I just booked a ticket to Toronto for this weekend.  I didn’t have much to do out here in San Francisco so I booked a trip to Toronto for tomorrow.  I haven’t booked my return flight yet, but I figure I’ll just book one when I get there.  After talking to my friends, I actually might stay in Toronto for a little longer until Canadian Thanksgiving.

Miles are great, used 12.5k for a One Way 2 day advance purchase ticket otherwise costing $600.  Even if you travel infrequently, I highly recommend signing up for the frequent flyer program.  The benefits, if used properly, can be quite rewarding.

Delta Airlines

I accumulated quite a few Northwest miles a few years back which was a airline and program I loved.  However when Delta purchased the airline and merged the Worldperks program with their program, Skymiles, I discovered their mileage–(which some have dubbed skypesos)– to be virtually worthless.  Every time I looked, I either couldn’t use my points for redemption or the rates were astronomical.

Since I realized I didn’t have much to do over this winter, I checked on their website for tickets out to Taipei.  The only option that was given to me was for 240k miles roundtrip in business class!!!  Considering all of the competition sells those tickets for half that amount, I figured an alternate routing properly inputted by a human for an alliance ticket was necessary.  The first and second customer service agent both had no clue what they were doing.  Even though I gave her great suggestions, both blew me off like they were reading a script.   Both were of no help, so I did what I recommend for anyone not getting the response they want from a call center– hang up and dial again.

The third representative listened to my suggestions and came up with a surprising routing that impressed even me.  The result: for 120k miles plus 200 in taxes gets me a Roundtrip Business Class airline ticket.

Lesson learned:  hang up and dial again.