7 827

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Avianca recently began flying the 787 Dreamliner from Colombia to destinations in South America and North America. Soon it will also fly the Dreamliner to Europe!

This is exciting because Avianca’s fully flat Business Class looks very nice, award prices on the long intra-South American flights are super cheap, and this is be the most comfortable way to fly between the United States and Colombia.

The Product

I just flew Avianca’s angled flat bed on its A330 from Bogota to Buenos Aires. (Full trip report.) I was actually pleasantly surprised by the comfort of that bed, but the Avianca 787’s fully flat seats that are world-class would be a big step up.

The 28 Business Class beds are arranged 1-2-1 with direct aisle access from every seat. United puts six Business Class seats across its 787s, so not all seats have direct aisle access. Advantage Avianca.

Check the video above for a view of the Business Class cabin and bed.

The Routes

Currently the Avianca Dreamliner is flying between Bogota and:

  • New York-JFK
  • Buenos Aires
  • Sao Paulo
  • Mexico City
  • Santiago, Chile

In the summer, it begins flying between Bogota and:

  • London-LHR
  • Madrid

In the fall and winter, it adds flights between Madrid and:

  • Cali
  • Medellin

As always, I pulled this info from airlineroute.net.

The Price

Avianca is a member of Star Alliance. You can redeem United, Asiana, Lufthansa, Singapore, ANA and Avianca miles for its award space, and you can search the award space on united.com. There are no fuel surcharges on Avianca flights, so these flights can be a great use of your miles with programs that collect fuel surcharges on awards.

Here are some relevant award prices. I’ve put the best deals in bold.

United

United has a region-to-region award chart.

  • From the United States to Northern South America (including New York to Bogota): 35,000 miles each way in Business Class
  • From Mexico to Northern South America (including Mexico City to Bogota): 20,000 miles each way in Business Class
  • From the United States to Southern South America (including New York to Bogota to Buenos Aires, Santiago, or Sao Paulo): 55,000 miles each way in Business Class
  • From Northern South America to Southern South America (including Bogota to Buenos Aires, Santiago, or Sao Paulo): 40,000 miles each way in Business Class

ANA

ANA has a distance-based award chart. You can get its miles by transferring Starpoints or Membership Rewards.

  • New York to Bogota roundtrip is 63,000 ANA miles in Business Class
  • New York to Bogota to Sao Paulo/Buenos Aires/Santiago roundtrip is 85,000 ANA miles in Business Class
  • Bogota to Mexico City roundtrip is 43,000 ANA miles in Business Class
  • Bogota to Sao Paulo/Buenos Aires/Santiago roundtrip is 63,000 ANA miles in Business Class

Singapore

Singapore is a transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards, Membership Rewards, ThankYou Points, and Starpoints. Singapore considers all of South America one region, so the flights from North to South are underpriced.

  • Any one way within South America including Bogota to Sao Paulo/Buenos Aires/Santiago is 20,000 Singapore miles in Business Class

Award Space

Award space varies greatly by route. Avianca isn’t exactly protecting the 787’s Business Class cabin, but some routes are very tough to find space.

Bogota to Santiago has award space on by far the most days–blue and green on the calendar below.

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 2.59.22 PM

The short redeye would hopefully permit a nap.Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 2.59.28 PM

Award space is even wide open in the summer (South American winter.)

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 3.00.17 PM

But that’s all for one person. I didn’t see space for two people on any days.

Bogota to Buenos Aires has much less space, mostly on Wednesdays.Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 3.06.26 PM

Again, it is a short redeye heading south.Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 3.06.32 PMNew York to Bogota is a mystery. I actually can’t figure out when the 787 flies the route. It certainly flies it Wednesday, March 11 and has flown it in the past month, but when else?

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 2.51.15 PM

Award space on the route is basically Wednesdays, without much in the summer.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 2.51.09 PMBut most of that award space is on the A330 (reviewed here) not the 787.

Bogota to Mexico City is wide open with award space.

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 2.58.13 PM

 

Most days have award space on multiple flights. On March 4, the Dreamliner has the 2 PM flight.Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 2.57.53 PM

How to Book the Award Space

  1. Search on united.com. Note the date, cabin, and flight number of the space you find.
  2. Consult your mileage balances and their award charts to figure out the best Star Alliance miles for you to redeem.
  3. Contact the airline whose miles you want to use to book the flights.

