AAdvantage

Hawaii is one of the best places in the world to visit, and judging by the number of inquiries I get about booking awards to Hawaii, it’s clear that many people agree. There are a number of cheap ways to get there that I’ll list in order.

Screen Shot 2013-06-11 at 10.15.24 PM
Waikiki at Sunset

1. Allegiant Air $314+ roundtrip (ending 8/2016)

Allegiant Air is an ultra-low cost carrier that flies from Las Vegas and Los Angeles to Honolulu. The flights are as cheap as $314 roundtrip, but a carry on will cost $50 roundtrip and a checked bag is $70 roundtrip. Additionally if you want to select your seat or board early, you have to pay extra.

If you live in LA or Vegas, don’t mind a middle seat for six hours, and can travel with only one carry on, $364 roundtrip to Hawaii including a carry on is the best deal in my opinion–better than burning 25,000+ miles on the trip.

You can always pay for your Allegiant flights, bag fees, seat fees, and food with the $250 Air Travel Credit on your Citi Prestige® Card, which comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Check out my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like $250 in airfare or airline fee credits per calendar year, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

With $250 off the price of an Allegiant ticket, you could get one to Hawaii for about $100 roundtrip.

Here’s my review of paying $90 extra to get a “Giant Seat” up front from Los Angeles to Honolulu when I flew Allegiant.

Allegiant has announced that it will terminate Hawaii service in August 2016.

2. Avios Award: 25,000+ Avios and $11+ roundtrip

I love that British Airways Avios has a distance-based award chart. For 25,000 Avios and $11, you can fly roundtrip on American Airlines or Alaska Airlines planes from the West Coast to Hawaii. Here are the possible routes.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 6.21.15 PM
1: Seasonal

Avios can be used for one way awards at half the price of a roundtrip award, which means that if you can’t get the Avios deal both ways, it’s still a good idea to go one way for 12,500 Avios and use another one way deal.

See here for an Anatomy of an Award post for a step-by-step breakdown of the time I booked a one way award from Honolulu to Los Angeles with Avios.

Getting British Airways Avios

You can get Chase’s British Airways card, transfer Ultimate Rewards 1:1, transfer Starpoints 4:5, or transfer Membership Rewards 5:4.

  • The British Airways Visa Signature card comes with 50,000 bonus Avios after spending $2,000 in the first three months on the card.

    Spend $15,000 in the first 12 months for another 25,000 bonus Avios. The maximum bonus is 75,000 total Avios for spending $15,000 in the first 12 months of which $2,000 came in the first three.

    While I can not directly link to the current British Airways Visa offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

3. Korean Miles Award: 25,000+ Korean Miles and $11 Roundtrip, First Class from 45,000 Korean Miles Roundtrip

Korean miles can book a roundtrip in Delta economy from anywhere in the United States to any of the four major Hawaiian islands for 25,000 Korean miles. A roundtrip in Delta First Class is 45,000 Korean miles.

You just have to find Saver award space on Delta flights on delta.com and transfer your Ultimate Rewards or SPG Starpoints to Korean miles.

More info on the process: Guide to Booking Delta Flights to Hawaii for 25k Korean Miles Roundtrip, 45k in First

Korean miles can also book Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines Saver award space, but the price is higher: 30k/60k Korean miles roundtrip in economy/First.

Getting Korean Miles

Korean miles are a 1:1 transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards and 4:5 transfer partner of Starpoints.

  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred is a personal card that earns 50k Ultimate Rewards after spending $4k in 3 months.

    You also get 5k bonus points for adding an authorized user while applying, so I think of this as a 55k bonus point card. (Adding an authorized user does not prevent that person from getting the card at the same time or in the future as a primary account holder and getting the full sign up bonus.)

    The Sapphire Preferred earns 2x points on dining and travel. Dining includes bars, restaurants, and fast food. Travel includes airfare, hotels, taxis, rental cars, tolls, parking, and much more.

    The Sapphire Preferred has no annual fee the first year, then $95 thereafter.

    While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

4. Singapore Miles Award: 35,000+ Singapore Miles and $11 Roundtrip, First Class from 60,000 Singapore Miles Roundtrip

Singapore miles can book United economy from anywhere in the United States to any of the four major Hawaiian islands for 17,500 Singapore miles each way. One way in United First Class is 30,000 Singapore miles.

You just have to find Saver award space on United flights on united.com and transfer your Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points, or SPG Starpoints to Singapore miles.

More info on the process: Guide to Booking United Flights to Hawaii with Singapore Miles

While it’s ideal to use one of the three previous options to book an award to Hawaii, you might not live in a place that can take advantage of Allegiant flights or Avios awards, and Delta is notoriously poor for releasing award space (which means Korean miles are useless.) The best bet on this list is definitely United opening up award space, which you can then book with Singapore miles.

Getting Singapore Miles

Singapore miles are a partner of every transferable points program. Cards I like that earns points that transfer:

What Wasn’t On the List

  • United miles
  • Delta miles
  • American Airlines miles

Flights on those airlines can be booked cheaper with Singapore, Korean, and British Airways miles respectively.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

8 4109

Which airlines has the best miles and frequent flyer program? United, American, and Delta are the big three legacy carriers that most directly compete with each other in the United States. For that reason, I publish charts that compare their award prices.

I have updated my charts to show the prices that United, Delta, and American Airlines will charge for awards flown October 1, 2016 and November 1, 2016 or later. For travel through September 30, 2016, Delta’s different award prices can be found here.

Economy

All charts compare the cheapest possible award you can book with the airlines, called Saver, MileSAAver, or Level 1. All charts show the price in thousands of miles.

The economy chart has an extra column because American Airlines has off peak dates for economy awards that are cheaper than their normal MileSAAver awards. The asterisk next to the Europe off peak award is because, it is the only off peak award bookable on American Airlines partners. All other off peak awards must fly American Airlines planes only.

The slashes in the American column show the price for flying on American (cheaper) and partners (more expensive.)

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 7.06.12 PM

American’s devAAluation has put its economy award prices roughly in line with Delta’s and United’s.

Delta’s October Devaluation for Business Class came with some economy reductions. Delta now has some of the cheapest economy awards.

The biggest steals I see are American Airlines off peak awards to Central America and Hong Kong.

Business Class

The slashes in the United and American columns show the prices for flying that airline (cheaper) and partners (more expensive) except the slashes in the American cells for flights within the United States and Canada show the price for flying First Class on a two cabin plane (cheaper) and Business Class on a three cabin plane (more expensive.) The slashes in the Delta column show the price for flying First Class (cheaper) and flat bed Business Class (more expensive.)

Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 6.47.30 PM

Again American’s changes put it right in line with its competitors briefly until Delta’s changes made American Airlines awards look cheap by comparison again. American miles are still cheaper to Northern South America, Japan, and Korea.

First

Delta doesn’t have a column because Delta miles cannot be used to book three-cabin First Class. To book SkyTeam First Class, transfer Ultimate Rewards or Starpoints to Korean miles. Slashes show the price of flying that airline (cheaper) and the price of flying a partner (more expensive.)
Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.16.13 PM

It is almost always cheaper to use American Airlines miles to fly one of its awesome partners’ First Classes than it is to use United miles to fly one of its partners’ First Classes, but both charts are terrible. The only possible value I see is paying 80,000 American Airlines miles to fly JAL’s very awesome First Class to Japan or Korea.

For First Class awards in 2016, look to use Alaska miles, Korean miles, or Singapore miles instead.

