Miles make memories, o yeah!

I usually take commercials with a pinch of salt, but sometimes they do strike a chord somewhere. The MasterCard Priceless was one of those. And I’m writing this on a travel and mileage blog for the precise reason that there are slice-of-life priceless moments that your miles make possible. One of these happened with me less than 36 hours ago.

Ever since I moved out of Delhi somewhere in the 2000s, I try and meet up the folks as much as possible, however, sometimes time and sometimes circumstances limit the occurrence. We still try and come together on special occasions. I was just back from my mileage run earlier in the week, and I was not even thinking of getting on a plane for a few days. Work travel was not still sketched out yet, and honestly, it took me 3 days just to wade through my work mailbox and answer all those emails. And there, sitting in my cubicle, I was thinking, I shouldn’t miss sending flowers and cake to my old man whose birthday is today. Trade off, some of the gifts I’d picked up from him were going to be not delivered to him on his birthday but a month later.

And then, I thought, heck, I haven’t met my folks since November, so lets go and meet them. I called up the kid bro, I was almost expecting him to shoot the plan down because tickets were going to be expensive, and to my surprise, he was agreeable. But ticket prices are no more the same… walk-up tickets were looking like Rs. 16,000+ for a roundtrip.


I might be a miles collector, however, spender I am a rare one. Reason being, India does not have the same number of mileage-earning opportunities as compared to the USA which is where they give it to you on a platter. So it takes time for replenishing your stack. Also, premium cabins on international sense make the most sense on redemptions because you’re getting those tickets on the cheap.

However, this looked like one of those days I was going to be using those miles to go home, even if for a very short trip. Jet Airways’ 20% discount on online redemption bookings before March 2013 was going to make it even better, and in a short while I lined up all the sectors we needed, which incidentally had open availability on miles. We got a Re. 1: 1 JP Mile value approximately, and 7 hours later we were on a plane, and in a while, in Delhi’s awesome cold wintery weather. As for these miles spent, one of the approved JP co-branded credit cards was going to replenish all of them.


The knock on the door and the surprise on the parents’ face reminded me of another awesome airline commercial from Lufthansa, All for this one moment! Of course, for all their plans which they had to cancel and all that, we went for a meal together at Dum Pukht, ITC Maurya, which I’ll save for another post.

Moral of the story, miles do help you go places and meet people, so all of that makes all of this tiresome activity worth it! I am very well aware people stack up miles with destinations in mind or occasions in mind. But sometimes, it feels good to break free!

Do share your awesome mileage redemption stories below, so that I know I wasn’t the only one acting impulsive here! I’ll go back to sipping on hot tea and enjoying Delhi’s cold!

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  1. I acted damn impulsive to do a Chennai to Kochi round trip redemption of Jet for 12k miles each for my wife and me. Felt good redeeming miles for a change 🙂 But the best one has to be when I flew Singapore on the inagural KF from Mumbai to earn close to 2.5 times the normal miles. It was just one trip that gave me enough to book return ticket for CCU- IXB in 2011 October. Thank god I redeemed or else it would have all gone to waste.

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