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……

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!!!!!

St. Patrick’s Day 2018 in NYC – earn Miles with every Guinness.

Love it or hate it, St. Patrick’s day is world famous and can be a lot of fun. The parade and parties in NYC are on a scale matched nowhere else. The parade runs along fifth avenue and there are literally hundreds of Irish bars in the city to enjoy before, during and after. Many of which allow you earn points through the Dining plans which many of the airlines are signed up to.

In Midtown, the heart of the action, you can find 12+ bars which will serve you cold Guinness and allow earn up to five miles a dollar. If you don’t already have a favorite hangout you may aswell try some of them and get your miles.

Follow the link below for the United scheme. But a quick google search will allow you collect Alaska, Delta, American and several more. Lots of which have decent sign on bonuses. Only one card can be used per scheme at a time. But on a day like St. Patrick’s you can pick up a few bonuses but attaching different cards to different airline accounts.



An added bonus this year is St. Patrick’s is on a Saturday and Ireland will be playing England for a rugby grand-slam in the morning. They have only ever won two before so this is a very big deal for a lot of rugby fans and celebrations are likely to get out of hand if the result goes the right way. The Pig n’ Whistle (#9) is a great spot to catch that action from 10.45 Est.

Below are the bars that will allow you earn those valuable miles. Enjoy and Happy St. Patrick’s day!!! Maybe use the miles to visit Dublin next year.

–          4.)  Long Room

–          5.) Foxy Johns

–          6.) Carraghers

–          7.) Stout grand Central

–          8.) Blaggards Pub

–          9.) Pig n Whistle

–          10.) John Sullivans

–          11.) jack Doyles

–          12.) Long Hall

– 13.) The Triple Crown

Earn American miles with Groupon

Just in time for the Christmas season Groupon and American have joined forces to allow you earn AA miles on everything you buy. New customers can earn 1,000 bonus miles with a first purchase and then 5 per dollar spent.

This is slightly better than the current deal in place with Alaska which offers 4 miles per dollar with the same bonus offer for new customers.

Use these extra miles towards your Dreamliner trip between Dallas and Chicago.

Fare war between NYC and Milan.

Yesterday I wrote about the excellent Emerites fares between New York and Milan aboard their A380. Today United have undercut them and are offering round  trips from $350 out of Newark.

These are bookable on Momondo and are also excellent value. Much has been made of United’s service this year but I had a couple of very pleasant flights with them across the Atlantic earlier this month on the 767 that operates this route.

While I would probably still choose Emerites on this route if pushed, this is a solid option to get to Europe at an excellent price. Also the time of the departure out of Newark may be more suitable for connections to elsewhere in Europe.

Get a free Alaska Airlines companion ticket for watching the San Francisco Giants this Sunday 

If you are in San Francisco next weekend there is a great way to earn a free flight by going to the baseball on Sunday afternoon. The Giants are playing the Diamondbacks at 4.05pm. Taking over from the Virgin America promotion of years gone by Alaska Airlines will offer a 2-1 voucher to the first 40,000 fans in the stadium.

Much like their companion pass that is offered with the Alaska credit card, this voucher will allow you book a second seat for a partner for just the cost of the taxes and fees once you have made a normal booking on one of their services.

The vouchers are valid until the end of February and exclude busy periods such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. You would need to book by September 20th to avail of the offer but if you plan to travel anywhere on their network this could be a great way to reduce costs.

To make things even better Alaska have a sale on right now with fares between San Francisco and New York as low as $129 each way. With reductions on many other routes too.

Using the above example of a round trip between SFO and EWR in October the cash fare is just $256 on some midweek flights. The taxes and fees on this flight are $44.31, so if you apply the voucher you would get two round trip transcon tickets for $300. This is pretty unbeatable and flying with Virgin America is a much nicer experience than some of their competitors.

Tickets to the game are currently pricing at $20 on StubHub with over 6,000 available. These will likely drop the closer it gets to the game. The Friday night tickets are now starting at $6.

I think this is a pretty sweet deal and the Giants ballpark is one of the cooler ones I’ve visited. Just be careful not to spend the flight savings on food and drinks while you are there!!

Don’t leave miles behind – Earn with Amazon, Groupon and Airbnb

Nowadays you can earn airmiles on pretty much everything you buy. All the major airlines have shopping portals, dining programs etc. along with the traditional affiliated hotel and car rentals programs which have been around for years. 

However consumer habits are changing as more and more shopping moves online and certain companies have not needed to advertise themselves up until recently by offering bonus airmiles. The companies I have listed below are ones you have probably used at some point or potentially on a regular basis and you may not know that you could be earning valuable miles with each purpose. 

JetBlue – Amazon 

By making your Amazon purchases through JetBlue you can earn 3 miles a dollar. Amazon is the go to place nowadays for many people to buy pretty much anything and the vast majority are not boosting their JetBlue balance with every dollar spent. 

Delta – Airbnb

Portugal Packages

When a trip is booked the first stop for many people is Airbnb to look for accommodation. Personally I believe the gap is closing between hotel prices and Airbnb but finally the ability to earn airmiles thanks to Delta (who look to have taken over Virgins partnership) may make it worthwhile to book with them.

Alaska – Groupon

Groupon is another hugely popular program which offers discounts on all sorts of things. This is a pretty sweet deal from Alaska offering a 1,000 mile bonus and 4 miles a dollar on spend. 

These are just three hugely popular websites where you can earn some extra miles. If you are planning a purchase don’t leave the miles on the table. 


Alaska Airlines – Dash for Miles Promotion

Alaska have launched a new promotion offering 3,000 miles for using 3 of their partners before the end of September.


My making a qualifying purchase with the Alaska shopping portal, taking a survey on the Opinion Terminal and using the dining program the 3,000 miles are there for the taking. These points are in addition to any other bonuses you may earn if you have not already signed up the these services. 

The below survey took ten minutes or so to complete.

I then purchased a voucher from restaurants.com via the shopping portal for $2 which gives me $5 credit in a local restaurant

A happy hour beer after work will complete the trio. Which will net 3,000 miles for a spend of about $7. The same miles would cost $82.50 on the Alaska website at current rates as you can see below.

This is another promotion well worth taking advantage of. Alaska miles are very valuable and have some great transfer partners. Get some ideas of how to spend them in the below article.



400 Easy Alaska Miles – Complete one Survey

There are numerous survey websites out there which will offer you miles for signing up and completing surveys on behalf of their clients.

The latest one is called the Opinion Terminal and they have linked up with Alaska to offer a sign up bonus of 400 miles to join. 

For once it was a pretty pain free experience and I qualified for the third survey they took my details for. A nice touch is they give you 5 miles for the ones you don’t qualify for. The survey itself took about 12 minutes to complete and wasn’t too frustrating. 

The best bit is the miles have already credited to my account in less than 24 hours. They have also sent a mail about a 150,000 mile giveaway in the month of August. 

Morale of the story is if you have 20 minutes it’s and easy way to pick up some miles. Alaska Miles are some of the most useful out there in my opinion as they have some great partners and redemption rates. 

For more on redeeming Alaska miles check out the below article from last month.