Bottom Line

Of course we all thought that American Airlines would devalue its charts roughly in line with United’s and Delta’s, but I didn’t realize how closely American had copied its competitors until putting this post together and seeing that the airlines have nearly the same prices on all awards originating in the continental United States.

Delta’s changes for travel October 1 or later are welcome for economy travel but terrible for Business Class travel.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7 1916

Still alive two months later. How long will it last?

On March 22, 2016, the American Airlines devaluation struck.

However, you can still book American Airlines flight at the old prices if you use Alaska or Etihad miles. I don’t know how long this will last, maybe a few days or months, until they notice and ape American’s higher prices.

Let’s back up a little bit.

It just so happens that Alaska Airlines and Etihad Airways, partners of American Airlines, charge the same number of miles for American Airlines flights as American Airlines did until yesterday. Both airlines even allow the booking of off peak awards on the same off peak dates as American allowed until yesterday.

I say “it just so happens” because there is nothing expected or ordinary about this. British Airways, another American Airlines partner never charged the same number of miles for American Airlines flights as American Airlines did, nor did it have discounts for American Airlines off peak awards. As a general rule: different miles, different rules, different chart. But for whatever reason, Alaska and Etihad decided to copy American’s chart when using Alaska or Etihad miles to redeem American flights.

And those copied charts are still in effect today.

Using Alaska Miles

For instance, if you go to alaskaair.com and search for an award to Buenos Aires in May…

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.58.06 PM

…you see a lot of flights for 20,000 miles.Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.59.20 PM Those are the price you would have paid until March 21 for American Airlines off peak awards.Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.59.38 PMThat is particularly amazing because American Airlines did away with off peak awards to Southern South America today. The same award costs 30,000 American Airlines miles today.

Alaska has different charts for every airline to every region. You can find the charts for using Alaska miles to Europe here. American Airlines awards still show yesterday’s generous off peak dates and price instead of today’s less generous dates and 22,500 mile price.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 5.16.43 PM

Using Etihad Miles

Similarly, Etihad’s chart for flying American Airlines flights is the same as it was on March 21 when it matched American Airlines’ old chart.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 5.19.05 PM
EO = off peak, EP = economy, B/F = Business, P = First

Here is a full post on using Etihad miles to book American Airlines flights.

What This Doesn’t Mean

These are Alaska and Etihad charts for flying American Airlines airplanes.

You can NOT use these charts to fly other American Airlines partners. For instance, don’t expect to call Etihad and say, “Hi, I found great award space to Sydney in First Class on aa.com that flies Qantas, and I want to pay 72,500 Etihad miles to book it.” Qantas is a partner of American Airlines, not Etihad. (And if it were a partner of Etihad, it would have its own award chart. The chart in this post is for flying airplanes that say American Airlines on the side.)

Getting Alaska Airlines and Etihad Miles

Thank You Points and Membership Rewards transfer 1:1 to Etihad miles.

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 50,000 ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

SPG Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Alaska miles with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. Right now the SPG cards have their biggest bonuses ever. The Alaska Airlines credit cards from Bank of America are churnable.

How Long Will This Last?

Etihad and Alaska clearly made conscious decisions to copy American Airlines’ chart (for whatever reason, this is actually unusual.) Now that the AA chart has changed, I assume Etihad’s and Alaska’s charts will change. We will see how long that takes.

If you want to book American Airlines flights, for the moment, you should use Alaska and Etihad miles.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

12 1231

The current public sign-up bonus offers for the Cit AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard, CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard, and the Citi ThankYou Premier Mastercard are 30k, 30k, and 0 (no bonus) respectively.

But you can do much better.

The following links have surfaced with much higher sign-up bonus offers:

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.42.42 AM

This card’s public sign-up offer is 30,000 American Airlines miles for spending $1,000 within three months of opening the account. This link will take you to a secure application that offers:

  • 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account
  • First checked bag free and Group 1 Boarding on domestic American Airlines itineraries
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 10% rebate on your redeemed AAdvantage®miles
  • Reduced Mileage Awards
  • No foreign transaction fees

I value American Airlines miles at 1.8 cents each, so this alternative offer is worth $360 more to me.

Hat Tip Running With Miles

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.43.02 AM

This card’s public sign-up offer is 30,000 American Airlines miles for spending $1,000 within three months of opening the account. This link will take you to a secure application that offers:

  • 50,000 American Airlines miles after spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account
  • First checked bag free and Group 1 Boarding on domestic American Airlines itineraries
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases
  • 2 miles for every $1 spent on select business categories including gas stations
  • No foreign transaction fees

I value American Airlines miles at 1.8 cents each, so this alternative offer is worth $360 more to me.

Citi ThankYou® Premier MasterCard®

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.40.17 AM

This card’s public sign-up offer does not include any bonus ThankYou Points whatsoever. That part of the offer was taken away in April of this year, so this non-public link is an especially good find*. This link will take you to a secure application that offers:

  • 40,000 ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 within three months of opening the account
  • Category Bonuses
    • 3x on Travel (gas, airfare, hotels, and travel agencies)
    • 2x on Dining and Entertainment
  • No foreign transaction fees

I value ThankYou Points at 1.9 cents each, so this alternate offer is worth $760 more to me. This card is one the best cards to pay for airfare with as it earns 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on travel.

*Doctor of Credit also noted a 20k offer for the Citi ThankYou Preferred, but it now appears to be broken.

Bottom Line

If you’ve been thinking about signing up for any of these cards, don’t settle for their public offers. You can reap more American Airlines miles/ThankYou Points by signing up via these links:

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Not sure where your miles can take you? Not sure if you have enough miles to contact the MileValue Award Booking Service?

In order to determine if you have enough miles to take that trip you’re planning, look at the award chart for the loyalty program in which you have miles. Don’t worry what partner you want to fly. Look at the chart that corresponds to the airline with which you have a miles balance.

Here are the award charts for the three major US carriers:

All three of the legacy carriers have region-to-region miles. Their award charts group travel destinations into regions, and set a fixed number of miles needed to travel from one region to another.

That means it doesn’t matter whether you are going Los Angeles to Paris or New York to London–both trips are North America to Europe and cost the same number of miles.

You will have to determine what region your departure and arrival cities are located in by using the chart’s region legend. Then you’ll read the miles price off the chart, which varies based on three factors:

  • Cabin: Is your award in First Class, Business Class, or economy?
  • MileSAAver/Saver/Level 1 or Level 2-5/Standard/AAnytime: Only a small fraction of all seats can be had for the headline price on the chart. These seats are called low or saver award seats by the airline, and are what we strive to book. Other seats are usually available at double the price of these seats and go by names like standard space or AAnytime space.
  • Peak or off peak: American Airlines, Alaska, Etihad, ANA, British Airways, and a few other programs offer discounts for flying certain routes at less popular times of the year.

American Airlines

For the purpose of pricing awards, American Airlines awards are all one way awards. If you’re booking a roundtrip, think of it is as two one ways.

