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So if you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you’ll know that my wife and I are planning on heading to Peru in a few weeks

[SEE ALSO: Scoring 2 lie flat seats to Peru]

[SEE ALSO: Looking for hotel ideas to Peru]


This is one of the 6 trips that I have been in the middle of planning, and apparently something in the middle of all that caused me to let something slip.  I was talking to my Mom yesterday (go Mother’s Day!) and she was asking about our flight times from Cleveland and I wasn’t sure.  So this morning I went to look for it and… we don’t have any flights booked!!!?!!?

Looking at our itinerary

First of all, let’s take a step back and look at our itinerary.  In both cases, the longhaul route we are flying IAD-LIM on LAN business class


  • IAD-LIM on LAN
  • LIM-CUZ on LAN

45,000 Alaska Airlines miles per person in business class


  • CUZ-LIM on LAN
  • LIM-IAD on LAN
  • DCA-CLE on AA

30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles per person in business class.  I actually originally had booked CUZ-LIM-IAD/DCA-LGA-CLE (as that was the only thing with award availability) but with a schedule change and a little help from a friend, got us booked on the direct flight from DCA.  I still have to navigate from IAD-DCA but we actually have an entire overnight to do that – we get in to IAD at 6pm and there was no way to get to CLE until the next day.

Do you see the problem?

Because Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan partner awards only allow you to mix ONE partner (along with Alaska).  Since we were already flying LAN, we couldn’t also add the American Airlines award (even though American is ALSO a partner of Alaska).  I remember now that when I booked that award, I just decided I needed to book a simple CLE-WAS award.

It just turns out that I forgot to do that 🙂

So NOW what are my options?

Looking at the flight options, cash prices are not pretty!


That’s per PERSON, of course, which means if I was stuck paying cash, I’d have to pay nearly $1000 just to get us the 500 miles to Washington DC, which is probably more than we’re going to pay for this whole trip COMBINED!

Miles and points to the rescue!

Some options

  • 7500 Avios, in theory if there was such a thing as sAAver availability.  There’s not, of course – it’s 30K AAnytime
  • 10,000 United miles for a direct CLE-IAD flight on Saver Flight.  It does have the $75 close-in booking fee, but there are ways around that.
  • 12,500 Air Canada miles (transferred from Amex)

Anything else I’m missing?

In any case, I’m glad I am realizing this NOW and not like the day before our trip.

Have you ever forgotten to book a flight before?

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