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Answers (6)

Group Travel Question

Group Travel Question

  1. Anonymous

    Hi Lucky,

    I’ve been a long time follower and I really enjoy your site! I am a newbie in this hobby and definitely need to do more homework, but I just don’t think my brain thinks this way just yet, haha! I’m working on changing that behavior though! Anyway, thank you for all your advice and the stories you share!

    I have a situation was hoping for some assistance with and if you have time I would love your input. I am planning a trip to Europe in October 2017 for 6 or 7 people (my wife and our twins who will be 3 at the time, my in-laws, and my sister-in-law) and I would like to find the best options to do this. I will be paying for the trip for everyone and reimbursed but the goal is to find the best value. For some background, if I can upgrade my in-laws that would go a long way. He has been on less than 5 flights his whole life so he is a little anxious about this.

    That said, I have both the CSP and Amex Plat in my name which I used for a previous trip last year. I do have about $5K in taxes I need to pay so if one or more additional credit cards are required, then I can do that.

    I guess my question is do you recommend any specific approach for group travel and given my story above, how would you handle the situation?

    Thank you again! If you have time to respond that would be great but I know you’re busy. Regardless, thank you!

    Jack

  2. Jack Davidson

    Hi Lucky,

    I’ve been a long time follower and I really enjoy your site! I am a newbie in this hobby and definitely need to do more homework, but I just don’t think my brain thinks this way just yet, haha! I’m working on changing that behavior though! Anyway, thank you for all your advice and the stories you share!

    I have a situation was hoping for some assistance with and if you have time I would love your input. I am planning a trip to Europe in October 2017 for 6 or 7 people (my wife and our twins who will be 3 at the time, my in-laws, and my sister-in-law) and I would like to find the best options to do this. I will be paying for the trip for everyone and reimbursed but the goal is to find the best value. For some background, if I can upgrade my in-laws that would go a long way. He has been on less than 5 flights his whole life so he is a little anxious about this.

    That said, I have both the CSP and Amex Plat in my name which I used for a previous trip last year. I do have about $5K in taxes I need to pay so if one or more additional credit cards are required, then I can do that.

    I guess my question is do you recommend any specific approach for group travel and given my story above, how would you handle the situation?

    Thank you again! If you have time to respond that would be great but I know you’re busy. Regardless, thank you!

    Jack

  3. David W

    Are you looking to purchase flights or redeem rewards?

    For the former, it’s best to look for travel deals – they pop up from time to time. Also look into business class deals on British Airways, combining the AARP and BA Visa discounts. In terms of paid upgrades, I know Air France offers upgrades at check in, to the next class of service, econ to Business if there’s no PE cabin.

    For the latter, can you list out all miles/points you (and your family) have across various programs that can be used for this trip? It’ll make it easier to make recommendations that way.

  4. Gaurav

    I’d second what [USER=29]@David W[/USER] says. I’d sign up for a BA card and AARP membership now so that you are prepared when the next BA sale happens. Unless you have a specific airport you need to go to, be open to good deals. Europe is pretty well connected with trains etc so you could position yourself.

    With points, if your family does not already have credit cards, I’d definitely look into having them apply. Consider having them list your home address on their applications for Chase UR products. With everyone at the same address you will be able to pool the points to one account which might make your life easier when booking.

  5. Jack Davidson

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 19075, member: 29″]Are you looking to purchase flights or redeem rewards?

    For the former, it’s best to look for travel deals – they pop up from time to time. Also look into business class deals on British Airways, combining the AARP and BA Visa discounts. In terms of paid upgrades, I know Air France offers upgrades at check in, to the next class of service, econ to Business if there’s no PE cabin.

    For the latter, can you list out all miles/points you (and your family) have across various programs that can be used for this trip? It’ll make it easier to make recommendations that way.[/QUOTE]

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the reply! I suppose I would be looking to do somewhat of a combination of points/purchase if possible. We have the option of departing from either Chicago or Milwaukee depending so whatever is a better option.

    As far as points go, we have really depleted those on our previous trip last October. We have only 3K in Chase UR, 1K in Amex, and 60K from Capital One Venture. So I’m really starting from the basement level.

    EDIT: We are going to have a couple 3 year olds with us so we are trying to limit the travel time so if we can avoid trains (while very convenient) it would be ideal. Also, If ORD-FCO is the ideal route, is BA typically the best option for that?

    Thanks for your help!
    Conly

  6. Anonymous

    If it were me, and I were trying to get seven people on one flight (which just isn’t going to happen using award tickets short of a miracle), and I was ideally flying ORD-FCO, I would:
    [LIST]
    [*]Plan on buying [B]Premium[/B] economy tickets with Alitalia for the people you want to eventually fly business class
    [LIST]
    [*]You could do economy as well, but it’s easier and less costly to upgrade to business from PE, given there are minimum fare purchase requirements for economy
    [/LIST]
    [*]Upgrading as many of those tickets as possible to business. Seven seats wouldn’t be impossible, depending on the dates
    [/LIST]
    So the strategy here would probably be:
    [LIST]
    [*]Start using cash-back equivalent cards so that you have a fund to pull from for the base tickets. [I]Maybe someone can chime in on the most lucrative combination right now?[/I]
    [*]Accumulate Membership Rewards points (you’ll need these for the upgrades)
    [*]If award space is available, the cheapest awards are through Korean (via Ultimate Rewards), but there are a lot of restrictions there. Delta SkyMiles are also a good option (and still easy to acquire).
    [/LIST]
    But, if you don’t care about all being on the same flight, or flying direct, there’s a lot more you can do to leverage miles.

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