The Hardest Thing In This Hobby – Letting Amazing Deals Slip By
If you asked people what is the hardest part of the miles and points hobby you would get varying answers. Some would say that earning points is the most difficult. Others would say getting maximum value when redeeming points is by far the hardest part. Getting past Chase 5/24 may make it on some people’s list. But no, none of those are the right answer, at least in my opinion. The hardest thing to do is to pass up on amazing deals that just don’t work for you.
Knowing When To Say No
Last night the miles and points community was frothing at the mouth over some American Airlines award bookings. You could fly from LAX to Auckland, Sydney and most of the Hawaiian islands for 10K round trip. That is INSANE value. Yes it is a lot of flying in coach but you don’t ever see fares like this to Aukland or Sydney.
This phenomena isn’t new though. When Southwest first introduced flights to Hawaii they offered them for $49. It created a lot of excitement in the community as well. There have been amazing business class error fares over the years too that people have been able to take advantage of.
These types of deals have an extremely short shelf life which just leads to more FOMO because of the pressure. We have to make a decision on whether or not to fly halfway across the world in a matter of minutes because we know the deal won’t be there for long. Especially for a group of deal hunters like us. Finding value is our middle name so when something like this presents itself it means we have to book it right?
Getting Over The FOMO
I have to admit I fell into this trap last night and was thinking I could knock one of my bucket list destinations off for 10K American Airlines miles. Sign me up! But the timing wasn’t great. And flying to Auckland would be 18-19 hours in economy when it was all said and done…each way! Still I forged on and was trying to get a flight plan together.
I wouldn’t be able to stay very long because of my kids school and my wife’s work schedule etc. That is when I realized that it probably wouldn’t work and would I really enjoy it anyway? Or would this just be me booking something because it is a deal versus it being something I really wanted to do when I wanted to do it.
Then I moved onto Hawaii and said I could get the whole family there (from LAX at least) for 40K round trip. I said honey let’s do Hawaii for Christmas and your birthday. She gave me the look of death and said I thought you were supposed to be traveling less, not more.
She was dead right. I had made a promise to myself to travel less over the next year. And deals like this or once in a lifetime contests have blurred that line over the past year. So I finally came to grips with the fact that these deals were not for me. We didn’t have the vacation time and my next month or two are already jammed packed. I would finish off either one of these trips just more depleted and regretting it afterwords. So passing on these deals, even though difficult, was the right move for me.
Don’t get me wrong these deals are amazing and anyone that can make them work I am happy for you! But if you are limited by vacation time or small children etc. and don’t have a flexible schedule don’t be ashamed to say no thanks. Cramming a trip in just to get a deal, isn’t always worth it. I would have had to fly 36 hours to spend a few days on the ground. That would have caused stress on my wife to deal with the kids and her job and it just isn’t worth it. Plus I would have come back exhausted and way behind on work. That would have added undue stress on me as well. All in all it would have been a bad scene.
I should have known better from the start that it wouldn’t work for me but I got excited none the less which only leads to a feeling of letdown when I finally come to terms with the truth. So if you are in my boat don’t feel ashamed or like you are missing out. We can’t do everything all of the time, no matter how good of a deal it is!