Thursday night was a ton of fun! MJ (on Travel) & I mixed it up with the “who’s who” of the travel industry after lunch with Greg (Frequent Miler) who I picked up just after landing in IAD.
I thought I would start with the trip info as that is really more relevant that the rest. I booked last minute as after my return from Sweden I really did not think I would have time to go. Then, with a personal invite from Randy Petersen, and juggling some jobs, I jumped on board. Time to make travel arrangements.
I first looked as just booking a ticket, but this close to departure the prices for a seat were, shall we say, INSANE and I was not about to pay that kind of price. I did want to fly out of South Bend (SBN) as my time was limited and did not want to burn time driving to Chicago or other airports. So what to do?
I was able to see low level coach tickets (25,000 Skymiles) that could work with both outbound and return, but the return would mean a very early morning flight and I wanted to sleep in a bit after the award night and have a chance for breakfast with readers. So, I picked a noon-ish flight at 32,500 Skymiles. While I have a very good long streak of only booking low level round trip awards, in this case, 7500 miles for all I got was well worth the extra cost compared to buying a ticket last minute!
I do wish Delta would hurry up already and get rid of more of the small rejonal jets. SBN-ATL, a 1+ hr flight, is still always a CJR200. I scored an upgrade on ATL-IAD and on my return was on am Embraer 145 with no first from IAD-DTW and again a CRJ DTW-SBN. At least as a Delta flyer I don’t have to put up with any more prop planes like the United regional that took off before us.
I stayed at the IAD ALOFT hotel, an SPG property, and will share a review of the hotel tomorrow.
I was able to get a great deal on a car from Hertz. I booked a Ford Focus and as a Hertz #1 GOLD had been upgraded to a 4 door VW that was very nice. I received a Hertz e-mail telling me in what stall it would be waiting for me and the paperwork was in the car and the trunk was open and waiting for me to arrive. Hertz gets it I must say. The one totally “bone head” move I made was forgetting my I-Zoom so I used the one included from Hertz and do not look forward to the toll bill I am to get soon. I bet it will make the rental, base price $11 & $18 with tax, look very cheap in comparison (it was and the gas was just $15 to fill it up).
PM&M, FM, MJ & I all got to the event a little early as I had a car and did not have to use the hotel shuttle. The place quickly filled up with everyone from all the airlines, hotels and such. I got to spend some time with the Delta folks and it was very nice to meet you all and I hope you keep enjoying the blog each day and what I share about our beloved airline (I just hope we can win something next year)!
The event really was nice. You can see the full list of all the winners HERE at the official site for the Freddies. Gary from VftW & Randy plus Tommy did a top job hosting and keeping it moving along. The location was nice and next year it will be out west at Boeing and in 2015 in Atlanta and boy “we” had better win something that year!
Be sure to check back later today for another fun SWAG Saturday giveaway to start at 1:PM Eastern Time. Also, I will be starting a 3 day MKE mileage run on the 1st and will be in and out of MKE & MSP & JFK & LAX a bunch. If you are running too send me an e-mail and maybe we can grab a bite and chat about all things points & miles! – René
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