Airline Travel

Yesterday was exhausting, but highly successful.  Q is a rock star, his surgery went very well, we were home from the hospital by 1PM and he spent the day resting and napping on the couch, and now he is almost back to full mobility already this morning.  Kids are amazing.
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The last time we all flew as a family was to Disney last year. 

Does your family travel a lot?  We do a fair bit, but more often than not we drive rather than fly to wherever we’re going.  Airfare for six people can add up pretty quickly, not to mention the fact that when we get where we’re going, we need an above-average-size car to get us all around.  Since most of our trips are to Boston, where my family lives, and that’s a doable drive in a single day, car travel is our most common form of transportation.

When we do fly though, we tend to use the same airline over and over–our family prefers JetBlue.  I always double check to make sure they have the cheapest flights available, but I’ve rarely found better fares on other airlines.  Plus, on JetBlue, each seat has it’s own TV screen and satellite television and radio, which means that with just a set of headphones for each kid, most of the in-flight entertainment is taken care of–a total bonus when you’re flying anywhere with four children.

I’ve had a rewards number with JetBlue for years and years, but it used to be that the points expired after a certain period of time.  With only me accruing points, and with our fairly infrequent flying, we never earned very many points and we never used the rewards we earned.

Then last year, Jet Blue started offering a Family Share points plan, so each member of the family could earn points and pool them, and the points no longer expire.  I signed us up, because why not–you earned points just for joining the program, and what would it hurt to try?  And then I realized that just by signing up and getting the points for that (times six people), plus rewards I earned for a few flights I’ve taken in the last few months, we had enough points for a free flight.  (Not a long, cross-country or international flight, but still, a free flight!)

I’m going to NYC next month for a bridal shower, and I assumed I would make the 4-hour drive to get there.  Then I checked flights on JetBlue–and realized I could use the points, fly one way for free, and pay less than $100 for the return flight.  Sold.  And just like that, at the age of 34, I redeemed airline points for a free flight for the first time in my life–I am so psyched!  (I’m sure that people who travel for work all the time and amass insane amounts of points think that’s adorable, but I was really excited.)

I’m thinking our family may choose to fly more often now that we can earn points for everyone’s flights and pool them.  Usually there are pretty inexpensive options for flights between DC and Boston, and if it means that every time we fly there, we earn a free flight for another time, I think that’s a pretty good incentive–not to mention the HOURS of travel time we cut out by flying instead of driving.

Does your family use any airline rewards programs?  What ones do you like best?  Have you ever earned enough points for a free flight–say even for everyone to fly for free?  I’m curious now about the possibilities here.

This is not a sponsored post–I just really like JetBlue.  Although if they WANTED to sponsor me…I wouldn’t say no. 🙂

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