Sometimes planning a trip can be so exciting that small details can escape you. This happened to me on an upcoming trip we had planned to see a Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins game while staying at the Radisson Blu Mall of America.
Planning The Trip
My wife and I each received a free night after participating in the Stay 1 Get 1 promotion that Club Carlson had in December 2012. We used my free night for a weekend trip to Minnesota at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, and we’re using hers at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago as part of a longer stay in Chicago.
If you have the US Bank Club Carlson Visa card, whenever you book at least 2 nights with your points, the last night is free. Click here to apply for the Club Carlson Visa card.
We were flying Southwest Airlines using about 18,000 miles each for my son and me, while Anna was flying for free using my Southwest Companion Pass.
Essentially, our only cost would have been a 2 day rental car, food, and the tickets to the games. What a perfect weekend!
What Went Wrong
I went online a couple of days ago to research ticket prices for the NFL Vikings game vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers and the MLB Twins game vs. the Cleveland Indians. The baseball game wouldn’t be a problem to get tickets for since neither team is that good right now, so I started my search for the football tickets.
And this is where my plans fell apart…
The game is this year’s NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium in London. Which, last time I checked, is not in Minnesota. Oops.
I was really looking forward to this trip. I’ve heard great things about the Mall of America, and Adrian Peterson, the running back for the Vikings, is a beast! However, we’re not flying to Minnesota only to see the Twins play mediocre baseball and go window shopping in a mall… no matter how huge and wondrous it may be.
For situations like this, I love Southwest. I cancelled our flights and received the almost 40,000 points returned into my account. If we had booked with another airline, there would have been fees and surcharges for canceling or rebooking for another date… and those fees may have been more than a regular ticket would have been if we paid cash and not used miles. It pays to have status, since Elites can often get those fees waived.
The hotel reservation was cancelled with no charge as well. I just now have to figure out how and when to use it before the end of the year. Normal Radisson properties in the United States can be decent, but none are as spectacular as the Radisson Blu properties, which are only in Chicago and Minneapolis right now.
The Vikings and Twins will have to wait until next season… unless I find a smokin’ deal and can convince my wife that we “need” to travel back to Chicago or Minnesota.
Try not to rush things or take things for granted when booking your trips. I saw that this game was a home game for the Vikings, so I assumed it would be played in Minnesota like most people would. It’s the little details that can trip up a vacation! What would you have done? Would you have gone on the trip anyway? Would you have rescheduled, or would you have canceled like I did?