However, it appears that the times they are a changin'! Secondly, here's what the Aadvantage department quoted me for a round-trip flight from Basel to Chicago:
828.63 Euros/$1,060 U.S. (including a 20 Euro service charge...which, BTW, really frosts my aass!!) + 50,000 Aadvantage miles to upgrade my coach seat to business class PLUS a $500 U.S. "co-pay" for using the miles.
Ummm...Excuse me? Co-pay? I explained that I wanted to just use miles like I did earlier this year without the co-pay. Nope, nada, not happening. There is now a co-pay of $250 per leg which means my "free" upgrade using miles now costs me $500 more than it did earlier this year bringing the total of my ticket to just over $1,500 U.S. It's not bad for a BC ticket, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to fork over an extra 500 bucks at this time just out of principle. Maybe I'll just start going to the U.S. once per year and stay for two weeks (sorry Mrs. TBF) instead of going 2-3 times per year for one week at a time.
Obviously, it's a matter of supply and demand. The demand is there (I couldn't get my first choice of dates), so they can raise the prices. Yes, I understand why they can do it, but it doesn't mean that I like it. I mean, what's the point of having miles if you have to spend so much extra money to use them?
I currently have the ticket on hold until Saturday, and I'm going to take the next couple of days to figure out my options. Right now, I'm kind of thinking of waiting until early next year to see if the prices go down. Afterall, who wants to fly to Chicago in January or February? Maybe I'll even fly coach...
OK...let's not be gettin' crazy here!!
Updated later: I've decided to put off the trip until early 2007. Mrs. TBF was as outraged as I was about the co-pay. The planes are generally much less crowded in January and February. I think I'll take my chances with flying coach on the way to the U.S. (hoping that I can find a seat with nobody seated next to me), and then just upgrade on the return to Europe. I only need to enter the U.S. once every 365 days to keep my Green Card valid, so don't actually have to go back to the U.S. until April, 2007.