Speaking to the Sherpstress, and justifying a future trip, I made a statement that only a travel nut could make with a straight face, but before I get to that statement, here is how the conversation came up.
Our next trip is to Bali, and coming back we are using some RGN one-ways that deposit us into Montreal (YUL) which is close to PIT, but not nearly close enough. Here are our options:
1) YUL-YYZ $135 (x2 pax) + 4 hour drive from Toronto to PIT - Estimated total costs = $425
2) YUL-PIT $269 (x2 pax) - Estimated total costs = $538
3) Drive 9 hours YUL-PIT - Estimated Total Costs = $350
None of those look appetizing, particularly because the business class tickets we were using were $247 all-in RGN-YUL in J class (business).
What about miles you ask?
We spent almost all of our remaining American miles getting to Bali. Further, if we were to spend AA miles, we would rather use 20,000 miles and fly YUL-MAN with a stopover in our US gateway for a few months, driving to PIT from either NYC or ORD, which again adds costs. It's also irrelevant because buying AA miles to cover the difference would negate the savings.
Delta and US Airways (with whom we have significant balances) don't offer one-ways, and we have no intentions of spending 25,000 miles on an 800 mile journey, returning to a city for which we will only encounter the same problem again.
I looked at buying Taca Life Miles. I might be able to get the both one-ways booked for $285 which would present a cost savings over the alternatives, but of course spending miles means we aren't earning them either - frankly I have no experience buying their miles and would want to make a dry run first.
Avios are a good redemption for this route potentially. I have just short of 30k Avios and would prefer to use them on a trans-Atlantic journey from BOS using Aer Lingus. I also value Avios at $.026/avio representing a minor savings over just buying the tickets in cash and again burning instead of earning for roughly the same price.
Then the Sherpa went outside the lines.
What if we dropped the problematic leg to YUL and replaced it?
$1,035/each - of course I find the usual treatment of an expensive one-way and a cheaper return.
That's more like it. I look through the fare, and it books into Air France R space, 100% MQM/RDM, plus we could apply a little more credit to SkyBonus and build some MQMs early in the year. Since we have not selected our program of choice for 2013, Delta could be an option.
But wouldn't we just have to book another one-way to get back from this ticket? Yes of course, but by then, we should have some more AA miles ready to carry us home. Or buy another ticket.
But none of that really matters anyway.
As the Sherpstress would say... "Here's the thing." We used to live in Manchester, UK and we have been missing it like crazy. We miss our friends.
We miss our closeness to Europe and frequent trips to the continent.
We miss the markets.
And though I thought I would never say it. We even miss the food.
Well some of it. Some of it is "right shite".
So I find this great fare, that works for our dates and then I find myself pitching this to the Sherpstress last night. And only a true travel psycho, can find a way to justify spending $1200 as a cost-saving measure over spending $550.
At the end of the day, my argument was that we will go back to Europe in the next six months anyway, finding a rate as low as this may come along again, but it doesn't solve our $500 problem today. And of course, neither of us can really stomach the idea of spending the equivolent of one ticket to Europe for two of us to go 800 miles. Ultimately, we both miss England terribly, it's where we started our lives together. We love Manchester, we love the UK. We even take better pictures there.
Then the Sherpstress said, "Just don't try to explain this to anyone else. My mother will never understand how spending $1200 saves more money than spending $500."
She's right. Though no doubt you understand, right? But is that "marriage speak" for a go ahead to book the ticket?