Christmas is one of those times where I don’t like to play games with strategizing about the best time to book my flights. I think it’s generally safe to assume that fares will keep going up as it gets closer, at least on the prime days we need to travel. This year, despite all the gloom and doom around the industry, I don’t think it’s going to be much different. People are still going to travel to see their families for the holidays, and the cutbacks on capacity will probably help keep prices up on peak days.
We settled our Christmas plans this week, and as usual, it involves a trip back to the in-laws in Indianapolis. I booked it all yesterday, and I’m feeling pretty good about what we got. Here are some random thoughts.
On our outbound, we’re flying Midwest through Milwaukee on a redeye.
- Midwest already screwed us once last summer when they canceled LAX service – what’s the chance they screw us twice?
- I’m pretty excited about the cookies onboard
- I’m more excited that we’re on an Embraer 190 – no middle seat and that’s great for the redeye
- I’m most excited that it was only $158 one way per person – that’s way cheaper than anyone else (and not a good sign for Midwest)
- This is the first time I was prompted for my middle name on a booking – thanks TSA
- This will be my first time on the baby Embraer 135 – 37 seats makes it the smallest jet I’ve ever been on
- Think I can get a Miller Lite at 6 in the morning when I’m connecting through Milwaukee?
On the way back, we’re flying American via St Louis on miles.
- I love this new flexible one-way award structure – we might have flown United back home if they had that option but they don’t
- There were no coach saver awards but there were first class savers, so both cabins were the same price – guess which one we picked?
- I’m excited to fly on an ERJ-140 – this means I’ll now have been on every version of the ERJ family
- I’m also kind of pissed to fly the ERJ-140 – we’re using miles for first class but there’s no first class cabin on this flight
- I like connecting in St Louis – that place is empty these days and never has a traffic congestion delay
- If I get a Miller Lite in Milwaukee, I guess I’ll need a Bud Light in St Louis
- I’m particularly pumped for our MD-80 ride back home – I’ve never sat up front in an MD-80 before and I hear it’s a very nice, quiet ride
- It’s fantastic that American still lets you hold your reservations – made it less nerve-wracking to book since we were booking separately from our own stash of miles
- Why do I have to pay the $5 fees with a credit card that matches my wife’s name? Annoying
- The first class lines will really make travel easier during the holidays
Just a jumble of random thoughts, I know. But I’m pretty happy to have my Christmas travel booked with good flight times on peak days for a fair price. I’m really amused that three of my four flights are operated by Republic or one of its subsidiaries. It’s only the lonely MD-80 at the end that’s actually operated by the airline that has its name painted on the outside of the plane.
Anyone else making their plans yet?