Ask Lucky

Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!


  1. RKN says

    Hey Ben,
    First I’d like to say that your blog is great. I just started following it for the past few months and definitely have learned a lot.
    I was wondering if there was a way to know if a flight on Etihad would have the new pearl business class or old business class? Do the flights from the US/Canada to Abu Dhabi generally have the new business class?
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. jake says


    Thank you for your helpful blog. You do a wonderful job and have helped us travel a bit (and dream even more). I was wondering if it ever makes sense to get 3 Business tickets from the Seychelles to Kenya next summer with miles? It’s Kenya Airways and I don’t know how to find their availability. If I can do it for a nominal amount of miles, they have 3+ seats daily for a while yet, etc… it might work. I was basically hosed, and drained my accounts getting to Kenya with Etihad.

  3. RV says

    Curious as to your thoughts on best option for business class – AC/LH, Emirates or Qatar?

  4. Stuart says


    I want to book the park hyatt milan in February for two nights. I’m thinking about doing the chase hyatt card that comes with two free nights as a sign-up bonus. My question is how long does it take to credit the two free nights once you hit the spend on the card? I’m worried about availability not being there, it’s there now, once I get the certificates. What’s your experience been with this?


  5. lucky says

    @ Stuart — The two free nights should post once the statement closes where you meet the minimum spend. I don’t think you’ll have any issues since Hyatt doesn’t have blackout dates. If there’s a standard room available for sale it should be available on points. I don’t see you having any issues in February.

  6. lucky says

    @ RV — All depends on the aircraft type. In general I’d say Emirates A380, followed by Qatar 777, followed by Air Canada, followed by Lufthansa’s new business class.

  7. lucky says

    @ jake — You should be able to use the FlyingBlue website to search for Kenya Airways award space. Since you’d be paying fuel surcharges through Delta as well, I would just book through FlyingBlue, in your shoes. Good luck!

  8. norm says

    I have a 50000 pt offer to upgrade to AMEX platinum from gold. I’d like to use it for booking via Fine hotels, but before I jump into platinum, I’d like to know hotel rates at a specific hotel. How can I find rates without being Plat?

  9. Jerry says

    I have 200,000 united miles looking for two (2) business class award tickets to Europe (Paris/Oslo ) from New York next spring(2015) Can I use my united miles with another Star Alliance carrier other than United which requires 140,000 for each person. Thanks Jerry
    PS: If I can, how is it done

  10. lucky says

    @ Jerry — If you book a carrier other than United for the transatlantic segment then you’d have to pay the Star Alliance rate of 140,000 miles per person in business class roundtrip.

  11. Terence says

    Hi Lucky:
    Had a conversation with the barclay’s rep for US Airways MS card; they were quite firm that in 2015 AAdvantage and Dividend Miles would be run separately. any thoughts on that? was hoping they would merge into one program with benefits well-aligned.

  12. lucky says

    @ Terence — I wouldn’t put too much weight into what they say, though it’ll likely be the second half of last year before they merge the programs, at the earliest.

  13. RV says

    AC/LH Combo would be 777, A340-300 and 747-8, Emirates would be all 777s, Qatar is 777s and A330s. Thanks again!

  14. Shawn says

    Ben – does SQ allow stopovers on one-way awards anywhere other than SIN? For ex, if I wanted to book SIN-NRT-LAX, could I build in a stopover in Tokyo?


  15. Chris says

    Lucky, I have booked a first class ticket to Munich on Lufthansa back when they have released First Class on the A330 service. I noticed today that they know have me going to Frankfurt on a 747-400 the getting connection flight to Munich in business. Whats up, and do I have options when they change like that. I am flying to Bangkok on Thai in first class. If no options, what would be your favorite seat on the 747-400 in first? Thanks Lucky

  16. lucky says

    @ Shawn — On a one way saver award, no stopovers are allowed, period. On a full or flex award you could do a stopover in another city, like Tokyo.

  17. Dave says

    Ben, I am trying to make sure that Etihad publishes a revenue rate for an award show if I’m trying to book to make it doable for business-class with miles. It is SEA to EBL. On this route, once a week they publish an ugly fair that Actually uses a combination of JetBlue, jet Airways and Etihad. Will this meet the criteria of needing a route that has a published fare? Allowing me to make my own itinerary segment by segment?

  18. Christian says

    Hi Lucky — I’m trying to book a flight on Dragonair from HKG to DAD using Avios points. Unfortunately, DAD doesn’t seem to show up as a possible destination in the BA award search. Any ideas? I’ve seen Dragonair flights in the BA Award Search before, so that shouldn’t be an issue, right? Do you think I could call and book? Would they waive any fees since you can’t book online?

  19. lucky says

    @ Christian — Yes, it should be bookable by phone, and they should waive the booking fee since it can’t be booked online.

  20. Jerry says

    Is there any way I can book JFK to CDG in business class roundtrip using my 100,000 miles with UAL.
    Thanks Jerry

  21. RV says

    I’d be flying IAD-HKG and MAA to IAD – Lufthansa would be MAA to IAD and in new business class per their website

  22. lucky says

    @ Jerry — The lowest business class award rate is 115,000 United miles roundtrip, if you stick to United flights.

  23. James says

    Hi Lucky! Going to start trying to book our Europe trip for summer 2015 in a few weeks. Couple questions for you….

    On our flight home we originally were going to try to fly 1st class LH FRA-YVR (we live in BLI and going to use LH miles) but it looks like no direct 1st class from there and you go through MUC. 1) Does the MUC-YVR flights all have new first class? 2) Any issues with us being able to use the 1st class terminal in FRA prior to our flight down to MUC the same day? 3) Really was hoping to fly the 747 for the separate bed into YVR. Any reason we should try to go out of our way to fly that, or is everything else pretty much the same on the non-747 planes with new first class? Our main priority is we want to use the FRA 1st class terminal (hopefully be driven to the plane!) and also fly LH new first class (we can go into either YVR or SEA, but SEA only has business class now. :-( )

    For the flight to Europe want to use our Alaska miles to fly Emirates. When I’ve been fooling around on the AS site, I don’t see really any availability between LAX-DXB (looking for 2 seats). I know there’s an issue with AS and phantom availability, not sure if that’s the issue or something else. Has Emirates been releasing award space far out, or only closer in? I had hoped to fly SEA-LAX-DXB-either to Milan, Zurich, Munich (somewhat flexible with our final stop in Europe) so we could fly the A380 for the shower experience. Is it worth the trouble to do that or go straight out of SEA to DXB without the A380 (or is there a route with better A380 availability we can get to from SEA)? I assume the rest of the product is the same besides the shower?