Bottom Line

The Avianca Dreamliner is a big step up for Avianca in terms of the Business Class product on board–fully flat beds with direct aisle access. The plane will fly routes from Colombia to North America, South America, and Europe.

Award space varies by route, but is generally good for one person in Business Class.

The best deals are with United, ANA, and Singapore miles though the space can be booked with any Star Alliance miles. Avianca flights don’t have fuel surcharges, so they’re a great way to burn miles in programs that collect applicable fuel surcharges.

6 1008

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

United is releasing economy and Business Class award space on its 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners from Asia and Australia, not so much to. I didn’t used to see any award space in the flat bed BusinessFirst (Business) cabin, and American Airlines isn’t currently releasing Business Class space on its Dreamliner, so I wanted to share the good news.

Routes

United flies its 787-8 Dreamliner between:

  • Denver and Tokyo-Narita (65k miles in Business)
  • Los Angeles and Tokyo-Narita (65k miles in Business)
  • Los Angeles and Shanghai (70k miles in Business)

United flies its 787-9 Dreamliner between:

  • Los Angeles and Melbourne (70k miles in Business)

The difference is that the 787-9 has 33 extra seats including 12 extra Business Class beds.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.05.34 PM

Award Space

When the Dreamliners made their way onto United’s schedule, award space was nearly impossible to find in Business Class. (The planes don’t have First Class.)

Over time, that has changed somewhat. Hopefully the same change happens with Business Class on the American Airlines Dreamliner.

In November, I wrote about some award space appearing on the 787-9 to Melbourne. I took a look at the award space now, and I found only one day in the next 11 months with award space from Los Angeles to Melbourne in Business Class on the direct flight–April 7.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.00.45 PM

Interestingly enough, using united.com Expert Mode, I found the flight has 9 Business Class award seats–“I” below.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.03.19 PM

The return from Melbourne to Los Angeles, though shows much more award space. There is award space in the next week, which is a common pattern in premium cabins on United flights. United is generally good about releasing unsold seats at award space at the last minute.
Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.03.56 PM

And there is also award space from Melbourne to Los Angeles in July, August, September, and October.Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.04.26 PM

This pattern is observed on all the United Dreamliner routes: award space is far better on the flights to America than from America to Asia and Australia. I’m not sure why that would be, but you can take advantage by using your United miles to fly home and using American or Delta miles to fly to Asia and Australia.

For instance, from Shanghai to Los Angeles on the smaller Dreamliner, there is award space 13 days in the next month in Business Class.
Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.07.44 PM

And from Tokyo to Denver, there is award space eight days in the next two weeks.Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 3.08.19 PM

The flights to Tokyo and Shanghai have far less award space.

Bottom Line

United is releasing more and more Business Class award space on its Dreamliners from Australia and Asia to the United States. Award space is far better on these eastbound flights than the westbound flights to Australia and Asia. Either fly a United partner, fly United economy, or use another type of miles to get to these places and then return in United Business Class on its new Dreamliners.

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Pay the award taxes on a United Dreamliner redemption with the Arrival Plus then redeem Arrival miles to remove the charge.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.29.19 PM

3 434

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

I don’t think there’s a single MileSAAver award seat available in Business Class on the brand new American Airlines Dreamliner. (There is no First Class on the plane.)

American Airlines announced its first three routes this week for the plane:

  • Dallas to Chicago, beginning May 7, 2015
  • Dallas to Beijing, beginning June 2, 2015
  • Dallas to Buenos Aires, beginning June 4, 2015

In Award Space on American Airlines New 787 Dreamliner Routes, I noted that Dallas to Beijing and Dallas to Buenos Aires had no Business Class MileSAAver award space from June through the end of the schedule in either direction. I didn’t expect that to improve.

However I expected that we would see good award space from Dallas to Chicago in both directions when the space became bookable yesterday.

I was wrong.

Award space on the 787 is now loaded onto aa.com, but it is all at the AAnytime (much more expensive) price levels–even on the Dallas to Chicago route.

Award Space Picture

I scanned Dallas to Buenos Aires and Beijing in both directions from June until the end of the schedule. No MileSAAver Business Class award space, though plenty of economy.

Then I moved on to Dallas to Chicago.

There is plenty of MileSAAver First Class award space on the route (this is how the Dreamliner’s Business Class cabin will be sold domestically.) The question is: is any of it on the Dreamliner?

