325,000 Miles Used in Three Weeks

Mileageplus_newlogoI went up to Calgary for a pre-Christmas visit a couple of weeks ago. We do Christmases here in Denver these days, so I try to take a trip to Calgary beforehand. That used 25,000 miles.

I got home on Monday, December 16. On Wednesday, my Mom emailed that Dad wasn’t doing well. The nursing home staff didn’t think he’d see Christmas. We were pretty stunned. I had just seen him four days in a row. What were they talking about?!

Never doubt a nurse. On Thursday, my Mom called to say my Dad wasn’t expected to survive the night. I booked a flight home for Friday morning. That used 50,000 miles.

One of my brothers picked me up from the airport and we went straight to the nursing home. My father had survived the night. My other brother was making his way back to Calgary from Shanghai. Would he make it in time?

Yes, he would.

Robert arrived and Dad died about four hours later. We like to believe he heard us telling him that Robert was on his way and to hold on.

The memorial service will be in January. Getting seats for five, was no easy feat. In fact, they weren’t available when I tried to book them online. I called United and the representative made it happen for me. She said she was able to get them because I had the United Explorer card. I think it was because I was crying. It would have cost about $6,500 to pay for the seats. I might have been able to find a way to get some of us there on different flights – some going through San Francisco, some going through Edmonton, etc. But it would have been a mess.

She even waived the $75 “close in” fee and the $25 booking fee per seat. That’s $500 in fees she waived!

Of course, I’m using 250,000 miles to get all five of us back for the memorial – for a total of 325,000 miles in three weeks. But that’s why I’ve been frantically building them up over the past couple of years.

Guess I have a new item on my To Do list for 2014. Build those miles back up.