A New Year – what’s in store?

2018 has been and gone and was for me the busiest year I’ve had from a travel perspective. Between business and personal travel I ended up taking 61 flights on 17 airlines, traveling 96,000 miles through 33 different airports. I ended up the year with Delta Gold status and IHG Spire from flights and hotels which I’m looking forward to taking advantage of this year.

Most of the flights were in economy but I strategically used miles to travel in Thai First, Virgin Upper, Qantas and Cathay Business and thanks to Iberia’s promotion travelled up the front with them and BA. It was also interesting to try out Virgin’s and BA’s premium economy offerings across the Atlantic. As soon that will be the new business and business the new first for many business travelers.

While my intention was to travel less in 2019 the next six weeks show no sign of slowing down. A business trip to Tennessee will be followed by a long weekend in Europe spending a night Berlin and a couple in Dublin. I’ve been dying to fly on the Singapore A380 so used 30k United miles for JFK-FRA-TXL with the connection on Lufthansa and 13k Avios back from DUB – JFK with minimal charges.

Then February brings the years first “big trip” finally using the Hong Kong Airlines Error fare between LAX and PVG. I’ll be heading out to LA on the new United Dreamliner in Polaris on the way out and their new premium economy on the way back. The HKA legs will hopefully be on their newest A350s and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to sit in the queens nose once again, if only for an hour between BKK and HKT. The other flights will mainly be on 330s, which are still a nice change from the majority of my 2018 aircraft.

So by the end of February 35k miles and 17 flights will be flown. Further out, a weekend to visit to Boneyard in Tucson is planned and a week in Portugal booked for a very nice 44k SkyMiles in the height of summer.

I always find it nice to have a couple of trips booked in Jan/Feb to start the year off right and have something to look forward to in the New Year. That along with the fact that fares are cheaper and destinations less crowded make it the perfect time to travel. Wherever 2019 takes you enjoy it!!!

ERROR FARE – NYC to Bangkok $226 round trip

The Bangkok Error Fare is also working from NYC for just $226 in January. Several dates are available so have a play with momondo and see what you find. 

Bangkok is one of the worlds most vibrant cities and well worth a visit if only for a couple of days. Take advantage with this deal from award winning Air Nippon it’s unlikely to get cheaper than this.

Don’t book any non refundable extras until the fares are ticketed. 

Error Fare Houston – Bangkok $235 Round Trip in January 

Error Fare value with Air Nippon this morning. $235 between Houston and Bangkok in January and beyond these flights have a stopover in Tokyo. 

Bookable via Momondo this is a super deal on a full service airline. Usually flights to Asia are in the $600-$800 range. As always wait until the flights are ticketed before making other non-refundable bookings. 

Error Fare – NYC – Bangkok from €185 Roundtrip

Insane value today between NYC and Bangkok in the new year with Air Nippon via Tokyo. These are available via momondo.fr and bookable in euros. Prices are starting at just €185 for a round-trip whereas they are usually approx $600 so a substantial saving. Lots of dates available as our routings originating from Houston and LAX. 

These are an error Fare so avoid booking anything un-refundable in case the airline doesn’t honour the tickets. 

Round the World on Deals and Miles. Part one booked – Thai First Class

More and more people are collecting airmiles than ever before, through a variety of means that mainly don’t even involve flying anymore. Airlines are making billions of dollars selling their miles to affiliate programs such as credit card companies, car rental agencies, hotel groups – you name it and there is probably a way to earn some miles there. This has led the airlines themselves to devalue their programs and make redeeming those miles more expensive. That’s nice of them eh. 

The next to go is United who will change their awards system in October. No doubt some of the changes are already being applied reducing saver availability etc. What can be guaranteed is the amount of miles needed for what you want to do will no doubt be higher.

There is one great redemption that still remains out there and it’s one I have recently booked. By booking through United Mileage Plus you can fly from Asia to Australia/New Zealand for an extremely low 40,000 miles in Thai first class or 30,000 in business. To put that in perspective a first class seat for the hour hope between New York to Boston on a 737 can run you 50,000 miles on United. 

I have always wanted to do a round the world trip on miles and deals and this was a redemption too good to turn down before the price almost doubles. So for 40,000 miles and $67 I will travel from Hong Kong via Bangkok to Sydney in January. Both legs will be in the nose of a 747-800 and there will be a layover of 3 hours to experience the first class lounge in Bangkok. The retail price is currently nudging $3,000 for the same flight. 

This will no doubt be the highlight of the trip, airplane wise at least and the rest is still to be booked. But that’s half the fun, unfortunately I missed the crazy Qatar business fares earlier this week, but something will come up and you can read about it here when it does.