Mileage Program Sweet Spots 1 – JAL Business Class

It’s easy to read the hundreds of articles out there where the authors are reviewing the First and Business Class cabins they have booked on miles from their credit cards. This is all well and good but most people don’t like having multiple credit cards and the $5,000 minimum spend to unlock the bonuses is a lot of money. What isn’t in these people’s interest is to advertise the fact there are lots of great experiences out there in the pointy end of the plane that don’t cost 80,000 miles which you can unlock thanks to the link below.

There are sweet spots across the various programs that can be picked up for relatively low amounts of miles and I personally love trying them if I find myself in a position to. All the shopping, dining and hotel bonuses add up. You name it and you can probably earn a few extra miles on it, if you know how and are bothered to click a few extra buttons while making a purchase.

A super redemption out there is flights in Asia with JAL. They have a fleet of modern Dreamliners with a new business class and great service. If you have 25K Alaska miles this is a great way to spend them. You can start in South East Asia connect in Tokyo (where you can spend some time if you like) before heading to India all in a bed on a brand new plane.

Lots of people still have the 10k they received from the merger last year sitting there doing nothing. If you do maybe start collecting some points through the shopping portal before you know it you could be close to a very nice experience without signing up to a credit card you don’t want or need.

A slightly crazy idea of how to get back from Vietnam after your Cathay Error Fare jackpot win.

So it happened – the deal of a lifetime became a reality. I expect many people booked as quickly as possible without a whole lot of research into how the are going to get to Vietnam for the outward leg and home from Vietnam on the return. As I mentioned I didn’t participate in this one but it could have played nicely into one of my goals for this year which is the take the Singapore Airlines longest flight for no other reason than I’m an avgeek.

Here’s an idea for you which may just work if you’re US based and mad enough and want to spend a few days jetting around the world eating and drinking in first and business class cabins and great lounges.

This idea works on the second leg. So make sure to credit the miles to Alaska if you are in first class on the outbound, you will receive enough miles for a JAL award later in the year as you can see in the chart above.

One of the great Alaska redemptions is the ability to travel from South East Asia to India via Tokyo in JAL Dreamliner business class for just 25k, an absolute steal. In this scenario we want to get to India to pick up a great Singapore Airlines fare back to New York.

Randomly enough Singapore offers great cash fares from Ahmedabad in India via Singapore to Newark on the highly publicized worlds longest flight. Fares between Delhi and Ahmedabad are very cheap and will position you to start the trip back to NYC.

Singapore Airlines have various dates available throughout the schedule currently from $1499, these have dropped as low $1200 and tend to fluctuate a bit. For the length of the flight it’s good value in business class and allows you travel on the worlds longest flight. It involves an A330 to Singapore and a pretty long layover, but so be it, it’s all part of the mission.

Before you know it you’re back in Newark after some serious hours in the air but why not consider it?? Three days ago you could only dream about traveling Cathay First why not tie in the worlds longest flight.

Amusingly you can credit Singapore to Alaska too. So between your Cathay accrual back to Vietnam and the Singapore accrual to New York, you’ll have enough Alaska miles for a rewards ticket back to Vietnam on Cathay Pacific……

Cathay Pacific take it on the chin.

As was widely reported on NYE Cathay Pacific released thousands of Business and First Class seats from Vietnam to the US round trip for prices between $650 and $1,000. As soon as the fares went dead speculation started around whether the fares would be honored or not by the airline. There was radio silence throughout New Year’s Day from the airline as presumably they were figuring out how many tickets were sold and what the damage was. The story was picked up by the local Hong Kong press which added extra pressure their decision.

Then it arrived the airline tweeted their intention to honor the fares and welcome the people who bought them onboard. This is a great New Years gift for those who purchased the fares. I had a great flight in Business between Vancouver and New York last summer but decided not to jump in this time, which I now regret quite a bit. If you booked have a great time and make sure to credit the fares to Alaska as they have great bonuses for higher class travel. Enjoy.

One Last Deal of 2018 – Cathay Pacific Business and First Class for under $1,000 roundtrip from Asia to the USA

New Years Eve 2018 and around 5pm EST Twitter bursts into life with another mistake fare, this time it was Cathay Pacific and they were offering both first and business class fares from Vietnam to the US starting at around $650. It doesn’t come much better than that as First Class round trip fares can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

What was even more interesting this time was the fares stayed live for hours and almost every day of the schedule was available, allowing people the opportunity to actually plan and make dates work rather than jumping in and planning later. Eventually about midnight Cathay pulled all first and business inventory to solve the problem and prices later returned to normal.

For once I didn’t get on this one although it took a lot of self control to stay on the sidelines. In a few weeks I will be setting off to Asia thanks to the Hong Kong Airlines error fare. It almost made sense to only use the outbound and return with Cathay based on the price of a positioning flight I need to book to get back to Shanghai. However potential no show fees put me off that idea seeing as HKA have not budged an inch on any of my requests to amend the itinerary. Ultimately making three trips to Asia next year just for the sake of if, I decided against and $900 is still a fair chuck of change at the end of the holidays.

What happens next will as always be interesting. The airline can cancel all their fares and put it down as a mistake and I think they likely will. Cathay Pacific is the business carrier of choice to Hong Kong from the US and bad press from a lot of travel bloggers and deal hunters will probably be a better option than telling their frequent flyers there are only economy seats left because someone made a mistake last New Years and they have no seats left up the front. That could lead to them losing customers to competitors which in this day and age nobody wants.

