Ask Lucky

Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
If you have questions about how to search for award space or how to redeem miles I’ve probably already answered it in a more detailed post, so check out the “Tips & Tutorials” page for some quick references.
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!


  1. Themilesflyer says

    Related to today’s post, I have embarrassed my next coming flights to be cancelled again and again.
    My ticket is US airways first class award ticket from Narita to Lisbon. On coming back to Narita, I fly Iberia business class from Lisbon to Madrid to London. But my booking of these two flights is cancelled even thought I have already issued the ticket. I called US airways and their agents re-booked my flights without knowing the reason of cancellation.But within 24hrs, my booking of Iberia has been cancelled again. This has happened more than 5 times after issuing the ticket this month. I’m really tired of Iberia…All my booking except Iberia is confirmed only so Iberia is a problem…
    In this case, Iberia’s flights themselves aren’t cancelled so I hope I can fly with them if I show them a confirmed US Airways ticket. Am I optimistic? What should I do? Can I leave home for travel?

    Please give me your advice.

  2. lucky says

    @ Themilesflyer — That’s very odd. All I can recommend is asking for a supervisor at US Airways and having them do what they can to get the ticket properly restored. I’ve never seen that before.

  3. Justin says

    Hey Ben,

    I was at the Miles Professor event in NYC a couple weeks ago, and a couple of us were talking about how you’re so responsive to questions. Props to you, most bloggers are not on top of things as much as you!

    Question- for a first Barclaycard, would you recommend the US Airways or Arrival Plus?

    I don’t really have a use for US Airways miles, but merging with AAdvantage next year would make them more useful. Having Arrival would be nice to help pay for taxes and fees for flights…

    What do you think?

  4. lucky says

    @ Justin — Thanks for the kind words! I’d probably do the US Airways Card first, since I think the window on that is closing sooner. I don’t think we’ll see much change to the Barclaycard Arrival Plus anytime soon, but I could be wrong…

  5. Thomas says

    Ben, curious to hear your thoughts on this volcano in Iceland and how it might impact air travel in the coming days/weeks. Personally, I am supposed to fly from the U.S. to London for a long weekend over Labor Day weekend (flying Austrian Airlines there, AA back). If there is an eruption, do you know what the typical rules should be for re-routing or changing the ticket? And what would you suggest of those who have travel plans that may be impacted? Thanks!

  6. grandgourmand says

    Hey Lucky,

    Think you could do a thorough post on your ideas for best redemptions to South American Destinations? Seems like AA is expanding there like crazy and has good hard product. So compare those to some of the alternatives like LAN and even Air Canada (possibly). Maybe some European carriers too. Also what best points strategies. Seems like Asia and Europe are pretty well covered.
    Take it or leave. I’d find it interesting. Cheers.

  7. Jeremy says

    Hi Lucky,

    I just booked Singapore Airlines awards using KrisFlyer miles. I booked a first class award from PVG-SIN-AKL and the total YQ taxes came out to 382 SGD on the Singapore Airlines site.

    However, on ITA matrix for the same exact route and day, the total YQ taxes show 297 SGD. Have you experience discrepancies like this on ITA matrix or Singapore Airlines when it comes to calculating YQ?

    Here’s the breakdown on my SQ receipt:
    YQ 382.6
    YQ 12.8
    SG 9
    OO 3
    CN 19
    KK 19.5
    Total 445.9 SGD

    And in ITA matrix:
    (YQ) 256.6
    (YQ) 12.8
    Singapore Passenger Service Charge (SG) 9
    Singapore Passenger Security Service Charge (OO) 3
    People’s Republic of China Airport Fee (CN) 19
    New Zealand Passenger Service Charge (KK) 19.5
    Total 319.9 SGD

    The difference is almost $100 USD

  8. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    How hard is it to book Cathay First 11 months in advance with AA Miles? Since they open their schedule later will all the seats be gone? I have enough avios, so I could hold them until Americans schedule opens, but will those seats go to back into award inventory?

    Thanks, Gabe

  9. Douglas says

    Can you tell me other then United, the best options for redeeming miles on Aeroplan with lower fuel surcharges? I’m looking to book an award ticket for 4 and have plenty of transferable points but only enough United miles for 2. I was looking to book 2 Aeroplan seats through United, and 2 through another Star Alliance partner.

  10. Ben says

    Lucky, I have American Express Business Platinum Card and flying on Delta tomorrow. If I upgrade to economy plus, will the fee be reimbursed as part of $200 airline Credit?

  11. lucky says

    @ Thomas — I’ll have to do some research as I haven’t been paying much attention to the news lately. There’s really not all that much precedent for something that major. I’d guess everything will be fine and operate as usual. If it does get bad and planes can’t fly over the North Atlantic, then there really isn’t much that can be done. But I can’t imagine it will be as bad as the last one. If I figure anything out I’ll have a post on it.

  12. lucky says

    @ Jim — Unfortunately not in my experience, and they don’t do points advances anymore either. So you’ll just have to wait it out, unfortunately.

  13. lucky says

    @ Jeremy — Yes, I have noticed the YQ is sometimes off a bit compared to revenue tickets with KrisFlyer. Unfortunately there’s not really much that can be done.

  14. lucky says

    @ Gabe — They don’t always go back, but if you’re booking that far out you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding two seats with some flexibility.

  15. Douglas says

    I’m trying to fly from Germany to the US in business class next summer, probably from FRA to ORD. Aeroplan has a route connecting through YYZ.

  16. lucky says

    @ Douglas — I would also take a look at Swiss, LOT, and Turkish, as they all have no/limited fuel surcharges.

  17. Terry says

    I bought my wife a ticket from TPA-MUC. She is flying on US Airways in first from TPA to CLT. We got the ticket using United Miles prior to US Airways leaving Star Alliance. She was just turned away from the US Airways lounge in TPA because she was told that US Air and United are not longer partnered which we knew. Since she is actually on a US Air flight I thought she could still use the lounge. Who is incorrect here, the lounge or me?

  18. italdesign says

    Hey Lucky, I’m going to Aussie over Xmas in J! IND-DFW-PDX-HNL-SYD-MEL. There’s a 10-20 hour layover at DFW, PDX, and HNL. Not the ideal schedule or product but I’m just glad to book something during that time! AA rep had no problem reserving it, but I couldn’t do it on Even though each segment shows on, the most I can get the system to process as a single award is PDX-MEL. Even if I enter just DFW-SYD, it doesn’t show that route. If I enter each segment in Multi-City mode, it treats each segment as a separate award! Is that normal website behavior? Really irks me when all segments are available on but I have to call in, wait half an hour in queue, and pay $35.