    Sorry for the long post and many questions. Trying to come up with a solid game plan within the next few weeks when the window opens so I’m not scrambling too much!


  24. Lauren says

    How’s Cathay F award availablity looking these days? I have two award seats in J from HKG-ORD on September 9, but would love to fly us in F if possible. Where and when should I start looking, given I know there have been issues with phantom award space on BA? And is AA going to charge me $75/ticket to make the change close in?


  25. Adam says


    Thanks for listing earlier for your preference, but 1A got snapped up. so, which do you think: CX840 HKG-JFK seat 2D, 1D, or 1K. Simple rationale?

  26. Adam says

    Hi Lucky,

    I asked you up earlier in a post about CX840 HKG-JFK and you gave the seat preference of 1A over 2D. Sadly it got snapped up, so the option now is 2D or 1D or 1K. Which would you take and why? I’m not familiar with the 1D/K proximity to the galley, bathrooms, et al.


  27. Peter says

    Ben: Thanks for your help with the SQ site the other day…happy to report that I snagged 2 Suite Class seats LAX-NRT-SIN (and the onward connection on a 777 to PVG).

    I’m looking to burn some AA miles for the return…preferably PEK-ORD, but as long as I start from PEK and end up somewhere in the US it would work. Cathay is the obvious choice…any other First or Business products you’d recommend?

    Thanks for your help, and the consistently fantastic blog!

  28. lucky says

    @ James — You should have access to the FCT regardless, and all the Munich-Vancouver flights have the new first class.

    Availability between Los Angeles and Dubai is incredibly limited right now, if you really want the A380 you might need to look at connecting in New York, or just fly Seattle-Dubai and then book an A380 flight between Dubai and Europe.

  29. choi says

    Lucky, how do you make reservation for afternoon tea at the Dubai Al Arab ? can the bill be applied to the Arrival Card for credits since its at the hotel ? Thanks

  30. lucky says

    @ Adam — I always prefer a window, so would take any A or K seat over the D seats.

  31. lucky says

    @ Peter — Nice award! If you want to use AA miles I’d also look at JAL in First – they have decent availability and a nice new product.

  32. Chris says

    Lucky, should have given this to you in the first place, sorry. I used Untied to do my booking for the trip and it was before the devaluation. My original flight was YVR to MUC direct on flight LH477 connecting to BKK on Thai Airways First Class. They have now changed me to YVR to FRA on LH493, then connecting to MUC to catch my Thai flight.

  33. RXB says

    Hi Jerry,

    Hope you’re doing well. I wanted to reach out to you to get your opinion on which airline to begin my loyalty program with.

    I recently moved to SF and I’m deciding whether I should go with UA or VX. I’m mosaic on JetBlue but they don’t have good non-stop service out of either SFO or OAK so I’m looking at other options. Here’s my “flying profile”

    - I typically fly only to major cities so SF to LA, NYC, DC, Las Vegas, and perhaps Boston, Miami, Chicago. Internationally I travel about once a year to London with other trips ad hoc and not worthy of basing my decision on.

    - I travel mostly on the weekends (Friday out, Sunday back) and choose airlines based on (1) non-stop service (2) price and (3) inflight product; I’ll be travelling in Y so stuff like personal tv, wifi, and power outlets are useful.

    Based on such habits and flying patterns, do you going with VX or UA is a better idea?

    Thanks in advance!

  34. lucky says

    @ Chris — That’s interesting. So, on the plus side if you connect you’ll have the separate beds, and would be able to use the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt. If you’d really prefer to fly direct you could contact United, and they should be able to have the alliance liaison restore the routing.

  35. lucky says

    @ RXB — If you don’t care about accruing miles for international travel through flying, then I’d probably go with Virgin America in your case.

  36. Tyler says

    Hey Lucky,

    What do you think is the best first award from CDG to HKG, probably CX right? Any other worthwhile choices, looks like Qatar is an option as well. Would it be worth it to get creative and do a first award CDG to AUH on Etihad then biz award to HKG for the same amount of miles as a CDG-HKG first award?


  37. Jamie says


    I just started my Diamond challenge (woo!). Just wondering what your experience is in getting upgraded to best available room as a Diamond (when not using a suite upgrade). Do you have to ask for a bigger, nicer room or check in or do they usually just take care of you? We are staying at Park Hyatt Vendome and also the Hyatt Regency Churchill (both straight point redemptions) in a month or so and I am wondering if they will put us in a deluxe room. Ever get upgraded to a suite? Any tips?


  38. Patrick says

    Hey Lucky,

    Random question, what kind of camera do you use to take your pictures? Do you have a point and shoot, or do you just use your phone?

  39. lucky says

    @ Jamie — I typically don’t ask, and have nearly always received a better room if one is available.

  40. lucky says

    @ Patrick — Depends on the picture. I use my iPhone 5 more and more nowadays, but also have a Canon Powershot S95 for trip reports.

  41. lucky says

    @ Tyler — Yep, Cathay Pacific is probably best, or Qatar. Etihad would require additional miles, unfortunately.

  42. Chris says

    So on the Lufthansa 747-400, what is you favorite first class seat when traveling with someone?

  43. lucky says

    @ Chris — Any two seats across the aisle from one another are equally good. I prefer row 82 followed by row 83.

  44. Holly says

    Do you know what has happened to the direct flight from MUC-YVR on LH? We were scheduled to be on that flight, but upon checking my reservations, I see it’s been changed to the direct flight to Vancouver from Frankfurt on the 747. Expertflyer shows 10/11 to be the last day for LH 476.

    Thanks, Lucky

  45. Nick says


    Where should we stay if we have two nights in Singapore in June 2015?



  46. Ty says

    Lucky, qq about Alaska Airlines awards. Are they pretty much only for flights originating or terminating in North America? There are a few routes on their award chart that don’t, mostly on CX and a couple intra-region on KE/Lan, but is that it? If I’m looking for Europe-Middle East or Asia on EK am I out of luck?

  47. lucky says

    @ Ty — Yep, if Alaska doesn’t publish a chart for a region, you can’t redeem miles for it. You are indeed out of luck for the regions you’re looking at.

  48. lucky says

    @ Nick — What’s your budget, which chain are you loyal to, where do you have points, etc.? In general really like the St. Regis.