But hopefully they will honor as their counterparts did. Should they decide to do so not only will those who book have a great experience in the sky and on the ground with the famous product but by crediting the miles earned to American or even better Alaska they will be able to enjoy a lot of redeemable miles to spend on future trips.

2018 gave us three big deals in my opinion. The Iberia 90K Avios came good. Lots of people have already enjoyed the Hong Kong Airlines error and I can’t wait to do so myself in a few weeks. But if honored this Cathay mistake will be the pick of the bunch. Good luck to those who booked I look forward to the first set of photos although maybe not 27 sets.

Here’s to some great deal hunting in 2019!!!!!

Get ready to book!!! The Holiday Sales start now.

Travel planning is different for everybody some plan months if not years ahead, others are notorious for booking last minute often at higher prices and then you have the impulse buyers who can’t ignore a good fare and like a bit of adventure. Regardless of where you fall in those wildly different categorizations you need to pay attention to airfares over the next couple of months.

As the two main holidays of the year approach people tend to concentrate on both of them and allocate their travel funds accordingly. This is exactly why the airlines offer their best fares at the same time. Outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas/New year the lowest fares of the year are available all the way to May and even into the summer of 2019.

So if you are planning a trip to Europe or Asia next year now is the time to both look and book. If you follow sites such as Secret Flying you will see their findings coming in all day every day. If you have a destination in mind use Google Flights searches and see what days are cheap, you will be surprised. Another useful tool is the price tracker on Google Flights, this will give you email alerts when prices change on routes you like regardless of airline.

In the last week Frontier, Southwest and Alaska have been aggressively dropping fares in the US, while Virgin Atlantic and TAP are starting the show in Europe. We’ll likely see some sort of promotion from everybody in the run up to Christmas.

The morale of the story is whether you like booking way out or up close set your bucket list now and give the gift of travel this holiday season.

Use your Hong Kong Airlines Error Fare Miles to travel A330 Business Class in Europe.

Last week we had one a few good Error fares this year with Hong Kong Airlines releasing business class round trip fares from the west coast to Asia for approx $600. Lots of people jumped on these and the airline has committed to honoring them. This was great news and I look forward to a trip to Shanghai and beyond next spring.

An added bonus of these fares is that they have been ticketed in Fare class J, which means they will also accrue airmiles in their program Fortune Wings Club. These miles will be usable with their partners in this club which include Hainan Airlines amongst others along with international airlines such as TAP and Alaska.

One very interesting new redemption you could make with these miles could be on the new fifth Freedom route between Dublin and Edinburgh. This was launched earlier this year and is operated by a Airbus A330.

Based on the short distance would not require many miles to try out their business class once seats are available. The flight operates direct from Dublin to Beijing twice a week and via Edinburgh twice a week.

Many of the people who jumped on last weeks deal will be frequent travelers and looking for an interesting way to spend the attached mileage haul. So why not hop between Ireland and Scotland in style….

First Error Fare of the year Stockholm to NYC under €150 with Star Alliance Airlines

First great Error Fare of the year with full service Star Alliance Airlines Lufthansa, SAS and United. Lots of dates available Jan-Mar and while you have to start in Stockholm exits are available in several cities including Zurich and Brussels.

These are available via momondo.se and are well worth a positioning flight. Book quickly and wait until ticketed before booking hotels and other travel. Here’s to lots of great fares in 2018.

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The highs and lows of the Error Fare – a missed Air France First Class opportunity.

I have had mixed success with Error Fares over the past couple of years. With every one you catch, you miss one or the dates, routes don’t work for you.

I don’t live on the west coast but would have happily made my way over there to connect onto this mornings fare. $637 one way or $1500 return to fly Air France A380 First Class to London via Paris.

I need to be in London that Friday so went straight for it once I saw it. Hoping to snare a one way ticket for the outbound leg.

Sadly when I got to the booking page the airline had pulled the fare and it was back to normal which is slightly higher and a little out of my price range, at $13,000 one way. So back to Norwegian it is……

It will be interesting to see if Air France honor this one as it may prove quite costly. If anything you can see the huge discrepancy in fares when these errors appear. Oh well you win some, you lose some – onto the next one.

A cocktail a day for $10 a month. Still sounds to good to be true.

A few months ago i wrote about an app called mealpal which for a monthly subscription allows you collect your lunch from a variety of places every day. It had a great sign up bonus with gave you a $50 amazon voucher which essentially bought your lunch down to $3 a day. Which if you live and work in Manhattan is pretty unbeatable.

The latest app offering something similar is called Hooch and it gives you a drink a day in selected bars in cities across the country for a monthly subscription of $10. A single cocktail in Manhattan usually costs in excess of this which makes this a no brainer in theory.

Over time it will surely change and there is already a premium plan and terms and conditions for certain bars but if your local is on here or you just like trying a few new places you may aswell give Hooch a try.

Static-BoxIf you fancy giving the app a go there is a link below which will get you your first month for $1 you then get your own link which can get you up to six months for free. Remember to tip the the bar staff and if you like the place, have a second one or a bite to eat. There is surely some double dipping opportunities with the airline dining programs and MOGL.

Hooch currently works in around ten major cities in the US and in Hong Kong, check it out enjoy a few free tipples.

DT will be trying out few venues in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong in the next few weeks and will let you know how I get along.

*the dealtraveller encourages responsible drinking.

Let’s have a drink! Check out the Hooch App and get a free drink a day for only $9.99/month! Enjoy your first month for only $1 by using this link: 17791f