Free Flight To New York (Mine, Sorry)

4 12 2010

And there you have the surprise. (I know, sorry if it wasn’t the free iPad you were hoping for.)

I closely follow frequent flyer mileage promotions at flyertalk.com and at some other blogs. In the past year, promotions from FlyerTalk have gotten us things like:

  • 150,000 American Airlines miles (~6 round-trip flights)
  • 20,000 JetBlue points (~2 round-trip flights)
  • 25,000 Continental miles (~1 round-trip flight)
  • 20,000 SPG points (~5 nights at a Starwood property)

These usually involve signing up for a credit card, spending (literally) a dollar or two, paying the bill, and then canceling the card a year later when the annual fee rolls around. About half the time I can just get the fee waived.

Those promotions were cool, but nothing prepared me for the promotion that hit the forums on November 19th. That promotion was “SAVE300”, an Expedia.ca coupon code that took $300 off of a flight & hotel package to New York, Las Vegas, or Cancun. My $280 flight to New York – minus $300 – was free. Zero dollars. Through other cleverness, detailed in this long FlyerTalk thread, I also have an upcoming $150 dinner cruise and $150 helicopter tour of New York City. Total cost: $3. (That FlyerTalk thread has over 291,000 views!)

The promotion was pulled early and lay “experts” on these things weren’t sure whether ticketed flights would be honored, but Expedia recently confirmed that they would be, and my flight is testament to that (I flew Delta). No one is sure whether Expedia is taking a huge hit, needed to quickly sell a ton of tickets to maintain certain contractual obligations, or was receiving payments from tourism groups at the three destinations, but while those questions are interesting, they don’t impact that I’m here in New York.

I walked in last night and told my very surprised parents that I came to pick up my mail that had been accumulating. Ayo is back at the RV in Van Nuys, training at a gymnastics studio there. (She had been on the East Coast recently and had some good things going on out west that she wanted to continue with.)

But she’ll potentially benefit from the promo as well. I also booked us a flight and hotel for three nights in Vegas at the end of December, breakfast included (total cost: $13). Our flight departs from San Diego, so if we’re near there at the end of the month we’ll hit Vegas for a few days.

For now, if you’re in New York and want to say hello send me an email. I’ll be heading back west on the morning of the 8th.

posted by jay

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