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Better book your 2021 trips earlier than later.

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by deepsea21, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. deepsea21

    deepsea21 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
    1,312
    1,138
    Maybe my situation is unique and others can comment but I started sensing that as more and more people are vaccinated diving Cozumel and other destinations are going to experience an incredible surge in business as 2021 rolls on. There is so much pent up travel demand that I sense will start being unleashed that if one waits too long they could find no availability at their dive shops if they wait too long to book. Also, accommodations are going to get more and more expensive as demand returns.

    So, I started looking at flights this weekend and noticed that for those who book with air miles (which we always do) there were very few "cheap" air miles flights available that would get us from our departure point to Coz on the same day and back on the same day without an overnight layover somewhere. This was pretty odd as usually there are piles of air miles seats available this far out.

    Then it occurred to me that while the airlines will be adding more and more flights as demand increases, given the financial hardship the airlines have experienced I think the air miles seats could get pretty pricey. This is because air miles earned from credit card use associated with a specific airline generate revenue for that airline as you earn them and they accumulate, not when you actually book a flight with miles. So, as flights are added and more seats become available the airlines may chose to maximize revenue by focusing on selling tickets to cash paying customers, not giving away seats to air miles holders as they were already paid by the bank issuing the credit card for those miles. If you fly on air miles, look at your flights for your future travel dates and see if you experience the same as I found.

    We chose to book our annual December 2021 trip now with our dive op and our flights as well to make sure there is room on the boats when the time comes and we've locked in our "cheap" air miles flights (which may very well be changed several times) but having a "cheap" seat booked today with air miles is better than no seat at all or a grossly expensive one if we waited too long.

    Just my thoughts, for what they are worth. Be safe everyone.
     
  2. living4experiences

    living4experiences ScubaBoard Sponsor ScubaBoard Sponsor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Tigard, Oregon
    254
    293
    Delta has devalued their mileage program a couple of times since the pandemic started by upping the miles required for award seats. American has relatively cheap award seats right now. I just flew one way from Nassau, Bahamas, to Portland, Oregon, for 10,000 miles for a coach seat and there were only 9 passengers on the plane, a 737 jet. That had to be a huge financial loss for the airline, but they flew anyway. Perhaps they get government credits or kickbacks or some compensation to offset the loss. Just speculating....

    With the new requirement of a negative antigen test to return to the U.S., my thinking is that it will deter travel for fear of being stuck in a foreign country if you test positive and then relying on whatever health care system that country has, amongst other logistics of being stranded. Vaccinated or not, you still have to get the negative test to go home. Perhaps down the road, there will be something like a vaccination passport. My opinion is that international travel will be slow to ramp up until the negative antigen test requirement is lifted. Of course, all that could change by your trip in December.
     
    Redfoot likes this.
  3. deepsea21

    deepsea21 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
    1,312
    1,138
    That's why I was confident booking my travel for December 2021. By then, everyone who wants vaccinated will have been vaccinated unless something goes very, very wrong. I believe in the near future there will be 2 groups of people, those who have been vaccinated and can prove it and those who refuse vaccination. Those who refuse vaccination are going to live different lives and will be subjected to restrictions that those who have been vaccinated will not be subjected to. Mexico is most likely going to be far behind the US in terms of vaccinating its population so I wouldn't be surprised if come December all Covid best practices are still in place in Mexico that we will need to abide by just as the local population will need to. However, I have a feeling the test requirement for US citizens returning to the US will be waived for those who have been vaccinated and can prove it.
     
  4. flyboy08

    flyboy08 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: NYC
    3,829
    2,703
    Using air miles for fares under $400.00 is a waste of air miles...at least from NY area...
     
