It’s official. I’m leaving the country on June 1st. Air Canada will take me from D.C. to Toronto to Tokyo. A lot happened today: My plan for the last 6 months or so was to make use of the United Airline miles that I’ve accumulated over the years slaving away at IBM. 200k miles provided a Round-the-World ticket (RTW) which translates to 6 flights or 35,000 miles. My grand scheme was D.C. –> Tokyo –> Bangkok –> Istanbul –> Cape Town –> Buenos Aires –> D.C. I quite happily spent an hour on the phone with an agent working through the details, and as I was literally about to give her my credit card information to ticket the itinerary, she casually mentioned that once I depart from D.C., I will be unable to modify the reservation at all – not even a date change! This was completely contrary to everything I had heard in the past while spending countless hours on the phone with United ticket agents….
To do a little math:
Unchangeable ticket + Pilgrimage to Nowhere == NO GOOD.
The good news is that airfares are at there lowest levels in years. PLUS I get to be completely free from any constraints or schedules. I booked a one-way ticket to Tokyo for $490. In the end I’m guessing my RTW trip will cost an additional $3000 for the transcontinental flights I’ll need. But the freedom of not being tied to cities, dates, etc, is worth every penny.
Let the real blogging begin. Peace.