Life takes little twists and turns, and sometimes opportunities present themselves. I haven’t been to North Carolina to look in on my mother since Christmas, and a lot of my family that I haven’t seen in a while just happen to be visiting NC this weekend. I didn’t expect good news when I priced flights, and I was right.

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Sorry, but I won’t pay $626 dollars for a 1 hour flight from Atlanta to Raleigh even if I have the cash. All things being equal, I’d just drive. But things aren’t equal – we live in a very walkable neighborhood with easy access to restaurants and public transportation. As a result, we have remained a one car family for years. As MrsMJ is not accompanying me on this trip, and needs our car, driving is not an option. But what about the miles?

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I’d rather not use miles for short haul domestic redemptions, but it is what it is. (At times like these, I wish AA flew nonstop from Atlanta to Raleigh….Avios anyone? ๐Ÿ™‚ ) Frankly, with the only options being paying over $600, or missing a rare opportunity to visit with family, I think this is a pretty good spend of miles, especially SkyMiles. As I’ve said before, I don’t walk around with a calculator figuring out cpm values. If it feels right, I spend the miles, if not, I buy with money. In the end, I’m feeling pretty good about this redemption. What’s your breaking point for using miles vs. buying airfare?

MJ, March 28, 2014