Then I noticed the little red text: First.
First class? I had checked coach - I'm cheap. But no, no coach options were even available. These were FIRST CLASS seats. You know, up front of the plane, with the cushy leather seats and the free alcohol and the warmed moist towels after meals on plates that you don't pay through the nose for. I'm tall, my back is (literally) broken, and the legroom alone is worth an extra fistful of airline miles. Three of the five flights I'm booked on are first class, and a fourth is 'business class.' One coach leg - the shortest of all of them, from Minneapolis to Atlanta. And usually it's 50-60,000 airmiles for first class, anywhere.
I paid my $35 in cash and coughed up my 45,000 airline miles so fast I virtually papercut my palms. No overnight layovers, either! I leave at 7 in the morning and get in at 10 PM , and return at 8:30 in the morning and get in at 8:30 PM. (Plus timezones, each way) Long days, but not un-doable. The only bummer is that I haven't got much of a layover on the two connections coming down - only 50 minutes in one case! But since they're charging for the FIRST checked bag now, maybe I just won't check anything and will ship everything down, as I have a place to do that to! And a place to stay! And an exhibitor's booth!
Now, I just have to wait until they open the art show jury again and see if I can get into that.
I have an idea I'm toying with for D*C, too - offering order pick-up. I have 1662 designs, most of them available on a dozen or more products. I'm not bringing all of those designs, let alone all of those products, and I'm not bringing more than one of most things.
So, I'm thinking I'll let people order online and pick up at D*C, for $5 of their shipping back in cash on the spot. No tax (the sale was made 'in Alaska'), I'll have what they want for sure, and if they don't pick it up by Saturday evening, it goes out on Sunday and Monday to sell and I'll ship them their order when I get home. It's green, because it's a helluva lot more environmental to ship 1 box containing 20 orders than it is to ship 20 boxes. And who doesn't want an extra fiver to wave around at Dragon*Con? Maybe they'll spend it at my booth once they've seen how awesome everything is in person!
Tra la la!