When Planning Goes Awry

The big news in the Points and Miles community this past week was that we learned how to book a First Class Round Trip ticket to Hawaii on Alaska Airlines for a total of about $300.  Online Travel Review was the blog that broke the news, but of course it spread like wildfire, and within several hours it was an online frenzy.  I was traveling the day the news hit, so by the time I got to the online party, I couldn’t find flight availability.  I was disappointed to miss out on such an insane deal, especially since I’m in active planning mode for a trip to Hawaii next year, but I tried to have a positive attitude about the whole thing.  These deals are like buses, I told myself.  One comes along every…few weeks.  

I tried to be happy for the folks who got in on the deal.  It sorta worked, for like 5 minutes.  But then I realized something (cue ominous music here): the flights they had snapped up were the exact flights I had been planning to book!  On our trip to Hawaii next year!!  I had built up a big stash of American Airlines miles, I had recently applied for the Alaska Airlines card to earn a chunk of Alaska miles, and I had big plans for 4 seats on those Alaska planes!

Needless to say, ARGH!!

This situation highlights several important things for any Points and Miles collector:

  1. Act quickly.  These tickets sold out within hours.  As I mentioned, I couldn’t take advantage of the deal, but it just underscores the fact that she who hesitates is lost.
  2. Don’t sit on mounds of Points and Miles.  I wouldn’t be in this situation if I had booked my Alaska flights as soon as the flight calendar was out for next year.
  3. Diversify your holdings.  There is no way I could have predicted this scenario, but I’m glad I have a good mix of miles on other airlines, as well as Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards Points, because I’ll be able to build craft another flight scenario on a different airline.
  4. Stay flexible and remain calm.  ‘Nuff said.

And I’m signing off to figure out my new strategy.



  1. I didn’t think of that. I may have to make a related post on my blog to expand on these thoughts (with credit to you, of course).


  1. […] this week, including this one.  In reading other blogs this morning I came across this article: When Planning Goes Awry.  She makes the point that one of the unintended consequences of this deal is a significant uptake […]

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