  19. lucky says

    @ Terry — The agent is unfortunately correct. With US Airways you only get lounge access if you’re traveling in oneworld international business class the same day. Since they’re not in the same alliance anymore, the international segment isn’t in the right alliance for lounge access. Unfortunate side effect of them changing alliances. :(

  20. lucky says

    @ italdesign — For complicated itineraries that is the norm, unfortunately. While it’s frustrating to pay $35, keep in mind you’re still getting a business class ticket to Australia over Christmas. That’s a hell of a value if you ask me!

  21. Luis says

    I found some award space for a short intra europe flight on BA metal through that’s not showing up on If I call AA, will they be able to book that flight for me? It’s a flight i want to add on to my return flight home as to avoid the London departure tax.

  22. lucky says

    @ Luis — They should have access to the same space, so it may just be a glitch. I would call.

  23. Elliott says

    I opened the Citi AA Platinum with the 50K signup bonus. I fulfilled the spend requirement with a large purchase and the bonus points were already deposited in my AA account.

    Part of the large purchase was recently refunded, bringing me below the minimum spend threshold. Will Citi claw the bonus points back?

  24. lucky says

    @ Elliott — Don’t really have experience with that, sorry. It’s a real possibility that they do. Maybe someone else can chime in?

  25. Shaun says


    I recently purchased a cheap K class one way flight from HNL-NRT-SIN.

    HNL-NRT is on ANA operated by Air Japan so Business class seating just sucks.
    NRT-SIN is on a UA 777-200 and gives me an option to upgrade (waitlisted) for each passenger to Business class for 20000 miles and $75.
    There’s three of us flying and we have no status on UA.
    All of us do have Aegean gold and the flight is about six months out.

    My two questions are:

    What are the chances of all three of us getting upgraded and is it worth transferring 45000 UR points to my UA account?

    Thanks in advance!

  26. Troy says

    Hey Ben, I have the chance to change my UA F ticket ORD-FRA to LH on F but if I do that I leave myself a 1 hour connection for my TG flight onward. Should I stay on UA with a 4 hour layover or switch out to LH and pay the fee (is the fee $75 or $150 for no status)??

  27. arrek says

    Lucky, have you had any issues with AF phantom space on the Alaska site? Finding 2 seats from CMN to IAD via CDG for my dates, but the agent can’t see the space and I can’t book it online. Flightstats shows “O” space from CMN to CDG (my understanding is that neither EF nor flightstats show transatlantic space) and the AF website shows space on both segments, so not sure what the issue is.

  28. arrek says

    hmm…on further investigation it looks like 3 “O” seats are needed on flightstats for AS to book…seems to be the case for both TATL and short-haul. Also, the seats haven’t disappeared from inventory on flightstats once booked (I did a booking on the AS website which I will cancel in the morning). Flights with 2 “O” seats are showing up on the AS website but don’t seem bookable.

  29. lucky says

    @ Shaun — NRT-SIN can be a really tough upgrade, so unfortunately I think it’s fairly unlikely you’d clear unless there’s confirmable upgrade space.

  30. lucky says

    @ arrek — I have noticed some discrepancies in the past, especially when married segments are involved. Afraid there’s not always a workaround, so you can’t totally count on Air France inventory always being available. What Alaska’s site shows is accurate as far as Alaska inventory goes.

  31. Scott says

    Lucky – I recently booked a US to HKG award using US Dividend miles. One of the segments is First on JAL from SFO to HND. When I had the reservation on hold it auto-deleted before the 72 hour hold time. I was able to rebook the same itinerary but the booking agent cautioned saying that JAL can cancel reservation segments that are more than 90 days in the future. She referenced note # 7 on the bottom of US’s one world award chart: “awards booked on Japan Airlines are valid for the next 90 days starting from the following day of award issuance.” She claimed she has dealt with a number of people who have to cancel their whole award bc they loose their JAL flight. Do you know of any issues with JAL on US award bookings?

  32. Nizar says

    Hi Ben,

    Do you know if TK still have F on their one JFK flight (TK1/2) that still flies the 77W ?

    How is the F on this flight ? Closed suites ? Have you flown it and done a trip report on it ? I’ve seen your report on their J class.


  33. Sean M. says

    I am trying to rent a car using my Chase Sapphire Preferred, but unfortunately it is consistently being rejected by rental agencies in the Middle East (two rejections now) who require a physical card imprint. As you are aware, the CSP has laser etched name/number rather than embossed name/number and therefore cannot be imprinted. Any ideas how to get around this?

  34. Trevor says

    Hi Lucky,

    I’m in the process of booking an international Alaska award on Cathay. Can you only do the stopover in HKG? I was trying to route JFK-HKG-BKK-CMB, with a stopover in BKK, but was told that’s an illegal routing. Is there any way to get a stopover that isn’t HKG?


  35. lucky says

    @ Scott — While I know there have been issues confirming the space in advance, once confirmed you shouldn’t have an issue. I’d keep an eye on the itinerary, though.

  36. lucky says

    @ Sean M. — Wow, that’s interesting. I’ve had people confused about the card and have issues etching it, but never have I been denied as a result. They’re really not willing to take a picture of the card or write down the numbers? It’s a point I’d probably try to argue since it’s a valid credit card. Seems like it’s time they have a more traditional card as well.

    Sorry, wish I had a solution…

  37. lucky says

    @ Trevor — In theory it should be possible, though with Alaska it all depends on the agent you get.

  38. Christian says

    Hi Ben,

    I am from the UK. Long time reader, but to be honest, still confused about the whole points miles thing.

    I spend about £720 pcm on Mortgage payments, and £600 pcm on nursery payments. I’m wondering if I put these payments alone on a credit card and could earn miles/points what the best to go for would be. My wife is from Hong Kong, so being able to redeem something to travel back to Hong Kong would be cool, preferably with Cathay but would obviously travel with other airlines too.

    My real question is, what is the best miles/points programme to be a part of? Avios is the obvious one and I think I can book Cathay with those, but as you well know, there are large fuel surcharges and taxes. I probably can’t avoid those booking from within the UK…

    Any advice gratefully received.



  39. Paul says

    Hi Lucky…My goal is a 2016 killer Cathay Pacific/Singapore Air NYC TO ASIA Australia (including Perth).Sri Lanka Frankfurt/London
    What are the best programs to generate many miles on these 2?
    I’d love 1 Ethiad shower at 35,000 feet but I understand huge mile needed and slim openings.
    Have 400k American
    200k Chase 130Amex 150Alaska 150 BA
    Appreciate any guidance.

  40. lucky says

    @ Paul — I think you’re well positioned for what you’re trying to do. American miles will get you the Cathay Pacific seats, as will Alaska (depending on what you’re trying to do). I’d keep trying to generate miles with Ultimate Rewards, American, and Alaska, and I think you’ll be well positioned. Good luck!

  41. Sean M. says

    @Lucky – Trying to argue policy and suggest alternatives to an Indian/Filipino desk clerk is not going to get me very far in this region! :) Their procedure says to take an imprint. No imprint, no sale. Sorry sir, thank you sir, have a nice day sir, come again sir.

