A new blog with promise, Heels First Travel, describes using a Starwood award night for a day room by the Charlotte airport during a 6 hour layover.
I’m a fan of this exact thing, back in August during some terrible storms my flight back home from Florida was cancelled and US Airways was offering me travel only two days later. I finally constructed a three-segment 12 hour travel day that included several hours in Raleigh, rather than killing time at the airport I grabbed a few hours at the Four Points and was far more comfortable.
Heels First created the long layover to start an international award ticket. Sometimes you want to get to your international gateway city with plenty of space to cover for delays and cancellations, if you miss that international flight it can be hugely inconvenient for the rest of the trip. I have an upcoming Asia trip where I’m leaving the US out of San Francisco, and heading there a full day early.
Living in DC, mid-February can mean terrible weather. And booking a few months out I don’t know what the weather will be like on my departure date. I didn’t want to fly through New York or Chicago, that only adds additional risk to the start of the itinerary. So I decided to use San Francisco as my gateway, but I also realize that getting to San Francisco could be problematic so I gave myself plenty of time to do so.
Some folks don’t want to ‘waste’ any vacation time with an ‘inefficient’ itinerary. I’ll just enjoy my day in San Francisco as part of the vacation itself, a little dim sum at Yank Sing alone is worth it. And I won’t stress weather blowing the whole trip.