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Where to burn airline/hotel miles/points?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yes.......

 

I have become an accumulator of airline miles and points. I have quite a few United, Delta, and American Airline miles along with IHG points (holiday inn, intercontinental, crowne plaza, etc). Enough for more than 5 or 6 round trip flights even.

 

I want to use these for ski vacations. So I am trying to assemble a list of properties/airline routes that actually get me to ski areas cheaply. So for example I will begin with a list of airports that I know receive flights from national air carriers that are popular for ski destinations and the ski area close to it (along with chain hotels). Most importantly I want to try and figure out who flies where, and what chain hotels are where. For example I want to go to Revelstoke and fly in to say Banff or Kelowna and Air Canada flies there who is a partner of American Airlines, therefore I can fly there for freeeeeeeeee. Lets compile a little bit of a list for reference here if you don't mind so others can find out where to fly and stay for freeeeeeeeee.

 

Mammoth Mountain - MMH

Bozeman - BZN 

Kelowna - YLW

Salt Lake City - SLC

Denver - DEN

Telluride - TEX

HDN - Steamboat Springs Airport

ASE - Aspen

EGE - Eagle/Vail

JAC - Jackson Hole

YVR - Vancouver

TVL - Tahoe

GEG - Spokane

 

 

All of these airports have service from major international carriers and I am sure there must be others. Now on to hotels here...

 

Vail - I know IHG has a property here

Park City - Hyatt, Starwood, and IHG all have hotels here

Whislter - I know of a IHG property and a Westin (Starwood)

Aspen - St Regis (Starwood)

 

I am trying to find more hotels specifically. Airfare isn't always that bad to remote airports. In fact I have had quite a few under $300 round trip flights come up to many of those airports above this year. Obviously I am trying to get more skiing in for less.

 

 

I have been hitting up SLC because it is the mecca of all that is powder and am finally hitting up JAC in a few weeks. Next year I think I want to go for Telluride, Bozeman, and Whistler/Kelowna since those look to be like some of the most impressive ski areas for snow/terrain/powder (not Telluride so much for powder).

 

So fill me in here guys, what chain hotels are where? What other airports am I missing?

post #2 of 10

As a frequent flyer for the past 12 years and racking up over a milion miles, I would recommend NOT using your FF miles for domestic travel. As they say, YMMV but my 2 cents is it is a better value to burn them for international trips. Last year I burned 100k miles for a trip to MUC - Munchen ,in biz class on BA, and then took the train to the Arlberg region in Austria. A few yrs earlier, I burned 160k miles  on LAN for 2 biz class tickets to Santiago Chile and skied Valle Nevado. On that same ticket, I flew to Buenos Aires, and on to Bariloche, Argentina, and skied Catherdal.

 

But, yes if one wants to burn those miles for domestic ski destinations, it would definitely save on some of the cost of a nice ski vacation.

 

Next year, I'll be burning another 100k miles to fly biz class on BA. Not sure if I will hit the French Alps, or maybe head back to Austria. Or just maybe fly into Venice, and then hit the Dolomites. So many possibilities.

 

Enjoy those mlies, where ever they may take you.

 

Can't wait for that trip to Northern Japan in a few years.

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 10

The biggest benefit of the new United Explorer credit card is members can book any available seat last minute for a standard award, IE.  25,000 miles/rt for coach!

That's fricken huge! 

 

 

Just chase storms!

 

Fly into Aspen this Sunday morning and stay at the St. Regis.  Guaranteed good time.  Telluride should do well out of this next system too.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have the CO OnePass plus and have not heard of this? My card will be the UA MileagePlus by the end of 2012 I hear.

post #5 of 10

GUC - Gunnison (for Crested Butte)

ABQ - Albuquerque (for Taos)

RNO - Reno (for Tahoe)

SMF - Sacramento (backup for Tahoe)

SFO, OAK - San Francisco, Oakland (backup for backup for Tahoe)

GJT - Grand Junction (I think its about the same distance from Aspen as Denver)

MTJ - Montrose

COS - Colorado Springs (Monarch, backup for Summit Co)

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

The biggest benefit of the new United Explorer credit card is members can book any available seat last minute for a standard award, IE.  25,000 miles/rt for coach!

That's fricken huge! 

 

 

Just chase storms!

 

Fly into Aspen this Sunday morning and stay at the St. Regis.  Guaranteed good time.  Telluride should do well out of this next system too.