    Trying it again on Sunday, let’s see what transpires then!

  42. Naveen says

    FYI. There are at least 4 business and 2 first class awards available on Qatar Airways A380 starting Nov from CDG-DOH

  43. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    If you were going to book Cathay First Class as early as possible,would you use AA Miles or BA Avios? I know that more miles are required for Avios but I seems easier to snag the seats, is that correct?

    Thanks, Gabe

  44. Douglas Levin says

    I’m assuming this has been asked before, so please forgive my ignorance. I’m thinking of booking an international round trip United business class ticket including the free stop over. However, the first portion was going to be summer 2015 and I’m not sure of the dates for the return and the stop over at the end of the trip yet. I do know the dates are not available for booking right now as its over a year away.

    As long as I give United a specific routing now can I change the dates of the other parts of the trip for free as long as it’s 21 days out from the beginning of the ticket? Does it all have to be on United metal or could I change to a partner as long as it’s the same routing?

  45. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    I forgot about Alaskan Airlines miles, would they be a good option?¨

    Thanks, Gabe

  46. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    in your experience will all the seats be gone when AA and Alaska open their schedules? If I book them with Avios and then cancel, will I be able to snag them with Alaskan or AA miles?

    Thanks, Gabe

  47. lucky says

    @ Gabe — No, not at all, I’ve booked plenty of seats through American and Alaska when their schedules open.

  48. Douglas Levin says

    I should have clarified I’m United silver. So I shouldn’t have to worry about the $75 fee then correct? Can I change to a partner airline on the same routing or would it all have to be on United metal?

  49. John says

    If I add a Diamond member to my hyatt reservation, will we get Diamond benefits like access to club lounge?

  50. MSY says

    Hi Lucky:

    I’m still playing around with my itinerary for Europe next year. I have a couple of options to get home through JFK and wanted your opinion. I can connect back through either Brussels and fly SN87, which is an Airbus 333 or through Vienna and fly OS87, which is a 777. SN is about an hour shorter; the first leg would be on a 319 and there would be less time on the 333. The OS first leg is on a DH4, but it is only 45 minutes. Then I would have more time on the 777.

    Any thoughts?

  51. Sue P says

    Hi Ben, I just booked Business class tickets from Bos to Paris on Air France. Will get access to their lounge in Boston with a Business class ticket?

  52. Josh says

    Hi Lucky,

    When are you going to be in Hong Kong? I’m a fan of yours and would love to meet you. Hope you have a great flight!!!!!

  53. KahunnaTravel says

    Ben, any thoughts about hotel booking through Rocketmiles? e-Miles survey panelists can score an additional 3K miles per stay by booking through Rocketmiles.

  54. mangoceviche says

    Lucky -are you going to write another post about where CX might fly next, like you did last time before they announced EWR? CX posted a couple of hints on facebook – coffee cup with what looks like a space needle logo (Seattle) and a red baseball bat (Boston).

  55. lucky says

    @ MSY — Both are great, but I’d give the edge to Austrian. They have a substantially better meal service, in my opinion.

  56. lucky says

    @ Josh — Still finalizing the trip, but hope to have a reader meetup when I’m there. Thanks for reading!

  57. lucky says

    @ KahunnaTravel — Rocketmiles is a great option for shorter cheap stays or non-chain stays when they have a good bonus. For longer or more expensive stays I just don’t think it’s worth sacrificing points for the miles they offer.

  58. Marc says

    Any suggestions on getting to London from anywhere in south florida (orlando-tampa-MIA) around june 27th in business or 1st? I have 300k UR.
    The only thing I seem to find is Virgin Atlantic @ $3200 + 70k pts.

  59. jen says

    @Marc – we just booked MCO to LGW for about the same time next year (23rd to the 11th) and paid that WITHOUT using miles….

  60. mangoceviche says

    Lucky – is the FCT reachable by foot when arriving by Thai Airways? My friend just flew F from BKK to FRA, connecting to J to MUC, and then F from MUC to YYZ. She had wheelchair service because she has a sprained ankle. The person who came with the wheelchair wheeled her from the door of the plane to the arrival gate, went back to the plane three times to get three other passengers. My friend (and her family who also have F award tickets from MUC to YYZ) told the wheelchair person that she would like to go to the FCT. He told her that she would need to take a taxi there and back to the airport to catch her flight to MUC. Is that true? Because of the delay getting her to the FCL, my friend spent less than 10 minutes there before she had to go to the gate, which she said, was around the corner from the FCL. She’s really bummed that she didn’t get to pick up some duckies. Would Lufthansa send them to her?

  61. Bob P says

    Hey Lucky

    Two questions for you…

    1-Have you ever been to Ibiza and if so, any suggestion for us?

    2-A while back you said you were compiling a list of your travel or must do/see items in Hong Kong. Did you ever publish this list and if so, where can I find it? Any chance of you being there February 7-10?

  62. Christopher says

    Hi Lucky – I booked a flight from Richmond, VA to Lima, Peru via ATL. However, I actually live in ATL, but with a $400 price difference, I knew I could just deal with the one-way cost associated with flying to RIC for the start of the trip. I am wondering about my options should anything go wrong with my ATL-RIC flight plan. Am I SOL if I miss that first RIC-ATL leg because I couldn’t get to RIC on time due to some unknown reason (weather, mechanical issues, etc.) even though I may be right where I need to be for the ATL-LIM segment? I understand that airlines would cancel my itinerary if I miss the first leg of a flight plan and I fully intend on flying to RIC, just trying to figure out my contingency plans so that I don’t lose the trip even if I miss that first leg.

  63. Jonathan says

    Hi Lucky, I am trying to book two seats from Europe to Australia with US miles in First. I checked and talked to US on the phone – no luck. Any idea? Is it even possible? Thanks!

  64. Ryan M says

    Did you happen to get the photos of the new Singapore A380 Suites? I’m curious to see them.

  65. melissa says

    My husband and I are going to be flying on emirates suites on award from DFW-DBX-NBO. We have to get to Dallas on AA and I am wondering if it is possible to check our luggage all the way through to Kenya?
    Since AA isn’t partners with emirates I wasn’t exactly sure what we need to do. If it isn’t possible how much time should we allow for this process?
    Thanks- GO NOLES!

  66. Donn says

    Lucky ,Thank you again for all your good reviews , I read almost everyone . I was wondering if you have ever posted on The Hyatt Diamond challenge . If so can I get a link?

  67. Donn says

    Lucky forget the above question on the Hyatt Diamond Challenge . I have found your Info. ….Thanks

  68. Wailana says

    Aloha Lucky!
    Thank you for your blog. It has proven helpful in my beginning stages of living “one mile at a time”.
    I need your help. My husband and I live in Honolulu, Hawaii. We would like to take a simple trip to the U.S. Mainland – Orlando, Chicago, Kansas, Vegas, North/South Los Angeles – next year. I was approved for the SouthWest Premier credit card earlier this month for travel purposes. I would like to acquire other credit cards to help in our flights to these places – what are your recommendations? I have seen the United Mileage Plus, Delta SkyMiles, Hawaiian Airlines sign-up bonus’s for these cards.
    Thank you.