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.56.52 PM

The way to check is to select a date. For each flight, you have to manually click the + next to “Flight Details.” That lists the aircraft. This flight below is operated by an MD-80.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 2.06.18 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-15 at 2.06.25 PM

The 787, listed as 788 because it is the 787-8 version, shows up on the schedule May 7 as promised. It appears to operate at a different flight time each day.
Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.57.51 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 2.01.44 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 2.02.20 PMI checked the first several days in both directions for MileSAAver award space and found none. Then I checked scattered dates–still none. I did not check award space every day for the space because of the time-consuming nature of the search, so I can’t say with 100% confidence that there is no MileSAAver award space in the forward cabin of the American Airlines Dreamliner. But I don’t think there is space.

If you find any, let us know in the comments.

Bottom Line

I’m surprised and disappointed. I grudgingly accept that on a lot of routes with their newest planes, American Airlines isn’t releasing longhaul international award space in flat beds at the MileSAAver level. But the 787 has a ton of Business Class seats, way more than all the other planes on the Dallas to Chicago route. I assumed American would release some of these seats for 25,000 miles one way–which would also make them bookable for 22,500 Avios. That doesn’t appear to be the case.

The cheapest way to fly American’s Dreamliner seems to be to 45,000 American Airlines miles for an AAnytime award ticket. For a 2.5 hour flight, that doesn’t interest me.

Getting the Miles

American Airlines miles are super easy to get.

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also comes with other awesome benefits like a 10% rebate on miles used for award bookings.

The business version, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®, also comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This card comes with 2x miles on select business purchases and a 5% miles bonus on renewal. One person can have both cards.

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Pay your award taxes and fees with the Arrival Plus then redeem Arrival miles to remove the charge.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.29.19 PM

6 774

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

American Airlines has taken delivery of its 787 Dreamliners. It is the second US-based airline to do this–behind United.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.25.12 PM

Today on Twitter, American announced the first three routes for its Dreamliner.

To familiarize the crew with the plane, American will put it on a domestic route for a month before debuting it on two international routes:

  • Dallas to Chicago, beginning May 7, 2015
  • Dallas to Beijing, beginning June 2, 2015
  • Dallas to Buenos Aires, beginning June 4, 2015

The Dreamliner won’t be loaded onto the schedule until February 14, but I wanted to take a look at award space now on the routes. The international routes only operate once daily, so if you book Business Class award space on them now for travel in June or later, your flight will be operated by the Dreamliner.

Award Space

The American Airlines Dreamliner only features two cabins: economy and Business.

There is literally no MileSAAver Business Class award space between Dallas and Beijing or Buenos Aires from June 2015 to January 2016 in either direction. None.

That means my plan of booking Business Class award space now and having the plane change over to a Dreamliner with my reservation intact wouldn’t work.

I also took a look at the next few weeks on each route to see if award space opens up close to departure. If it does, maybe we can book the Business Class space later in the year when the routes are actually operating.

Dallas to Buenos Aires is showing no Business Class Saver space in either direction for the next few weeks.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.04.13 PM

Dallas to Beijing doesn’t begin as a route until May 7, so I can’t check last-minute award space.

I should note that both the Buenos Aires and, especially, the Beijing route do have good economy award space. But I’m not particularly interested in an economy award on such long flights.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 2.59.58 PM

Great Award Space Dallas <-> Chicago

Chicago to Dallas has great domestic First Class (Dreamliner Business Class) award space in May when the Dreamliner will ply the route.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.06.21 PM

The space is wide open in both directions.Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.06.31 PMUnfortunately there are many frequencies on the Dallas to Chicago route, and we won’t know until Saturday which one(s) will be flown by the Dreamliner. I expect award space to be great on this route, maybe even available for the inaugural flight, because the Dreamliner has a higher percentage of premium seats than the normal domestic aircraft that usually fly the route.

The Product

Business Class on the Dreamliner features aisle access from every 6’5″ long flat bed.

Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.35.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.36.07 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-11 at 3.36.17 PMI would fly this Business Class in a heartbeat.

Let’s hope we get the chance with more award availability. We’ll definitely have the chance on the domestic route in May, I think, but so far we aren’t being given a chance on the real prize–the flights to Beijing and Buenos Aires.

Getting the Miles

American Airlines miles are super easy to get, and will be useful when Saver space opens up on these routes.

  • Dallas to Chicago will cost 25,000 miles one way in First Class
  • Dallas to Beijing will cost 55,000 miles one way in Business Class
  • Dallas to Buenos Aires will cost 50,000 miles one way in Business Class

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also comes with other awesome benefits like a 10% rebate on miles used for award bookings.

