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Destination I Do
Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Frequent Flyer? Use Those Miles for Your Destination Wedding or Honeymoon

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Brett Snyder

If you’re going somewhere far for your wedding, you might want to consider using miles to get there. Even if you aren’t, you still may want to bring Aunt Mildred in from Green Bay so she can join you for the festivities. No? How about your honeymoon? Weddings are a great time to use miles.

One of the reasons that weddings are great for this purpose is because they offer the luxury of time. You’ve probably planned your wedding 30 years in advance. (Yes, we know what you girls were doing with those Barbie Dolls when we were pretending to be the A-Team.) And chances are that your date has been picked more than a year in advance, unless you were drunk and just married some schlub in Vegas. But that’s a whole different issue.

Most airlines open up their schedules 330 days in advance, so if you have your date ready, be there to grab any available seats exactly 330 days before you walk down the aisle. This is particularly important if you’re getting married in Hawai’i during the high season or maybe Europe in the summer. If you’re heading to Erie, Pennsylvania in January, well, don’t bother hurrying to check availability. (On the other hand, you might want to consider hurrying to your nearest shrink.)

Sometimes, miles will never be available on a flight. Going to Hawai’i over New Years? Yeah, good luck. That’s a tough one. But if you don’t find availability at other times, that doesn’t mean that it won’t pop up later. Airlines may expect a flight to be full, but if it doesn’t book up as predicted, they will open up seats later. You can check this every day or you can use a service to do it for you, depending upon the airline.

ExpertFlyer.com will notify you when award seats become available on some airlines if you have a subscription. (Cranky Concierge clients get a 15% discount.) Or you can sign up with Cranky Concierge and we’ll monitor it for you. Don’t want to spend money? Just check periodically. You can start with a monthly check when you’re very far out, but start checking more frequently the closer you get. Granted, if you get too close, you risk not being able to buy a ticket.

And when it comes to your honeymoon, that’s even better. You can usually build that schedule around when flights are available. If you’ve been saving up miles, what better way to burn them than with a First Class trip to the Maldives?

So if you’ve got miles, this is a great time to burn them, unless, of course, your parents are paying . . .

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