Emergency Points and Miles

We all love to use our points and miles for dream trips to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, etc. Sometimes though, you end up needing to use them in a hurry for something you did not plan.

I was planning to go to Charlotte for a business meeting next Monday. It’s about a four-hour drive so I had booked a hotel for Sunday night. I assumed I would leave around 5pm Sunday (after the Dolphins beat the Bills – a guy can dream) and drive back Monday evening after my meeting. It makes no sense to fly to Charlotte given that I live about 45 minutes from Atlanta airport in the other direction away from Charlotte.

At the last minute, I had a family emergency to attend to up north this weekend so I am flying up to the Northeast tomorrow. I was able to use Delta eCredits to book my flight up and I found a reasonable fare on American to get to Charlotte Sunday night. Obviously, I won’t have my car in Charlotte so I looked for flights back to Atlanta for Monday evening. Whoa! It’s $408 whether you fly on American or Delta. That’s about 30 minutes in the air.

Checking the miles price, of course Delta pegs it to the cash price so it’s well north of 30,000 SkyMiles. American, however, still has some semblance of an award chart. It’s only 13,500 miles. That’s over 3 cents per mile value! I didn’t bother to wait and quickly booked it. It helps that I have a stash of American Advantage miles left over from when Citi added American as a transfer partner in 2021.

Sometimes it’s great to find value when you need it most. I would have been really annoyed to pay $400+ for a 30 minute flight in economy. I’m OK with the 13,500 miles as it will get me back to ATL and I booked three days out.

If you enjoyed this post (or have questions), let me know in the comments or send me an email at emptynestermiles@gmail.com. If you are thinking about opening a new credit card, please use one of my links.

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