If your award is a single, direct flight, you can just read the price of the flight off one of American Airlines’ two award charts:

American splits the world into 15 regions. Start off by finding out what region your departure and arrival cities are in by scrolling to the bottom of the partner award chart page and clicking on Region Definitions, which triggers a drop-down menu with the countries in that region. Here are the first two regions displayed in the drop-down menu, for example:

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.07.36 PM

Differences Between Chart for Flying American and Chart for Flying Partners

The two charts are nearly identical. There are only three differences:

  1. The chart for an award with all American Airlines flights has four potential miles prices for each cabin because there are several levels of AAnytime awards, the expensive awards we never want to book. We only want to book MileSAAver awards, the cheap awards that are more highly capacity-controlled.
Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 11.15.29 AM
Award prices for travel originating in the Contiguous 48 U.S. states flying American Airlines

The chart for partners only has one price for each cabin because all partner awards price at the MileSAAver level.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 11.57.42 AM
Award prices for travel originating in the Contiguous 48 U.S. states flying partner airlines
  1. The chart for an award with all American Airlines flights has economy Off Peak dates to several regions, while the partner chart only has economy Off Peak dates to Europe. To see economy Off Peak dates look at the American Airlines award chart, and click Details on Award Travel at the top. These are the current economy Off Peak dates:

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.10.27 PM

  1. The partner award chart covers all regions of the world while the AA-only chart has all awards starting or ending in North America. That makes sense since all American Airlines flights start or end in North America.

If you’ve found a direct flight, go read the price off the appropriate award chart. Otherwise, how does the award price? That’s where American Airlines’ award routing rules come into play. Read about them in Redeem American Airlines Miles: Part 4– Award Rules and How Many Miles You Need.  

Let’s look at a specific example pricing a direct flight. 

If I wanted to fly from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires, Argentina in LAN Business class, I would first determine which region those two cities are in–North America and South America Region 2 in this case. I would then find the region where my award begins on the partner chart (since LAN is a partner), click the drop-down menu for Contiguous 48 U.S. states and then look for how much the MileSAAver Business Class price is to South America Region 2. As you can see, this award would cost me 57,500 miles each way.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.48.30 PM

American Airlines also flies this route, so if we looked it up on the American Airlines award chart, you’ll see the price listed there as well. It is the same, 57,500 miles each way.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 12.46.38 PM

United Airlines

United publishes an interactive award chart that lets you visually select your origin and destination.

Below you can see that I selected an award originating in the Mainland US, Alaska & Canada region of the North America zone with a destination in the Southern South America region of the Latin America and Caribbean zone. You can check United’s region definitions by clicking the hyperlink in the corner of the Select An Award box (View list of countries and regions):

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 1.09.36 PM

Once you have made your selections, a box will pop up below the map detailing how many miles your award will cost you. As you can see, United lists both the oneway and roundtrip prices for Saver and Standard–their names for low- and high-miles-price–award space in economy, Business, and First class. United allows you to book a oneway for half the price of a roundtrip.

An economy roundtrip Saver Award from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires prices out to 60,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 1.12.52 PM

United’s interactive chart is my favorite chart to use because it is so easy and straightforward. However, it’s tough to compare prices between zones. Sometimes it’s nice to see how much more or less one trip is compared to another.

If you like to compare this way, United also provides a PDF of its award chart in the more traditional spreadsheet layout. You read it by picking your origin on the left column, your destination on the top row, and then finding where those meet on the chart. The boxes are divided into Saver and Standard prices.

The PDF also includes the Star Alliance award chart, which makes no distinction between Saver and Standard awards because all partner space is low-miles-price space.

Delta

Note that while it’s the last we have of what was published by Delta, this collection of Delta award chart screenshots is over a year old and Delta has suffered various devaluations since then. Some recent devaluations include:

The only way to truly know if you have enough miles for a Delta award is to look it up via an award search on either delta.com, or call a Delta agent and ask for the award price.

These are the partners whose award space you can search on delta.com:

  • Delta
  • Delta Connection
  • Aeroflot
  • Aerolineas Argentina
  • Aeromexico
  • Air France
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Alitalia
  • China Airlines
  • China Eastern
  • China Southern
  • Garuda Indonesia
  • GOL
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • Middle East Airlines
  • Saudia
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
  • Virgin Australia

These are the partners it does not show. To price out awards flying these partners, you’ll have to call Delta (1-800-323-2323):

  • Air Europa
  • Czech
  • Kenya
  • Tarom
  • Xiamen Airlines 
  • Air Tahiti Nui 

Bottom Line

To figure out how many miles you need for a trip, you need to know your way around an award chart. Hopefully with this rundown of United, American, and Delta’s charts, you are ready to read any airline’s award chart.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can earn 700 AAdvantage miles by entering American Airlines’ Miles for Milestones giveaway, a celebration of the 35th anniversary of the American Airlines AAdvantage® program. 35 winners will be chosen for the grand prize of 350,000 AAdvantage miles.                                                           _

Getting approximately $12 worth of miles for about five minutes of work is a great deal for me, especially since it resets the expiration clock in your American Airlines account, extending your entire mileage balance’s expiration for 18 months.

What to Do

1. By June 1 at 12:00 PM CDT, register here by filling out your name, email, AAdvantage number and what milestone you are saving miles for. This will earn you 350 American Airlines miles.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.04.57 PM

2. After completing the registration, you will be given another option on the next screen to share what Milestone you are looking forward to either on Facebook, Twitter, or by emailing AAdvantage.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.51.53 AM

3. AAdvantage will send you an email with a link to claim the other 350 miles after sharing via any of those platforms.

When Do I Get the Miles?

The promotion ends June 1. The miles should hit your account six to eight weeks after that.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.21.22 PM

Bottom Line

Entering American Airlines Miles for Milestones giveaway will take you less than five minutes, and you are guaranteed 700 miles. You might even win 350,000 miles!

Miles for Milestones Giveaway Terms and Conditions can be found at the bottom of this page.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

8 748

As of a few weeks ago, you can redeem American Airlines Miles to the Indian subcontinent via Hong Kong!

Why is this exciting news?

Before, you could only connect in Europe or the Middle East on the way to the Indian Subcontinent, and more routing options means more award space. It’s especially good news for those who live on the West Coast, for whom routing via Hong Kong is faster than routing via Europe or the Middle East.

The routing must be done through Hong Kong–not Tokyo for instance–and it is only allowed to the Indian subcontinent, despite the fact that the Middle East is part of the same region as the Indian subcontinent as defined by American Airlines.

Then What is the Indian Subcontinent?

The Points Guy has confirmed with an AAgent that the following countries are considered to be the Indian Subcontinent:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Airlines You Can Fly with the New Routing

You can fly to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific Airlines or American Airlines en route to the Indian subcontinent.
Screen-Shot-2016-04-13-at-2.43.35-PM

These are the destinations they fly direct to and from in the United States:

  • Cathay Pacific
    • Boston
    • Chicago
    • Los Angeles
    • New York City (JFK)
    • Newark
    • San Francisco
  • American Airlines
    • Dallas/Fort Worth
    • Los Angeles (beginning September 8, 2016)

Flying either airline to the Indian subcontinent costs 40,000 American Airlines miles in economy, 70,000 American Airlines miles in Business Class and 115,000 American Airlines miles in First Class, and no fuel surcharges, just the standard taxes that apply to every award.

Premium Cabin Award Space from US to Hong Kong

Now that the possibility is there to book American Airlines awards to the Indian subcontinent via Asia, let’s see if the space is actually there to do it.

Cathay Pacific

I just recently wrote about availability patterns for Cathay Pacific premium cabin awards. In that post I discuss booking Cathay Pacific awards with Alaska miles, but as it is a truism of miles that airlines release Saver award space equally to all partners, the same space I found on britishairways.com to book with Alaska miles is also bookable with American Airlines miles.

Cathay Pacific premium cabin award space is most prevalent within a week of departure, with one to nine seats available in Business Class and one to two seats available in First Class. It’s the only time you can book two people in First Class. If you can’t afford to wait until the last minute, then the next best time is 11 months out, when you’ll find up to five Business Class seats and one First Class Seat per flight.