The business version, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®, also comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This card comes with 2x miles on select business purchases and a 5% miles bonus on renewal. One person can have both cards.

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Pay your award taxes and fees with the Arrival Plus then redeem Arrival miles to remove the charge.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.29.19 PM

Etihad First Suite on 787

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

I booked myself a First Class award ticket from Cairo, Egypt to Washington DC with 15 hours on the brand new Etihad 787-9 Dreamliner for 90,000 American Airlines miles and a few dollars in taxes. Take a look at the suite:

The Trip

I had already booked myself from the United States to Dubai to Bangkok on two flights in Emirates First Class on its A380. Read that Anatomy of an Award.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.24.04 AM

And from Bangkok to Luxor, Egypt in Business Class on a Qatar A380. Read that Anatomy of an Award. After a week in Thailand, I’ll head to Egpyt for a week.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 10.24.29 AM

I plan to spend a few days in Luxor and a few days in Cairo. Here is the trick I used to save 47% on my flight from Luxor to Cairo.

To get back from Cairo to Washington DC, I wanted to use American Airlines miles to fly Etihad Airlines. Etihad serves its Abu Dhabi to Washington DC route with a brand new 787-9 Dreamliner.

Award Search

To search for Etihad Awards, create a free Etihad Airways account, and go to the award search page.

My first search was from Cairo to Washington DC in First Class.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.05.36 PM Results look like this.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.06.05 PM

I’ve highlighted the GuestSeat column because that is the award space that American Airlines phone agents can access. They cannot access OpenSeat award space.

My first search showed no GuestSeat award space from Cairo to Washington DC in First Class. The problem is that Cairo to Abu Dhabi doesn’t have First Class, just economy and Business, and Etihad’s search screen won’t mix cabins.

It was time to search segment-by-segment. I started with the longer segment and searched Abu Dhabi to Washington in First Class. Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.08.36 PM
There was award space on my top-choice date. Note the calendar above the search result.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.08.17 PM

The calendar is useful because you can change dates without re-running the search. You can pretty easily tell which dates which will have award space on the calendar by the number of miles listed. OpenSeat prices are usually like 10 times the price of GuestSeat awards in Etihad miles, so on the calendar above, all the days that say “Miles 114650″ have OpenSeat award space and all the “Miles 949486″ or “942226” days don’t.

Of course, we are not going to pay the number of miles listed. Since I used American Airlines miles, I follow American Airlines routing rules and award chart. This is just a handy trick for figuring out quickly which days will have GuestSeat award availability.

I noted the date, cabin, and flight number of the award space I found from Abu Dhabi to Washington DC and moved on to Cairo to Abu Dhabi in Business Class.
Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.09.50 PM
There is award space on this route basically every day. There is a flight that connects in Abu Dhabi with only a two hour layover. I noted its date, cabin, and flight number.Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.10.04 PM

If You Don’t Live in Washington DC

I was done with my award search because I want to go to the Washington DC area. If you want to go somewhere not served directly by Etihad, you’d have another step. You’d want to go to aa.com and find award space from where Etihad flies to your home airport. Then you could move on to the last step, booking the award.

Award Booking

I called American Airlines at 800-882-8880.

I fed the agent the date, cabin, and flight number of the two flights I had found with Etihad GuestSeat availability.

She quickly put together my two flights.

Screen Shot 2015-01-26 at 1.10.28 PM

As I mentioned in “Anatomy of an Award: Qatar A380 Business Class for 30k American Airlines Miles,” I booked my awards from Bangkok to Egypt and Egypt to Washington on one record locator to save $35 on the phone booking fee. (Usually you are only charged one fee per person, no matter how many awards you book at a time.)

The flights from Egypt to the United States cost 90,000 American miles. To the Middle East (including Egypt) and Indian Subcontinent, American charges:

  • 45,000 miles one way in economy
  • 67,500 miles one way in Business Class
  • 90,000 miles one way in First Class

The total taxes for both awards were only $72, so let’s attribute $36 to this award.

American only collects fuel surcharges on British Airways and Iberia award flights, so there were no other taxes, fees, or fuel surcharges.

Getting the Miles

American Airlines miles are super easy to get.

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card also comes with other awesome benefits like a 10% rebate on miles used for award bookings.

The business version, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®, also comes with 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months. This card comes with 2x miles on select business purchases and a 5% miles bonus on renewal. One person can have both cards.