  69. lucky says

    @ mangoceviche — You can certainly walk to the FCT, but it’s not really “even” ground, so it would be tougher with a wheelchair. Haven’t heard of Lufthansa sending rubber ducks, but it can’t hurt to ask, I suppose.

  70. lucky says

    @ Bob P — I haven’t been to Ibiza. As far as Hong Kong goes, I’m actually going in a couple of weeks so was going to take more pictures and get all the details so I can write a really thorough guide.

  71. lucky says

    @ Christopher — If there’s a huge delay and you’d misconnect, just see an agent and they can potentially cancel out both segments so you can take the direct flight.

  72. lucky says

    @ Jonathan — Well you might have to search segment by segment. Be sure to check Qantas and Cathay Pacific, in particular. Definitely possible with flexibility.

  73. lucky says

    @ melissa — Yes, you should be able to interline your bags. When you check in with American, just show them your connecting ticket on Emirates.

  74. lucky says

    @ Wailana — I would go for a card with a transferable mileage currency, like Chase Ultimate Rewards points. So I would start with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which has a great sign-up bonus and is also great for everyday spend. Good luck!

  75. says

    Hey Ben,

    I just wonder if you ever read this article,–part-3—vanessa-s-story-of-debt–pain-and-emptiness-063315875.html . If so, I just wonder if the European flight attendant like lufthansa or BA have the same story or not, I know the US Flight attendant cannot do the same thing. But, If you haven’t read it, i will say this just a new insight although the article already written more than a year ago. No one doubt about the quality and the overall of flight attendant of SQ, or at least if you don’t know this story, can you see this happen to your favorite flight attendant? (Ahh, i forget her name)

  76. SG says

    I’ve been catching up on some trip reports and saw you used the LH Business lounge in FRA and couldn’t get into the LH lounge in WAW because you were flying LO C. Surely with all the flying you do, you’d be *A Gold?! Or is all your paid flying on AA/Oneworld?


  77. lucky says

    @ Ernest — Sounds like she’s just very bad at managing her money and it has nothing to do with her job as such. Lots of young people are irresponsible nowadays, unfortunately.

  78. lucky says

    @ SG — Yes, but I wanted to check out the business lounge at FRA, since I hadn’t visited it before.

  79. Memon says

    Thanks Lucky, The BA website shows no availability of award space on Qatar after May 7, 2015! I was trying to find award space for the second week in May.

  80. lucky says

    @ Memon — Yeah, that is strange, I’m sure they’ll open more space for later in the schedule soon.

  81. says

    Lucky – can you send me to your latest update re: what miles & points are worth. You mention doing a yearly update and the last I see is in 2013.

    Also would appreciate your advice on how to start thinking about positioning myself for the future given that revenue based rather than distance based FFP are coming.

    Thanks – your info is invaluable and I have become a big fan!!


  82. Mohamed says

    Hi Lucky
    I am a silver executive club member with an account of 700.000avios i ve reached so far 1275 tier points and my year end 8sept so i still have 2 weeks to make it to gold but my question is it worth doing the extra flight for the sake of gold status??!

  83. lucky says

    @ bobbieddie — I haven’t published one this year yet, but it will be coming soon. Thanks for reading! Also hope to have post on revenue based redemptions soon.

  84. lucky says

    @ Mohamed — All depends on how much travel you have planned for next year, but it definitely could be worth it.

  85. Kevin says

    Hi Ben,

    I’m not sure if you’ve ever answered a question like this before as I did a search on your blog and couldn’t quickly find any related info.

    I love travelling in Business and especially First Class and I wondered whether you ever tip the crew or reward them in anyway for looking after you so well on a flight?

    I’ve had some great crew on past flights and apart from saying thanks, I wondered if there was anything more I should do?

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Cheers, Kevin

  86. Siggi says

    Do you think that 2417 skymiles is a good value for a year of the Wall Street Journal?
    Or, less specifically, what do you think a skypeso is worth?

  87. Justin says

    Never having flown AB or US business class, which do you think is better:

  88. TheRealBabushka says

    Dear Lucky,

    First up, LOVE your work! Thank you!!!

    I was wondering if you will be reviewing the QR Al Mourjan and the First Class Lounge at the new DOH airport at some point in the future? I would love to see a comparison between the two.

    Similar to the set up at LHR with the Concorde and Galleries First lounges, I’ve never found Galleries First to be “second-rate” (at least I’m not made to feel second rate as a OWE flying in a non-premium cabin).

    I’m curious to know if the new First Class Lounge at DOH feels the same way.

    Also interesting would be a comparison between the Oryx Lounge use by BA, CX, RJ and UL and the QR First/Business Lounges (not Al Mourjan). Since the three lounges open for 24h, it would be curious to see which lounge ends up as the de facto OW Sapphire and OW Emerald lounges.

  89. James says

    Hi lucky,

    I hve a quick question about the Singapore business class seats. Are they the type of seat that becomes a flat bed without you needing to get off the seat (like the BA club world seat) or do you need to get off the seat and flip the top (like the Virgin Upper class seats)


  90. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    How warm is Florida in the beginning of April? Is it warm enough that you can be by the pool?

    Thinking of going to either Sarasota or Key West, anything you would recommend?

    Thanks, Gabe

  91. Melissa says

    I grew up in Florida my entire life.. My birthday is in January and I would always have a pool party! Key west is always generally above 80 year round and Sarasota only will have a “chilly” day a few times a year! Sarasota is great for families.. Id check out siesta key.. Key west is VERY touristy and a lot of bars.. Duck key is my favorite that my parents took us as kids! Hope this helps!

  92. James says

    Hi Ben,
    In checking the BA award calculator BOS-DUB in Business Class, it shows 25,000 miles (which is accurate) but $430.60 taxes, fees and carrier charges! Has BA began charging YQ on Are Lingus flights, or is this just some sort of glitch?

  93. andy says

    Hi Ben,
    Is there a web site or application that can alert me when a saver seat becomes available on a particular United flight? I have been relegated to checking the web site often and have had the best luck finding releases of saver seats either early in the morning as the day of travel approaches or any time the day before where there are lots of available seats for sale. The problem with close in travel is the close in booking fee for many although being platinum, I don’t have to pay. I have my secretary check a few times per day when she is not too busy.

  94. lucky says

    @ Siggi — Yes, I’d say that’s a great deal, especially if it’s an orphan account. I’d say SkyMiles are worth maybe 1.2 cents each or so.

  95. lucky says

    @ Justin — That’s a toughie. Probably slightly prefer the US Airways hard product over the airberlin hard product, while the opposite is true for the soft product. But maybe US Airways so you can avoid JFK?