Search for Cathay Pacific award space on ba.com as it does not show up on aa.com. (Read this to learn how to search ba.com).

Below are routes from the US to Hong Kong with some of the most premium cabin award space 11 months from now.

Los Angeles to Hong Kong 

headerlax to hkg 11 mnths out

Boston to Hong Kong

headerbos to hkg 11 mnths out

San Francisco to Hong Kong

headerSFO to hkg 11 mnths outAnd here are routes from the US to Hong Kong with some of the most premium cabin award space within a week of departure:

New York City to Hong Kong

headerjfk to hkg april 30San Francisco to Hong Kongheader

sfo to hkg may 2

sfo to hkg may 4

American Airlines 

There is basically no award space in Business or First Class from Dallas to Hong Kong, and I checked every month through the latest possible date you can book on aa.com right now. I saw one day available in Business Class in each of January and February 2017, and that was it.

Dallas to Hong Kong

The blue color represents Saver level Business Class.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 4.39.18 PM
Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 4.40.24 PM

The Los Angeles to Hong Kong route had absolutely no Business or First Class award space.

Bottom Line on Space to/from Hong Kong

If you want to route your American Airlines award through Hong Kong on the way to the Indian Subcontinent, you can do so flying Cathay Pacific. You’ll need to book either 11 months out, or if you miss that time window (or want to fly as a party of two in First Class) than within a week of departure. The American Airlines flights to Hong Kong have virtually no award space on them on that moment, but I would rather fly Cathay Pacific’s premium cabins than American Airlines’ anyways as they are much superior products–read my trip report when I flew Cathay Pacific First Class from New York to Hong Kong.

Options from Hong Kong to the Indian Subcontinent

From Hong Kong, you can connect to all of these locations in the Indian subcontinent with oneworld alliance members Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Dragonair, or Jet Airways:

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 8.11.26 PM

  • New Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Kolkata in India
  • Maldives
  • Kathmandu in Nepal

None of the airlines that fly these routes’ award space can be searched on aa.com– you’ll need to look on ba.com.

Premium Cabin Award Space from Hong Kong to India

Hong Kong to New Delhi

There is tons of Cathay Pacific Business Class seats (there is no First Class on these flights)– about two seats a day on two different flights nearly every day I checked 11 months out, six months out, and three months out. Within a week of departure that increases to up to nine Business Class seats per flight.

Below is the award space 11 months out from now:

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 6.14.17 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 5.43.00 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 5.43.53 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 5.43.23 PM

There is also plenty of Dragonair Business Class space to Bangalore (First Class isn’t operated on this flight either)– four seats a day on one flight 11 months out and six months out. It starts to thin out a bit by three months out from the travel date, but there’s still two to three seats in Business Class almost every day. Within a week of departure that number jumps to nine.

Below is the award space 11 months out from now:

headerScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 5.53.28 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 5.53.53 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-30 at 5.53.11 PM

Steps for Booking Through Hong Kong to the Indian Subcontinent

1. Search ba.com for Cathay Pacific award space to Hong Kong from one of the six American cities the airline flies to. If you don’t live in one of them, you can add MileSAAver award space on American Airlines flights from your hometown for no extra miles as long as it’s in the same (or a lower) cabin as the legs to Hong Kong and the Indian subcontinent. Note your desired travel dates, cabin and flight numbers that you find.

2. Search ba.com again for the connecting leg on to the Indian subcontinent. Note your desired travel dates, cabin and flight numbers that you find.

3. Call AAdvantage to book (800-882-8880) and feed the agent the dates, cabins and flight numbers you want to make up your award. They should waive the phone since none of the airlines you would use to get to the Indian subcontinent via Hong Kong are bookable online.

Getting American Airlines Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months and Admirals Club lounge membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Bottom Line

If you are trying to get to the region defined as the Indian subcontinent by American Airlines with American Airlines miles, you can now route your award through Hong Kong to get there.

There is plenty of premium cabin award space at the moment flying Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong either 11 months out or within a week of departure, but pretty much none flying American Airlines to Hong Kong.

Onward from Hong Kong you can fly to nine different destinations in the Indian subcontinent. For example, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair have tons of Business Class award space to New Delhi and Bangalore pretty much all the time.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

34 6682

Cathay Pacific frequently releases five Business Class and one First Class award seat on its flights between the United States and Hong Kong 11 months out. If you miss those, there are often up to two First Class and up to nine Business Class seats within a week of departure.

You can book these fantastically luxurious products with American Airlines miles and Alaska Airlines miles. Of the two, Alaska’s redemption prices are much better post-American Airlines’ devaluation.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.28.16 AM
Cathay Pacific First Class Throne

American charges:

  • 70,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific Business Class
  • 110,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class

Alaska charges:

  • 50,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific Business Class
  • 70,000 miles one way between the United States and Hong Kong, China, and SE Asia in Cathay Pacific First Class

Alaska’s prices are so cheap that Delta charges more miles to book Business Class to Asia than Alaska Airlines charges to book Cathay Pacific First Class.

Neither American nor Alaska Airlines charges fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific awards, you will only pay the standard taxes that apply to every award (plus $12.50 per one way when redeeming Alaska miles to fly a partner.)

How to Get Alaska Airlines Miles

25,000 Alaska miles is the public sign-up offer for both the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Card and the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business Card. The personal card gives you the bonus upon signing up, and the business card after one purchase. Although this is planned to change in May, when the sign-up bonus for the personal card will increase to 30,000 Alaska miles after spending $1,000 within three months of the account opening.

There are other offers out there as well at the moment:

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.44.04 PM

And as far I can tell, all signs point to these cards still being churnable–for now.

Product

Cathay Pacific Business Class is a stunner with fully flat 6’10” beds.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.22.04 AM

Cathay Pacific First Class is an even wider and more spacious bed, mixed with very personalized service, and great food. Here’s my trip report of Cathay Pacific First Class.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.28.29 AM
Cathay Pacific First Class Bed
Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 11.28.37 AM
Cathay Pacific First Class Caviar

Award Space 11 Months Out

Alaska Airlines allows bookings 330 days out. Right now that means through March 24, 2017 according to alaskair.com’s calendar.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.12.59 PM

I searched Cathay Pacific’s American routes for award space on ba.com as it is not searchable on alaskaair.com (read this to learn how to search ba.com). I looked for availability on March 24, 2017 to see what space you can book 11 months out to Hong Kong. (Cathay Pacific space is available with Avios even further out than 330 days in advance, but almost all of that space is still available 11 months out.)

San Francisco

There are three Business Class seats on one flight, and one First Class seat on the same flight.

header

SFO to hkg 11 mnths out

Los Angeles

There are five Business Class seats on one flight and one First Class seat on two separate flights. These are the maximum amount of premium cabin award seats I’ve seen on any of Cathay Pacific’s American routes 11 months out.
headerlax to hkg 11 mnths out

New York

There are up to five seats in Business Class available. However New York doesn’t have First Class seats open on any single flight on March 24, nor on nearby dates.
headerJFk to hkg 11 mnths out

Chicago

It looks like five Business Class seats is Cathay Pacific’s pattern for releasing Business space 11 months out. No First Class seats are available on March 24, 2017 but there are First Class seats (up to one per flight) open on nearby dates.
headerord to hkg 11 mnths outBoston

Boston has five Business Class seats and one First Class seat available.

headerbos to hkg 11 mnths out

Newark

Note the different headings for the cabins–Newark does not have First Class cabins. It offers five Business Class seats like most of the Cathay Pacific American routes.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 9.42.00 PMewr to hkg 11 mnths out

Conclusion

11 months out is the second best time to book Cathay Pacific award space between the United States and Asia. Many flights have five Business Class seats that you can book for 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles each. Many flights have one First Class seat you can book for 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles each. But if you’re flexible, you’ll see even more award space open up right before departure.