I use my star wood points each year for a 5 day stay at the St. Regis.  Highly recommended.

 

post #7 of 10

Whistler = Hilton Whistler. Do at least 10 days  / year on points.

Steamboat - Fairfield Inn (Marriott) - good and cheap point-wise

Park Shitty (PC Marriott) - good hotel and 5 nights is only 100k.

SLC generally - Residence Inn Cottonwood - not a bad point deal.

 

Hertz = 2500 points for car rental, 4000 for SUV.

 

Delta and I know each other on 1st name basis. Get front-of-bus even after reserving no-class freebie. Great because you can cancel at last minute if conditions suck (ie SLC 2nd week of Jan).

 

American Express Rewards points can be used for lift tickets at many or most resorts. smile.gif

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

 

GUC - Gunnison (for Crested Butte)

ABQ - Albuquerque (for Taos)

RNO - Reno (for Tahoe)

SMF - Sacramento (backup for Tahoe)

SFO, OAK - San Francisco, Oakland (backup for backup for Tahoe)

GJT - Grand Junction (I think its about the same distance from Aspen as Denver)

MTJ - Montrose

COS - Colorado Springs (Monarch, backup for Summit Co)

 

MMH - Mammoth Mountain

BZN - Bozeman - Bridger Bowl, Big Sky

YLW - Kelowna - Interior B.C. airport (Revy, Fernie, Kicking Horse, etc)

YKA - Kamloops  - Interior B.C.

SLC - Salt Lake City 

DEN - Denver  

TEX - Telluride 

HDN - Steamboat Springs Airport

ASE - Aspen 

EGE - Eagle/Vail

JAC - Jackson Hole

YVR - Vancouver

TVL - Tahoe

GEG - Spokane (Red)

YYC - Calgary (Lake Louise, Sunshine Village)

FCA - Glacier National Park/Kalispell (Whitefish, Fernie, Kimberly ) 

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

The biggest benefit of the new United Explorer credit card is members can book any available seat last minute for a standard award, IE.  25,000 miles/rt for coach!

That's fricken huge! 

 

 

Just chase storms!

 

Fly into Aspen this Sunday morning and stay at the St. Regis.  Guaranteed good time.  Telluride should do well out of this next system too.


Just an fyi:  I just booked some FF seats into Aspen for this Friday on the direct and they did hit me with a $75.00,  close in booking fee.  But for 25k miles, it's still a really good deal.

1 free checked bag and priority seating in group 1 all the time.  2 red carpet club passes supposedly, but I haven't seen those yet?

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by loinlover View Post

I have the CO OnePass plus and have not heard of this? My card will be the UA MileagePlus by the end of 2012 I hear.


Continental still has capacity control on FF seats, but United eliminated them with the explorer card?  I'm thrilled with the card right now, but they'll probably change the rules after everyone signs up?

 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toadman View Post

As a frequent flyer for the past 12 years and racking up over a milion miles, I would recommend NOT using your FF miles for domestic travel. As they say, YMMV but my 2 cents is it is a better value to burn them for international trips. Last year I burned 100k miles for a trip to MUC - Munchen ,in biz class on BA, and then took the train to the Arlberg region in Austria. A few yrs earlier, I burned 160k miles  on LAN for 2 biz class tickets to Santiago Chile and skied Valle Nevado. On that same ticket, I flew to Buenos Aires, and on to Bariloche, Argentina, and skied Catherdal.

 

But, yes if one wants to burn those miles for domestic ski destinations, it would definitely save on some of the cost of a nice ski vacation.

 

Next year, I'll be burning another 100k miles to fly biz class on BA. Not sure if I will hit the French Alps, or maybe head back to Austria. Or just maybe fly into Venice, and then hit the Dolomites. So many possibilities.

 

Enjoy those mlies, where ever they may take you.

 

Can't wait for that trip to Northern Japan in a few years.

 

 

 

 



+1.

 

Fly to Zurich and get on the direct train to St. Anton (2-hr train ride through the Swiss and Austrian countryside; i.e., lakes, mountains, and forests). Best Western owns a hotel or two in St. Anton itself, so you might be able to get a deal with them. Otherwise, just go with one of the local B&Bs.

 

No reason to blow your miles to get to airports where you can already fly to for a reasonable price.

 

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