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I am working on planning a trip with my daughter to New York City sometime later this year. NYC is a place I have not been (outside of JFK) and it’s one of the places on my daughter’s bucket list.
But I’m having trouble finding tickets from Cincinnati (or surrounding areas) to New York City. And by “having trouble finding tickets”, I mean there are just SO many options and I’m stuck not knowing how I want to book these tickets. Call it analysis paralysis, which seems to be something I’m often afflicted with…. I am trying to book a Thursday late afternoon flight, with a return on Sunday – the idea being to only take one day off of work – here’s what I’m looking at
The “default” price for a domestic roundtrip award would be 25,000 miles. Back in the day, since Cincinnati to New York is 589 flown miles, the obvious choice would have been to use 9,000 British Airways Avios to fly roundtrip between Cincinnati and New York. Unfortunately that no longer works, and CVG-LGA would now be 15,000 Avios.
Option 2 – Iberia to the rescue?
You can still use Iberia Avios for some short haul flights. A roundtrip is as low as 11,000 Iberia Avios. You do have to fly a roundtrip (no one-ways) but for this case, that would be okay. Unfortunately, at just shy of 1200 flown miles, we wouldn’t fit into the cheapest tier, and a roundtrip would be 17,000 Avios (worse than British Airways Avios)
Option 3 – short mileage awards
United offers lower mileage requirements for short-haul flights, so a flight from CVG-EWR would actually only be 10,000 miles, or 20,000 miles roundtrip. American’s lower mile requirements are flights under 500 miles costing 7,500 miles, but in order to squeeze under 500 flown miles, I would have to drive up to Columbus.
Citi and American also team up to offer reduced mileage awards, which would give either a 7,500 mile discount on a roundtrip, making it 17,500 AA miles for a roundtrip, or a 2,500 mile discount on shorter flights
Looking at cash flights
The absolute cheapest option would be flying Indianapolis to LaGuardia.
That is $173, though I feel like I saw some tickets in the $140 range a few days ago. But I told myself last time I was making the 2 hour drive to Indianapolis that I didn’t want to do that any more 🙂
Option 5 – from Cincinnati
I can get it to $235 from Cincinnati
I did also look at Southwest, but they don’t fly out of Cincinnati either
Combining miles and points: Options 6, 7 and 8.
Adding confusion and options, I could use Citi ThankYou points. Since, I have the Citi Prestige card, I can book American Airlines flights at 1.6 cpp, so a $235 roundtrip post would cost me just shy of 15,000 ThankYou points.
I’ve got a stash of US Bank FlexPerks as well, though that would be a better option if the price was closer to $400, due to the nature of the Flex Perks chart.
Gift cards? Amex Platinum credit? SkipLagged?
I also have a few gift cards and unused Citi Prestige / Amex Platinum airline credits. Seems like those should be the best ones to use too, but I always hate using them unless it’s a “perfect” redemption.
SkipLagged.com is another option that I looked at, but didn’t find anything amazing there. Nothing that seemed worth running the risk of irrops or other problems.
There are just so many options that I’m having trouble deciding on anything.
Am I the only one who ends up with problems deciding between multiple flight options? What would you do in this situation?