Award Space Within a Week of Departure

If you miss booking space 11 months out, there is still space six months out, but it isn’t nearly as plentiful. I didn’t see any space in Business or First Class three months out.

If you have the flexibility to wait until the last minute, the best time to book Cathay Pacific award space is within a week of departure. They release more premium cabin award space close in to the travel date (up to nine Business Class Seats and two First Class seats) than they do 11 months out (five Business Class seats and one First Class seat). I took a look at award space today through a week from now in both directions on Cathay Pacific’s five American routes with First Class.

Note that days displayed below are not the only options within a week before departure, but they are the days with the most premium cabin space.

New York

Up to nine seats in Business Class (on the flights that just say “Available” without a qualifier that only X seats are left), and up to two in First Class. That’s the most I’ve seen on any search so far.

headerjfk to hkg april 30
The flights from Hong Kong to JFK have less space with up to four Business Class seats and two First Class seats available May 2.
header

hkg to jfk may 2

Chicago

There are seven Business Class seats open May 4 and one First Class seat May 5.

headerord to hkg may 4ord to hkg may 5

From Hong Kong to Chicago, there are no Business Class options within a week of departure, but on May 2 there are two seats available in First Class. 

header

hkg to ord may 2

Los Angeles

From Los Angeles, there are six Business Class seats on a flight May 1, and two First Class seats on the other flight that day.

header

lax to hkg 72 hours out

From Hong Kong to Los Angeles, there are six Business Class seats on a flight May 6, and one First Class seat on the other flight that day.

header

hkg to lax may 6

San Francisco

From San Francisco, there are up to two First Class seats to Hong Kong. On May 4 there are eight and nine Business Class seats on different flights.

headersfo to hkg may 2

sfo to hkg may 4

There are eight Business Class seats May 4 from Hong Kong to San Francisco, and two First Class seats May 6.

headerhkg to sfo may 4

hkg to sfo may 6

Boston

From Boston, there are two Business Class and two First Class seats available May 5.

headerbos to hkg may 5

There are three First Class seats from Hong Kong to Boston on May 2! This is the most seats (and only time) I’ve seen that many seats available for Cathay Pacific First Class. I do not think that is normal, although I would love to be proved wrong (anybody?). There are also five Business Class seats open on May 4.

header

hkg to bos may 2 - 3 first classhkg to bos may 4

Conclusion

Award space is better within a week of departure compared to any other time that I’ve seen, and it looks like it’s the only time you can book two people in First Class. You’ll have to tough it out in Business Class if you’re a party of two that can’t wait until the last minute to book.

Bottom Line

Cathay Pacific Business and First Class are two of the most luxurious ways to get to Asia, and using Alaska Airlines miles is by far the cheapest way to book the premium cabins.

Cathay Pacific Business and First Class are widely available 11 months out. Think five Business Class seats and one First Class seat on most flights. Premium cabin space is even more available within a week of departure. Think one to nine Business Class seats and one or two First Class seats on some flights.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

6 1944

LAN Airlines is releasing seven flat bed Business Class award seats per flight for most flights from Washington-Dulles to Lima for the next 11 months.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.36.57 PM

LAN launches the new route on May 2, 2016 flying Sundays, Monday, and Thursdays in both directions.

  • Lima to Washington-Dulles departing 9:00 AM arriving 5:50 PM (LA2800)
  • Washington-Dulles to Lima departing 11:30 PM arriving 6:20 AM the next day (LA2801)

There are seven Business Class seats and seven economy award seats you can book with American Airlines miles on nearly every flight from May 2, 2016 through late March 2017. Business Class is only 30,000 miles one way from the United States to Northern South America, including anywhere in Peru.

Peru is one of my favorite countries with a mega-city, Amazon Rainforest, Lake Titicaca, dessert, and beaches plus amazing food and culture. See my Peru Top Ten.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months and Admirals Club lounge membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

 

Just meeting its spending requirement gets you 55,000 miles, just shy of the 60,000 needed for a roundtrip in Business Class to Peru.

Product

The new route will feature a LAN 767. Here is a video review of the flat bed Business Class.

It is not the world’s nicest product, but realistically you cannot do much better on a flight under eight hours to South America.

Searching for Award Space

LAN award space does not appear on aa.com. You need to search it on ba.com. Here’s how. When you do, you will be ecstatic to see seven Business Class and seven economy seats on most flights…

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.57.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.57.15 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.58.03 PM

…in both directions.
Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.57.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.02.43 PM

Connections

If you don’t live near Washington DC, you can still take advantage of this space. You can tack on domestic economy or First Class MileSAAver award space onto these international flights for zero extra miles. (You cannot add domestic AAnytime space to the itinerary.) Search for the award space on aa.com and note the date, cabin, and flight number.

Unfortunately American and its partner Alaska don’t have many flights into Dulles where the flights to Peru departs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.33.46 PM

They have a lot more flights into Washington-National (DCA). You can add these to the award for zero extra miles though you will be on your own to get between the two airports.Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.34.44 PM

This space works perfectly for connections within Peru, landing early morning in Lima in time to catch connections and leaving Peru mid-morning, giving time to make connections heading home.

I’d recommend flying an open jaw roundtrip to see more of the region without backtracking. Here are the possible connections in Peru and Ecuador from Lima. Within Peru, get between cities with Avios or cash.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 3.12.35 PM

You can search for award space from Washington all the way to any of these destinations on ba.com. Note the dates, cabins, and flights numbers of all flights you find that you want to book.
Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.02.02 PM

Booking the Award

To book the award, you must call American Airlines at 800-882-8880. The phone fee should be waived, since you couldn’t book online, and make sure that it is.

Each way in economy is 20,000 American Airlines miles. Each way in Business Class is 30,000 American Airlines miles. You can mix-and-match cabins. Taxes are about $75 roundtrip to Peru, and there are no fees or fuel surcharges.

Pay the taxes with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes on an award ticket definitely count.

The card also comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to 13 types of airline miles or used like cash toward the purchase of any ticket.

Getting the Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months and Admirals Club lounge membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Just meeting its spending requirement gets you 55,000 miles, just shy of the 60,000 needed for a roundtrip in Business Class to Peru.

Bottom Line

Book your 2016 or 2017 trip to Peru with fantastic flat bed LAN Business Class award space, using American Airlines miles right now. LAN is usually rather stingy with award space, so snap this up before it disappears.

Key Link:

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

6 2385

Qatar Airways First Class on its A380 is available nearly every day between Paris and Doha and widely available between Doha and Bangkok. You can fly:

  • Paris <-> Doha for 62,500 American Airlines miles
  • Bangkok <-> Doha for 50,000 American Airlines miles
  • Bangkok <-> Paris for 90,000 American Airlines miles

That’s 6 to 14 hours of luxury, including a flat bed and access to an onboard bar, for reasonable prices (though hardly the pittance that these routes were before the March 22 devaluation.)

