I’m planning an intra-European trip in the summer to several places and I’m taking my aunt along for most of the adventures because, well, she would always take me on countless trips when I was younger and she’s a great person overall. I wrote a post earlier about Intra-European Flights – Money or Miles? because I’m having some dilemma about how to book the flights.
The problem lies with (mainly) where we want to go. My preferred way of flying there (with the Star Alliance) is virtually impossible since Lufthansa flies there once a week on the exact day that we can’t make the flight, so we’d have to wait a week… but the problem is that there are no award seats available (I know it is still early), and not only that, the lowest booking class available is H, which is ridiculously expensive. It’s possible to fly there via airBerlin and I could use oneworld miles to book that, but…. the times are super inconvenient and we’d arrive at 03:00 in the morning and that sucks.
So this brings me to the topic of Convenience or Loyalty? Should I be loyal to my beloved Lufthansa and fly with them and perhaps risk the fact that some award seats will show up in the near future? The flight is currently half full, which might explain why the lowest booking classes are zeroed out. So loyalty? Or convenience? Because you know what is convenient and costs less than $100 USD? easyJet, apparently. Yup, I can fly there nonstop with a low-cost airline (I’ve never flown one), pay for baggage, pay for literally every addition possible… but I can get there at 17:00 which is a perfect time for us.
So…. easyJet? I mean it is the best and cheapest option. Even if I book the Lufthansa award it would cost me (at minimum) 12.5k UA miles in Economy or 25k miles in Business class… one-way… provided that two award seats open up. I also kind of don’t want to risk it because I really want to visit the places and ‘lock-in’ the trip and finalise it.
But… on the other hand I’m feeling super nostalgic about not flying with LH and not visiting the WorldShop in Frankfurt, the Senator Lounges… and of course experiencing Lufthansa’s amazing service… besides I’m a Miles&More elite member, so…
So here’s what I am probably going to do: book the easyJet flights with a refundable fare, since I know I will be able to book the flights later at a lower price so I will have no problem doing that in case the Lufthansa flights open up.
Ever since I became a Miles&More elite member, I feel like I have to go out of my way and fly with Lufthansa/Star Alliance even if it isn’t convenient for me… but I will earn miles and I will use my elite status for the benefits. Whenever I’m going somewhere with parents, friends, etc., they will always book the lowest fare that gets them there directly… me, on the other hand, will choose the most complex routing to gain as many miles as humanly possible for a slightly higher price than what they paid.
I was actually explaining how frequent flyer programmes work to my aunt the other day and I told her the following: say you fly with airline A and accumulate miles with them, then when you fly again, airline B is cheaper than A… the average person would choose airline B over A, but I explained to think of the future and the benefits you might receive if you fly with airline A over B.
Anyway, back to convenience or loyalty… which one? I mean I know I want to get there as quickly as possible since I have to take into consideration the fact that I’m taking my aunt so I can’t turn this trip into a big mileage run (I would If I could).
So there you have it, my #FirstWorldProblem for today. I’ve spent the day trying to finalise the plans for the trip and to hopefully book hotels soon… but after a full day of thinking, calculating miles, searching.. I’m exactly where I was yesterday.
Ah, as such is life, anyway, I’m off to easyJet.com…