- by Judy Griffith Gill
Discovered yesterday: Strange fact re air travel: Individuals fly at a cheaper price-per-head than couples.
My aim: to book a flight for two from Costa Rica to BC, via California, where we want to spend a week with our daughter in the Bay Area. I went the American Airlines page because we have miles with them, but unfortunately, not enough for this trip. The cost to San Francisco alone came in at $510.00 per person or $1,020 for the two of us–one way. Winced and booked the flight we need, but put it on 24 hour hold because maybe I could find something cheaper elsewhere.
I could, if we wanted to leave Costa Rica at 6 a.m., pay up to 50 bucks per checked bag, spend a night in either Mexico City or Miami, or a long day in Denver, CO, then fly on to Los Angeles before finally arriving in San Francisco many exhausting hours later, and still not have a flight to Vancouver. No problem. We like and trust AA and have flown with them for years. Then, I remembered AA’s offer of 30,000 extra miles to frequent fliers who book flights between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31 (these flights don’t have to be taken in that period, only booked).
However, if I booked our flight-for-two on my AA login page, I’d be the only one to get the 30,000 miles, though we’re both members of their program, so I booked a flight just for me and discovered, instead of the quoted $510.00 per person, my cost had suddenly dropped to $474.00. Interesting. Put that flight on hold, too, then booked a flight for Bob at the same price. Now, $474.00 x 2 comes to $948.00, a difference of $72.00 when compared to the $1020.00 originally quoted. Not a great saving, you might say, but I’ll get my 30,000 miles, as will Bob, which we can apply to our next trip (to be booked as two individuals, not a couple). 72 bucks buys a pretty nice hotel room in San Jose, Costa Rica, the night before we fly out.
I know you’re saying, “That still only gets you to San Francisco, not Vancouver.”
Well, I fixed that too. Went back to AA, clicked on Awards Travel, and logged us both in separately then booked each of us a seat on the same flight from San Francisco to Vancouver at the cash cost of a little over $5.00 each plus one-third of the points each of us have.
Took the unneeded itineraries off “hold” and paid for the ones we’ll need come March and April.
Come August, believe me, I’ll be booking our flights back here for late September, and looking with a lot more care than I have in the past.