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® is offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $5,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also confers Admirals Club Lounge Membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Routes

Qatar flies its A380 on three routes from Doha to London, Paris, and Bangkok. These routes are remarkably similar in length, between 3,091 and 3,285 miles flown.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.44.48 AM

American Airlines Routing Rules

American Airlines charges 62,500 miles one way for First Class between Europe and the Middle East and only 50,000 miles one way between Asia 2 (where Bangkok is) and the Middle East.

From Europe to Asia 2, American Airlines charges 90,000 miles each way in First Class. Ordinarily, on a single American Airlines award, you cannot transit the Middle East between Europe and Asia 2, but flying Qatar is an exception. If you book Paris to Doha to Bangkok on Qatar, it will price as one American Airlines award that costs 90,000 miles in First Class. I have tested it.

Award Space

You can search for Qatar award space on ba.com. Here’s how. Any space that shows up there is bookable with American Airlines miles by calling American.

London Route

I didn’t find any First Class award space between Doha and London in either direction. I did find a lot of Business Class space that would be 42,500 miles one way or still 90,000 miles all the way to Bangkok if combined with Qatar First from Doha to Bangkok.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.47 AM

By the way, not all flights on these three routes are operated by an A380. To see the operating aircraft, click on the flight number on  ba.com.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.47 AM This will bring up the Flight Details, including the plane.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.58 AM

Paris Route

The Paris route is the opposite of the London route. There are two A380 First Class seats nearly every day in both directions. Here is a sampling of award space across many months.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.25.03 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.25.35 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.25.59 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.27.02 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.27.52 AM

Bangkok Route

The Bangkok route falls in between the London and Paris routes in terms of availability. First Class space isn’t available nearly every day like to Paris, but space is available a few times a week on average.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.29.10 AM

Paris to Bangkok

The most common Paris to Doha flight with First Class award space is Qatar flight 40, which syncs up well to Qatar flight 836, both of which are operated by the A380. This is the type of itinerary you would need to find to pay 70,000 American Airlines miles to fly 13 hours of Qatar A380 First Class.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.30.08 AM

How to Book

To book award space you find on ba.com, call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 and feed the agent the date, cabin, and flight number. Make sure the $40 phone fee is waived, since Qatar award space can’t be booked on aa.com.

Instead of booking, you can put the space on a five day hold.

Getting Home from Europe or Thailand

Very few MileValue readers live in London, Paris, Doha, or Bangkok, but all readers can take advantage of these awards as part of BIG round-the-world trips. Book the other legs of that trip cheaply by referencing this post about the cheapest awards to every region of the world.

Bottom Line

Qatar A380 First Class award space is widely available, especially on the Paris and Bangkok routes. You can book it for 50,000 or 62,500 American Airlines miles or pay 90,000 miles for two segments.

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® is offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $5,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also confers Admirals Club Lounge Membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can now redeem American Airlines miles to the Indian Subcontinent via Cathay Pacific or American Airlines flights that connect in Hong Kong.

Until today, you could only connect in Europe or the Middle East. Routing via Asia would break your trip into two awards–USA to East Asia + East Asia to Indian Subcontinent. This additional routing option is very welcome, especially for folks who live on the West Coast, for whom routing via Hong Kong is faster than routing via Europe or the Middle East.

The change appears on American Airlines’ award chart.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 2.43.22 PM

The new tilde on the chart is explained in the footnotes.Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 2.43.35 PM

The wording makes it clear that the routing via Hong Kong is only allowed to the Indian Subcontinent and not to the Middle East. Unfortunately, the AA award chart doesn’t separate those two regions.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 3.11.20 PM

However, The Points Guy has confirmed with an AAgent that the following countries are considered to be the Indian Subcontinent:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Unfortunately since the March 22 devaluation, awards to the Indian Subcontinent in First Class are insanely expensive:

  • 40,000 American Airlines miles one way in economy
  • 70,000 in Business
  • 115,000 in First

Economy and Business are decent values, though Alaska charges only 62,500 miles one way in Cathay Pacific Business to India and 70,000 miles in First.

Bottom Line

To get the Middle East on a single American Airlines award, you need to:

  1. Fly directly there
  2. Connect in Europe

To get to the Indian Subcontinent on a single American Airlines award, you need to:

  1. Fly directly there
  2. Connect in Europe
  3. Connect in the Middle East
  4. New Option: Connect in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific or American Airlines flights

All other one way trips to the Middle East or Indian Subcontinent–like Los Angeles to Tokyo to Mumbai on Japan Airlines or Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Dubai on Cathay Pacific–will require at least two awards.

For more information on American Airlines’ award routing rules, see “AA Award Rules & How Many Miles Do You Need.”

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can book yourself a tour around Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia stopping in four places for only 100,000 miles total with nearly half the trip in a flat bed. By stopping in four places, I am referring to actual destinations, not connections that have to be under 24 hours.

Much like the Mega Trip to the Caribbean and South America I wrote about a few days ago, this deal relies on piecing together some sweet spot awards (and this time also a low cost carrier flight within Europe) into one big trip. Even if you never take a trip like this, knowledge of the sweet spot awards is useful.

For the purposes of this example, this will be the route we examine:

Chicago > Paris > Istanbul > Doha > Bangkok > Chicago

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.54.50 PM

You can tweak the route to your liking and keep the same prices as long as each destination falls in the right region for the pricing of the award.

What does that mean exactly?

  • Chicago could be replaced by anywhere that American Airlines flies to.
  • Paris could be replaced by anywhere that is in Europe, but that will affect the cost of the low carrier flight to Istanbul.
  • Istanbul could be replaced by any nearby city with low cost carrier flights from Europe, although this would affect the out of pocket cost as well as the miles price which will probably go up if you choose a different city since the following award is flown with distance-based Avios to the Middle East.
  • Doha can really only be replaced by Amman as the two oneworld hubs in the Middle East.
  • Bangkok could be replaced by a different Asian city that is anywhere from 3,001 to 4,000 miles away from Doha or Amman.
  • Chicago could be replaced by anywhere that Cathay Pacific or Alaska Airlines flies to.

United States to Paris

Before American Airlines devalued their award chart, you could book economy flights to Europe for 20,000 American Airlines miles during the Off Peak season (October 15 – May 15). With American Airlines’ devaluation, the price went to 22,500 miles one way and, more alarmingly, the available dates were dramatically reduced. However you can still use Alaska or Etihad miles to book American Airlines flights in economy to Europe from October 15 to May 15 for 20,000 Alaska or Etihad miles. Here is such a flight on alaskaair.com:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.13.32 PM

You can search for and book award space right on alaskaairlines.com’s home page, just check the “use miles” box in the search tool. You don’t even need an account with Alaska’s Mileage Plan loyalty program.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.27.07 PM

There is space every day of November.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.23.18 PM

You can book this same award flying American Airlines flights for 20,000 Etihad miles. 

Some other options you might want to consider depending on what kind of miles you have and where you live:

Paris to Istanbul

Low cost carriers are an economical way of hopping around Europe, especially when you’re trying to save your miles for higher value long distance redemptions.  I found the following flight from Paris to Istanbul with Pegasus Airlines for under $100:

pegasus flight

As is often the case with these discount airlines, the catch is that you have to watch how much you pack. You get one free carry on that can weigh 17.5 pounds. I am a proponent of one bag travel, but understandably you might want a little more room if you’re going on a trip with as many climates as this one. Luckily it’s only $6 more to bring about 44 pounds of luggage.

Istanbul to Doha

The next two legs are Avios awards. Why? Avios are ideal for short, direct, economy flights, especially between regions on award charts. Why pay 20,000 American Airlines to fly Istanbul to Doha (the same price that London to Delhi would be), when you can pay 10,000 Avios?

