September 2009
« Aug   Oct »



Straightening up and flying right

BMI Diamond Club just really impressed me.  I called to make some changes to an award flight and it was incredibly easy.  Everything appears to be confirmed already, so credit where credit is due. Good job BMI.

Originally I’d panic-booked some dates for April 2010 as soon as they lit up on the availability calendar. With millions of miles to burn with an airline that no longer flies non-stop to Las Vegas, I was thinking that worst case I’d at least have something to spend the miles on this way, and best case I could just pay the change fee if something better came along.

Something better did indeed come along, and it’s mostly thanks to Claire’s school, because instead of having to teach on the first two days back after Easter they now have “training” days.

Which, to a non-teacher, looks rather like there are no kids there so the staff don’t need to bother turning up either.

The flights I nabbed originally were via Denver on the way out, and via Los Angeles on the way back. The agent actually suggested the same Denver route for the return leg, but I insisted on LA – thinking that the longer transatlantic leg would be better to try to get some sleep after I get changed into my first class pyjamas while someone makes my bed.

It has to be a swanky flight when you’re redeeming miles. It just has to be.

What I didn’t realise until it was too late is that flight UA948, listed as a scheduled flight from LA to Heathrow, actually makes one “technical stop” in Denver.

It’s an interesting use of the word “stop” because to follow that route all the way through, you have to get off a 757 in Denver, wait while it magically transforms into a 777 (with the same flight number) and then reboard it to get you to London.

That 777 is actually the same plane I would have been on if I’d just taken the LAS-DEN-LHR route in the first place.  So all in all not the greatest travel plan I have ever put together.

Anyway, a whole bunch of flights had opened up since I first made that booking, particularly via San Francisco. It was showing as available for virtually any date and I got my first choice.  Leave on Saturday instead of Sunday, and return Thursday instead of Monday.

Cost to make this change: £40.  Can hardly grumble at the price to make a massive improvement to my initial screw up and buy me four extra days of Vegas time!