My Family Goes Plane Crazy! Part 1: Introduction

Introduction

Earlier this year I needed a flight to Dublin Ireland for Easter weekend.  Of course this is a busy travel time so I was surprised to see availability on Virgin Atlantic.  I booked my Upper class award with 62,500 Skymiles knowing I could book another cheap award flight to Dublin using my British Airways points (AVIOS).

My Family Tags Along

For those of you who know me, know I have a pretty close relationship with my Parents and Siblings.   One of the perks of this, is having ready transportation to the Airport. Having booked my tickets, I had the following encounter with my parents.

TK: "I need a ride to the Airport Easter weekend."
Dad:  "Where are you going?"
TK:  "Dublin Ireland with a stop in London.  "
Mom: "Ireland and England,  wow that sounds really nice."
TK:  "Did the two of you want to come?"
Mom/Dad:  "Yes please!!"

Ok I’m paraphrasing as some of this conversation occurred in Korean.  But suddenly my positioning flight to Dublin became a three person family trip. Of course I still needed a ride to the airport so I called my backup, My Brother Mike.

TK: "Hey I'm taking the Parents to London and Dublin"
Mike: "When are you Going?"
TK: "Easter Weekend."

Now here is the part where I asked a question out of good manners, fully expecting a negative response.  This is because my brother like many siblings is a polar opposite of me and does not particularly like travelling.

TK:  " Why did you want to Come?"
Mike: "Sure"

Ok so my simple trip had now become a trip for four to Europe over Easter weekend.  For those that do award travel planning you will realize that booking tickets for 4 people is exponentially more complicated than booking a trip for 1. This could have gotten even more crazy as I have a sister too but fortunately she had other plans.

The Challenge

I would now be faced with a fairly hard task.  This was my parents first time over the Atlantic since having a taste of lie flat seats. So my challenge was booking 4 seats in Lie-flat business class over a holiday weekend.  I fully expected to fail at this task and thought we would most likely be split up with my mom sitting up front and all the Kim Family Men in the back, However,  Virgin Atlantic seems to release a good amount of Upper Class Inventory at the last minute, On top of that I also found Business class on Aer Lingus (Ireland National Airline) from Dublin to Boston.  I was able to book this before British Airways devalued their award chart so it only cost 25,000 avios a person.

The Trip and What it cost

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class

62,5000 Delta Skymiles  One way  IAD-LHR

British Airways Club Europe

9000 Avios  One Way LHR-DUB

Aer Lingus Business Class

25000 Avios One Way DUB-BOS

Usairways Coach Class

4500 Avios One Way BOS-DCA

End of Part 1

This impromptu family trip to London and Dublin ended up being quite a success from the Miles and Points perspective.  I was able to get a tremendous amount of value from my Avios Points and Skymiles.  The itinerary I booked would have easily cost $3000 or more per person so I felt like I got about 3 Cents per point on this trip.  I also avoided a lot of fuel surcharges and taxes by returning over the Atlantic on Aer Lingus.  Stay Tuned for more posts on this trip.

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