    Redfoot and StefinSB like this.
  5. deepsea21

    deepsea21 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
    1,312
    1,138
    Depends on how many miles ya have. I've been playing the Credit Card air miles game for years and haven't paid cash for a flight in years. In my situation flying out of Norfolk, VA to many destinations and being able to complete travel both ways on the same day it can get miles pricey. But your're right, we flew from Norfolk to Kona Hawaii last Feb with only 1 short connection through Dallas for about the same air miles to get to Cozumel. Geeze was that a long flight getting there following the sun and what fun coming back taking the 6PM out of Kona and arriving in Dallas early AM to finally make it to Norfolk at like 2PM or something. Hawaii was fun but that time traveling really sucks. Get some pressure socks for that trip if you aren't flying in the 1st class bed seats/pods.
     
  6. Saxonjd

    Saxonjd Contributor

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    89
    88
    I typically try to get at least $.02 per mile when I redeem my points. We usually try to use them for first class (mostly international, aspirational types like Lufthansa or Cathay Pacific first class) as a treat and to make our trips a bit less stressful. With the shutdown we haven't used any points and are sitting on them for when things open up. I have used points to/from Cozumel when prices are really high, but as others have said lots of devaluation going on. My favorite Cozumel redemption was actually out of Cancun back to Seattle with the first leg in Virgin America first class. Was worth the bag drag (it was just me) as this was right after AS bought them and I had never flown them so this was my one chance to use on a long flight (CUN to LAX). Definitely better than most domestic first class. Seems there's always arguments over the best way to use points, but everyone has their own designs and plans so whatever floats your boat is my view.

    Back to the original topic. I've been a bit leery to book too far out during the pandemic. Seems the four or five trips we've tried to book this past year, all have had significant changes, which led us to cancel a couple of the trips. We're booked for April to Cozumel on United, and I'm fully expecting something will happen with our flights.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. deepsea21

    deepsea21 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
    1,312
    1,138
    Yup. Agreed but if the changes get too screwy for ya just just tell them this no longer works for you and get your miles or airfare refunded and ya go shopping again. Based on what I see may be coming, I'd rather book today and decide later if I want to accept the changes that will most likely get sent to me via email. Word to the wise... The airlines will email you changes to your itinerary and ask that you accept them by clicking here or there. NEVER accept a change that forces you to depart sooner or arrive later than you had booked. They can route you wherever they want so long as it is within your departure and arrival times but once they step outside those bounds you start shopping while you leave the existing booked flights in place. Find a better deal you book it and then notify the airline that the changes made to your flights don't work for you. They must refund your $ or reinstate your miles by law. NEVER click "Accept" in response to any change your airline sends you via email. The second they send you an email that is outside the bounds of your departure and arrival times, you are free to shop til the cows come home until the day of departure and if ya can't find anything better, ya accept that crap schedule and get on the plane but usually one can find far better as time passes.
     
  8. jonhall

    jonhall Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Indianapolis
    1,188
    635
    For a timeshare owner, there are still plenty of studios, hotel rooms, and 1 bedroom units available starting as early as next week and every month through December. Also all are mostly AI resorts. Only a couple of 2 bedroom units were available. So I consider myself lucky that this past December we were able to (had to) book 2 weeks in 2 different resorts, both 2 bedroom and neither with a mandatory AI for late Nov/early Dec this year.

    Although I would have preferred to wait, our friends called us one day and asked if we wanted to go ahead and get airline tickets (usually it's my wife who wants to get them as soon as they are available.) I relented since airlines are making it easier if there are cancellations.

    Couldn't price compare since Delta has no flights going to Coz, United would have us spending the night somewhere, so American Airlines was our choice to get us there and back in about 6 ½ hrs each way. 42,000 miles for me and I was able to use a $125 off coupon that AA issued before the pandemic (but extended the expiration date on) for my wife's ticket making it $343. Thought that was pretty cheap.
     
    deepsea21 likes this.
  9. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    50,354
    5,526
    I get 2% back on all credit card purchases. I can never see air miles being that rewarding these days. Nothing like the fun years 1988-1990s
     
  10. deepsea21

    deepsea21 Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Virginia Beach, VA USA
    1,312
    1,138
    That's because you don't know how to play the game these days Dandy. Enjoy the 2% cash back ya get while those of us who know how to play the game keep flying for free. That 2% cash back is nothing compared to free travel on air miles for those who know how to play the game.
     

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