  49. Jerry says

    Looking to book business class UAL New York to BRU next May 2015 using 115,00 round trip.
    Is this possible? is so, some examples please.
    Thanks in advance Jerry

  50. Jerry says

    How do I book business class with 115,000 UAL miles New York to Europe for Spring 2015

    Thanks Jerry

  51. says

    Hey Ben,

    I just wonder, do you know if the airline provide a hotel voucher when we are have to layover overnight involuntarily? Actually, in this case I am talking when I book the flight by redemption miles, not purchase the airfare, since my flight back from SYD to CGK via Bangkok using Thai Airways, have to stay overnight. The arrival time in BKK are around 4pm and 10 pm in the evening, and the flight from Bangkok to CGK are only available at 8am and 1pm everyday. Do you know if SQ offer a free voucher too? I already search on their web, but still cant figure it out. Thank you very much if you can help me solve this

  52. Lincoln says


    Looking forward to your Tomorrowland flight review! Looks like a wild ride!

    At the tail end of an Australia (lucked out booking a seat in QF A380 F with AA miles!) and New Zealand trip next spring, my buddy and I will be spending a few nights in Tokyo (also lucked out booking 2 seats in NZ’s Business Premier on their new 787-9 AKL-NRT route using UA miles!). I’m trying to decide if I should use my 2 free Hyatt nights from getting the Hyatt Visa, at the Park Hyatt or the new Andaz. The Park Hyatt sounds like it’s as good as it gets, but the new Andaz looks super cool, and is perhaps a bit more updated. Knowing that you’ve stayed the PH a before, what would you suggest?


  53. Matt says

    Hi Lucky,
    I was just curious if you use 3x or FD techniques to get good fares. I am not really sure how I feel about it and thought I would get your opinion.


  54. lucky says

    @ Lincoln — Sounds like a great trip! Completely agree with your hotel assessment – truly don’t think you can go wrong either way, to be honest.

  55. Hasse says

    Hey Ben,
    Any recommendation for hotels in Hong Kong for stays with length of 3 weeks (standard lenght, several trips). Access to a good gym and business facilities are essential – Have a few on the radar, however reading your great blog – you might have a good idea.

    Again keep up the great work with the blog.


  56. chasgoose says

    Sorry to keep asking about LH F partner award availability, but in your experience does the amount of A fares still available have any bearing on award availability? Like if a flight is F7 A0 on ExpertFlyer, is there not much hope for LH releasing an award seat? Or does it have more to do w/ seats available regardless if they are full or reduced fare. Obviously I know you aren’t LH revenue management and don’t know what influences them to release award seats, but given how many LH F awards you have booked over the years, I figured you might have noticed a pattern w/ regards to A fare availability if such a pattern existed.

  57. AJ says

    Hi Lucky,

    I can’t seem to find any space on SQ 402 which is operated by singapore’s regionally configured a330s. Any idea what could be happening? I can find space on plenty of other SQ flights operated by A330s. I’m using united’s tool.


  58. Peter says

    Anyone else had this trouble wit the SQ website? Had no problem booking LAX-SIN-PVG, but when I search one way availability PEK to LAX or SFO, it claims this is a ‘backtracking’ route and not allowed for award travel.

    Am I doing something wrong, or is the site just acting wonky?

  59. TIS says

    Hi Lucky,

    I have a upcoming flight in November which is marketed by Alitalia but operated on Delta (AZ 7603 JFK->MXP). Will I be able to bank the miles to Alaska, which is an non-alliance partner of Delta, but not Alitalia? BTW, just curious, do you know why airlines do this (marketed and operated on different airlines)? It’s really confusing for non-frequent fliers.

  60. Jason says

    Hi Lucky – great meeting you at FTU advanced over the weekend, really enjoyed the sessions you presented!

    I’m en route to Germany via the LH F YYZ-MUC availability run you turned us onto at the end of last year and had some questions on what lounges you’d suggest stopping at along the way.

    Tomorrow we’re arriving in MUC via LH F – I’m guessing we’re eligible for all the LH lounges in MUC?
    The day after we’re going MUC-FRA via LH J (only 2 class service), then FRA-BKK via TG F – I know we’re not eligible for the FCT in FRA, but is there anything other than the LH biz lounge you’d suggest?
    On the way back (open jaw) we’re going DPS-BKK in TG J – any options in DPS? Later in the trip we’re going HKG-TPE then TPE-JFK in BR J – any suggestions?


  61. Carlos says

    Hi, Lucky. I sent an email to your company yesterday requesting your service, but I didn’t get an answer in one business day. Can you check that out (the email is the same of this post).

  62. lucky says

    @ AJ — Haven’t noticed anything specific with that route, they might just not be releasing much award space to/from Delhi at present.

  63. lucky says

    @ Peter — The site can struggle with complex itineraries, but I would think that would be allowed.

  64. lucky says

    @ TIS — If the flight is operated by Delta, and you can get a Delta boarding pass at the airport then you should be able to get mileage credit from Alaska later on. Codeshares are complicated – it’s not just you! ;)

  65. lucky says

    @ Jason — Thanks, and glad you enjoyed the sessions! In Frankfurt you can use the Lufthansa Senator lounges, and the EVA lounges in Taipei. The lounge in Bali is just a contract lounge, so not too interesting.

  66. lucky says

    @ Carlos — Yep, we’ll respond shortly. Most of my team is on the West coast, and it’s still the middle of the business day there.

  67. says

    Hi Lucky- I absolutely love the blog! I live in MSP and I’m a PM with DL due to 25k cc spend a month. I’m thinking of changing my cc spend next year to a different card. I don’t care what I fly domestically but value international premium cabins. Would you stick with DL reserve cards because of being in a hub or switch to an SPG, ultimate rewards, or AA card for a better product? Thanks!

  68. Gustavo says


    Quick question on an award. I am putting together a 90K business class redemption from the Caribbean to Asia with US Airways miles. So far this is what i put together:

    SJU to PHL via US Airways
    PHL to Bangkok via Doha with Qatar (Bangoko is the destination)
    Bangkok to London via Doha with Qatar (stopover in London)
    London to SJU via PHL with US Airways

    Would routing through the Middle East be allowed with Dividend Miles redemptions? I have read many times in your blog that they allow routing trips from North America to Asia via Europe so I wasn’t sure if routing through the middle east would be allowed. Thanks

  69. Tom R says


    I have two R/T business class tickets booked on CX using AA miles for next April going to SGN. I’d like to upgrade our tickets to F. Data points suggest availability won’t open up until 10 days out or less. If availability opens up for the outbound, is there a possibility of upgrading the return flights after travel has started since there is a two week difference from departure to return?


  70. lucky says

    @ Tom R — Yep, you sure can. All American awards are priced as one ways, so you could indeed do that after the outbound.

