Booking New Flights

As always happens, I seem to add travel plans on to my schedule with little or no notice due to work obligations, a weird random desire, or because there is a cheap fare to take advantage of in order to meet Executive Platinum status. So what are the new and existing trips planned, unplanned, and pie int eh sky over the next few months.

First is a quick work trip to Boston. My day job is an R&D job in Princeton, NJ. We collaborate on a regular basis with different programs, and universities around the country. The project I am running is in collaboration with MIT in Cambridge, MA. In order to keep up with our research at MIT, I am making a quick trip to Boston. Booking a trip like this has become something of an art for me. Websites like ExpertFlyer allow frequent flyers to check upgrade availability, award tickets and open seats even in classes I'm not booked into.

Flying to Boston is a short flight, under 500 miles so American Airlines will upgrade any elite to an open first class seat if it is available. As I discussed earlier, buying first class on these short flight isn't really worth it if they are close to or under 250 miles since the bonus does exceed the normal 500 mile minimum. So if you can get yourself upgraded for free, that's the way to go about it, get the first class seat, and get the best bang for your buck... also I can't book first class for work.

Using ExpertFlyer, I was able to search all of the available flights from Philadelphia to Boston on American Airlines, and there are quite a few. Searching through these flights allows me to pick out not only a time that works best, but also a flight that at the time had one of the most open first class sections, more seats equals better chance at upgrading. Once these flights were identified, book them and wait until a few days before flight when elites get bumped up to first class. It isn't a definite, but it increases your chances.

Aside from Boston, a few weeks later I will be heading to South Carolina where me and my fiance will be searching for a new home, we are moving to South Carolina for her job. Another short and quick trip, but one that is important and should be fairly enjoyable.

There are some great business class fare right now that I'd love to take advantage of, but with an impeding move, I am hesitant to take advantage of them until we are secure in the new location and I know the exact moving date and home much it will cost. The move comes with lots of changes and while I'm having a really hard time resisting, I need to wait until things are more locked down to hit up these awesome fares. Look forward to more flying.

Lastly are some planned but undetermined dates on work trips to Indiana. Again, some short flights, but I'll try to increase my chances of upgrades and make use of my 500 miles upgrades that have been earned with my status and seem to be piling up. Might as well grab some upgrades on flights I can't otherwise make sure I'll be in first class.

So thats the next few months of travel, while no big long international travel is coming, there is no shortage of flights coming up.