  96. lucky says

    @ TheRealBabushka — Thanks for the kind words! Yes, have aspirations of checking out the new DOH airport and Qatar lounges very shortly. Stay tuned. :)

  97. Christian says

    Hi Lucky,

    In similar fashion to Cathay, have you ever seen two people eat at 1 seat on a LH F flight? I was just looking around on the internet and came across a hastily shot video that made it look like 2 ppl were dining together.

  98. lucky says

    @ James — That would be the price if flying British Airways. That’s not the price if flying Aer Lingus.

  99. lucky says

    @ andy — ExpertFlyer lets you set alerts for saver award space on United, so while there’s a fee to join, it could be worth it.

  100. Pat says

    I’m not sure if you covered this topic before but any suggestions on what to do if an airline strike causes one or more of your flights to be cancelled? I have a couple of upcoming LH F segments booked with UA miles and have seen rumblings of the LH pilot union going on strike. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  101. Nizar says

    Hi Ben,

    My wife and I are booked on CX846 HKG-JFK for April in F. Our first time on CX F so very excited (previously only tried QF and EY in F). Which seats are best for a couple ? On the seat map the D-K pairings look like they are sort of facing each other ?


  102. lucky says

    @ Nizar — They don’t really face one another. I would do 1A & 2A (then you have the whole aisle to yourselves), and otherwise would do 2D & 2K. Enjoy the trip!

  103. Memon says

    Hi Lucky,

    Is it true that I can only use AA miles on international flights directly operated by AA (and OneWord members) and not by US Air? I was planning my route and I find several flights from CLT to IAD or LHR operated by US Air (and Qatar onwards), but the only route that AA flies to is ORD!

  104. lucky says

    @ Memon — No, you absolutely can route on any oneworld airline using American miles, assuming there’s award availability.

  105. Mike says

    Lucky, I’m wondering how you interpret this. I’m on the AA Platinum challenge through 12/31/14, so I need 12,000 EQM or EQPs according to the terms. Wondering if the $40,000 spend on the 100k Executive Mastercard that gets you 10k EQMs will count towards the challenge. The reports I’ve read in the past say that the challenge is based on EQPs only, but on my terms and conditions EQMs seem to count. Here’s the link to the terms. How do you interpret this? Should I call AA and confirm and have them notate it in my account? Thanks!

  106. Patrick says

    I have read a lot of your Cathay Pacific first class reviews, and you almost always get the Hong Kong style milk tea. It looks really good and I want to try it myself but I have been to many stores looking in their tea sections trying to find it but none of them have it. I was wondering if you knew where you can buy it instead of flying Cathay Pacific first class? Thanks

  107. Ted says

    I just saw that in April Emirates had opened a huge lounge in Rome that has a formal dinning area (which it seems that most lounges out of Dubai just have a buffet) Also from the video on youtube it looks like for First Class passengers there is now an escort from your chauffeur to the lounge and let you know when your fight is ready to board. Is that something new for first class passengers or is that only in Rome?

  108. Jon says

    I have always been able to select free exit row seats on US Airways during OLCI, but they were asking for $29/segment when I went to check-in today. I do not have status on AA or US, but will hit Gold on AA by the end of the year if that matters. I have flown over 20 segments on US this year and have always been able to select exit row seats for free during check-in.

    Do you know what changed? I called US and they had no idea.

  109. Danny says

    Hi Lucky,

    I thought UA blocked Expert Flyer from searching UA awards, Did they open it up again?

  110. lucky says

    @ Mike — I believe they have to be flown. Don’t think the ones from the credit card count, but I could be wrong.

  111. lucky says

    @ Patrick — Are you in the US? If so, I’d check out an Asian grocery store. They should have it.

  112. lucky says

    @ Ted — It’s pretty normal for them to have a dining area, even without a buffet. Not familiar with the escort from the chauffeur to the lounge, though.

  113. lucky says

    @ Jon — Hmmm, I was under the impression that they always charged for exit row seating, even with online check-in. So not too sure, sorry.

  114. lucky says

    @ Danny — They do show just saver level economy, business, and first class space, but nothing else.

  115. Richard says

    Hi Lucky

    My wife and I are flying Australia to UK, business class, in December on a BA flight, we intend making 3further trips next year, 2 to Europe and one to New Zealand, all in business, all on One-world partners, we are new to this but can we earn points and move them round from one airline to another after we have earned them and they have been allocated?


  116. Seb says

    Hi Lucky, while traveling I personally find it’s always very challenging to plan enough sport/fitness along the way. Obviously there are the time limits with traveling, meetings and working itself. But once you start flying in premium cabins and visiting airport and hotel lounges, the food and drinks just keep coming… :-) For me, it is even more important to schedule enough gym and pool time then. But how do you deal with that? The lifestyle isn’t always the most healthy one…

  117. says

    Just curious…what do you call (chain) hotels that are exclusively villas? I’m ready to rant about (the lack of) them back on Hong Kong Airline News, especially in Asia – (a little info since you’re probably too busy to read other non-BA blogs like mine) Phuket had *one* chain full-villa hotel, the Naka Island from Starwood, and I can currently find *one* Bali villa hotel, Bulgari from Marriott. All of these “full-villa” hotels are clustered in the Maldives and Koh Samui, some over touristy but vibeless destinations.

  118. James says

    Just wondering, how much do you spend per year on travel in points and cash? I was considering doing a year of travel blogging and was wondering how much I should budget for something like this.


  119. lucky says

    @ Richard — You can’t move points between airlines. You can earn and redeem miles in any given oneworld program for travel on any oneworld flights, but you can’t move the miles around once credited.

  120. lucky says

    @ Seb — Very difficult indeed, especially between working and jetlag. Personally I find that the best time to go to the gym is while jetlagged in the middle of the night, given that it’s time I’m otherwise not functional. So that’s why 24 hour hotel gyms are so important to me.

  121. lucky says

    @ Alvin — I think all villa hotels would be the the correct term. Look forward to reading the post.

  122. lucky says

    @ James — Frankly I don’t have a number I have single access to to give you an accurate answer.

  123. Django says

    Lucky — is there a way to check Singapore mileage availability without actually having any KrisFlyer miles in the account? I’m hoping to do a super aspirational mileage booking from IAD-BOM on SQ in Suites class for the routes SQ flies (not sure what the best routing would be) but was going to wait to transfer miles from Chase and SPG until I saw that there was definitely availability on the days I wanted. But, I couldn’t seem to do that on the SQ website. Any advice both on the routing whether there is a way to check this would be really appreciated.

