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Don’t Give Up Yet on Using Miles for that Thanksgiving Trip

I’ve done a number of radio interviews (hi KTRH in Houston!) in the past couple of weeks about whether it’s too late to get a good fare or use miles for your Thanksgiving trip. (We’ll set aside for a moment the question of why I seem to only do radio interviews.) The answer (as you’ve probably figured out from the title) is that it’s not too late to use miles for your Thanksgiving trip. In some cases.

Flights to Europe, especially on European carriers, look quite open over the Thanksgiving break. No, it’s not exactly springtime in Europe, but Paris is in the mid-50s, low 60s, which isn’t bad at all. Air France is showing good availability from the East Coast to Paris over that weekend, including some flights with Premium Economy (not bookable using Delta miles, as far as I know) and business class available, though with spottier availability. KLM looks good to Amsterdam as well.

Continental’s partners, especially Lufthansa, are showing pretty open availability as well. If you’re looking to go, be open to connecting through one of the German gateways, as they’re looking pretty good right now.

Many folks are heading to Florida that weekend from the Northeast, and that’s a tougher ticket. Though a quick check shows that you can grab a Wednesday departure on US Airways from New York to Ft Lauderdale (stopping in Charlotte) with business class seats available. You can book that one-way using Continental or United miles.

Even the Caribbean, at least until quite recently, wasn’t out of the question. A couple of weeks ago we decided to go to Curacao over Thanksgiving and were able to get 4 one-way reward tickets on Continental departing on Wednesday before Thanksgiving (that flight, which Continental flies twice a week and everyone seems to forget about, generally has great award availability, and still had seats open until a couple of days ago, though they’re gone now). Don’t give up all hope: US Airways has availability in business class to San Juan on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving day (thru Philly or Charlotte), with returns available on Tuesday after the holiday.

As always when using miles, a little flexibility goes a long way.

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