I’m not the kind of traveler who’s on a plane every month.  I go to business conferences, and then mostly I go to Spain and do hops from there.  This year South America is calling my name too, so I’m giving that one some thought — but that’s another story.  Anyway, I don’t consider myself to be a road warrior, so when it’s time to fly, I take my time and plan.

Last night as I was scouring my Travel Hacker spreadsheet, trying to squeeze an international flight out of the scattered airline miles I have.  I was checking to see if my honey had points he could transfer to me, and checking to see who had award seats available.  In other words I was spending my evening trying to get a “free” ticket.  I mean my entire evening.

My last call was to a friendly agent at Delta.  “I got it!  Denver to Atlanta, Atlanta to Amsterdam, Amsterdam to Madrid — on the day after you wanted to leave.”  OK, fine, I’ll adjust my schedule.  Book it, Dano.

“Oh, no!  It’s denying the leg from Amsterdam to Barcelona!”  Really?  Stuck in Amsterdam?  How AWFUL!  OK, Book it, Dano. I’ll get a cheap flight over to Madrid.

Another 30 minutes disappear while I search for cheap flights in Europe.  Find the perfect match, make notes.  Start adding up:

1.  Transfer points from awards credit card x – check.
2.  Pay for the 15,000 miles I’m short – check.
3.  Pay the taxes and fees – check.
4.  Pay for the cheap flight from Amsterdam – check.

You can see a pattern here, right?  One that I managed to overlook.   Then my honey says…  “And if you just buy the ticket, you’ll spend $400 more, PLUS you’ll get double miles on your credit card AND you’ll get points for the flight, right?”

Oy vey!  Just BUY it, Dano!