Wednesday, September 24, 2008

All booked up!

My fall is kinda busy, this is not new news. I try to plan out my fall well in advance so that there aren't any surprises along the way and I can give ample notice to the folks in the places I'll be visiting as well as the folks here who are impacted (i.e. - Brad, Josh, Sharon, etc). In August I looked at odd and assorted conventions and meetings and made a schedule of the ones I wanted to attend or had been invited to go to. Once I had it all squared away personally, other folks started adding in their two cents. AHA added a new Bootcamp, there was a crisis with our program so we had to add a trip out to Dallas (yet again), then Bootcamp got cancelled, so I got to hunt up something else to do to fill in that opening so I picked the Wisconsin convention. Good times I tell you, good times. Anyway, all of this finally came to rest on my calendar and I was comfortable with it so I started booking flights and making hotel arrangements. Oddly, I started in reverse because it my most expensive trip (flight wise) is not until December, so I wanted to keep an eye on those flights to get the best deal (cause I went WAY over my travel budget last year and I'd like to avoid doing that again). The price fluctuated and then seemed to come down to something I deemed reasonable, so I went ahead and bought (I can't go back and look to see if it was a good choice or not cause I'll never forgive myself if the price dropped $200 or something crazy like that).
So, this process has continued over the past month - me looking and waiting and looking and booking. All of this brings me to today where I finally booked my very last flight for this fall's travel season (we won't worry about the winter/spring until the new year - or at least later in this year). I noticed back in the summer that there'd be a good chance I'd achieve premiere frequent flyer status this year. I don't travel so much that it's a guarantee, so some well laid plans may have been needed. Thankfully it all worked out, so I didn't have to send myself on a 4 leg trip to Houston or anything ridiculous like that, and I was still able to ensure that I'll be sitting pretty for the coming year with United.
Yep, I'm super excited to have reached this frequent flyer milestone. I never really gave much thought to the potential perks or need for any sort of frequent flyer status. You fly, you collect your miles, you cash them in periodically for things like a free flight or an upgrade to first, but really, what else is there?
Oh, there's so much there! When I realized this was going to be a reality I logged on to my Mileage Plus account to read all about what I'd get once I achieved this oh-so-sought-after level. For starters - no bag fees! For second, complimentary upgrades! For thirdsies - always sitting in the part of the plane with the most leg room (which non-premiere level folks have to pay a nice fee each way for). The list goes on and on from there, but I thought those 3 were really fantastic perks. Plus, United informed me that with my achievement I'll be entered in to their current Premier level contest to win a 2 week trip to London for two! Yes, I know, I should stop dreaming (this will be filed away with my plans for when I win the lottery).
I'm all booked up for my fall (and yes, it's a little crazy at times). I'm looking forward to my visit to Middle-of-nowhere, Indiana next week to kick things off right :)

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