Author Topic: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon  (Read 2119 times)

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Hi,

I am new to mileage redemptions. My wife and I were able to accumulate about 145k miles recently with Delta. I realize Delta has the worse redemptions but unfortunately they are one of the biggest airlines in our area.

That being said we found tickets to Lisbon, Portugal for 60k miles each. I looked the dollar cost and it was just under $1,400. Is that a pretty good redemption? Internationally the saver tickets seem to go only as low as 60k. I was hoping to be able to accumulate enough for a 100k saver(in first class) but I ultimately decided that I am letting my perfectionism get the best of me and in a few months those seats might not be available. I guess I am looking for some validation here...was that a good redemption? Any tips for better redemptions? I searched for quite a while to find the right balance between timing and savings. For example I saw better deals sometimes but they would add 10 hours on our trip--not worth it to me.

Secondly, I am curious about anyone's experience traveling to Lisbon in general. I have never been to Europe and haven't travelled internationally in 10 years. I also have a chronic pain issue that requires me to rest quite a bit but doesn't require much medical attention. It's just a fair amount of pain to deal with so I have to go easy. Would most people say that two weeks is ideal? Or is something like 10-11 days adequate? I went with 10-11 days and a relative was saying it's barely enough time. Again, I guess I am a little pensive so thought I would just "dip my toes in." I intend to do more slow travel than major sightseeing.

Another bonus: my wife has cousins there(whom I don't know too well) but they have welcome us to use their guest bedroom so that should defray some costs. We don't intend to stay there the whole time...but it will help. Even better the cousin happens to run a business that provides local "street food" tours.

Any advice, wisdom, or geeky travel advice appreciated!

-Tenative Traveler

MrSal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 889
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 01:26:12 PM »
Yes nowadays 60k miles is standard during high season.

Before it used to be 50k miles and even during low season you could go for 36k miles round trip.

Regarding prices, depending of when you are going you can actually get cheaper prices... i usually see prices around 500-750 dollars for the flight if you book in advance.

Regarding advice for Lisbon, well, you lucked out. I was born in Lisbon and know the place inside and out. Ask me anything... and not trying to be biased but you are going to love it... all foreigners I have met that went to Lisbon they end up going back and a lot of them actually moved there recently.

Agree that 14 days would be better... there is so much to see and enjoy be it in Lisbon or within a short distance. Super diverse all the places around.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 01:27:58 PM by MrSal »

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 05:32:54 PM »
Thanks Sal I will PM you later...

Hmmm I am flying from a very landlocked central state. I never see anything other than Hawaii for that cheap.

Well...I will shoot for 14 days but we will see. I went with 11 and can still change within 24 hours. Problem is we got two other family trips home...and possibly planning for baby #1 in the next year so I am trying to stack my leave. Hopefully 11 will be enough for us to not feel rushed.


MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 05:34:19 PM »
Was also wondering if anyone has experience with upgrading travel redemptions after the fact? We only had enough for coach this time around on Delta....but I do think that in the next few months, we will both respectively have about 30,000 miles and I may even have 50,000 miles. Is it possible to upgrade to first class after the fact using miles?

cchrissyy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1047
  • Location: SF Bay Area
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 06:06:02 PM »
I agree 60k miles for $1400 is a very good value, and I agree $1400 from US to EU is a high price! So depending on your own mental math you can either be thrilled with the redemption of more than 2 cents per mile, or you can say a trip in economy is normally only about $600 and so your redemption was worth 1 cent. and that's ok too.

I clicked here because I'm a points/miles enthusiast who is going to Lisbon soon too! But I only have 2 nights as part of a longer trip with many other stops. I feel like 10-11 is a plenty long trip, but of course I don't know how many day tips or side trips you like to do outside of the city.

As far as whether Delta will let you use miles to upgrade, they are not my usual airline but in general yes that is something you can do. You'll need to call and of course it will depend on availability for that award level at the time you ask.

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 08:21:44 PM »
Thanks Chrissy ....good to know...

Yea --no way I can leave this state and fly international for $600! Never seen that deal...even back during the brexit days.

Good to know on upgrades. We are just shy of 1000 points for starwood 20k to get the 5k bonus so that should put me at 50k to upgrade. Not sure if that will be enough but thinking since we were only 40k off from the saver first class maybe it will.

