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Old 01-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #1
Aladora
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Location: An island, off the Left Coast of Canada
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Head spinning over Airmiles!

I'm in the middle of planning and pricing out our trip to DLR at the end of April and this is the first time I've been able to use Airmiles...and my head is just spinning looking at all the combinations. You'd think as a high level finance officer, that this would not flummox me but here we are.

Any advice or input would be really welcome, especially from anyone who has crunched the numbers. Also, if someone can check my numbers and let me know if I have made a calculation error, that would be awesome!

I have the option of buying either: One 5 day kids parkhopper OR one 5 day Adult parkhopper OR one of our return flights from Victoria to Anaheim.

Kids PH cost: 2120 AM OR $247.00
Adult PH cost: 2260 AM or $265.00
Flight cost through AM, using miles: 1600 AM + $120.36
Flight cost through AM, no miles: $549.39
Flight cost through Expedia: $532.59 (+ I will earn 1 AM/$35 spent)

So, if my numbers are right, the best bang for our buck is the following combination:

Use 1600 AM, pay $120.36 for the taxes on that flight, get the other two flights through Expedia and pay OOP for the 3 parkhoppers. Not only is this the least expensive combination, but if I book it through Expedia via Airmiles.ca, I will earn 1 airmile/ $35.

Cost that way:
Airmiles flight: 1600 AM + $120.36
Expedia flights: $1065.18
3 parkhoppers: $777.00

Total $1962.54

The other combinations are as follows:

3 flights through Expedia, 1 AM adult PH, pay OOP for 1 adult and 1 kid PH.
Cost:
Expedia flights: $1597.77
1 AM PH: 2260 AM
1 adult, 1 kid PH: $512.00
Total: $2109.77

Use 1600 AM, pay taxes on that flight, get other 2 flights through AM and pay OOP for the 3 parkhoppers.
Cost:
3 flights through AM: 1600 AM + $1219.14
3 parkhoppers: $777.00
Total: $1996.14

So, not sure if any of this made any sense at all, but for anyone who is in the know with Airmiles, do my numbers make sense?

Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:33 PM   #2
cari12
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Also, you should be able to buy your park hoppers from Expedia as well do you will also earn AM on those.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
tgropp
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Thats a lot of info....I would probally use the airmiles for the flights. I am not sure if you have the BMO Mastercard. For $120 annual fee you get 25% off your flights using AM points plus get more AM per dollar spent and a few other perks. I get this card whenever I use flights using AM's
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:55 AM   #4
Aladora
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Thanks for the insight, both of you!

I went and priced out the PH via Expedia and the difference in cost between there and FlightCentre was too much to make it worthwhile getting the extra AM.

I didn't know that about the BOM MC, we have a CIBC Dividend World unlimited card that gives us 2% unlimited cash back on all our purchases and 3% on some higher end restaurants, also trip insurance.

After taking the time to type this all out here, I was able to really see the benefits of booking using AM for 1 of the flights and Expedia for the other.

Flights booked, now all I have to do is pop down to FC and get our PH tix and we are set for April!
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:36 PM   #5
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have you considered paying for your flight but getting park tickets with Airmiles?

In the past I have found that we saved money that way. You can always upgrade the ticket (add days or park hopper).

I find that flights with airmiles are not the best deal.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blanche_Neige View Post
have you considered paying for your flight but getting park tickets with Airmiles?

In the past I have found that we saved money that way. You can always upgrade the ticket (add days or park hopper).

I find that flights with airmiles are not the best deal.
I second this! We looked into flights last year but it was still going to cost almost $200 a person in taxes. We ended up flying out of seattle for $110 per person roundtrip taxes included and used our airmiles to buy park tickets instead. Flying out of canada is so expensive because of the taxes, i know its a bit far for you since you're on the island, but it might be an option to cross the border and fly out of seattle or bellingham.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:32 PM   #7
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Just a warning as well with Airmiles we have found they changed our flights often, and not always for the best!

One time they changed the flight by 3 hrs and into a different city coming home, for only 3 tickets the other 2 were left on the original, even though we booked the 3 and paid for 2 on the same call and res number. It was fixed, but a real pain.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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I know I am too late to help you, but this info may be useful to others.

Check out vacation planning companies for stuff like this. 10 years ago my mom did the same type of planning. We used Airmiles to get all 5 of us from Northern BC to Vancouver. Then we used Fun Sun Tours to create a package. We had return flights from YXR to LAX for 5 people, hotels for 7 days, 5 day PH to DL, 2 days US, 1 day Knotts, and transportation for $5000 total. All we had to pay for there was food and shopping.

The vacation companies can do custom packages for you that websites like Expedia aren't good at.
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Old 02-24-2013, 09:10 PM   #9
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You can also earn and use Air Miles by booking with Marlin Travel.
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