This is the first post in a monthlong series. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flier miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

I’m revising and updating my Free First Class Next Month series for beginners, which I previously ran in March and September, 2012. The learning curve for miles enthusiasts can be steep, and I hope this series flattens that curve. The series is for total beginners to get a base in the essentials about earning and redeeming miles.

In my suite on in Emirates First Class. You can see my personal mini-bar. The seat turns into a bed, and a few minutes later, I took a shower eight miles high.

In this series, I’m going to be showing you the tricks that experts use to fly in first class anywhere in the world for pennies. By next month, you’ll be a pro at earning frequent flier miles for doing things you already do and redeeming them for dream first-class vacations you thought you could never afford.

United Global First, about to stretch out in my seven foot bed.

In addition to frequent flier miles, I’ll be teaching you about how to find incredibly cheap cash fares and hotels, so that you’ve got a full arsenal of ways to travel cheap or free.

If you have two minutes a day, you can enjoy Free First Class Next Month! Bookmark this page, and check back tomorrow when we take the first step to Free First Class Next Month. (Or better yet, enter your email in the top left of this page, and you’ll get one email per day with that day’s posts.)

Here is a link to every post in the series in case you missed one. Reading the whole thing should take less than hour.

Free First Class Next Month: Table of Contents

  1. An Updated Guide to Free Travel with Miles and Points
  2. Signing Up For Travel Loyalty Programs
  3. Sign Up for Award Wallet
  4. Check Your Credit Score
  5. Putting All Your Spending on Credit Cards
  6. Bluebird
  7. Double Credit Card Miles with Business Cards
  8. Best Practices for Your First App-o-Rama
  9. Best Current Credit Card Offers
  10. An Easy Way to Meet Multiple Minimum Spends at Once
  11. Transferable Points Program Basics
  12. Category Bonuses
  13. Other Credit Card Benefits
  14. Cancelling Cards
  15. Keeping Miles Active with Dining Programs
  16. Shopping Portals
  17. You Can Earn Miles Doing Anything
  18. Airline Hubs and Alliances
  19. Searching United.com to Redeem United and US Airways Miles
  20. Searching AA.com to Redeem American Airlines Miles
  21. Searching BA.com to Redeem American Airlines Miles
  22. Using Qantas.com to Redeem American Airlines Miles
  23. Using Delta.com to Redeem Delta Miles
  24. Using Expert Flyer to Redeem Delta Miles
  25. Planning Awards with Wikipedia and Kayak
  26. Using Seat Guru to Pick the Best Award
  27. Using the Great Circle Mapper
  28. Using the FlyerTalk Mileage Run Deals Forum to Find Cheap Flights and Mistake Fares
  29. Using ITA Matrix to Find Cheap Flights and Fuel Surcharge Info
  30. Status
  31. Cheapskate Lodging with Hotel Promos, Hostels, airbnb, and CouchSurfing
  32. Name Your Own Price on Priceline to Save Hundreds on Hotels (Part 1)
  33. Name Your Own Price on Priceline to Save Hundreds on Hotels (Part 2)
  34. Using the MileValue Calculator
  35. The End (this post)

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112 COMMENTS

  1. I wasn’t sure if there is a separate page where I could send my question to you so forgive me that this question is not related to this post. My question is about adding free one-way to the international flight. I have LAX-HKG on CX F in Sepetmber & also NRT-LAX on JAL F coming back in October with AA miles on hold and am wondering if I can add a free one way to both before and after the trip. If so, I need to plan 2 side trips, correct? And if I were to add 2 one-ways, I’d better know the availabilities before the hold time is up so that I won’t have to pay extra to make changes later, right? I know you are expert at this and since I have never done this before, I would appreciate your inputs. Also, any suggestion as to what flight to look at for HKG-NRT leg? I want to do a stopover in Tokyo. Thanks!

    • Yes, you can add a free oneway in first class to both. The first one must be before LAX-HKG and go to LAX. The second must be after NRT-LAX and go from LAX. You should be able to go pretty much anywhere east of LA in the US and Canada–certainly all the major cities. Pick the ones you like. If you’re on the fence, look for a three-cabin plane operating the route. (It will be colored purple and cost 32.5k miles.) To/from LAX, AA operated them to JFK and MIA I think. That way your free oneways will be in flat beds instead of regular domestic first class.

  2. Sorry, I know this is a really dumb question but the first one-way to LAX has to happen before my LAX-HKG flight, correct? Or can it be changed for later date for fee?

  3. I like that you’re showing some leg there in Emirates! Do you wear those green shorts every time you fly first class? our was it a suites class thing :) I’ve never seen a picture of you in those before. You should have gotten gold colored ones.

  4. what miles can i use to book an award on Emirates? I have-AA-AVIOS-UNITED-US AIRWAYS-FLYING BLUE-AVIOANCA LIFE MILES-MR-UR

    Thanks

  5. The link for “Best Practices for Your First App-o-Rama” seems to be broken. I’ve been eagerly plowing through this thread and can’t wait to consume that post. Thank you.

  6. I think the link for “Best Practices for your first app-o-rama” is down. Can’t wait to read it so I can continue through the series. Thanks!

  7. I live in a state that is expensive to fly out of. Montana. I’m trying to figure out the cheapest way to fly from Montana to Australia. Suggestions?

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