After hearing havdala last Motzei Shabbos, my uncle’s mother, Mrs. Fraida Nathan, returned her soul to heaven.
I’m the default “travel agent” for my family, so I set off to see what could be done about getting a flight from Cleveland to Chicago for the levaya on Sunday afternoon for myself, my mother, and my grandfather.
Last minute paid tickets weren’t prohibitively expensive, but are still between $200-$300 each way.
While the value of miles is not what it used to be (I sure miss the days of wide open 4.5K BA Avios tickets!), it can still beat paying cash.
Skiplagged is a good option for last-minute flights, but I’d still rather use miles.
United had awards for 15K miles, which they now brand as a saver level award (up from 10K for a short-haul saver award before they deleted their award charts):
But as any DansDeals reader will know, the trick is finding partner airlines that can book that flight for fewer miles.
Alas, Lifemiles often blocks award tickets from being booked for travel within 24 hours:
However Air Canada had availability for just 6K miles, plus $34 in tax and fees. Still, that’s a very solid deal. You can transfer miles from AMEX, Chase or Capital One to Air Canada instantly.
For November, you can even get a 30%-40% bonus for transfers from Chase to Air Canada, dropping the price to 4.3-4.6K miles for a short-haul award ticket.
Best of all, Air Canada doesn’t require you to jump through hoops to change your mileage number to United.
I got upgraded to the last first class seat, which I handed over to my mother. I sat in the exit row with my grandfather with an empty middle seat thanks to the person assigned to the middle sliding over to the open aisle seat across from us.
Of course I still had to deal with Jewish mother’s guilt. 😀
For the way home United didn’t have saver award space:
However, American had a reasonably priced 9K flight home and the upgrade came through on that as well:
Do you use miles when you need a last minute flight?