We also know that The US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will no longer be offered to new applicants as soon as the US Airways and American Airlines frequent flyer programs integrate, some time before 2015. That means that the chance to earn 50,000 bonus miles after first purchase on this card will disappear soon. Check out all the places you can go with just the sign up bonus.

All US Airways miles not redeemed on the US Airways chart by the time of integration will become American Airlines miles, and American Airlines has committed to not devaluing its award chart at the time of combination. The two types of miles are roughly equal in value. Getting all three cards now and meeting their spending requirements means you will have at least 156,000 American Airlines miles by June.

Bottom Line

American Airlines miles are ideal between the United States and the Middle East because American has several partners that fly the routes with excellent products like Etihad and Qatar.

I booked myself Etihad First Class on its brand new 787-9 for 90,000 miles one way plus low government taxes, no fuel surcharges, and a modest phone fee. I saved myself $35 in phone fees by booking this award at the same time as my Qatar Business Class award on the same trip.

The American Airlines personal and business cards are each offering 50,000 bonus miles after $3,000 spending in the first three months.

Etihad First Suite on 787
Etihad First Suite on 787

Searching for GuestSeat space on etihad.com and calling American Airlines to book the flight were a snap.

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Pay your award taxes and fees with the Arrival Plus then redeem Arrival miles to remove the charge.

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 8.29.19 PM

 

 

3 172

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

United flies from Los Angeles to Melbourne directly with its newest plane the 787-9 Dreamliner.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 10.10.48 PM
15 hours 45 minutes

Award space on United’s Dreamliners in Business Class has been abysmal, but I wanted to check in and see if anything was different on this route.

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 9.50.27 PM
We want to get into these flat beds up front

The good news is that there is award space on the route in both directions for two people in Business Class.

  • What is the award space picture? 
  • How many miles does the flight to Australia cost?

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Update 10/23/14: Commenter Jeremy finds the award space now on aeroplan.com, and I can confirm that the space on these Ethiopian flights is now bookable and is still excellent! (None of the rest of the post has been updated to reflect this information.)

Ethiopian Airlines will begin flying Los Angeles to Dublin to Addis Ababa in June 2015 with a 787 Dreamliner. Ethiopian will have fifth freedom rights, meaning you will be able to fly any single segment of the flight, including Los Angeles to Dublin.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 9.37.36 AM

This is an exciting addition to the Star Alliance’s transatlantic routes, especially if the route has awesome award space, since direct award space from the West Coast to Europe is tough to find. (Solution: route via Canada.)

The flight will be bookable with United miles and any other Star Alliance airline’s miles. Crucially, with United miles, you can connect Los Angeles to Dublin with the rest of Europe by using United’s non-alliance partner Aer Lingus.

Right now, Los Angeles to Dublin is showing 4 economy seats and 2 business class seats in both directions from June 2015 and beyond. But there’s a problem…

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 7.59.58 AM

  • What are the flight times?
  • How is Ethiopian Business Class?
  • Where does Aer Lingus fly within Europe?
  • What is the problem with the award space on united.com?

6 167

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

United’s first flight on the brand new 787-9 Dreamliner is set for October 26, 2014 between Los Angeles and Melbourne, Australia.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 4.47.53 AM

Currently United serves Melbourne as a tag flight from Sydney after a brief layover.

Official word of the route is expected later today, but we don’t need the announcement because we can see the flights loaded onto the calendar at united.com and up for sale right now.

What’s the award space picture? What are the flight times? What is the difference between the 787-8 and 787-9? How is United’s premium product to Australia?

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Royal Jordanian is a member of the oneworld alliance with American Airlines, and is based in Amman, Jordan. Royal Jordanian is the latest carrier to announce new routes for its 787s beginning July 1, 2014.

What really jumped out at me was the Chicago to Amman route that begins August 31, 2014 and features incredible award space! From Amman, there are connections to all of the following cities on Royal Jordanian.

from wikipedia.org
from wikipedia.org

This route will be of great use to anybody who wants to fly the 787 up front; wants to travel to Jordan, the Middle East, or India with American Airlines miles; or is planning an Explorer Award.

22 190

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

United announced a massive devaluation of its miles on Halloween to take effect for awards booked February 1, 2014 or later. Until January 31, 2014, I’ll be running posts about the best ways to burn United miles.

You can save 20k or more miles by booking your 2014 United Dreamliner flights to Asia by January 31, 2014. Space has improved dramatically in the last few months on Dreamliner routes.