  71. Joe says

    Hey Ben,
    Do you know what tickets have access to United Airlines Arrival Lounge at LAX?


  72. Adi_T says

    Lucky, do you know if (and if so, what the timeframe is, and what type of layout they would be going for)) Emirates has plans to revamp the business cabins on the 777s? The 2 x 3 x 2 layout has to be one the least attractive products of any major airline.

  73. Sergey says

    Hi Ben, I had an award ticket (international Business class) from United (using their miles) that included 2 domestic segments (IAD-CLT-TPA) on US Airways First Class (last two flights of the itinerary). First flight on US Airways was delayed for 2 hours and then finally cancelled. Since it was late evening, US Airways put us on direct IAD-TPA flight on United, but in coach. I wonder, did I have a right to ask US Airways to book us in First Class on United?

  74. Cid says

    Hey Ben,

    Just discovered the website via Instagram, where I found you thanks to Conde Nast on Twitter. What did we do before social media? At any rate … I’m a fiftysomething who is finally in that place where “disposable income” has met “available vacation time” … and they seem to be getting along. I don’t have a ton of miles and have only recently hit Silver Status on Delta. And, honestly, domestic travel (including Alaska / Hawaii) appeals to me more than international travel right now. It seems that most of your upgrades / free flights are international. Is there any hope for a domestic traveler? I’d love to do my cross-country trips consistently in First Class.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  75. lucky says

    @ Sergey — If there was space they should have. You may want to contact United about the downgrade and see if you can have a few miles refunded.

  76. Claudia B says

    Hello, just discovered your site and loving the content! I heard about you on a recent podcast from “How Did You Get Into That”. I actually have a tax related question. Do you get a 1099 form at the end of the year from “cashing” in on all the travel and hotel points? My husband used to redeem his points on his Wells Fargo business debit card for Gift Cards, and at the end of the year he would get a 1099 form for all the gift card values he redeemed throughout the year. Does this happen when trading points for flights/hotel rooms? Thanks for your time!

  77. Douglas says

    Any idea when British Airways will show premium availability on Iberia, or is it just that their website is still clunky? Any search I do shows nothing after May. I’ve been looking at MAD to ORD or JFK.

  78. Sachin says

    Hi Lucky- I absolutely love the blog! I live in MSP and I’m a PM with DL due to 25k cc spend a month. I’m thinking of changing my cc spend next year to a different card. I don’t care what I fly domestically but value international premium cabins. Would you stick with DL reserve cards because of being in a hub or switch to an SPG, ultimate rewards, or AA card for a better product? Thanks!

  79. Marco says

    Hi Lucky, another DL status question, this time on their MQMs rollover. My understanding is that once you hit status, whatever MQMs in excess of the requirement will rollover to next year while MQDs reset to 0. I am currently at 34k MQMs but only $1,250 in MQDs (i.e. no Silver status) and no upcoming trips. If I leave my balance as is, what would get rolled-over to 2015–the full 34k since I have not fulfilled all req’s for Silver, or only 9k (34-25k)? If the latter, then I would need to start flying to get Silver now and a good cushion in for 2015. Thanks!

  80. Shawn says

    Ben – Does SQ allow you to add on a partner segment or two (United) when redeeming a Krisflyer award on SQ metal without an increase in mileage?

  81. lucky says

    @ Claudia B — Thanks, and welcome! Not sure about the Wells Fargo card specifically, but for the most part miles are considered a “rebate” and are generally not taxable. I’ve never received a 1099 for any miles I’ve earned.

  82. lucky says

    @ Douglas — It might just be that Iberia hasn’t released space yet, unfortunately.

  83. lucky says

    @ Sachin — If you value international premium cabins I would use pretty much anything other than the Delta reserve card :p A mix of Ultimate Rewards and SPG points are probably your best bet!

  84. lucky says

    @ Marco — That’s an interesting question. I believe the MQMs only roll over once you’ve reached at least Silver, but I could be wrong.

  85. Angela says

    Hi Lucky, I would like to share something really odd that happened to me today. Two AirTran flight check-in reminder emails were sent to me along with the confirmation number via AwardWallet. And these two reservations were not made by me. This freaked me out, since with reservation number and flight originating city, you can access the reservation from AirTran website.
    I’m not sure if this is AwardWallet or AirTran fault, but this could lead to serious problems if this type of incorrectly directed emails get in hands of bad people.
    I’ve sent queries to both AwardWallet and AirTran, but wanted to check if you have suggestions and have heard of such issues.

  86. John says

    Hi Ben,

    Do you know if USAirways DM will allow award booking using Dragonair?


  87. Kati says

    Hi Ben,

    I just started following your blog after my dad used your services to book Singapore Airlines suites to Japan – the flights absolutely MADE our trip!

    I was wondering if you had any thoughts about solo traveling for females in Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam). Do you think it would be safe/do you have any friends who have successfully done it?

    I am twenty years old and am considering planning a trip (out of Chicago, where I currently live).

    Thanks so much!

  88. Stufan says


    I am currently booked on a United award flight from LAX to Tokyo, and then on to Bangkok. I structured the award so that my stopover in tokyo is less than 24 hours, and thus my overall award mileage price was 85,000 miles for business class. Now, I want to stay for a few days in Tokyo, but do not want to pay for two award tickets. This is a complicated question I guess. Can I just purposely miss my tokyo to bangkok flight, and then call United a few days later to have them rebook me on the same route and come up with a good excuse? Please let me know if you have heard anyone do this successfully in the past.

  89. Tyler says

    Hey lucky, on the etihad website it shows the auh-hkg route as a code share. Why is that, I’m surprised as it seems that etihad flys direct to most of the major Asian cities. Is it possible to book a guest award on the auh-hkg direct route?

  90. lucky says

    @ Mike Yturria — More and more common nowadays, though you can still choose a seat for no charge within 24 hours, I believe.

  91. lucky says

    @ Angela — Interesting! Haven’t had that issue, but please let me know what you end up finding out.

  92. lucky says

    @ Kati — Glad you had a great trip! I would consider those areas to generally be fairly safe if you’re taking reasonable precautions, and there are tons of resources out there for solo travelers.

  93. lucky says

    @ Tyler — Believe they start their own service there next June, but otherwise you could only redeem miles as part of a partner award.

  94. Angela says

    Regarding issue of getting someone else’s flight reservation info, I got response from Award Wallet – “This issue has been resolved. There was a problem on AirTran’s end but now it seems to work fine. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
    That message makes me wonder whether it might have impacted other people as well.
    I haven’t head back from AirTran yet.