    I also wanted to say, especially in light of your post of a few days ago about the amount of time you spend on the blog, that I can’t thank you enough both for the blog and also for so carefully answering all your readers’ questions, including mine. Were it not for your blog I’d never have been able to fly international first class, which was something I always wanted to do as a child but obviously never had the funds to do it (either then or now). Thanks to your blog and your descriptions of how to book tickets and efficiently earn miles I’ve had more business and first flights than I ever thought possible. Yesterday I flew BA F from LHR-IAD and had a terrific time in both the Concorde Room and on board. Thanks again!


  124. Patrick says

    Not sure if my question was just missed or you have an upcoming post around the topic, but have a couple of segments on LH and read that there might be a pilot union strike. I’m probably overreacting, but if flights were to get cancelled, would it be up to LH to rebook(booked with UA miles)? Any thoughts around compensation assuming whatever I get re booked on will probably be a downgrade from LH F.

    Thanks a lot!

  125. lucky says

    @ Django — Thanks for the kind words! You absolutely can check availability even without enough KrisFlyer miles. That being said, be sure you’re searching availability out of a Singapore Airlines gateway city, since partner availability doesn’t show through the website. So since they don’t fly out of Dulles, that’s probably why space isn’t showing for you.

  126. lucky says

    @ Patrick — Whoops, sorry, sometimes they slip through the cracks. In the event that a strike is announced in advance, United should try to accommodate you on one of their flights. If you only find out at the airport, then it’s on Lufthansa. There technically isn’t any compensation in the case of strikes, so you’d be looking at a “gesture of goodwill” at best. Probably something similar to what’s discussed in this post:

  127. Yahtzee says

    I know that this isn’t a completely fair question since so many personal variables and everyone’s finances are different but . . . I’m looking at a paid leisure trip at the end of the year — NYC to London. Three options on the table: Lufthansa F via FRA (with extended layovers) vs. Air France via CDG (with slightly less extended layovers but still 2-3 hours) vs. Virgin nonstop. The first two are about $4200 vs. $2800 for Virgin. I’ve never been the FCT in Frankfurt, never flown first on Air France (or the first lounge in Paris) and never been to the JFK Clubhouse (have flown LH first, been in biz on VS numerous times including London Clubhouse). What would you do?

  128. lucky says

    @ Yahtzee — That’s a toughie! I’d say first class on either Air France or Lufthansa is a spectacular value at that price, so I’d go with either. Truly both fantastic products, so I’d have a hard time choosing one over the other. Flip a coin, you can’t go wrong either way.

  129. SEM says

    Just some advice re: a OW award from HKG home [IAD] in Jan…I have 3 options in mind, which do you think is better, or maybe the better question to ask is which is the worst…???

    A] HKG-NRT-IAD on ANA using 130K UA MP miles [2 cabin F to NRT and 3 cabin F to IAD]

    B] HKG-JFK/EWR/ORD on Cathay using:
    1) 105K BA Avios transferred from Chase
    2) xxx Asia Miles transferred from AMEX
    3) ??? something else entirely

    C] HKG-SFO on SQ in First or Business (need 2 seats so just depends which opens) using Chase/AMEX points transferred to KrisFlyer…

    For option B and C we would just get back to IAD any number of ways which we aren’t really concerned with…I have only been on SQ (and only in Suite class) so your Business class article was perfectly timed as I wasn’t even willing to consider them if I “HAD” to go in Business…!!! Thoughts about the options I have listed here, or is there something that I should consider that is completely different, short of that new Air China flight to IAD…wink wink…

  130. Eric W. says

    Is BA’s award tool completely broken? I’ve been trying to use it for weeks and it never returns any availability. The AA tool is showing plenty of flights at different levels. Are you seeing the same thing? I recall that you mentioned that it was off a while back but now it seems to be completely broken.

  131. lucky says

    @ SEM — That’s a toughie. If you had American miles I’d totally go with Cathay Pacific first class, but if you don’t I’d say Singapore Airlines first class is the best value of those.

  132. Lea says

    With all the hubbub over the Iberia Avios chart that was published yesterday, I saw where someone pointed out that the LAX-SYD flight on QF is actually a little cheaper on the Iberia chart than on the BA chart. I’m hoping to take that flight next fall. Should I move my BA Avios to Iberia and book there? I do see that I can’t book that flight on so wondered if it would be worth it to pay more points just so I can book online.

  133. larry says

    ben, i just saw your post on amex everyday card. we have a amex premier rewards card. we dont put much airline spend if any on it but spend 20-30k/yr on it. does it make sense to save the fee on the premier card and go to everyday card or even preferred card? If we switch would we get the bonus points? we dont want to keep paying 175 if we dont have to. she has over 30 transactions each month and most at grocery store or other stores. how to decide? thanks.

  134. Jeff says


    Any thoughts on getting the Barclay Arrival card $0 annual fee card vs. the annual fee card? I plan on putting less than $5K a year on it and mostly would buy airline tickets with it. Thanks.

  135. Potential UA FF says

    Hi Lucky! Quick question, do you receive 6 premier global upgrades after you successfully complete a UA status match?

  136. mangoceviche says

    Lucky – do you know if the Bos – Muc flight features new F? Also, if I were to fly Bos to Linz via Fra and if I am in F from Bos to Fra, connecting to Y, am I allowed in the FCT, and will I be driven to the Embraer?

  137. Mon says

    Hi Ben, I was re-reading your posts on your unfortunate car accident. On one of the posts you mentioned
    “It was a Mercedes C180 stationwagon. How I ended up with that is an entertaining story, though I’ll save it for some other time.”. Did I miss that post? Also, if I recall correctly you had a great deal on that rental. I know it’s been a while, but was it with a code? Was it an automatic? I’ve been researching, also for a trip to Berchtesgaden, largely inspired by your TRs and finding rentals for automatic very pricey. Thanks in advance.

  138. Nizar says

    Hi Ben,

    If wanting to fly from IST-LAX would you rather fly LH 748 J or TK 77W J ?
    I’m guessing in both instances I would get to experience the apparently phenomenal TK lounge at IST ?

  139. lucky says

    @ Lea — Well I’d do everything in your power to book through American as it will be a lot cheaper, both in terms of mileage and fuel surcharges. That’s what I would aim for, in your shoes. If you’re just trying to lock an award in until the American window opens, then I would do BA, since canceling with them is easier.

  140. lucky says

    @ larry — Given how much lower the annual fee is, I do think the card is probably better suited for you. You would be eligible for the bonus.

  141. lucky says

    @ Jeff — Well the annual fee version has a great return on everyday spend, so I tend to think for the first year you’re definitely best off with it, since the annual fee is waived for that period. You can always downgrade after the first year.

  142. lucky says

    @ mangoceviche — Is it operated by an A330? If so, yes, it’s guaranteed to have the new first class.

  143. lucky says

    @ Mon — Hah, to be honest I don’t even remember the story behind how I got that car. I didn’t use a code, though. Car rentals in Germany are often just quite cheap, so that was the case here.