You can book a one way ticket between Istanbul and Doha in Economy for 10,000 British Airways Avios and $86 in taxes and fees.

avios price

You can search search and book this award right on ba.com– here’s how use the search tool. There is space in Economy every day I checked between these two cities.

avios award space

Doha to Bangkok

It costs 20,000 British Airways Avios and $62 in taxes and fees to fly from Doha to Bangkok, Thailand.

doha to bangkok price

You can search and book this award right on ba.com– here’s how use the search tool. There is space in Economy every day I checked between these two cities.

doha to bangkok avios space

Bangkok to United States

You can fly Cathay Pacific’s Business Class featuring a fully lie flat bed for only 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles…

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 7.35.25 PM

…and about $55 in taxes and fees. The following screenshot is from ITA matrix, which breaks down the costs of a normal revenue ticket. Alaska Airlines does not collet fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific awards, so we know that the amount of out of pocket expenses will be approximately the sum of the taxes and other fees:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 7.41.40 PM

You cannot search for Cathay Pacific award space on Alaska’s website. Use British Airways’ search tool instead– here’s how to search ba.com. The easiest time to find award space in premium cabins on Cathay Pacific flights is immediately prior (a couple weeks or less before travel) or about 11 months out from travel. For example, the availability shown below is for about 11 months from now, and five out of the seven days displayed have three to eight Business Class seats available each day.

bkk to us

bkk to us

Cathay Pacific flights can be booked by calling Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at 1-800-654-5669.

What Do Those Awards Add up to?

     United States to Paris = 20,000 Alaska Airlines Miles and $19

     Paris to Istanbul = $80

     Istanbul to Doha = 10,000 British Airways Avios and $86

     Doha to Bangkok = 20,000 British Airways Avios and $62

 +  Bangkok to United States = 50,000 Alaska Airlines Miles and $55


    100,000 Miles and $302  

Or, if you wanted to fly the leg between the United States and Paris in Business Class it would cost an additional 30,000 Alaska miles for a total of 130,000 miles and $302.

How to Get the Miles Needed for this Trip

Alaska Airlines Miles

The Alaska Airlines credit cards from Bank of America are churnableEach one has a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus for simply signing up– no minimum spending requirement. For the Business Card you have to charge one purchase to earn the bonus.

While I can not directly link to the current Alaska Airlines credit card, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express, personal and business versions, both are offering 25,000 Starpoints each for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively within three months of the accounts opening. SPG Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Alaska miles with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. SPG Starpoints also transfer 1:1 to British Airways Avios.

Etihad Miles

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Etihad is a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points.

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

British Airways Avios

Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards are ideal, since they transfer 1:1 instantly to British Airways Avios miles.

The Sapphire Preferred is one of the best personal credit cards on the market. It offers:

  • 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards for adding an authorized user
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • no annual fee the first year and $95 thereafter

While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Ink Plus is easily the best business card on the market. It offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Bottom Line

You can see four destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia for 100,000 miles and $302 with about half the trip in a flat bed. The deal relies on using Etihad or Alaska miles to fly American Airlines off peak economy to Europe; using a low cost carrier in Europe; using Avios for direct, region-connecting flights; and using Alaska miles to fly Cathay Pacific home.

The exact destinations in this post are mostly guidelines and can be subbed out for your preferred spots, as long as you understand how these sweet spot awards work.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

4 356

BA.com is not showing Royal Jordanian award space. You have to call British Airways and give the agent specifically worded instructions to book Royal Jordanian flights with Avios.

British Airways is a member of oneworld Alliance, along with the rest of these airlines:

Screen-Shot-2014-05-02-at-2.55.30-PM

  • Air Berlin
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • JAL
  • LAN
  • TAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7
  • SriLankan

They also have the following non-allied partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Meridian

British Airways’ frequent flyer program is called British Airways Executive Club, and you can redeem distance-based Avios for awards on British Airways flights or (in theory) on any of the other aforementioned airlines.

When researching awards between the Middle East and Asia for an upcoming post, one of the legs I was investigating was an Avios award between Amman, Jordan and Bangkok, Thailand. I wanted to know how many Avios it would cost, how much the out of pocket expenses would be, and what the availability forecast looked like–thinking it could be a potential Avios sweetspot.  But I couldn’t find the award I wanted on britishairways.com, which lead me to discover a a specific method necessary for booking Royal Jordanian flights with Avios.

British Airways’ Search Results: Amman to Bangkok

The only results displaying on brithsairways.com were for Qatar or British Airways flights with out of the way routings, which makes the price of a distance-based Avios award skyrocket. Every day I looked at had similar results to this:

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.18.45 AM

None were ideal. I needed a direct route out of Amman, which would only be found on Royal Jordanian Airlines (the flag carrier airline of Jordan headquartered in Amman).

So I decided to double check with American Airlines’ search tool, as I know that while aa.com doesn’t show all oneworld Alliance award space, it does show Royal Jordanian’s.

American Airlines’ Search Results: Amman to Bangkok

I found plenty of award space on aa.com for on Royal Jordanian flights between Amman and Bangkok in Business:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.50.59 PM

And a smattering of it for the same time period in Economy:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.50.49 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.27.14 AM

This was a bit perplexing as British Airways’ search tool is known for, generally, showing every airline’s award space that belongs to oneworld Alliance, yet it did not show any of this space that I found on aa.com. I went back to britishairways.com to cross-reference these results with specific dates, yet still nothing matched up.

What Does That Mean?

A couple of quick searches returned some insight from Flyertalk, an online forum frequented by the kind of people that read this blog along with all types of travelers. It seems that I was not the only person unable to see Royal Jordanian award space on ba.com, and the answer wasn’t that aa.com was showing phantom award space. I called American Airlines AAdvantage to personally confirm this, and after feeding the agent some different dates that I saw with space on Royal Jordanian, she confirmed it was bookable with American Airlines miles.

I then called British Airways Executive Club to see if any of their agents could find this alleged award space. Using a tip from this Flyertalker, I directed the agent to look up the paid ticket with the same flight numbers as those with award space I was seeing on aa.com. This worked right off the bat. The agent was able to see the fare code for award space when he searched that way. I asked the agent to check a few different flights in different cabins on different days just to fully confirm that this method works, and it turned up available award seats every time.

Steps for Booking Royal Jordanian with Avios

1. If you know you specifically want to redeem your Avios on Royal Jordanian flights, then search for the award space you are looking for on aa.com.

2. Take note of dates, flight numbers, and cabin.

3. Call British Airways Executive Club at 1-800-452-1201.

4. Feed the agent the dates, flight numbers and cabin(s) of your desired award.

5. When they come back to you with no availability, which they probably will, ask them nicely if they would look up the paid ticket for the same flight numbers, and to see if they find the fare code for award space there. There is a good chance, from the data points I’ve experienced and from what I’ve seen on Flyertalk, that this will do the trick, and the agent will then be able to see and book Royal Jordanian award space for you.

6. Proceed with booking. Depending on the agent, they will tell you there is an additional $25 fee for booking your award over the phone. If that happens, patiently shed light on the situation that it is not possible for you to book this space online because it does not show up in britishairways.com’s search results. Also depending on the agent, they should waive the phone booking fee.

Bottom Line

AA.com is properly displaying Royal Jordanian award space. If you want to book it with Avios, you cannot find the space on ba.com. You need to call British Airways, and have the agent look up the flight that interests you. He should see the award space you found in the proper fare bucket.