  95. JF says


    Based on the way earning points and miles exists here and now, given the following information, how would you suggest I strategize going about my aspirational travel plan…

    Goal: LAX – Middle East (Emirates F or Etihad F) / stop / Middle East – FRA via IST stop (with intention to experience Turkish Business Lounge on outbound) / FRA – Western USA (LT F + First Class Lounge) / West USA – OGG (HNL)

    Trip: December 2015

    Assumption: 0 points

    First Wave of credit card acquisitions: mid-October, 2014. I live in an environment where manufactured spend is not easy and my lifestyle doesn’t happen to have lots of spend. I can do Amazon payments, a few paypals, day to day charges, maybe but not necessarily rent and car payments…

    Thank you!

  96. nelton says

    one quick question, im trying to book a ba flight from lcy(london city) to fra by using us miles. however, i called several times, all agents won’t able to see the flight, because when they type in lcy, the system won’t recognize the airport code, and when they type in lon, still, it would only show up the lhr departure flights. is there anyway they could find that flight? thanks lucky.

  97. lucky says

    @ JF — Will try to answer this in a longer post this weekend. About how much would you say you can charge per month?

  98. lucky says

    @ nelton — Oy, that’s fun. Might want to try holding an itinerary with different flights, then have an agent go back in and enter the information manually. Sometimes that helps their computers. Otherwise not much that can be done, unfortunately.

  99. nelton says

    thanks lucky, i will let you know how it goes, because i searched flyertalk and saw many other people have the same issue but with no solution

  100. Andrew says

    Hi Lucky!

    Great blog, really enjoy reading the trip reports.

    I need to travel from LHR to TPE return in September to get married and I am looking at flying EVA Air Business Class. The cost is approx £2000 but not sure if it is really worth it at that price, do you have any recommendation?

    I am also thinking about using the last of my BA miles to get a one way first class ticket from HKG to TPE for my then wife and I as a treat. Its only about a 90 min flight and would cost me 27,000 BA miles. Is it worth it?

    Thanks in advance

  101. Siggi says

    I was wondering whether it is EVER worth it to do mileage plus shopping, what are your thoughts of it as a whole? Not a good value most of the time obviously…

  102. says


    I’m jazzed re: the news about the new SFO-IST route on Turkish. It looks like that will be the best way to get three of us to Greece in June 2014.

    Unfortunately my USA mileage pool, while largish, is not big enough to get three business class tix before the 7/31 deadline :(. I suppose I could look @ economy. What are the mileage requirements for economy?

    If I choose to go for business class, the shortest pathway is either Air Canada or Avianca. Do you have a preference?

    As always, Thanks for the help.

  103. choi says

    Lucky, last year you did a piece on Garuda joining Skyteam and you featured their new F from CGK -Nrt,
    well now its possible to fly this route without burning URpoints transfer from chase to KA since Citi Card just made it much easier directly, however I was searching for the Garuda award chart but cant find anything on their website, just an award calculator. the nrt-cgk in F came back as 90k but doest say one-way or round trip. do you any incite on this topic. Thanks

  104. lucky says

    @ Andrew — Really depends on your budget, but that seems like a decent price for a honeymoon trip. Probably wouldn’t spend that many Avios on a shorthaul flight, but would certainly consider business class.

  105. lucky says

    @ Siggi — Sure, to keep miles from expiring! Generally prefer the Ultimate Rewards portal though.

  106. Andy says

    Hi Lucky,

    If I purchase a paid int’l biz ticket through Orbitz, what happens in terms of…
    a) earning miles
    b) irrops

    Also, a UA phone agent quoted me a fare for fare class P on four flights. Where is the best place to recreate that fare online, using point-to-point searches?


  107. JF says

    @ Lucky – 1K to 2K if I can’t bank on car/rent payments, and I would rather lean conservative. Thanks!

  108. Matt says

    FYI – There seems to be a few dates with first class availability (multiple seats in some cases) from SFO – FRA on the Lufthansa A380 through the Fall in case you wanted to make Oktoberfest plans. Would be great to have you on our flight September 29th!

  109. Sebastian says

    Hi lucky, I will be flying with Delta 5 times the next two weeks, all of the flights operated by 757-200. How do I figure out, if there will be refitted first class seats?

  110. Rahul says

    Ooooh I just found this. Lucky, not sure about the quality (or existence) of business class here, but you gotta do this mate, would be a memorable blog post! What say?

  111. Jamie says

    What do you think is the single most important thing to do to keep earning points after being in the game for a while? I’ve been in the miles and points game for about 2 years now and feel like I’ve hit up all the “easy” offers for credit cards and just wondering what the future holds for me after I spend the points I have. There are obviously some more credit card offers for me, but it’s definitely not as wide open as it once was.

  112. John says

    Hi Ben,

    I’ve been monitoring the progress/status of Asiana’s A380 since I will be flying Asiana from LAX – ICN in August. Their original date was supposed to be Aug. 15, and then due to delivery delay, Asiana revised the LAX route to Aug. 26. I noted today (both on the Asiana website and expert flyer) that the A380 will start flying LAX on Aug. 20. Moving up the date sounds encouraging. Have you heard any updates on this?


  113. Andrew Bacon says

    I am a college student and have been researching various cads and am trying to figure out which cards reward the most for low amounts of credit charges. Do you have a reccomendation for a card that fits the college lifestyle with only a few hundred dollars charged a month and better long distance airline rewards. I will be going to school in US and my girlfriend is moving to New Zealand. Those flights are expensive!
    Thank you.

    Loved the How Did You Get Into That? podcast episode you did!

  114. James says

    Thanks for the earlier reply Lucky! Follow up question using our AS miles on EK for 1st class. Our window to book doesn’t open for a week or two, but have been fooling around on the AS site to get a sense of availability. I don’t see much, if any space when I look way out, near, or in between for first. I’ve tried a number of cities to DXB and don’t really see much. Has EK reduced the mount of seats they are releasing, or is this an AS issue, or both? Any pattern to how the seats are available on AS? Thanks again for all your advice. Read the blog daily and love it!

  115. lucky says

    @ Sebastian — It depends on the route, for the most part. Domestically they operate from New York to San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle, I believe.

  116. lucky says

    @ Andy — Have only used it for tracking Alaska flights after purchase, so not much, really.

  117. lucky says

    @ Jamie — Great question! I feel like the current landscape is still incredibly lucrative, but you’re spot on that at some point it starts to take more effort. Digging deeper and having a better understanding of how to leverage the various programs and currencies can be incredibly valuable, I think.

