Yesterday, I had a friend in Atlanta reach out to me and inquire if there was a way to use miles/points to attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
The conversation was as follows:
“Hey, got a ticket to the Super Bowl down in Miami. Any way to avoid uber-esque surge pricing for flights?”
“Good question. I’ll take a look. Gimme 10 mins.”
Airlines are smart. Unfortunately, they know events are happening before you do and they adjust their prices accordingly.
Additionally, my friend was planning to attend a major sporting event approximately 10 days from now. Ouch! Time was not on our side.
I was not interested in the price of the cash price of the ticket because I knew it would be something crazy. I was solely interested in if their was award availability on any flight.
OUTSMARTING THE AIRLINES
I thought it would be fun to outline my process of how I began my search.
I know my friend lives in Atlanta (I live in Atlanta too). There are, essentially 3 non-stop options to get to Miami: Frontier, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.
Option #1: Frontier is (probably) going to be the cheapest option but there are some risks as Frontier only flies one flight per day between Atlanta and Miami, you are not able to use points (unless you have Frontier points), there is a fee with carry-on bags, and if something goes wrong (i.e. flight cancellation), my friend would not be seeing the Super Bowl so I avoided that option.
Option #2: Delta Air Lines award chart is expensive on a “normal” day so I was 99.9% sure that flights going to Miami near the dates of the Super Bowl would not be cheap. And I was right…
Option #3: Miami is an American Airlines hub so it may be possible to find more “reasonable” redemption rates on AA. However, AA recently changed to a dynamic award chart and the prices fluctuate (similar to Delta).
I was able to find award availability but whether it is “reasonable” can be debated as I would have to fly to New York first.
If I wanted a direct flight in economy, it would cost 75,000 miles for a one-way ticket. WHAT!? Just for comparison, you can fly from the US to the anywhere in the WORLD in Business Class and have THIS EXPERIENCE for 75k. #hardpass
But if you’ve been reading this blog for more than a week, you’ve heard me speak about using partner miles (specifically, British Airways Avios) to fly on American Airlines planes. It’s not guaranteed but is it available? Let’s take a look…
Surprisingly, I was able to award availability on Saturday and return on Sunday for the cheap price of 15,000 + $11.20 total.
Just for fun, I took a look at the prices. I added a carry-on bag so we could compare apples-to-apples, and the prices weren’t as bad as I thought. However, if I had a few points to spare, I’d redeem 15k point before I would I’d pay American Airlines $393 for the same exact seat and flight.
This trick can also apply to other cities and not just Atlanta. Test it out and let mw know if you have any questions.
Any one else planning on going to the Super Bowl? Were you aware that you could do this for a lot cheaper?