Let us know in the comments if any of you have successfully booked an award with Avios on a Royal Jordanian flight, I am interested to see if we have any other data points. Hopefully British Airways will fix the error soon.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7 800

American Airlines offers discounted MileSAAver awards within the United States and Canada to select cardholders, including people with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®.

With all of those cards, you can book one way awards within the USA and Canada for as little as 6,500 miles for flights less than 500 miles flown or 8,750 miles one way for longer flights.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.15.19 PM

Every two months, American Airlines publishes a list of new destinations in the United States and Canada eligible for discounted awards. The current list covers awards that must be booked by May 31, 2015 for travel by July 31, 2015.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.23.04 PM

Award travel must originate somewhere in the continental United States or Canada and must go to a city on the very long destination list. Awards can be booked one way for 8,750 miles in economy or 21,250 miles in First Class. Roundtrip awards are double those prices.

You have to call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 to book the discounted awards. Luckily American Airlines just eliminated the phone booking fee for awards that can’t be booked online!

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.56.51 PM

Here is the full list of discounted destinations for April through July. Not all destinations are discounted each month. For instance, Calgary is only discounted in April and May while Burbank is discounted all four months.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.41.14 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.41.26 PM

How Good Are These Awards?

Let’s say you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®.

You decide to go from New York to Burbank (the most convenient airport to Hollywood) with your miles.

You pick out your American Airlines-operated flights with MileSAAver space.

At this point, you do NOT complete the purchase. Purchasing online will cost 25,000 miles. You have to call in to get your discount: 800-882-8880.

You book the roundtrip for 17,500 miles and $11.20. You use about 1/3 of the 50,000 mile bonus you got from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®.

United and Delta charge at least 25,000 miles roundtrip for domestic awards.

Short Haul Example

During the March 22 American Airlines Devaluation, there were some silver linings. One is that domestic awards under 500 miles cost only 7,500 AA miles one way. If you fly such an award to a discounted city, you get 1,000 miles off per direction, bringing the price to 6,500 American Airlines miles. If you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, you get a 10% rebate on redemptions, bringing the net price to 5,850 AA miles one way. The same flights would be 7,500 Avios or 12,500 United or Delta miles.

Bottom Line

Discounted domestic and Canada MileSAAver awards open to American Airlines credit card holders are a fantastic deal.

If you need to book a domestic award, see make sure to check what destinations are discounted. If your destination is on the very long list, you can save big miles.

Key Links

 

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can book yourself a tour around the Caribbean and South America stopping in three places for only 64,500 miles total with half the trip in a flat bed. By stopping in three places, I am referring to actual destinations, not connections that have to be under 24 hours.

This incredible deal relies on piecing together four sweet spots awards into one big trip. Even if you never take a trip like this, you should know about these sweet spot awards.

For the purposes of this example, this will be the route we examine:

Philadelphia > Aruba > Bogota, Colombia > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Philadelphia

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 7.46.00 PM

However the price is the same no matter where your home airport is, and no matter where you choose your destination in Southern South America to be.

You can tweak the route to your liking and keep the same prices as long as each destination falls in the right region for the pricing of the award.

What does that mean exactly?

  • Aruba could be replaced by anywhere that is in the region defined by American Airlines as Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America for no extra miles
  • Bogota could be replaced by any nearby city with direct LAN flights from the Caribbean or Mexico, though the miles price will probably go up if you choose a different city since this part of the award is flown with distance-based Avios
  • Rio de Janeiro could be replaced by any destination in South America for no extra miles

United States to Aruba

American Airlines post-devaluation award chart has flights to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean during the off peak season priced at just 12,500 miles one way in economy.  

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.20.37 PM

The off peak season for these regions is defined as:

  • April 27 – May 20
  • September 7 – November 14

Taxes: $16

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.20.42 PM

Where to search for award space: aa.comHere’s how to search aa.com, award space is great to Aruba during off peak season

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.19.52 PM

How to Book: on aa.com

Aruba to Bogota

It costs 4,500 British Airways Avios to fly from from Aruba to Bogota, Colombia on LAN in economy.

Taxes: $49 (my ba.com is in euros for this reason)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.18.01 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.18.11 PM

Where to search for award space: ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. This route has the worst award space in the post, so if you copied this routing, you’d build the trip around award space on this leg. You can pick a place with better award space to Bogota (or wherever you decide to go), but the Avios price will probably be higher. Aruba to Bogota is only 605 miles flown, so it is the cheapest price of 4,500 Avios. Flights 651-1,150 miles flown are 7,500 Avios and something like Cancun to Bogota is 10,000 Avios.

How to Book: on ba.com.

Bogota to Rio de Janeiro

For 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles you can fly from Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Avianca/TACA (if using Singapore miles) or LAN (if using American Airlines miles). You could book the same flights in Business Class for 20,000 Singapore miles, or 25,000 American Airlines miles. 

Taxes/Fees: $62 (ignore the miles price in the screenshot, we pay the price on Singapore’s chart, not United’s chart when using Singapore miles)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.14.19 PM

Where to search for award space: If using Singapore miles, united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. If using American Airlines’ miles, ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. Award space is very good on Avianca’s direct Bogota to Rio flight, especially in Business Class.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.14.08 PM

How to Book: If using Singapore miles, on singaporeair.com. If using American Airlines miles, call American Airlines’ AAdvantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880.

Rio de Janeiro > United States

It costs 35,000 Asiana miles to fly Business Class on Copa Airlines, Avianca, United, or Air Canada from Southern South America to the United States. I booked Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile in Copa Business Class for 35,000 Asiana miles this year.

Taxes/Fees: $57 (ignore mileage prices below, Asiana has lower prices than United for the same flights)

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.22.31 PM

Where to search for award space: united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. There is great award space between Rio and Philadelphia.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 7.21.52 PM

How to Book: call the Asiana Club at +1-800-227-4262.

What Do Those Awards Add up to?

    United States to Aruba = 12,500 American Airlines miles

    Aruba to Bogota, Colombia = 4,500 British Airways Avios

    Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil = 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles

 + Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to United States = 35,000 Asiana miles in Business Class


    64,500 miles and under $184 in taxes

Or, if you wanted to fly the leg between Colombia and Brazil in Business Class, it would cost 72,000 using Singapore or 77,000 American Airlines miles.

Consider it from this angle as well. Heading southbound, you spent only 12,500 + 4,500 + 12,500 = 29,500 miles/Avios, and you visit three places. Normally a one way award to Southern South America would cost 30,000 American Airlines/Delta/United miles, and no stopovers would be allowed.

Why are There No Fuel Surcharges Mentioned in This Post?

Because fuel surcharges are not levied on any airline, on any ticket, w the Americas that I am aware of. Great news for our mega-trip!

How to Get the Miles and Points Needed for this Trip

American Airlines Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Application Link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

Singapore Krisflyer Miles (transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points)

The Citi Prestige® Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

Asiana Miles (transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express, personal and business versions, both are offering 25,000 Starpoints each for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively within three months of the accounts opening.

British Airways Avios 

British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase is offering 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 within three months of the account opening.

While I can not directly link to the current offer from British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Bottom Line

If you have some (emphasis on some, not many are needed!) American Airlines, Singapore, and Asiana miles as well as a few British Airways Avios, you can piece together an amazing multi-award trip that spans all over the Caribbean and South America with three different destinations. It would be a great way to use up smaller amounts miles hanging around in your frequent flyer accounts, leftover after larger redemptions.

------------------------------------------------------------

Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Follow Me

Featured Posts