I’ve been blathering on and off about our upcoming trip to Italy for months. The excitement is really building, and we are very anxious to get started on our adventure. Our original plan was to fly United in First Class from Atlanta to Washington Dulles to Rome this coming Tuesday evening. And then along came Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Frankenstorm Sandy. I started paying attention to Sandy earlier this week, but I didn’t really begin to worry about the storm until Thursday as it began to appear increasingly likely that the Washington, DC area might see a major impact.

I was devouring every kind of random weather geek information I could get my hands on in an effort to determine whether I should just stick with my original plans or try and reroute via a different hub. The only thing that was holding me back was our plan to meet family at Dulles and then start a private tour in Rome that included airport pickup. So I procrastinated. After debating for what was probably too long, I decided to pull the trigger at just about the same time that United expanded its storm waiver policy to include the Washington DC area airports.

Sometime during all this, I took a quick look at ExpertFlyer and saw that First Class was wide open on the Lufthansa nonstop from Atlanta to Frankfurt, and there was availability onward to Rome from there. Hmmm… Lufthansa First Class vs. United First Class? Exactly! I wanted those Lufthansa seats! And thanks to Bobby at awardbookingservice.com, I got them! Happy Birthday to MrsMJ who will now be crossing the pond in style! Why would a guy who can book his own awards use an award booking service? It involves an airplane, a slow GoGo connection, MrandMrsMJ celebrating their anniversary, and a chance meeting at the Chicago Seminars. Stay tuned for a blog on my first experience using a service to book an award flight for me.