Confession: I Booked A Flight To New Zealand, Forgot About It, And Wasted Miles and Money

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Let my mistake(s) serve as an example of what NOT to do!

In late October (2019), American Airlines offered an AMAZING deal with miles. During this ‘Economy Web Special’ award sale, it was possible to redeem as low as 5,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles for a one-way economy flight (or 10,000 roundtrip) between various US cities and either Auckland (AKL) or Sydney (SYD).

Yes, 10,000 miles to fly all the way to New Zealand or Australia!

Personally, I’ve never been to Auckland, New Zealand but the the thought of visiting for 5,000 miles (or a little bit more depending on date) fascinated me. So I quickly redeemed 6,000 points (+ $27.60 in taxes) for a one-way ticket from Los Angeles to Auckland for a date that I knew would work for my schedule.

When I bought the ticket, the flight was scheduled for many months out.

At that moment, I was interested in flying the longest flight in the world from Singapore to New York so my initial idea was to fly to Auckland, somehow connect to Singapore (perhaps through Sydney), and then fly the longest flight in the world. However, I put it aside because, again, the trip was many months away and I wanted to concentrate on trips that were taking place before that trip.

New Zealand Award Ticket


This morning, I received a phone notification that said I could check-in for my flight from Los Angeles.

In a panic, I checked my phone and noticed that I had totally forgotten about this trip.

In the next 24 hours, it will be very evident why I am not currently in Los Angeles and why there is no way I could complete this trip (clue: happiest place in the world).


Unfortunately, although cheap, there are some terms that you may want to be aware of when booking AA Web Special awards including: you are not allowed to make changes, and – while you can cancel and reinstate your miles – fees may apply.

Although reinstatement fees are waived for Executive Platinum members, I do not have status with American so in this case I lost 6,000 AA miles and 30 bucks.

Fortunately, I only lost 6,000 miles and $30.

Just think how many trips I am able extract from a 65,000 mile welcome bonus on THIS AA credit card when the trips are only 5000-6000 mile redemptions.

I’m not completely sure how this trip slipped from my memory but I’m glad it didn’t do too much damage.

Am I becoming one of those dads that forget things and act like it never happened!? Probably! 🤪


  1. Happens to the best of us! Glad it wasn’t too much of a hit. That mileage reinstatement fee is rough. I’m wary of the web special terms but I booked my first one for a Sept trip to Colombia. I’ve had moments of panic when I get an email reminder to check into a flight…to then realize I canceled that flight (booked and canceled within the initial 24hrs) and it’s just a feature of Yahoo/Gmail to track your flight emails with “helpful” reminders lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lol Yeah, that mileage reinstatement fee is rough (to say that least)! It’s so funny that you mention the email reminders despite canceling the flights. I’ve been receiving so many of those because I’ve been rearranging all my flights lately. I’ve had more than a few panic attacks. p.s. I can’t wait to hear about / see your trip in September.


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