Multiple Ways to Skin a Cat or an Airline

When the airlines try to screw you over, it demands my resourcefulness. If you read my post Are You Joking? Redeeming Reward Miles Cost a Fortune!, you may realize that I was not lulled by Delta Airlines’ venue that required me to flush away miles like dirty water circling the sewer drain, while still having to pay exorbitant fees for trumped up fees.

Remembering that American Express also has a dedicated travel agency, with trepidation, I went clicking on over to their website just for the sheer torture of it. Admittedly, I am a travel masochist if allowed to expand the definition of the term. Generally, after I have conjured up fantasies of travel grandeur, research doesn’t provide for deals within our means, which in turn propels me back to reality. It was with lackluster hope that I approached American Express.
After entering my departure city: BUD and the destination city: UIO, I entered the departure date: January 11, 2015 followed by return date: April 11, 2015. Then I clicked on the box “Adjust dates +/- three days”.
After striking the search button, I primed myself for disappointment. After all, I was raised in an Italian Catholic environment, where pessimism and guilt are fed to children as side dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The site displayed colorful little graphics ensuring me it was grinding away searching the world for options fitting my needs.
When it displayed the results, it took my breath away. Incredibly, not only did this service offer flight options that never appeared in other search sites, but it also offered much cheaper flight options overall. Historically, this route runs about $1,752.00 per person. Having run fare alerts using similar dates, over a 6 month period last year, I knew the fares remained steady with only minor differences, throughout the year. Although it can go as low as $1,358.00, the primary airline for this fare is generally always Air Berlin flying from Europe to the US. After reading a number of reviews about Air Berlin, I knew this was not a choice for us; it would entail an insufferable 8 hour flight for the minor savings.
What AMEX offered was a flight for $1414.00 each including the entire list of phony and trumped up fees and taxes that the airlines adds to a ticket. Best yet, I could use 136,202 of my AMEX miles toward the tickets to reduce the cost. The price of two tickets was then $1466.00 inclusive and we are flying on TAP Airlines through Lisbon > Miami (hate this) > Quito. Done and booked. Three months in South America, here we come.
We will look at renting an apartment in Cuenca as our base and do some traveling around the country from there.

I hope Bissell allows for the use of their photo for their pet clean attachment on their vacuum.

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