United has a fantastic fully-flat business class product (called BusinessFirst), which is the only premium cabin in its configuration of the 787 Dreamliner, one of the world’s newest and most advanced planes.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 11.50.03 PM

United’s Dreamliner flies three routes, all to Asia:

  • Los Angeles <-> Shanghai
  • Los Angeles <-> Tokyo-Narita
  • Denver <-> Tokyo-Narita

The plane has 36 beds up front in a 2-2-2 configuration. Snag a middle seat to avoid having to climb over anyone or be climbed over.

Screen Shot 2013-12-02 at 11.48.16 PM

Currently, the cost from the US to Japan or China in economy class is 32,500 miles each way or 60,000 each way in business class.

For awards booked February 1, 2014 or later, those prices rise to 35,000 miles each way in economy class, 65,000 miles each way in business class to Japan or 70,000 miles in business class to China.

The award prices on the Dreamliner’s routes are rising 8-17%, hardly earth shattering, but not exactly pleasant.

Prices to Southeast Asia are rising quite a bit more, though, so if you were planning on using a Dreamliner segment as part of a trip to Thailand, for instance, the price of a one way in economy will rise from 32,500 miles to 40,000 miles. And a one way in business class is rising from 60k miles to 70k miles on United flights or 80k miles on partner flights.

Booking Dreamliner flights now would lock in the better prices. The good news is that award space for two people is available on all three routes in 2014 in economy and business. This is a change from a few months ago when United was not releasing award space on any of the Dreamliner routes.

What is the award space picture on each route? Which route is ideal for connections throughout Asia? How can you earn United miles to redeem before the devaluation?

3 84

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

United will operate its 787 Dreamliner between San Francisco and Chengdu, China three times a week beginning June 9, 2014 according to Airline Route.

Boeing 787 United Airlines seating

I follow United’s Dreamliner route announcements because United has an awesome Business Class product (confusingly called “BusinessFirst”), United releases good award space on its own routes, and the Dreamliner is an awesome plane with great passenger comforts and environmental benefits.

What is the flight schedule? What is the award picture?

2 214

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

According to Airline Route, United will fly its Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Houston to London from December 20, 2013 to May 5, 2014.

I like to track the routes of Dreamliners that fly to the US because they’re a great way for beginners to get a state-of-the-art business class flights that are easy redemptions.

This route from Houston to London has the best business class award availability I’ve seen on any United Dreamliner route.

When is the award space? How is the United BusinessFirst product on the Dreamliner?

2 67

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Update October 5, 2013: United has cancelled this one-off route, but there are other opportunities to get on this flight domestically.

United’s 787 Dreamliner will fly a single roundtrip from Seattle to Houston over with perfect flight times for this Thanksgiving.

How can you get on the Dreamliner on a domestic flight for far less than an international flight?

7 458

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Last week, British Airways announced a new, and surprising, route to be served by its Dreamliner 787: Austin, Texas <-> London-Heathrow, starting March 3, 2014.

Image from gcmap.com

The Austin route is the third Dreamliner route announced. The plane is already flying to Toronto and starts service to Newark on October 1, 2013.

I had a chance to speak to Simon Brooks, BA’s Head of Sales for North America about the new route, for which tickets are already on sale. He filled in some of the details of the new route for me.

I’ll be following this route and all future British Airways 787 routes with great interest because my recent taste of the plane has me excited to fly it on a longer flight. See Trip Report of the Brand New British Airways 787 with Tons of Pictures.

I’ve checked into the award space on the flight, and for the moment it’s excellent for next summer. I’ve priced out several awards to find the best way to stretch your miles and get on to the route.

Why Austin? How is the award space? How many miles, taxes, and fuel surcharges to get onto the Dreamliner’s newest route?

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

I recently had a chance to fly both a British Airways A380 and a British Airways 787 on intra-European flights in fully-flat business class beds for peanuts. The circumstances of the flights and some photos of the A380 are here.

I booked myself a business class bed on the 787 from London-Heathrow to Stockholm for 7,500 Avios and $140. The full price was 15,000 Avios and $40, but I chose the Cash & Avios option.

The flight was enjoyable, and I wasn’t the only one in business class who had purposely booked a seat on the 787 in business class. The plane is beautiful and will be an excellent addition to the British Airways fleet.

How did the business class cabin look? Which seats should solo travelers and groups select?

Follow Me

Featured Posts