Subject: Re: Best use of frequent flyer points
Hi Cynthia and Ziners,

There are people at Continental who specialize in helping people, like yourself, with I'm not one of them. My gut feeling, however, is that there ARE times when you WILL have more choices of flights over the phone, when using miles, than you would have online. That is indeed the case for your flight choices. That is why I gave you the direct number to call and what to ask for.

When anyone calls any airline reservations regarding using miles here is some good advice. If you REALLY are flexible, don't settle for the first or only thing offered. Often times there ARE other choices, albeit less desirable, but they're there. The problem is that many reservations agents either don't know how to search exhaustively or don't want to. I can understand the don't-want-to for these reasons. Reservations agents are under tremendous pressure to make you happy but also make the company happy by reaching a certain level of calls per hour. Searching exhaustively takes a LOT more time AND most(!) of the time after the agent has searched and searched AND found something the only thing they hear is thanks, but that's not what I'm really looking for or I'll try using my miles another time. If you're not flexible then don't bother searching harder. If you ARE flexible (or desparate) then either prod the agent to try other airlines or connections or simply keep calling until you get, what you feel is, a better agent. As in many things, call three times, get three different answers. Whether it's buying flowers or a car, even if you're dealing with the best company, doesn't mean it's a perfect one.

Had you called, you would have found that there was/is a NW flight from SFO to EWR on Oct. 13th that leaves SFO at 6:30AM connects through MSP for less than an hour and arrives to EWR at 4:37PM. That way you have the date you want, at the mileage amount you want, arriving back before midnight. If you're a little flexible with the date returning you could have a non-stop flight returning a day later leaving SFO at 8:00AM or a connecting flight leaving at 10:30. If your return was on Oct. 14th you could return from SMF on NW leaving at 6:15AM. BTW, when using OnePass miles you can return from a completely different airport (or state for that matter).

Hope that helped for both now and in the future, Gregory in Houston, TEXAS