  118. lucky says

    @ John — Haven’t heard anything, but hoping it happens sooner rather than later as well!

  119. lucky says

    @ Andrew Bacon — For the most part student credit cards serve the purpose of helping you to build your credit, and don’t offer especially lucrative rewards. The best thing you can do over the next year or so is to establish a great credit profile, then you can start applying for “real” cards once you have a bit more income flexibility:

  120. lucky says

    @ James — Availability is certainly more limited than it was in the past, but it shouldn’t be impossible. You’ll likely see seats released early on (though maybe not right when the schedule opens), then again about two weeks prior to departure. No exact pattern that I’m aware of otherwise.

  121. Helena says

    I’m looking for HKG\SIN – SYD on KrisF SQ Feb 15. and every day – “waitlist”.
    How often do they confirm and for how long. Thanks.

  122. Douglas says

    I was hoping to book IB business class next summer on the 330-300 from ORD to MAD but looking at seatguru it’s going to be the 340-600 then. Is that still worth it or would I be better off with the American’s 767-300 (JFK to BCN) or the US 330-300 (PHL to MAD)? I don’t have much experience with premium cabins but got to take both the United 757-200 and LH 747-8 last week and while the United product was good it didn’t compare to LH. Is it the same between American and US vs IB?

  123. KoolFatKat says

    Hey Lucky,
    I have ORD-HKG-REP booked with AA miles. First segment is in first, second one is in economy. I arrive to HKG at 8:20 PM and leave the next morning at 7:55 AM. I don’t intend to leave the airport and hope to spend most of that time in the lounge(s). I believe all Cathay Pacific lounges close for a few hours after the last flight of the night (correct me if I’m wrong). Therefore my question is, will I be allowed to enter first class lounges at HKG both in the EVENING and in the MORNING by showing my boarding pass for my ORD-HKG flight? Which lounge would you recommend? Thanks a lot!

  124. James says

    Hi lucky,

    Just wondering when you’re going to finish the trip report from Warsaw that you started a few weeks ago. You seem to post about 7 posts a day about credit cards and miles but the trip report still hasn’t come up.
    Also, are you going to put an update out on living in hotels?

  125. lucky says

    @ James — Will continue posting trip report today, and should keep pace at one installment per day from hereon out. Sorry about that.

  126. lucky says

    @ KoolFatKat — Technically the rule is that you need to be traveling same day, so technically you wouldn’t get lounge access in the evening or in the morning. Keep in mind they probably won’t let you through security in order to even access the lounge in the evening, since you don’t have a same day boarding pass. Then in the morning you’re not technically connecting same day, so wouldn’t get access. That being said, often the rules in theory and rules in practice differ, so it’s still worth a try.

  127. lucky says

    @ Douglas — Iberia A340 business class is still fully flat, though if it’s the best hard product you’re after, I’d say the US Airways A330 would be the best option.

  128. lucky says

    @ Helena — No clue how often, though if they do it seems to be about two weeks out.

  129. Mike Palmer says

    How much time can flying a 747 save you? They are one of the fastest jets and having four engines, are not subject to ETOPS rules. While saving 30 minutes may not sound much, if your stuck in coach for 15 hours, getting their sooner would be better.

  130. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    Two questions.

    1. Do you have a link for the 60k Chase Sign-Up bonus?

    2. Are the ex-CMB fares still available?

    Thanks, Gabe

  131. Cheryl Vonn says

    Hi Lucky,
    I have been subscribing for a few months and appreciate your blog. Any suggestions you have for this problem would be appreciated: I flew on Etihad EY622 yesterday and landed in SEZ, taking photos with my iphone out the window as we landed. After we left the plane we entered the immigration area where they asked for our ongoing flight info- I said “its right here on my ….” and as you might have guessed, my phone was still on the plane. I asked someone in a uniform who directed me to the ” security person” at the foot of the stairs of the plane. She asked what seat I was in,(15F)- spent all of a minute on the plane and came back saying it was not there. I then went to the Etihad office and explained my problem. She seemed to think there was nothing she could do and I asked that she at least take my name in case someone brought it in. She wrote my name on the big sheet of paper under her keyboard and at my prompting, the name of the villa I was staying in. When I was able to get wifi, I used skype to call Etihad, and this agent said she would email the AUH and SEZ managers and took my email address. I have not heard from them and its been 24 hours so I am losing hope fast.I tweeted Etihad help – nothing yet. Can you think of anything else I can do? I won’t be back in the US until mid-September and can’t imagine doing Australia without a smart phone. Thanks!!

  132. Abhi says

    Hi Lucky,
    I got 2 AA executive card during the awesome 100K offer they had.
    I tried closing one today by moving all available credit from one card to another.
    But the customer rep told me he can only move credit line available in excess of $5K because those cards have to have a min credit line of $5K. I confirmed with him that that’s true even if I am closing, he can’t move the whole available credit and he confirmed. I was wondering if this is entierly true or if I might have better luck with some other rep.

  133. says

    So, I read through your entire beginners guide to miles and points. Surely, if you accumulate like a million points each year, you must spend a lot on your credit cards? If you don’t mind me asking, how much would you say you actually spend yearly, and how many flights do you actually buy to get miles?

  134. Ken says


    Just wondering what can I do for an uninformed flight change for my booking made on UA through US Airways prior to them joining OW. I booked a United First seat from Newark to Brussels on 26/10/2014. It was UA 999(3 classes flight) originally when I made my booking last year but when I recheck my booking today, the flight has changed to UA44(2 classes flight). My United First seat became United BusinessFirst. Because I have all my connecting flights booked, I can’t make any changes to the date now. However do you think I should contact United to get some compensation for the last minute change? Thanks

  135. lucky says

    @ Ken — US Airways might refund partial miles, but that’s about the extent of it. United will only get paid for business class, so doubt you’ll get much from them. But also can’t hurt to email and ask.

  136. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    How long will the 70k Chase Sign Up Bonus offer be around for?

    Are the ex-CMB fares still available?

  137. lucky says

    @ Gabe — We don’t know how long it will be around, and not any great ex-CMB fares I know of.

  138. Kirk says

    Hey Lucky,

    I have booked two separate flights – American Airlines from BOS-ORD, and Cathay Pacific from ORD-HKG. Will American Airlines issue me my CX boarding pass when I check-in at Boston, and transfer my luggage to HK, or will I need to collect my luggage and re-check-in at ORD?


  139. lucky says

    @ Kirk — They can transfer your bags but can’t issue you boarding passes. You can check-in online separately for both flights, however.

