Originally Posted by SCWVA
I've already checked on frequently flier mile flights. Believe it or not, nothing is available. I'd prefer nonstop, because of the kids.
Actually, frequent flyer tickets are always available; it's just that you have to use double the miles. Assuming you're talking about Delta (given you're looking into a nonstop into Salt Lake City which is their western hub), you can get a roundtrip in coach on any flight they have available to SELL seats on by spending 50,000 miles for a roundtrip using their "SkyChoice" award. Yes, that's double the 25,000 "SkySaver" limited availability seats, but I would guess that most airlines will not have any award seats at their "saver" level over the holidays.
Assuming you were considering using miles, you probably have a bunch of them, enough for multiple tickets at the "saver" level, right? For example, if you actually had enough miles for 7 tickets at the saver level, that would be 175,000 miles. OK, you can't get saver tickets. But use 150,000 of those miles to get 3 of the "choice" tickets at the double-mile rate, and buy 4 tickets on the same flights. You would still save money compared to buying all 7 tickets.
Also keep in mind that all the US "legacy" airlines except for American are in partnership "alliances" with 1 or 2 other US-based airlines. Your Delta miles are also good for tickets on Continental or on Northwest (or NW on CO or DL, CO on DL or NW). Your United miles are good for tickets on US Airways or vice versa. You can't book these other partners on their websites; you have to call the mileage booking desk of the airline you have the miles in, and specifically ask them to check their other airline partners for availability. Maybe you could get 25,000 mile-level tickets on Continental or on Northwest using your Delta miles, for example?