I found out something this week that will come in handy in the future -- it's how I saved $200 by doing a little bit of good ole research and digging. I'm headed home for a friend's wedding in February, so after putting it off for ages, I finally sat down to book my ticket. Last time I booked my flight from Seattle to Dublin I hit the jackpot by scoring one for 20,000 airline miles and less than $10 in taxes. I naively thought I'd be able to get a similar deal on this flight. Well, not quite. But my research paid off and did end up saving me money.
When I first looked to use my airline miles (good ole' American Airlines), I found that similar to the flight I booked in August, it would only be 20,000 each way, so 40,000 total. Grand! I found the flights I wanted and pushed confirm.
The next screen then took me to the confirmation page, which said Payment: 40,000 miles and $405. Wait, what?! What happened to my $10 flight in August?! So, I looked at what the charges were, and they were the taxes and fees. Fine, I knew I had to pay that, but seriously, $405 for taxes and fees?! You're kidding. I noticed that both my flights flew through London Heathrow. Considering London is a very expensive city, I figured that maybe the reason the taxes were so high was because I was flying through that (awful) airport.
I searched a little more to see if I could find any flights into Seattle and then out of San Diego that didn't go through Heathrow. However, since American is apparently a partner with British Airways, the majority of the flights went through London. But alas! I found one from Dublin to Seattle that flew through Philadelphia. When I did a test one way ticket the total was 20,000 miles and $48! That's it! That's what I'm looking for.
So, I went through the pages and pages of flight options, found the DUB-PHL-SEA link, and confirmed that one. Now, to find the SAN-DUB route. Well, unfortunately, I had no such luck on that one. Every single flight for the days prior and after the day I was looking for went through Heathrow.
I even looked at booking a round trip through Seattle only and then doing a domestic round trip from SEA-SAN-SEA, but that wouldn't have made financial sense either.
I ended up cutting my losses and booked my DUB-PHL-SEA and SAN-LHR-DUB flights for 40,000 miles and $218 in taxes and fees. (You better use to that money wisely, Heathrow!)
All in all, still not a bad price for a round trip ticket. I just have to get to Dublin, and then get down to San Diego, which hopefully won't cost too much. And ultimately, I'm going home! The dates are 13 Feb 2015 to 05 Mar 2015. Not sure yet how long I'll be in Seattle before heading down to San Diego. I know the time will go fast and there will be lots to do and loads of people to see. :-)
Anyway -- that was a long story, but my lesson is learned! Avoid Heathrow!
Now... let's move to pictures! These are just with my iPhone from the last couple weeks -- nothing fancy and no cropping/filters/editing on these ones.
Killarney decked out for Christmas.
My weekly picture of St Fin Barre's Cathedral... at least I switched it up and got it at night.
Trinity Presbyterian Church
The River Lee at night
I got a package from my family! (Plus two more from friends!) I'm feeling LOVED!
My perfect snack: a spoon of Nutella and Crunchy Peanut Butter
The Tree of Remembrance in Cork
My morning drive to Killarney.
As I passed under this rainbow, I actually saw where it was hitting the ground... kinda cool! No pot of gold, unfortunately.