Heading Back to San Francisco

We’ve almost come full circle and are heading back to San Francisco and then on to Lake Oswego, Oregon. It’s been a great trip, but we’re ready to head home. Yesterday afternoon we caught a flight from London Heathrow on Virgin Atlantic to San Francisco. Due to  the timing of flights we spent the night near the San Francisco airport and are waiting for a 9:00 a.m. Alaska flight back to Portland. The past 17 days have flown by and we had a lot of fun, but it feels good to be headed home!

In my upcoming posts I’ll be sharing stories of things that happened during the trip, people we met, impressions of places, what worked and didn’t work with our trip planning, traveling with a teenager, what not to pack, driving in Europe, our favorite and not so great places, and how to start and keep up with a blog while traveling – as well as anything else that comes to mind that may be of interest. I’ll also have a few posts about the trip to New Zealand that I took with Chris a few years ago and photos of the places we visited there. And I’ll probably have posts related to photography and galleries.

They are closing the cabin doors – time to go. See you back in Lake Oswego!

Take A Chance on a Super Saver Fare



virgin atalantic
Virgin Atlantic

Have you ever been shopping for an air fare and run across  a Super Saver Fare?  It looks like a great deal but you don’t have any idea what the airline is until you buy the ticket. Just what will you be flying on? I always had visions of a slightly modified cargo plane and moved on.

When I began looking for flights for our trip I followed websites like Travelocity, Kayak sand Expedia, but ended up using One Travel. It was the easiest site to use when looking at multiple departure points and offered all of the major airlines. We had a choice of different airports to depart from in the US because we could use frequent flier miles to get there and we were booking several months in advance. After seeing a few weeks of high fare for flights to London (due to the Queen’s Jubilee and later in the summer the Olympics) a Super Saver Fare popped up. Fares had been in the $1300-$1800 range per ticket and this was $929.00. What was the gimmick?  Hidden fees or fuel surcharges, taxes not included? None that I could find. Travel One listed all of the fees and the bottom line was still $929.00. Ok, so maybe this was a charter. Did I really want that?

The flight was out of San Francisco and the description only included Flight 20 and the time for departure. So I searched online for Flight 20 to London Heathrow from San Francisco. Up popped Virgin Atlantic. With further checking, the return flight and all of the times matched. I decided to go with it and bought two tickets for under $2000.00. When they arrived via email one minute later I found I was right – Virgin Atlantic.

I still had two hours to change my mind, but this was great price. This was a good airline with an excellent fare and I could use frequent flier miles to fly us on Alaska to San Francisco. I went back to see the cost of the same tickets if I had bought them as cheaply as possible from One Travel in the regular listing versus the Super Saver. They were $1749.00 per ticket!

Sometimes it’s worth taking a chance.