So here’s our challenge: Find the cheapest way to get two people from the Rockies to the Yucatan with a week-long stopover in Florida. We’ve got around 500 bucks, 50,000 frequent flier miles and a $50 companion ticket to make it happen. Should be no problem, right? Those frequent flier miles will easily pay for one leg, and the 500 bucks plus the companion ticket should be plenty for the other leg. But, when your frequent flier miles are with Alaska Airlines and you’re nowhere near Alaska, it’s not so easy.
The miles turned out to be enough for one ticket to Cancun or two to Florida, but the companion ticket is only good on Alaska Air flights, not partner routes, rendering it more or less useless. Fortunately those miles can get us to just about anywhere in the continental 48, so we took advantage of them to get us into Fort Lauderdale, much closer to family than Miami, saving time and money on driving, rental cars and rooms. Now the task is to get two people from Ft. Lauderdale to Cancun for 500 bucks. Orbitz could get us there for about $700, so we took a gamble with Priceline and got two seats on a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale to Cancun on Spirit Airlines, for…… $500. Bam! Mission accomplished.
We have found a few problems though. Something came up where it would have been good if we could delay our return flight by a few days, but that Priceline ticket is completely non-refundable, non-changeable, non-everything. Fortunately, it’s not hurricane season.
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Adventure Travel Planning: Mexico / Central America, Part 2