  140. Nick says

    Hi Lucky,

    I signed up for Capital One Venture card about two months ago, when the bonus for $2k spend in the first two months was 20,000 points. Now they’re offering 40,000 for spending $3k in three months. Do you think it’s worthwhile contacting them to request the new sign up bonus? And if so, what would be the best approach? Indignant, special pleading, all-out fawning and promises of lifetime card use?

    Also, if your purchase an economy fare ticket using half miles )from a credit card)/half cash, on a Star Alliance partner, would you then be able to upgrade to business class using your Star Alliance miles?


  141. John Markle says

    Hey Lucky, I have an Amex platinum card that I signed up for a 100,000 point offer a few years ago. I have loved it but the yearly fee is killing me. I heard you on a podcast say you have about 40 credit cards so I have a couple related questions for you. Do you ever cancel your credit cards and when do you know is the right time? With so many credit cards in the wallet, why not just take whatever the promotion being offered is and then when it is time to pay and renew the following year just cancel the card? Would love your thoughts. Thanks so much and hope you had a good weekend!

  142. lucky says

    @ Nick — Don’t have any experience with Capital One specifically, so it’s anyone’s guess. I’d try emailing them, and wouldn’t try too hard. They’ll have a policy one way or another, so it doesn’t matter how much of a plea you make, you’ll likely get the same response either way.

    As far as upgrades go, it would have to be a fare that’s eligible for Star Alliance Upgrades, which needs to be near full fare, so usually doesn’t make sense.

  143. David says

    Ben, I am sitting in the Wing right now, unfortunately I had a horrible experience.
    I redeemed a first class CX award ticket with AA miles.

    Will Cathay even take the time to look at my complaint? Being that I booked with AA miles? Do you know the specific person I should e-mail?

    Thanks in advance, always love reading the daily updates.

  144. lucky says

    @ David — Sorry to hear about your bad experience. Yes, if you were a first class passenger they should take your complaint seriously, even if on miles. I’d just go through their online contact form.

  145. Christian says

    Hi Lucky — I noticed recently that MH is once again releasing 2 first class award seats on their A380 routes. I guess availability has opened up? Or they are just trying to fill seats? Anyhow, interested to hear you perspective on this. I am assuming they have experienced a big (if perhaps slightly irrational) drop in bookings, particularly on international routes.

  146. Dina says

    Hello Lucky,

    Tonight I called singapore airlines to book award flights on united from JFK to HNL. United was showing availability, however, when I called singapore airlines I talked to a very nice person who I couldn’t understand very well and she stated there was no availability. I have 2 questions in regards to this.

    1. If there is award availability showing on a staralliance partner does singapore need to allow bookings with their miles, or is that up to them to decide what to book
    2. Is there a recommended way to explain the situation to the person on the phone that might make it clearer (I’m thinking there is a possibility with communication being what it was that this wasn’t working because of that).

    Thank you very much for your help! I think its great that you have an ask lucky section on your website to help those of us who are less expereinced fine our way in this maze that is miles, points, and life!

  147. Andy says


    I’ve been reading your posts for over a year now, both here and on TravelSort. You are the best at what you do, and you have continually inspired me to pursue my travel goals. Thanks to your wealth of knowledge and insight I’m happy to report that I am now confirmed round the world:

    CX0807 ORD to HKG in F
    CX0253 HKG to LHR in F
    BA197 LHR to IAH in F

    Priced out and booked at 115,000 US Airways miles! What an adrenaline rush!! I’m now officially hooked. Thank you again Lucky!

  148. chen says

    Hi Lucky,

    Great blog and thanks for providing such insight. I am wondering whether you have any good suggestions to book CX award tickets from HK to Paris, it feels almost like mission impossible even after playing around with the dates! Looking for a departure around Sep 3 and return around Sep 14.

    Thanks in advance!

  149. Helena says

    Hi Lucky,
    Which airlines you advice to travel Europa-SYD:
    BA first, QF first, TG first, SQ business (A380 or B777ER)?

  150. lucky says

    @ Christian — Haven’t noticed that, will take a look and if I find anything will write a post about it. Thanks!

  151. lucky says

    @ Dina — If United has saver space then Singapore should have access to it as well. I would recommend hanging up and calling again and just hoping for a better agent. I think you may have just had bad luck.

  152. lucky says

    @ Andy — Thanks so much for the kind words and for reading, I really appreciate it. AWESOME trip you booked, hope you have a blast!

  153. lucky says

    @ chen — 2-3 months out can be a tough time to find Cathay Pacific first class award space, so I’d hold off a bit longer, as Cathay Pacific has the tendency to release a ton of first class award space within a week of departure. If you can hold off till 1-2 weeks before departure, I think you’ll have no trouble finding space.

  154. Reine says

    Just out of curiousity- do you think you’d ever want to review Air New Zealand’s premium economy product on their LAX-AKL route? I know you’re pretty much only biz/first, but I’m just curious about your take on their “revolutionary” space seat and whether it is truly a “baby business class” as a lot of people have said.

  155. lucky says

    @ Reine — If there were a good way to redeem miles for it I would, but it’s quite expensive for a premium economy product, so not sure how I’d book it short of paying cash, which I’d prefer not to do for a non-premium cabin.

  156. John Markle says

    Didn’t know how to reply to your comment but I just wanted to thank you for answering my question about cancelling credit cards. Really appreciate your help and your blog not only has been helpful but is also really exciting to think about. Cheers and I wish you the best!

  157. JH says

    Can you redeem AA (or other oneworld miles) for upgrades on their partners (e.g., Cathay)? [would the answer change whether ticket was booked through Cathay or American]

  158. Lantean says

    Ben, have you noticed that ANA is pretty generous opening F seats JFK-NRT (evening flight) to their partners… but no F seats at all NRT-JFK… isn’t that odd?

  159. lucky says

    @ Lantean — Yep, have noticed that. Have never tried to rationalize airline inventory management, it makes no sense to me!

  160. Zach G says

    Hey lucky, hope you’re recovering well from the premium economy experience on La Compagnie. I got an email from US Airways stating that my “last activity date was more than 15 months ago but there are easy and inexpensive ways to keep your miles such as paying a $9 preservation fee”…

    Do you know of another way to keep the miles active without paying the fee?


  161. larry barken says

    you booked a trip for us around the world for only 120k in bus class using turkish airlines, swiss, and air china. we went to turkey and mongolia. well worth the fee. turkish air biz class was great and so was air china. swiss was a little cramped and food njot as good. we stayed at neoiron hotel in istanbul, no. 1 ranked istanbul hotel by trip advisor and the ritz carlton in istanbul. neoiron has great location and service. ritz was exeptional service and not as good a location. key hotel in izmir top ranked —beautiful and high tech with bay right out the window. mongolia was great but hotels not up to speed. if you want a deluxe ger go to tuul river lodge. wonderful trip. will have you book our next trip for you got amazing value out of our miles.

