The Importance of Being Early for an Award Flight

Airport_Travel_and_Related_009When an award trip leaves out of another city, many frequent fliers will head to that city a day or two early just to make sure.  Paranoia, or essential?

With all the time and energy that went into earning miles and redeeming them into a dream trip, you don’t want to worry about missing your vacation!

I just flew to New York early for a vacation.  I booked an Uber to the airport and as I was leaving, my husband called out “Enjoy Paris!”

Since the car was picking me up at 9:00PM, the driver was immediately concerned about whether or not he was taking me to the right airport.  “It’s too late for a connection, are you really headed to Dulles?”

I told him– I’m going to Paris, but not yet!  I’m headed up to New York a few days early because I have an award trip leaving out of there soon.

The driver let me know that he wished he had done that recently.  He had a trip to Morocco in business class leaving out of another city.  His flight to that city was on the same day.  There was a massive accident on his way to the airport and he missed his first flight–which made him miss his second flight.  The big flight to Morocco.

He couldn’t get on another flight for three days.  Yowtch.

Things happen–missed flights, snow storms, derechos, and Sharknados.  Make sure they only cause inconveniences.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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discuss this post

  • David Gutierrez

    Great post. Enjoyed reading this. Yeah dont want anything to go wrong on award travel!

  • Keri Anderson

    I’ll never forget my first international trip on an award. I’d left 8 hours to get from DC to JFK where my flight connected. Storms came through the area and we were still sitting on the tarmac 4 hours before my flight was supposed to leave New York. Fortunately we arrived with 2 hours to spare, but sitting there wondering if I should get off the plane and just drive or take a train to New York to make it in time was SO stressful.


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