my ticket.

I have been try to get a ticket using my miles for months now, but only the higher rate mileage awards have been available, which means 60,000 miles each way and this is only for the back of the bus type of seat. It would be 120,000 miles each way for business first. Right now, I only have 99,000 miles.

A couple of hours after my ticket purchase, I went back onto the Continental website just for kicks to see what would happen if I tried to use my miles, wondering if I could purchase one way and use miles one way. I was surprised to find out that I can indeed purchase a ticket using my miles if I pay for the additional 21,000 miles I need. This would only cost me $733.70 in total including tax and fees. So now, new decision, with less than 24 hours to decide. Keep my ticket and earn more miles or wipe out my miles completely and get a great rate.

I also thought of trying to upgrade to business first instead with a paid ticket, but the office to do this is not open on the weekend - risking that 24 hour window decision. The tricky part is that because I am not elite, I would not find out until the last minute if I even got any portions of my flight upgraded. Then there's the whole talk of Continental and United merging, which makes me a little nervous. It also makes me wonder what the chances of using miles will be if they combine airlines. I am hoping that they do not merge. I never have to wait in a long to check in when flying out of Honolulu but the lines for United are always a nightmare.

Meanwhile I am thinking of all the advantages there are if I use my miles. Besides the low cost of the ticket, I would be able to rationalize better hotel rooms and perhaps a few days longer in Italy. I would not have the restriction of flying on a Saturday/Sunday for a higher cost. I could still buy that new Canon DSLR camera I have been dreaming about. It is like having $1134.75 extra free money to spend!

Italy...here I come!!!

**UPDATE: Decison made - I went the miles route and I still have 798 miles left!

Comments (8)

This is great news! When will you be there?

I've been thinking about anew camera as well - mine just doesn't take the sort of pictures I'd like to see in low light settings (of course I assume spending $ 1000 + on a new camera will assist with this!)

Arriving after a 2 day trek to Italy on June 24 (possibly June 23rd if I use miles) and departing July 14. I am trying to watch my train days (weekends are a nightmare in Liguria so I don't want to arrive on a Sunday) and Zurich has that nice cheaper hotel room deal on the weekends.

Yes, you would think $1000 would make some improvement. I am trying to decide between the great deal on the present Canon or the new Canon with all the upgrades. I like upgrades.

Sandra:

Yikes -- that's a tough decision. I must say, I use up points as fast as I can because I'm deeply cynical about the airline industry and fear twists that might rob me of my points! For example, about a year ago, Air Canada very quietly announced changes to its Aeroplan points program where people would lose their accumulated points if there wasn't regular activity on their accounts. It didn't have to be much activity, just using or adding points once per year. But the changes weren't well known and a lot of people lost points because their accounts were deemed inactive.

Anyway, that's kind of off topic! Good luck with your ticket decision and trip planning. It sounds wonderful and June isn't too far away.

I look forward to hearing more about your plans! I don't know Zurich at all, but I spent several hours in the airport there last month, because of my connection to Rome. Cleanest airport I have ever seen. Amazingly clean. And wonderful little carts that you can use without charge if you have a lot of carry-on stuff. which I always do. A great place to kill a few hours.

I lost miles from Delta that way. I think I also lost all of my American miles somehow.

I guess it is good that I am using the miles instead of saving them. The only thing I am not sure of is if I had to cancel this reservation for any reason, would trip insurance reimburse me for the cost of the miles I just bought.

I can't give away all my trip plans on one blog post...
gotta milk it for a few days :-)

Yay congratulations on your tickets! Sounds like you got a great deal! Prices this year are through the rough. Some friends from Norway want to meet up in Italy in July but I can't seem to find any tickets under $1400, and that is from DC, right on the East Coast. So good on you for getting a good deal and also making sure that your miles don't expire! Looking forward to more posts on your trip planning.

i think you'll need to pencil in an italian baseball game while you're over here! free pasta at the field between saturday doubleheader games!

Congrats! Isn't that the greatest feeling to have that done?

Thanks Chiocciola & Annie. I felt like I was floating on cloud nine all day yesterday once I finally hit the confirm button on the internet and again today til I had to deal with a frustrating problem at work. But, I am now again back on cloud nine. It was just a temporary interruption of the feeling :-)

Chiocciola, good luck on the tickets. There may be a good last minute deal. It is much harder from Hawaii since half the battle is just getting a flight to the mainland. I have a couple of back posts to do and then I will start to talk about my trip.

Lango, that sure is tempting!! Both baseball and free pasta - 2 of my favorite things!! I'm waiting for your 2008 schedule to be posted on your blog to check the dates.

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