  162. Tom says


    Last weekend my wife took my 4 year old on a flight and it got me thinking. What would prevent me from booking my 4 year olds ticket in my name and ff#? They do not check for his id so how would they ever know if it was not me traveling?



  163. adi_t says

    Tom, hmm interesting. I am assuming your son does not have the same name as you. I wouldn’t risk it- especially if it’s only a small number of miles in question- as if the airline finds out, it could be a legitimate reason to take away your miles.

    Chances are they wouldn’t find out but in the case where they either ask your wife for your son’s ID, or (especially if you have high status with the airline) they flag your FF with the goal of upgrading you, etc, and then discover it’s a child….oops.

    May be someone else can chime in but I wonder how this situation would be different if you and your son had the IDENTICAL names…..

  164. Dina says

    @Lucky Thanks for responding! I tried it again and talked to 3 different ladies now and was told the same thing . They don’t see the award space available (although it’s sitting there screaming at me from united’s web page!!! saver level and all.. the inhumanity!!) Any suggestions on how to move forward with this? HUCa more? Call united? Try sending them a fax instead of calling (they do have a fax form for this)? I’m sure If I had to I could find a way to use the 70,000 singapore miles but I’d really like to use them for these flights so I can save my ultimate reward miles for other activities.


  165. lucky says

    @ Tom — In theory it might work short term, though keep in mind you have to add SecureFlight data to a reservation, which includes dates of birth. So if you do it repeatedly you could get flagged.

  166. lucky says

    @ Dina — Wish I had an explanation, that’s bizarre. Have you verified space is bookable through ANA/Aeroplan as well, and that it’s not phantom United space? If so, all I can recommend is calling again, unfortunately. Sorry you’re having so much trouble.

  167. Ted says

    Have you booked the new SFO-IST flight using Aeroplan miles? I’ve been reading that they are phantom spaces and don’t want to transfer my miles unnecessarily. I also can’t find it using UA, only AC miles. Thanks.

  168. lucky says

    @ Ted — Sometimes it seems to be phantom space, other times not. Doesn’t seem to be one consistent case unfortunately.

  169. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    Did you ever write a trip report on your visit to the Maldives?

    If booking with AA Miles, how often is your award reservation services able to snag 2 Cathay First class seats between Hong Kong and Europe if booking as soon as the schedule opens?

    Thanks, Gabe

  170. wendy says

    I just read over the rules of booking with United award flights. I was wondering if this plays by the rules for open jaw: Charleston to Budapest, Prague to Doha then Doha to LAX?

  171. lucky says

    @ Gabe — I never did write that report, no. If you’re just trying to snag direct seats between Hong Kong and Europe, there’s probably not much value we can add. It’s pretty straightforward and either the space is there or it isn’t.

  172. lucky says

    @ wendy — Nope, the open jaw has to be at the turnaround point, so you couldn’t have one between Budapest and Prague, since Doha is your turnaround point.

  173. Bamboola says

    Hi Lucky,

    I read that you are living permanently in hotels and that you are considering the Park Hyatt Hyderabad as your home base. Having just stayed at the PH Hyderabad, I highly recommend it. In fact, if you move here during the next few weeks, I will buy you dinner. I have enjoyed reading your blog and feel that I owe you at least a dinner. : )

    PM me and I will share with you my disappointing EVA Hello Kitty experience that turned into a non-Kitty flight due to a last minute aircraft change. : (


  174. Christian says

    Hi Lucky — I’m thinking about doing a HKG->London->USA->HKG award using US Airways Dividend miles. I’m going to try to make London the destination and the USA the stopover (for less miles), but I’m prepared to pay the Asia to USA price if that doesn’t work. But, I’m wondering — can I fly into LHR and fly out of LGW (or vice versa?). I’m eyeing some routes to FL (TPA/MCO) that fly out of LGW. Would this be a valid routing? Does US Airways consider co-terminal airports one “city”? Thanks for any advice.

  175. C Diddy says

    Hi Lucky,

    How much time do you leave yourself on a layover between a positioning flight and an international flight booked separately? I’m flying LAX-AUH shortly, and need to book my positioning flight from DEN. I get nervous that if something goes awry on the positioning flight, I might miss the long-haul. Just looking for some guidance on what you typically are comfortable with. Thanks!

  176. lucky says

    @ C Diddy — Will answer the question on the main page of the blog today. Thanks for the idea!

  177. eddy says

    Ben, I can’t thank you enough for your great blog! Two questions. First, If I want to book a o/w from PEK to LAX using ANA miles (per your June 4, 2014 post), is there someone that I can search for the shortest international flights into China that are served by Star Alliance airlines? Second, if I am flying business and have a choice among the following for the transpacific leg: ANA (777-200), EVA (777-300), OZ (A380), how would you rank those? Thanks.

  178. Spinergy7 says

    Lucky, I have 90k Chase points through Freedom. If I pick up a premium card, like CSP, do those points automagically become transferable, or only new points earned since getting the premium card? Thanks. Safe travels.

  179. Eric says

    Hi Lucky,

    I read on FT that JL awards can’t be booked until within 60 days of departure.
    and heard the same when called USDM, can you confirm this?

    I have an award trip now that can’t be ticketed due to this :(

  180. Stuart says


    I’ve read many of your reviews and I’ve started reading all your tips on miles etc. however I find it difficult to understand because it seems to be American based. For example American Express is not widely accepted in the UK (where I live) and so was wondering if there is alternative card that is widely accepted in the UK?

    Also, I am going on a first class Emirates flight soon to Dubai (yay!) on their A380 and I was just wondering if you could tell me what I should do? For example with meal orders I’m used to just getting what I’m given and not ordering it because I don’t usually have the choice. So if you could tell me the do’s and don’ts of first class on Emirates that would be fantastic!

    Thank you :)

  181. James says

    Hi Lucky,

    I have the old AMEX Business Gold Card with the $125 annual fee + $45 for my wife’s card. I only get 1 point across the board on it and see no reason keeping it. Do you think the everyday or everyday preferred card would be a good option? If so, which one? Thanks. Love the blog!

  182. Trevor says

    Lucky, I’m in the process of booking KE tickets and have them on hold. I recall when you flew through ICN, you had to go through transit security. Any thoughts on how much more time to allow for?

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