Not sure yet on day trips. Like I said my wife's cousin is actually a professional blogger/food tourist so I'm sure if we wanted to we could stay busy there. I do think it would be nice to get out of their residence and stay at some airbnb for 3-4 nights. Anyone have recommendations? I feel like we will get enough city life so something quiet, near the water would be cool. We will be going in late november. I know the weather isn't the best but we are both Great Lakes babies so I think we can handle their worse :)

SunshineAZ

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
  • Location: SE Arizona
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 10:29:49 PM »
I am a huge fan of Portugal, I lived there for 2 years and loved it.  It is a gorgeous country and the people are wonderful.  I would recommend going to Cascais (the beach town where I lived) and also going to Sintra.  Both are less than an hour outside of Lisbon, beautiful and have great restaurants.  The two restaurants I would recommend in Cascais:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189154-d1968213-Reviews-Restaurante_Casa_Velha-Cascais_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html

And:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g189154-d2319902-Reviews-Prazeres_da_Carne-Cascais_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html

And this is a fun place to go to eat near Lisbon:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/RestaurantsNear-g189158-d262789-Docas_de_Santo_Amaro-Lisbon_Lisbon_District_Central_Portugal.html

You will have a great time in Portugal.  Enjoy your trip!


SunshineAZ

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
  • Location: SE Arizona
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 10:32:33 PM »

Regarding advice for Lisbon, well, you lucked out. I was born in Lisbon and know the place inside and out. Ask me anything... and not trying to be biased but you are going to love it... all foreigners I have met that went to Lisbon they end up going back and a lot of them actually moved there recently.

Agree that 14 days would be better... there is so much to see and enjoy be it in Lisbon or within a short distance. Super diverse all the places around.

Do you have a recipe for Pork de Portuguese???  :) I really want to know how to make it. 

MrSal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 889
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 06:53:46 AM »
November that;s kind of an expensive for both redemption or ticket price...

Which airport are you leaving from? On redemption, unless the high/low season was changed I think it should be low season.

MrSal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 889
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 06:55:10 AM »

Regarding advice for Lisbon, well, you lucked out. I was born in Lisbon and know the place inside and out. Ask me anything... and not trying to be biased but you are going to love it... all foreigners I have met that went to Lisbon they end up going back and a lot of them actually moved there recently.

Agree that 14 days would be better... there is so much to see and enjoy be it in Lisbon or within a short distance. Super diverse all the places around.

Do you have a recipe for Pork de Portuguese???  :) I really want to know how to make it.

Pork de Portuguese? No idea what you are trying to mean...

I am sure it has a different name... maybe if you describe it to me what it is exactly I would be able to identify it :)

MountainTown

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 269
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 07:44:04 AM »
Yea the problem seems to be leaving Montana...where we live. It's about $400 to get to any of the other regional airports. Sometimes PDX or Vegas can be cheaper. I was also using Delta miles so that may have narrowed my scope of airports(Alaska has best flights to PDX/Seattle for example).

The cheapest/most direct flights I saw flying from Missoula, MT to Minneapolis or SLC. I think we ended up going Missoula to SLC to France to Lisbon. Its 19 hours(dreading). Again, was about the shortest I could find from Missoula. Saw a couple 16 hour flights but those were tough to get, or expensive, and on top of that the time was really saved on connections. With an international flight I wasn't sure it was a great idea to have a super short connection. I have missed planes in Minneapolis because of how long the walk(run!?!) is...

Well I am a little past the 24 hour mark so not much I can do now to cancel....but if you have any tips for me in the future on how to get a better redemption let me know!
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 07:46:28 AM by MountainTown »

MrSal

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 889
Re: Was this a good travel redemption and Europe travel advice/Lisbon
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 09:05:55 AM »
yeah...fromn there then its a pretty good redemption. Usually to me, to go to Lisbon its not a good redemption because my flights are usually 350-400$ round trip to get to Lisbon in low season... so I rarely redeem miles in that case. but in your case it makes total sense... couldnt find any flights cheaper than 1300 from Montana. perhaps through some loopholes or sweetspots but then again maybe for the future :)

youll enjoy lisbon... lots of great food! im actually going this next month