You may have heard before of mistake fares – first-class fares, for instance, with missing numbers, costing $700 instead of $7,000. Recently, American Airlines screwed up and offered lots of business-class tickets this summer to Beijing and Shanghai for $450 instead of, I’m assuming, $4,500. This is an excellent deal.
Business class fares on American also offer bonus earnings of 50% more miles over economy-class fares, so a non-elite American Airlines AAdvantage member who would normally earn a little over 13,600 miles instead earns over 20,000 miles. 20,000 AAdvantage miles are worth at least $200, so cut that off the $450 fare and we are left with a fantastic $250 flight from New York to China. That is an amazing deal.
I missed out on this deal because I was sleeping. Kinda pissed – I mean biz 2 Asia 4 <$500 OMG WTF #swag #jetlife.
No, seriously, I was angry. I didn’t want to miss out on these deal, again. Luckily, Frequent Miler had a post on how to. TL:DR, I now get tweets from two Twitter handles sent directly to my phone:
- The Flight Deal
- Secret Flying
Twitter has a feature that allows you to get all tweets from a certain user, or users, sent to your phone, like text messages. Extremely helpful, this feature, to me, quickly became liquid heroin. Now when my phone rumbles, I can stare at the screen and think, “Damn, Kazakhstan in November for $475 is a good deal.” Nevermind the weather, nevermind Russia, nevermind the only Kazakh I speak, I learned from Borat Sagdiyev; the deals intoxicate, quickly.
About three days after I enabled this feature, I received a text from The Flight Deal saying there were $400 flights to Kenya. This is a crazy deal – tickets easily run $2,000 – so I clicked on the link in the text and saw that the dates were for November-December, of this year, and February 2016. Since my family is planning on a trip to Hong Kong and Vietnam around Christmas, I couldn’t take two, week-long plus vacations in consecutive months.
February was doable, however, and I found dates – February 15 – 24 – where the fare was $404. $404!! To Africa with a stopover in Doha!
So, I bought 2 and then called my dad. Here’s a transcript of the call:
“How do you feel about Kenya?”
“I mean, it’s cool. It’s cool, I guess.”
“Great, because we are going next February.”
“And you owe me $400.”
“(Lots of laughing)”
February is my birthday month and for the last two years, my dad and I have pooled points and miles to take extended, mostly free vacations the week of President’s Day, as birthday gifts of sorts. 2015 was Spain (read Parts 1 and 2!) and 2014 was the Netherlands and Belgium (read here).
2016 will be safari season.
I had always thought that going on a safari was an absolute pipe dream; the most expensive trip possible, excluding taking Virgin Galactic to the Moon. For the hundredth time in this game, it feels like, I’m utterly wrong.
My dad are going to spend six nights in luxury tents, for free, at the Fairmont Mara Safari Club, where the exploration options include game drives and balloon rides, as well as overlooking an oasis at where crocodiles and hippos do the hang-out-together-but-somehow-don’t-eat-or-attack-each-other-thing.
I don’t know the prices of everything at the resort, but they do offer a six-night package for $1300, lodging included. Since our lodging will be taken care of by the Fairmont credit card’s free nights, I think cutting that price in half is fair, making the total safari cost only $1,050, which I hope to lessen by $400-600 with Arrival miles when the time comes to pay.
Add on the value of the 18,000 miles flown, or at least $180, and the price is even further reduced. I can’t wait for this trip!
And, one more thing. Guess what I’m playing every…single…sunrise. We in this.
(Bae Nala had my boy Simba throwedddd, huh?)