Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email or our free miles and points Facebook group with all the best travel news. Some links on this page may pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

After my experience with yet another canceled flight out of SFO and the frustration that followed [SEE: My epic battle with LifeMiles and how I was finally (sort of) victorious], I had to wonder why I even thought booking a flight to Arcata crossed my mind. I’ve now been burned so many times, that I literally prefer driving 4.5 hours instead of 45 minutes to fly one-stop out of Sacramento rather than two-stop out of Arcata.

I’d felt rather smug booking the short hop very last minute for only 7,500 LifeMiles and $30.60. But it turned out to be yet another repeat of this one mistake I keep making: banking on the SFO-ACV flight to get me home.

Yet another canceled vacation

One thing that came out of the trip was that I finally found out why our little airport has the code ACV. Simply, it stands for: Another Canceled Vacation. At least, this is what a United employee told an acquaintance of mine.

You’d think with a history of 18 segments flown between San Francisco and Arcata that have included 4 flight cancellations and 5 more major delays, I would know not to bank on this option. It sounds super convenient to avoid the hours of driving and Bay Area traffic, but I’d rather be in control of my own destiny than at the mercy of United and SkyWest.

Learn from your travel mistakes

I guess this is the point of this post. We all make mistakes as travelers, some small and inconsequential, others large and potentially costing us a vacation, such as not renewing a passport in time (SEE: How to get a passport in one day). I’ve fortunately not made too many over the years, or caught them in time that they weren’t catastrophic.

I made “mistakes” early in my award travel adventures as well, such as redeeming Southwest Rapid Rewards points for a rental car for our trip to Canada, or not using booking portals for hotels countless times because I didn’t realize you could get cash back for that. These are small mistakes, but mistakes nonetheless.

In this case I just keep being lured by the potential convenience of flying out of our local airport. I can talk about how amazing it is to arrive at ACV just before boarding and literally be in San Francisco and literally touch down 60 minutes later. But I can also remember trip after trip where this has been nothing but headache.

I’m sure I’ll fall for flying United yet again, especially since they offered me a 18,000-mile Mile Play offer for flying twice, and I have one or two work trips lined up in the next two months. I might just chance it. But I better not. It’ll almost certainly be a mistake.

How about you? Do you have any travel mistakes you’ve made multiple times?


Sign up for our once-daily email with the latest tips and tricks on how to travel for free / cheap. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!