Enjoyed your latest book. Yours truly is an extremely INFREQUENT flyer who enjoys top drawer accommodations, and I intend to visit Florida next spring—I usually make my reservations WELL in advance.
For air, will be utilizing my A/A air miles. Do I wait until I get to the airport to request an upgrade? If I do request an upgrade at the time of making a reservation over the phone, they will simply say, “We can upgrade you—but it will be another 20,000 miles.”
Same with the hotel—I normally reserve one of the better rooms (or suite) well in advance. Do I wait until I arrive at the hotel and ask for an upgrade? Here, too, they may say they can accommodate me but it will cost that much more.
Third case—car rental. I usually rent a full size car in advance. Same principle as above. Do I wait until I pick up the car or ask for an upgrade at time of request by phone?
I do not belong to any of the preferred clubs since I don’t travel often enough, and the risk involved would be if I let all three categories go until the time of the trip, it may be too late.
Any guidance you can provide is certainly appreciated
Answered by The Penny Pincher
Thank you for the kind compliments regarding my book.
If you are using your American Airline miles for a free ticket, then it will be very difficult to get an upgrade. As I write in my book I think that the best value for miles is to use them for upgrades. Since airfares have dropped dramatically in the past few weeks, you might consider purchasing an upgradeable fare and use your miles to upgrade. That way you’ll still earn miles and will be guaranteed an upgrade.
With respect to the hotel, I would reserve the lowest price room. Than call the hotel directly and speak to the room reservation manager and ask if they can help you get a better room. Follow the steps that I outline on page 142 of my book.
For your car, first inquire as to the lowest available price. Than ask what the next category would cost. Usually it is only a few dollars more to go from a mid size to a full size. You can negotiate for a better car at the rental center as I explain in my book.
Even though you feel that you’re an infrequent flyer I would still join a select group of quality travel providers.
You’ll be surprised how quickly your loyalty can add up.
All the best, and thanks again for being a loyal reader.