Our ski destination out west in March, 2013 was to Snowmass, Colorado. I vividly remember booking our DIRECT flights to Aspen over July 4th weekend, 2012.
Maybe it was early enough or maybe I got lucky, but I was able to redeem only 37,500 United MileagePlus miles per ticket. The flights required 25,000 miles to get to Aspen and a mere 12,500 for the return trip. I do a lot of research on flying into local airports in Colorado and tickets usually require at least 50,000 miles per ticket. This was a great deal.
I did not have the 187,500 United MileagePlus Miles in my account at the time. I had some, but not that many. Since United is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, I easily transferred my points from Ultimate Rewards into my United MileagePlus account.
These tickets would have easily cost us about $700 per ticket and that is a conservative estimate. We saved about $3,500.