When booking a recent trip to the United States, I did everything perfectly with no crazy detours. All the flights were cheapest economy class except for one splurge with miles.
One part of the plan is to visit friends in Washington DC, so I creatively booked a flight with miles in business class on Cathay Pacific from Vancouver to New York, with a separate connection in economy to Washington Reagan on American.
A Fly In The Ointment
Straight after booking, my friends in DC told me one of them was going for a job interview. Super! The catch being the fact the new job was in Denver! Those non-refundable cheap economy class tickets looked like a bad idea after all.
My talented friend naturally landed the role, which meant a conundrum for me. I had non-refundable tickets to Washington DC and my flight back to Europe also started there. What should I do?
Checking The Options
The most logical thing to do was to cancel my Cathay Pacific flight from Vancouver to New York and get refunded the miles. The €120 for the New York to Washington sector would just have to be written off as it was non refundable.
This would mean booking a one way flight from Vancouver to Denver which came out at €193 on United. Next, use the refunded miles to book a new ticket to fly Denver to Chicago to Washington DC on American in First Class.
Time To Get Crazy
Who travels with United? Not me. I also hate losing money so dropping €120 on that New York to Washington DC sector bugged me. Plus, I really wanted to fly the Vancouver to New York flight on Cathay Pacific as a treat. You know how much I love Cathay Pacific lounges!
I noticed it was possible to fly Washington DC to Denver via Chicago one way and Denver to Washington DC via Charlotte on American for just €220. Therefore it was just €17 more expensive than the direct United flight. Plus, I’d earn miles and have lounge access so it was a no brainer from that aspect.
Of course, it’s going to take a hell of a lot more of my time, but hey, why not! I don’t mind getting a little crazy once in a while. Plus, it meant none of my other bookings had to be cancelled which meant no loss of money there.
Want some more crazy? It was €160 more to fly First Class on the Denver to Washington via Charlotte sector and I figured for €80 per flight I may as well go for it. I’m on bread and water for the rest of my life after this!
Now you have a window into the crazy mind of the Flight Detective. Everyone else in the world would just have booked the United flight from Vancouver to Denver then used miles to get from there to Washington DC, but not me. Taking Cathay Pacific from Vancouver to New York will be such fun and I really wanted to do that. It’s not like I’m regularly in Vancouver so I decided to strike while I had the chance.
No doubt I’ll be moaning about flight after flight but another good thing is lounge access and Main Cabin Extra, so I’ll survive just fine. Have you ever taken a crazy routing like this? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Chuttersnap via Unsplash.
Denver by Hogs555 via Wikimedia Commons.
Cathay Pacific by M Radzi Desa via Wikimedia Commons.
United by Eric Salard via Wikimedia Commons.