Tomorrow morning dh and I leave for three weeks in Peru, flying out of SFO. We usually fly coach unless I can get a great deal like the one I did for this trip.
We are flying first class RT and the tickets for this itinerary would have cost $5,868. I ended up spending "only" $1,028.26 for two RT tickets to Lima by doing the following:
~ Used most of the the miles I had in my account (not enough);
~ Paid to transfer 15,000 miles from dh's account (still not enough);
~ Bought the remaining miles I needed to make the transaction.
If we had flown coach our tickets would have cost around $1,410 for two RT fares. Our first class tickets are still ~$400 cheaper than the coach fares.
I have to admit it takes time, research, and creative thinking, but there are ways to not only save money on air fare but to end up with better seats. In case you're wondering why I didn't use my miles for coach fares, they were not available. Airlines limit the number of fares that can be purchased with miles in each of the seating categories.