My 12.6 Cent Per Point Green Bay Packers Redemption!
Next month I am speaking at the Chicago Seminars where I will be talking about cruise loyalty programs and more. My talk is on Saturday afternoon and while looking at the schedule awhile back I noticed that my beloved Green Bay Packers will be playing at home on Sunday. Green Bay and Chicago aren’t too far away from each other, so I figured it could make an interesting side trip.
Getting the Hotel
After coming up with this idea a couple of months ago, I started to look at hotel options in the area on points. While Hyatt does have a property in Green Bay, it is sold out for the Sunday night of the game. As a Diamond I could have booked guaranteed space there, but for $350 a night I decided to pass. Thankfully though I did find an award night at the Country Inn & Suites. I’m glad I still had some Club Carlson points lying around.
I have had that hotel reservation for a couple of months now and it finally became time to see if this diversion to Green Bay was going to happen. I had searched flight options on American Airlines using Avios awhile back, but the flight times didn’t work out for what I needed. Then this morning I looked again and found the perfect itinerary!
One of the Best Avios Redemptions Evar!
For 9,000 Avios plus $11, I was able to book a flight that departs Chicago on Sunday morning and arrives in Green Bay about 5 hours before kickoff. This will give me time to drop off my stuff at the hotel and then head to the stadium for some tailgating. Then on Monday, I will have the opportunity to spend some time in Green Bay before flying back to Chicago in the evening.
The thing about Green Bay’s airport is it is small and there is a huge demand for people to fly there when the Packers are playing. In this case the game is at 3:25PM, so I imagine a lot of people are coming in the morning of the game instead of the night before like they would for an earlier game. For that reason I was surprised there was award space, but what was even more surprising was the cost of these flights in cash!
You aren’t reading that wrong. It isn’t a typo. For a short ~200 mile flight on a regional jet from Chicago to Green Bay, the ticket cost $1,146.20 roundtrip. Wow! But perhaps you are thinking there is a cheaper option on another airline. Nope. Not really.
United is a whole $10 cheaper for the nonstop flight. While there is a mixed United/Delta ticket for $954, it requires two connections and takes over 8 hours to get to Green Bay. No thank you!
Calculating the Value
This is by far the best value I have ever received for an Avios booking. Since I did have to pay $11.20 in fees, I paid 9,000 Avios to save $1,137. That amounts to a redemption value of about 12.6 cents per point!
If I couldn’t find the flights, my backup plan was to either not go or to rent a car and drive up. I really didn’t want to do that since without traffic the two cities are 3 hours away from each other, plus tolls and gas add up as well. Green Bay has Uber and free public transport on game days, so the car really wouldn’t be of any use to me. I am so glad it worked out this way!
Would I have paid $1,147 to fly from ORD-GRB? Of course not. The point is that by diversifying my points I was in the position where I didn’t even have to think about it. The scenario laid out here is why I love miles & points so much. They really do open up so many possibilities. Now I just need to get my ticket to the game!