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I have a clear picture of where I’ll be until about April 2016. Last week, I booked a flurry of awards, mostly with obscure mileage programs to lock in my dates for 2015. Here’s what I’m planning, with links to already written Anatomy of an Award posts:
- 4,550 Etihad miles: Mid-August: Belgrade to Bucharest for three weeks
- 15,000 United miles: Early September: Bucharest to Athens to Dubrovnik to Zagreb to Zurich for a day each
- 100,000 Alaska miles: Mid-September: Zurich to Dubai for two nights, to Houston for the weekend, both flights in Emirates A380 First Class
- 30,000 Singapore miles: Mid-September: Houston to Honolulu in United First Class
- 27,500 Asiana miles: Late September: Honolulu to Bogota in Avianca Business Class and how I changed the award a few weeks later for zero miles and zero dollars when slightly better award space opened up
- 20,000 Singapore miles: Early October: Bogota to Buenos Aires in TACA Business Class
- 45,000 Alaska miles one way, 62,500 Delta miles the other way: Mid-October: Buenos Aires to Chicago Roundtrip in AeroMexico Dreamliner Business Class
- Not Booked Yet: Mid-December: Buenos Aires to Honolulu
The rest of 2015 will see me:
- explore new cities like Athens, Zurich, and Dubai
- return to favorites like Zagreb, Dubrovnik (cliff jumping!), Bogota, and Buenos Aires
- change hemispheres as the seasons change because everyone should live in Summer all year round
- visit friends and family
- speak at the Chicago Seminars
I’ll fly in products ranging from economy to one of the world’s fanciest First Classes on the Emirates A380. A plurality of my time in the air will be in Business Class products that are good but not top of the line. Most of the awards heavily prioritized destination over the best products.
All of the awards were carefully thought out to maximize miles, so I am excited to explain why I’ve been using so many Asiana and Singapore miles, and why you might want to use them also.
Some of the awards even touch on interesting problems like how long a transfer takes, what to do when there is only space in your desired cabin on some legs, and choosing which miles to use.
I still need to book an award from Buenos Aires to Honolulu for before Christmas. The Asiana miles that I hope to use to book the award in Business Class (35,000 miles) just posted. I may also book a short weekend getaway from Buenos Aires in November, which I could book with cash or miles. Other than that, I’m already focused on 2016 bookings.
Hopefully the rest of your 2015 travel schedule excites you as much as mine excites me. Where are you headed?
I’ll crank out the rest of the Anatomy of an Award posts soon–where I break down how to search the award, how to book the award, what miles to use, and how to get those miles–and I’ll keep this post updated as I do.
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