Tokyo really is on the way home from Seattle


I’ve been trying to convince myself of this for the past few days now. It isn’t working and I believe that I will just give up on rationalizing it at this point in favor of celebrating the fact that I’m going to be in Tokyo in a couple weeks.

A couple months ago Southwest was having some fun with sale fares. They were pricing a different city at 50% off each day for about a week. And other carriers were matching those sale prices in markets that they shared. So when I saw that flights between Baltimore and Seattle on Continental were ridiculously cheap (~$137) and could earn me a LOT of miles for each one, I bought a few. I bought three to be precise, on three consecutive days. The plan was basically to just fly all weekend, rack up some miles and relax in the comfy confines of Continental’s 737 fleet. Sure, that’s just a bit crazy, but it is the kind of thing I do from time to time. Besides, I have a few books I’ve been meaning to read. I actually have a 10 hour layover in Seattle next Saturday during which I plan to leave the airport and head up to the Boeing facility for a factory tour. Other than that, however, I plan on being in the Baltimore, Houston and Seattle airports the whole time. Thank goodness they have showers in the Presidents Club in Houston.

And then Continental threw another curve ball out there. For a brief period of time on Wednesday and Thursday of this past week they had a mispriced fare loaded in their systems. Flights from Seattle to Tokyo were <$600 round trip. That is a pretty good deal just on the fare alone, but the kicker in this case is that the fare class they were priced in was actually the second highest coach class Continental offers. That makes upgrades on these fares VERY affordable, assuming the inventory is there. It also means that there are bonus miles to be earned. Just one of these $600 tickets will accrue over 25,000 elite points, enough to make a status level jump. With all the Seattle trips I already had planned I was already going to be qualified for Silver for next year. And one of these Tokyo trips puts me at Gold. Not too shabby a place to be in the first week of March. Oh, and I was already able to clear the upgrade for the outbound flight, so I get to fly at least part of the way in the BusinessFirst cabin.

I actually relayed this schedule to a pilot I know who occasionally flies on the Houston-Seattle runs to see if I might overlap with one of his flights. The response I got was great:

Man, are you twisted? I fly for a living and don’t have an itinerary like THAT!

Yes, I really am just that crazy. I’m flying a hair under 35,000 miles in a span of 7 days, starting next Saturday. And I’m going to Tokyo, because for some reason I believed that it is on the way home from Seattle.

I’ll be in Tokyo for about 50 hours total – a completely ridiculous proposition in many regards. But it should be sufficient time to visit the Tsukiji market a couple times, eat more sushi than I probably should, drink more whiskey than I probably should and get lost in their subway system for a while. Sounds like a great trip to me!

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

One Comment

  1. For a brief period of time on Wednesday and Thursday of this past week they had a mispriced fare loaded in their systems. Flights from Seattle to Tokyo were <$600 round trip.

    Dude. DUDE!!

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