I have a Canadian Air Miles card and have been collecting points since 1992.
As we moved to Ajijic, Lake Chapala in 1994 I have never been able to use these points for air travel as flights using Air Miles have to originate out of Canada.
I decided bringing a family member home for Christmas from Toronto would be the perfect time to use my points if I had enough. I went online and found out I had 5,234 points and as luck would have it a round trip ticket Toronto-Guadalajara-Toronto required 5,050 points.
This is a piece of cake, I thought, and proceeded to pass the information along to our family member to make the necessary reservations online. After an interminable wait they were told that I needed to be the one to make the call.
I did this and after another interminable wait was told that my family member could do this online with my authorization which consisted of my collector # and PIN which they did have on their initial call.
I said they had tried to do this but was told I (the card holder) had to make the call. Anyway I proceeded with a very nice man called Manuel and for 37 minutes he diligently tried to make the reservation for me but to no avail as there were no availabilities for our required dates which were somewhat flexible. The best he could do was to fly to Mexico City on December 24th arriving at 12:15 am on December 25th and then take a flight on Aero Mexico to Guadalajara at 7:00 am Christmas Day for $161.46 US. The earliest return available from Guadalajara to Toronto was January 8th. The taxes for this transaction would be $370.78 CAD.
I thought about this for a minute and said I would get back to him after consulting with my family member. For the record we did also check out flight to Puerto Vallarta but the earliest for PV was December 28th. Of course, then there would be the bus travel from PV to Ajijic, Lake Chapala.
So basically for another $300.00 I could get a regular ticket and avoid all of this aggravation including having my family member spending Christmas Eve in the Mexico City airport.
People travel with points all the time with the greatest of ease but clearly not during the holidays.
As is turns out if they were to come in January for a visit it would take only 2500 points instead of 5,050.
I am all for Air Miles and the point system but I suggest if you want to use your Canadian Air Miles points to forget about using them for holiday travel.
I was silly enough to think that booking in September would give us plenty of options. I have learned something today. If you want to book holiday travel for 2014 I suggest you log on today to make your reservations.