Award Booking is the first post in the Ana, Take Me ‘Round The World Trip Report.
I’ve never played Fornite. I don’t know what it is about. All I know is that it’s addicting. There’s a website which teaches parents how to deal with their kids’ addiction. There needs to be such a website for award booking addicts.
While planning my move to Shanghai, I wanted the easiest route to get there. Somehow that turned into an all encompassing project. Should I fly Emirates and burn 180k Alaska points? Should I transfer points to Etihad and fly AA for 50k miles? Should I use my Alaska points for a conservative booking on Hainan for 55k? How about ANA roundtrip? Or, should I outsource this project to someone else?
Any of the above choices could be rationalized, but I cannot excuse myself for paying for a trial service of an automated award booking service. Until award booking services become powered by Google’s DeepMind, I will trust my ingenuity and persistence in finding the best use of my points. I also feel that piecing together complex itineraries on my own and getting them to ticket is second only to flying premium for next to nothing.
Now that I have that off my chest, let’s get back to the process as they call it in Philly.
I didn’t go with any of the options above. In fact, I still don’t have anything booked. What I do have is a close relationship with ANA’s customer service whom I have called multiple times to make dozens of changes to my round the world itinerary. That’s right. What was supposed to be a direct flight to Shanghai (with possibly a stopover in Dubai) has turned into galactic struggle to circumnavigate the globe in style. This will rival my past accomplishments (see The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World and Do You Believe in Miracles? Emirates Showers, Dreamliner Suites, Tahiti Triumph!).
As I write this post at 10:07PM, 12 hours before the standard 10:07AM post time, I will admit that I stopped for the evening not because I am tired nor because I have given up. I hit the pause button because the tax desk is closed for the evening and won’t be open until tomorrow. I have two final hurdles: 1) What flight to take to Frankfurt/Munich? The Lufthansa seat arrangements don’t look great, but ‘real’ United Polaris is impossible to find. 2) How can I use the remaining 635 miles to come as close to 22,000 miles, the limit for 125k ANA mile business class tickets?
Fortunately, ANA only allows these tickets to be placed on hold for 72 hours. Otherwise, my Fortnite award booking addiction could go on forever. To that end, I cannot say the end is near. All my efforts may be for naught as tickets on hold mean nothing until they are ticketed by the partner airlines. The perverse part of my personality slightly hopes everything gets turned upside down so I can see if I can do it all over again.
What about you? Are you an OCD points booker? Or have you sold your soul to award booking services that charge for what you can get for free?
You wasted $150,000 on an education you coulda got for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.