One of my favorite things about visiting an international destination is getting there. Especially when getting there means traveling in a private First Class Suite, slipping into designer pajamas, savoring caviar, drinking Krug champagne, watching Empire and disconnecting for 15 hours while cruising at 35,000 feet. It’s what I like to call my flacation: The flight vacation before reaching my Zoom land or cruise destination. I achieve this through the judicious use of America Airlines frequent flyer miles.
I have lots of miles and use them to book First and Business Class seats when I’m traveling to a Zoom destination. For instance, on Zoom Rio Carnaval, Zoom China, Zoom Japan, and Zoom Vietnam/Cambodia I used between 62,500 and 90,000 AAdvantage miles each way to fly the world’s best airlines like Etihad, British Airways, Qatar, TAM, Japan Airlines and Cathay Pacific in First Class. These tickets, if I paid for them would have cost between $10,000 and $25,000 round trip. Luckily, I have miles to fall back on, but not for long. My flacations are about to take a hit.
Flacations are about to get more expensive thanks to an upcoming frequent flyer miles devaluation. And that’s bad news for those of us who enhance our travel experience with mileage First and Business Class tickets when we travel, especially long haul. American Airlines miles have for a long time been very valuable. But this is about to change. American recently announced that it would increase mileage awards by as much as 50%. But don’t worry. There is a silver lining. If you book your mileage ticket before March 22, 2016, you will have until February 22, 2017 to travel to your favorite Zoom destination at the current discounted award levels. If you choose to stay home and keep your miles in your frequent flyer account I am afraid this will cost you by as much as 50%. Frequent flyer miles in an account never increase in value with time. So, if you are one of those lucky people with a fat frequent flyer account, this is the time to take a flacation to one of many Zoom Vacations.