Sunday, June 30, 2024

Mending Nets and Planning Travel


A Time to Fish and a Time to Mend the Nets

Since our last post exactly one month ago, we’ve been figuratively mending nets at home.

We wish we could say we’ve been enjoying glorious weather, but that’s been a mixed bag in Birch Bay, some sunny days but interspersed with rain and clouds and dreariness.

Nonetheless, our garden is planted, our yard is weeded, our boat is ready to be launched, and we’re generally up to date with household chores and responsibilities.

Almost before we knew it, we were credited by Alaska Airlines for flying 100,000 miles in 2024, thus qualifying us for one more year of top tier OneWorld Emerald status in 2025. Does this mean we put all thoughts of travel aside? Of course not!

First of all, we have to keep an eye on our Alaska Airlines account. Partner airline flights can be slow to post. A prime example is Condor, a carrier that’s good to fly but but not so good to deal with on the ground. We’ve been waiting for our outbound SEA-FRA flight with grandson Jace to post since we flew it March 23.

A helpful Alaska phone agent finally added it manually to our accounts this past week. That added not only 5,109 EQMs (Elite Qualifying Miles that count toward status) to our accounts, but the paid business class fares gave us a total of 22,991 miles, a significant amount well worth pursuing. We each have more than 110,00 EQMs in our accounts.

Second, we help relatives, friends, and neighbors with their flight plans. Some of them read our blog and they know who they are. Kathy provides the majority of expertise, but both of us enjoy assisting others and simultaneously armchair traveling. It also keeps us in practice for our own travels.

Finally, we continue to monitor air fares and hotels on trips we’ve already booked, looking for price reductions and better alternatives. We think that is one of the most useful tips we can offer fellow travelers. That's currently an easy task, because we have a surprisingly short list of upcoming trips on our travel agenda.

The first one is a flight to Albuquerque in August, and a rental car drive up to Colorado.

The second is a flight to Europe followed by a transatlantic cruise from Lisbon to Miami in November.

Third, we’re hoping to attend the next Oz Fest in Adelaide,Australia, in May 2025. We already snagged separate outbound business class award tickets (shades of our separate 2022 flights from Fiji homeward), and just this morning we booked business class award tickets together for a return flight, all on points (air miles). We consider such flights to be “placeholders,” and we (Kathy) will continue to look for improvements.

Remember the New Yorker’s reply to the tourist who asked “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?”


We keep in practice by helping others with their travel plans, and mending and minding our own nets by spending upwards of an hour most days at the computer, reading travel blogs and forums, and checking our paid Expert Flyer subscription for flights to Australia. as well as a few other destinations on behalf of family and friends.

Once the mending has concluded, we'll be "fishing" - traveling again - almost before we know it. 


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