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!!!
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……
Great fares today between NYC and Oakland and vice versa with Alaska Airlines. Starting at $69 each way for many dates in September and October these are tough beat.
The flights do route via Seattle which isn’t ideal, but remember Alaska still credits airmiles based on distance flown rather than amount spent so you would accrue approx 3,000 miles each direction.
Of course if you only want to travel as far as Seattle you could always not take the connecting flight to Oakland and get a nice discount on that route too.
As you can see below the 4.15pm EWR-SEA is $198, but if you book the connection to OAK the price drops to $79. However you may forfeit your miles earnings doing that as the airlines frown upon that kind of thing.
These are super fares and you can still pick your seat and earn airmiles per mile flown. Compare that to the other airlines basic economy offerings and i would say it’s well worth a short or long stop in Seattle.
Who doesn’t like the Bay Area or NYC in September? Get involved!!!q
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
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.
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.
If 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
Another year another low cost airline. Launching in April 2018 Primera Air will offer rock bottom, no frills fares across the Atlantic. They have leased two A321 neos which will operate from Boston and Newark to London Stansted, Birmingham and Paris.
Much like Norwegian and Wow the lowest fares will only get you a seat and once you add seat selection, meals etc. the price will rise. But we’re all getting used to that now so what’s the big deal.
Currently the basic fares out of the US in the summer months are very reasonable actually starting at the promised $99 and rising to $200. The return legs are slightly higher but it is possible to get a round trip for between $400 and $500. They are charging $80 to upgrade and include seat selection, checked bag an a meal. So even if we call it $660 it’s still pretty reasonable for peak summer.
The Newark flight to London departs at 10.50pm so really all I would be concerned with is a decent seat to try and sleep. Those are pricing at $50 for exit and XL seats and $40 for anywhere else onboard. Rows one to four are a premium class which is pricing closer to $750 all-in the day I looked.
I’m pretty tempted to buy a one way $139 fare in June as I know I’ll need it and I don’t believe anyone will go cheaper. While Stansted isn’t ideal in some respects it will allow low cost connections all over Europe without the need to go into London.
However I do think it will be interesting what the major airlines do next summer and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a price war as there are now so many seats over the Atlantic. So if you are booking a summer family round trip maybe avoid for now, but if you need a cheap one way they are unlikely to go lower than this.
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.
Emirates are back with their low fares from New York to Europe. Currently both their routes are on sale with wide open availability. Usually these offers are based on two people travelling, but this promotion allows individual bookings too which is a welcome change.
These flights are well worth considering if you are travelling to Greece or Italy. Milan also offers a lot of connections around Europe with the low cost airlines should you wish to use it as a gateway city.
From $445 you can take the flagship A380 from JFK to Milan.
Or fly from Newark to Athens from only $392 which is an excellent fare on their 777.
Emirates economy is among the best in the world and has won countless awards. This is a great option to cross the pond in comfort with excellent service and entertainment options. Grab these fares while they are available.
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.