For many years my family and I have enjoyed our annual ski trip to Utah. Most years Delta has been the only airline that flies direct from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City. Connecting flights in the winter with ski equipment is not my first choice. I am afraid of being stranded or having to rent equipment while my luggage is being located. Last year we did the connecting flights on Southwest and only one bag, the one with my husband’s and my ski boots was missing. Luckily we did not plan to ski the day we arrived and our boots were delivered to our hotel before we left for the slopes in the morning.
This year my sons and their friends want to ski on the day we arrive especially since Park City has a Quick Start promotion giving a free lift ticket to ski at any of the three Park City mountains, The Canyons, Park City or Deer Valley, on the day you fly into Salt lake City. Here is the link for the 2011-2012 ski season. http://www.visitparkcity.com/visitors/specials-and-promotions/quick-start/
Fortunately this year we will have enough miles for four frequent flyer tickets and we will all qualify for free baggage too. Last fall my husband got an offer from American Express for a gold card with 50,000 bonus points after he spent $500 using the card and the annual fee was waived for the first year. At the time he applied for this offer I did not know how we would use the points. All of the bonus points posted to Membership Rewards in January. Membership Rewards had a bonus offer in January on transfers to Delta. We transferred all 50,000 bonus points to my husband’s Delta account and he got an additional 40,000 miles. He now had 90,000 miles and was given Silver Medallion status as part of this Membership Reward transfer bonus. This status will give him and all those traveling with him two free checked bags each, even ski equipment. Our ski trips are the one time every year we have to check bags and the costs of those checked bags can get expensive.
Delta has a premium on miles it charges to fly direct, 40,000 miles per passenger for a coach ticket when most other airlines only require 25,000 miles for a round trip ticket in the US. We needed 160,000 miles for four frequent flyer tickets. First I transferred 42 Starwood points into my Delta account bringing my account balance to 28,000 miles. That transfer took only few days to post. I was told that transfers from Starwood to Delta usually happen on Monday.
Right now Delta has a 100% transfer bonus when transferring miles among accounts. I transferred 4,000 miles to my son’s Delta account and 24,000 miles into my husband’s account for $310. My husband now had 138,000 miles (90 + 24 +24).Then I transferred the 11,000 miles from my son’s Delta account into my husband’s account bringing my husband’s total Delta miles to 160,000 miles (138 +11+11) at a cost of $170. The taxes per ticket were $5 each bring the total to $500($310+$170+$20) for the four tickets that would have cost us $1,720 plus an additional $120 per person round trip for the baggage fees.
The Hampton In in Park City had rooms for $98 plus tax for rooms with two queen beds and suites with a full kitchen for $116 per night. We booked both types of rooms for our trip. We will be renting a full size SUV in Salt Lake City not at the airport for under $300 with a ski rack for five and a half days. The first day of skiing will be free with the Quick Start promotion and in the fall I will be looking for lift ticket discounts for the other four days we plan to ski. Looking forward to another great ski trip in January.