Need a good idea for my US MC Companion Cert - Jan/Feb travel

 
Old Oct 29, 13, 5:19 pm
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Need a good idea for my US MC Companion Cert - Jan/Feb travel

My wife and I were hoping to use our Companion Certificate for a weekend getaway this January or February. We aren't picky, we can fly to markedly off-peak locations, we like both cities and more touristy destinations, and we don't mind bringing a jacket with us.

So I plugged in my usual "all U.S./Canada" query to ITA and am really stumped on a good destination right in the $250 R/T base fare range required to use the certificate.

Right now, my leading candidate is CLT at about $275 base. I know nothing about CLT other than it has a nice airport as hubs go. PHX could also work, but we've done PHX four times in the past 18 months for both work and pleasure and would like to do something different.

When I saw CLT pricing in the right ballpark, I got excited and added CHS, SAV, and JAX thinking maybe one of those would hit the same range. Alas, those are all pushing $400-plus. I'm pretty much seeing zero decent leisure fares on US metal, and the certificate does not allow the use of United codeshares.

Since fares are high on *all* weekends and not higher on MLK or President's Day weekends, we'd probably go for one of those two weekends. (Although oddly enough, you can't fly on the Friday of President's Day weekend with this certificate. All other days are fine and all of MLK weekend is fine.)

Anything I might be overlooking? I don't believe there's a "hole" in my ITA query, but who knows... Or are there just no good US Airways fares loaded for my home market (MCI)? Am I actually looking at this too early?

Worst case...we'll probably explore Charlotte since we've never been there. Or maybe drive down towards the coast and end up in the Charleston area anyway... Just seems like for extremely off-peak travel, a $250 base fare should get me a long list of options to consider within North America... Wondering if someone here will think of something I haven't.
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Old Oct 29, 13, 7:36 pm
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I'll throw Washington DC out there. Looks like tickets are going for about $210-$240 but you can ask the agent to upfare you to a $250+ ticket. Being from here, I can say Jan/Feb is a great time to hit up the museums since there isn't the mass of tourists around. You'll be able to walk right in and see anything you want. DC has a pretty good dining scene and hotels should be pretty available then. Only drawback is the weather might be a little cold but not usually unbearable.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 8:49 am
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Not sure how good this idea is, but - ditch your wife for a high school sweetheart and book a trip to Vegas? J/K.

I'd go Vegas and Mojave desert or Palm Spring and Joshua Tree Nat'l Park. If you go in late February, you'll catch the blooming season and it would be warm enough for outdoor pool and tanning.

SJU is another excellent destination.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 9:09 am
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If you do CLT, you could rent a car, and head to Asheville. Beautiful up in the mountains. Can tour the Biltmore estate, etc. The drive is nice, and you can stop at Grandfather Mountain on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Fun trip.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 12:29 pm
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As an east coaster, can't go wrong with DC, PHL, or BOS (and can do all of those for $250 I think from KC). Weather in those places will be a bit colder than CLT on average (but then again CLT can be cold). But, I like the cold weather - and all of those cities are great for a weekend trip.

I would say if you're looking for a more bargain oriented trip - you can almost always get great weekend hotel deals in PHL and CLT, where as DC and BOS tend to be a bit more volatile on weekends (I've gotten the Mandarin for low $200's in Boston some weekends, and have had to pay $650+ for the Sheraton on other weekends)
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Old Oct 30, 13, 12:50 pm
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I always forget about DC since we tend to go there semi-often (we used to live there), but I do enjoy visiting in Jan/Feb for exactly the reason listed upthread: no tourists! Tends to be easy to get a good hotel, restaurant reservations, etc. I'll keep that in the back of my mind...but I might just hold off since we can *usually* find a $175 R/T weekend at some point in the year when we can consider all airlines.

I did check LAS but saw a lot of $375-400 fares. I assume it's because I'm hitting peak convention season for Vegas... SJU is ineligible for this particular cert - has to be 48 contiguous states plus Canada.

PHX and CLT are the likely candidates at this point. Feel like there should be a decent JAX fare out there...it tends to appear on low-cost lists when I do more generic searches...so maybe I'll wait a little while longer and keep looking.
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Old Oct 30, 13, 11:31 pm
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I can give you all the info on clt you want (pm me if you decide), maybe not 100% up to date, but, if you can, rent a car and do the 3 hr trip to charleston, you will not regret it, I can def give you he skinny on chuck town.

Ps. Me and mine are in the same boat!
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Old Oct 31, 13, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by Wrend1 View Post
I can give you all the info on clt you want (pm me if you decide), maybe not 100% up to date, but, if you can, rent a car and do the 3 hr trip to charleston, you will not regret it, I can def give you he skinny on chuck town.

Ps. Me and mine are in the same boat!
If Charleston,SC is the final destination, why not just add that segment into your flight instead of driving back and forth from Charlotte?
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Old Oct 31, 13, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by GNRMatt View Post
If Charleston,SC is the final destination, why not just add that segment into your flight instead of driving back and forth from Charlotte?
CHS was one of the first ones I priced...it's $440+. I assume it's just one of those places with no competition...

We're honing in on Phoenix. We found some ideal flights/times on President's day weekend just above $250 base fare. I suspect it's the safer weather bet for February anyway. We are leaning towards the Sheraton Wild Horse on the south side of town...it's an excellent Category 4 and figure being out that direction will have a bit of a different feel than the prior trips, which were all east side (Scottsdale or nearby).
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Old Oct 31, 13, 2:12 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
We're honing in on Phoenix. We found some ideal flights/times on President's day weekend just above $250 base fare. I suspect it's the safer weather bet for February anyway. We are leaning towards the Sheraton Wild Horse on the south side of town...it's an excellent Category 4 and figure being out that direction will have a bit of a different feel than the prior trips, which were all east side (Scottsdale or nearby).
Let me know if you make it out here. Maybe we can organize a local DO...been a while since we've had one (or one that I've been to at least).

There's a healthy thread over in the SPG forum about the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass. It isn't far from where I live, but it is quite out there... Just be aware of that. You'll need to pretty much drive for anything. I believe they have a shuttle to the casino and the nearby outlets. The casino used to be closer (walking distance, as well as via a gondola), but it moved a few years ago.

It can rain and/or be cold here anytime in Dec-Jan-Feb. Probably not cold like other areas, but especially out of town overnight lows can be 15-20F, with daytime highs in the 40s some days. We had a freak storm last year with snow as low as Scottsdale and even on Camelback Mountain. I remember seeing the, "Caution WINTER WEATHER," warnings on the overhead freeway signs, which alone caused extra traffic delays.
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