  144. lucky says

    @ Nizar — Toughie! Maybe Turkish if you can get the nonstop flight just for the convenient. Their food will be better, while Lufthansa’s service will be better.

  145. Jenny says

    AS Bonus miles offer starts today:

    Buy miles from August 26 – October 14, 2014, and you’ll get more miles for less:

    Buy bonus:
    5,000 – 19,000 miles, get a 20% Bonus
    20,000 – 34,000 miles, get a 30% Bonus
    35,000 – 40,000 miles, get a 40% Bonus

    This special offer is the perfect way to close the gap between your current Mileage PlanTM balance and the amount you need to redeem for the award you want.

  146. John DELTA says

    American Airlines is pulling all their flight information from Orbitz effective immediately and US Airways to follow suit, effective September 1st,

    “American Airlines fares are no longer available through consumer websites powered by Orbitz, including and We also anticipate removing US Airways fares from Orbitz on September 1, 2014.”

  147. Lea says

    Re: my question about using BA vs IB Avios for the QF LAX-SYD flight. If I use my Avios to hold the flight until the AA calendar opens up, can I be guaranteed the seat will go back into inventory? Those flights in F are so hard to come by I’m scared I’ll lose it (assuming I can manage to get it in the first place) if I cancel the BA ticket and try to re-book on AA.

  148. lucky says

    @ Lea — Can’t “guarantee” it, but I’ve yet to come across a case where it didn’t go back into inventory.

  149. Christian says

    Hi Lucky — I see Alaska airlines allows you to book “Intra-Asia” awards on Cathay Pacific. Do you know what qualifies as Intra-Asia? Is there a list of countries or routes? Are stop-overs allowed on round trips?

  150. lucky says

    @ Christian — I believe a stopover should be allowed. Not sure how they define intra-Asia specifically. Which countries were you thinking of?

  151. Kevin says

    Hey Lucky I have 3 questions:

    1. How much would you value Miles and More miles?
    2. Is there an easy way to search ANA-award space since the ana-tool would no be suited
    3. How much award space does ANA relase between Europe-Japan/Domestic Japan/Japan-China


  152. lucky says

    @ Kevin –

    1) That’s a toughie, their value can vary significantly depending on how you redeem them. I’d say somewhere around 1.2 cents or so is fair.
    2) You mean Lufthansa award space? If so, unfortunately their website is the only place to search space as it’s available to Miles & More members. If you meant ANA, then the ANA site is the best place to look.
    3) Which class of service?

  153. Larry says

    Hi Ben! I am having the hardest time with a Delta award ticket from Washington, DC to Puerto Vallarta. I have a ticket booked DCA-DTW-PVR (coach 17.5k miles) and return (MEX-IAD, biz 30k). shows availability for the return (PVR-GDL-MEX, biz) but Delta is quoting me 67.5k because they are saying it’s not a valid routing. I’ve made 4 phone calls (3 hours of wasted time) but still haven’t had any luck. I even had one rude agent that when I asked her for her employee number retorted “I’m not giving you my employee number and I am terminating this phone call”. Delta has cited the following reasons for the ticket not being valid routing but I don’t believe any of them are true: 1. You can’t have a stopover of more than 4 hours on an award ticket 2. You can’t have three segments on an award ticket 3. You can’t redeem SkyMiles for travel on Aeromexico (my flight from MEX-IAD is on Aeromexico) 4. Just because shows availability IAD-GDL-MEX and MEX-IAD doesn’t mean you can combine to two as one ticket. HELP!

  154. lucky says

    @ Larry — Sorry, I’m a bit confused. For the return right now you have MEX-IAD, and you’re hoping to change it to PVR-GDL-MEX? If so, how long is your stopover in MEX before traveling onwards?

  155. Larry says

    Hi Ben, I am trying to change it to PVR-GDL-MEX-IAD (16 hour overnight layover in MEX). I was able to book another ticket PVR-MEX-IAD (30 hour layover in MEX) and another ticket PVR-MEX-DTW-DCA (26 hour layover in MEX) without problem so I don’t buy their argument of stayover or number of segments.

  156. bar says

    Quick question, my annual credit card fee just got posted to my united mileageplus explorer car. I plan on canceling this card because of the fee and was wondering if I would be able to reapply for their 50k mile offer. Do you know?


  157. DP81 says

    HI Lucky,

    I typically book reservations through FHR but notice that you always seem to know the Virtuoso rates and benefits as well. Do you have a Virtuoso agent that you would recommend? I’m looking at some new properties that aren’t listed on FHR yet. Thanks!

  158. Kevin says

    @Lucky thank you for your response!

    Yeah I’m talking about burning M&M miles and I am looking for Business class award space

  159. lucky says

    @ Larry — That’s a great question, really don’t know why it won’t price. The issue with Delta is that if it doesn’t price, there’s really not much hope getting an agent to manually price it. Wish I had a good answer, sorry…

  160. lucky says

    @ bar — You’ll want to check the terms, but best I can tell you can’t earn the bonus if you’ve applied for the card in the past 24 months.

  161. lucky says

    @ Kevin — They release a fair bit of business class award space if you book in advance. Shouldn’t be too tough.

  162. Ewan says

    Out of curiosity, where do you get actual cash, like for shopping and other things? I get that points pay for the majority of things (and living in hotels must negate the need for extra food), but you must need money at times. Figured that instead of starting my law degree I’ma board a SQ a380 from Heathrow to Changi, write a review and collect a loyal readership within 2-3 weeks max…or maybe not :(

  163. CaitBuss says

    Hi Lucky!

    I’m new to the “points game”, but I already have many of the the top credit cards you mentioned and am hoping to get even more. My goal is to fund a trip to Africa next year, which I have dreamed about since I was younger. Between the Chase Sapphire cards (one for me and my husband) and the UnitedMileage card (again, one for each of us), we seem well on our way to covering our flight expenses (maybe we can even get a little more for first class). However, I am running into trouble with how I should fund our hotels. We would like to to stay near Victoria falls in either Zambia or Zimbabwe. There aren’t many hotels that I can find with a boutique feel who are partnered with anyone–the closest I can find are in Livingston and are not what I am looking for (they look like any hotel I could stay in in any city in the US). We already received (and used) the Barclaycard Arrival sign up bonus for a trip to Australia/NZ. I was thinking of getting the Venture Capital One card to help cover the expenses of the hotels, but do you have any other recommendations?


  164. lucky says

    @ Ewan — I make money through advertising and affiliate marketing. I’d probably go with the “maybe not” category. If it took 2-3 weeks to build up what I did in over six years of 100 hour weeks, then I can assure you anyone would do it. ;)

  165. de says

    lucky, a while back i believe i remember you saying you would feel comfortable having friends book hotels in HKG banking on CX opening award space last minute. would you think this is still true? I apologize as I cannot find the link to the post where you discuss this. TIA!

