What good is earning thousands of frequent flyer miles if you cannot find the flights when you go to use them?? Normally I tell everyone that it is crucial to be flexible when booking flights on miles. That tends to be even more necessary when you are stuck flying out of a regional airport like I am. Direct flight..?? What the heck is a direct flight, LOL. There is no such thing for those of us stuck with a regional airport. That extra flight to get to a larger airport can make it harder to line up the flights when you are trying to redeem your miles and thus being flexible on the travel dates becomes even more important.
I just finished booking flights for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica at the beginning of March and ran into this problem. Between my wife and I a pool of over 200,000 British Airways Avios have accrued from sign-up bonuses on the Chase BA credit card, but now it was time to redeem them. Usually I schedule our travel dates around when the flights are available but this time I didn’t have that luxury. We have to go on March 6th, or else I wouldn’t have anyone to watch the kids. Looking at my options for flights, nothing was working out unless we wanted to have an overnight in Dallas or Chicago before heading to Miami to catch a flight to Costa Rica, but I think that would be a major waste of time.
I was starting to lose hope when it dawned on me that there is another airport within 25 minutes from Miami International! Duh, why hadn’t I thought of it earlier? So taking a look at things again I found flights in the morning from FSD-DFW-FLL that had me in Ft Lauderdale by 2pm, perfect! From there we will just need to catch a shuttle to MIA for our 8pm flight to San Jose, Costa Rica!
Again, being flexible on the dates is crucial, but a little creativity on the flights and knowledge of surrounding airports can make a seemingly unavailable flight work!