  166. Bar Bruhis says

    Hi Lucky,

    Quick question, my annual credit card fee just got posted to my united mileageplus explorer car. I plan on canceling this card because of the fee and was wondering if I would be able to reapply for their 50k mile offer they have out right now. Do you know?


  167. Jon says

    Lucky, have you ever reviewed a CX F flight from LAX – HKG? I’ve seen a lot of SFO to HKG. I’m going to be taking the 11pm CX883 flight from LAX and wanted to see what the meal service will be like so late in the evening. Is it worth staying hungry for it?

  168. lucky says

    @ Jon — Should be the same as all the other redeyes I’ve taken. Cathay Pacific does a full dinner service even on late night departures, so expect caviar and a five course meal. I’d definitely save your appetite.

  169. lucky says

    @ Bar Bruhis — The terms state you’re not eligible for the bonus if you’ve applied in the past 24 months, best I can tell.

  170. de says

    Lucky, thanks for the quick reply! How about ex-HKG award space? Would you recommend waiting for last minute again? I haven’t seen much cx award space ex-HKG. Thank you again!

  171. lucky says

    @ de — Award trends are similar between HKG and North America as they are the other way around, in my experience.

  172. Danny says

    Question Regarding Chase UA Explorer Card with the 50k Bonus. Applied and approved just waiting for it to arrive either today or tomorrow. Need the miles Asap for Award booking on UA: SFO – FRA in First. I’ve noticed that UA tends to open up that award on or near their 338 day window and for the dates I need that’s coming up fast. I have $2k in charges I can put on the card day 1, but have you had any luck with having Chase close the statement early, I’m thinking a week after the charges clear, and having the bonus post?

    I have MR points I can use with Aeroplan if need be, but trying to save those and burn the UA miles.

    Thanks for sharing your endless knowledge with the rest of us.

  173. lucky says

    @ Danny — When you receive the card and activate it, you should be able to set your preferred closing date. If you make that date soon, chances are the miles will post when the statement closes.

  174. Mike says

    Hey Ben.I’d love to hear your opinion on Malaysia Airlines current stituation, this week they’ve been getting a lot of media attention for their recent empty flights and cre resignations. Keep up the good work. and

  175. Andy says

    Hi Lucky,
    Ricketmail sent me a survey to earn 1,000 miles if I score 100%. Did you get it? If so, could you post the answerkey here?

    Rocketmiles Travel Quiz

    Quiz ends August 29.

    Test your worldly knowledge and grow your bucket list at the same time with Rocketmiles’ Travel Quiz. Just click the link, tell us where all five photos were taken and enter your Rocketmiles username. A perfect score will earn you 1,000 bonus miles/points on your next booking.

    So whether you’ve seen it all or just dreamed it all, take the quiz to get
    1,000 miles/points closer to your next picture-perfect vacation.

  176. Kara says

    Hi Lucky,

    I was given an amazing bonus of sorts from the small company that I work for. In a nut shell I was given the green light to either use my current business card (B of A World Points) or use my own personal credit card to make purchases for the company and I would of course be reimbursed. Obviously I want to use my personal as I can keep the points. I’m estimating that I my business purchases will be around $6k/month. I already have the Chase Sapphire and two Alaska Air credit cards. Can I apply for the Chase Ink if I do not own the company but my purchases are for the business? Or should I apply for something different like the United Mileage Plus?

    Appreciate your thoughts!

  177. Andy says

    hi lucky, rocketmile sent today a survey for 1000 miles award if answering perfect. did you know and have answer keys? thanks, andy

  178. lucky says

    @ Mike — Quite unfortunate! If I have anything to odd I’ll be sure to make a post about it.

  179. lucky says

    @ Andy — Didn’t get it, and seems to only offer 1,000 miles on the next booking, so that might not be combinable with other offers from them.

  180. lucky says

    @ Kara — You’d need to be an officer in the business to technically apply for a business card for it. Assuming it’s non-bonused spend, I would look at the Amex Everyday, Barclaycard Arrival, or Starwood American Express, as they maximize the value on everyday purchases, in my opinion.

  181. lucky says

    @ CaitBuss — Sounds like you’re off to a great start! If you’re looking primarily at non-chain hotels, then you’re going to want to go with cards which offer cashback towards travel, or something similar. If you already have the Barclaycard Arrival then the Capital One Venture Card isn’t a bad option. Other than that for everyday spend I’d just keep putting spend on the Barclaycard Arrival. Good luck and enjoy the trip!

  182. Andy says

    Hi Lucky,
    You are right. I misread. But they did not say it is not combinable for my next stay. Did you have the answers? I sent you via already. If you do not have time, please feel free to ignore my request.

  183. Joe S says

    How exactly does Hyatt Award capacity control work? For example, I was looking at staying at the Andaz Peninsula Papgayo over Christmas, but obviously waited way too long, as it looks to be sold out when I search for my days (Dec 24-28), weather using points or money. However, if I search for Dec 20-28, which includes my days, it looks like you can book a standard room with money, though not with points. Would just like to know how it works.

  184. Aubrey says

    Hi Lucky–I am trying to use Krisflyer points to fly on UA to Hawaii from the US. I see availability with the ANA tool (and on the UA website) but the representative at Singapore Airlines says there is no availability. Is this the sort of thing that I could have better luck by calling back and getting a new agent, a la US Air or am I out of luck? Thanks!

  185. AlanT says

    Hi Ben.

    Of all the SkyTeam Frequent Flyer Programs, which ones do you recommend to book First Class of SkyTeam Carriers? Specially for AF, GA & KA.

    Another question, have you ever tried AMX Premier Class?


    PS. Sorry if my english it´s bad (I´m mexican learning english).

  186. lucky says

    @ Joe S — If a standard room is available for sale then you can redeem points for it. In some cases hotels have minimum stays over busy periods, which apply for both paid and award rates.

  187. lucky says

    @ Aubrey — I’ve heard that a few times, though don’t really have an explanation. I’d try hanging up and calling again, as chances are the agent just wasn’t looking properly. Good luck.

  188. lucky says

    @ AlanT — In general I really like Korean Air SkyPass for booking partner first class awards. Though Air France first class isn’t bookable using partner miles, and I don’t think Garuda makes first class award space available to partners either.

    I haven’t flown Aeromexico, though hope to at some point.

  189. says

    Dear Ben,

    I just read your article about the first class on thai airways to Australia. In the article, you say that they are no longer accept reservation starting october 26, 2014, is it the date when there will be no more first class, or is it last time to make a reservations? If I want to fly on first class Thai around April 2015, do they still available if I book it before oct 26? I am sorry If I misunderstood your sentence. And also, do their business class on the 777 are good enough? I believe their business class on 777 different with the one on A380 right? Thankk you very much

  190. AlanT says

    @lucky- Many thanks for your answers!

    Between Flying Blue, Garuda Miles, Korean Sky Pass, which one do you prefer to book J/F on SkyTeam?


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