Awards

Garuda’s 90% Off Award Promotion Is CONFIRMED!

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Earlier I wrote about how Garuda Indonesia is offering a 90% off award promotion, for tickets booked by December 31, 2016, and for travel between February 1 and May 31, 2017. The promotion obviously seems too good to be true, given that this means that a first class Garuda Indonesia award ticket will cost between 9,000 and 19,000 miles, which is insane.

Many speculated that Garuda Indonesia in fact intended to offer 10% off, meaning that they meant they were charging 90% of the normal cost. It’s no surprise that some people suspected that may be the case, since it’s not often you see a 90% off award sale.

Well, Garuda Indonesia has confirmed on Twitter that the promotion is indeed intended to be for 90% off, meaning it’s as generous as we thought.

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Best Deal Of The Year: 90% Off Garuda Indonesia First Class Award Tickets!!!

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Update: I’m working on verifying firsthand, but for now I may hold off before transferring points. I’m verifying to make sure this is actually a 90% off promotion rather than them just saying you pay 90% of the price. If it’s the latter, it’s very poorly worded on their part.

Okay, this is possibly the best legitimate mileage deal I’ve seen in my entire life. Like, I actually can’t come to terms with good of a deal this is, and feel like I must be missing something.

Garuda Indonesia first class is one of the best in the world. I recently flew them between London and Jakarta thanks to an excellent Black Friday sale, and was blown away by every aspect of the experience, including the incredible ground experience in London, the spectacular onboard experience on the 14 hour flight to Jakarta, and the arrival experience in Jakarta.

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Redeem 5,000 Miles For A One-Way Ticket With A Stopover!

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Yesterday Alaska announced some major changes to their Mileage Plan program, many of which were positive. Generally my preference is to redeem miles for premium cabin awards, though Alaska Mileage Plan has just made many domestic redemptions extremely lucrative with their recent changes.

Alaska’s new discounted shorthaul awards

One of the changes Alaska has made is that they’ve discounted shorthaul award ticket costs. Specifically:

— Tickets covering a distance of under 700 miles cost 5,000 miles
— Tickets covering a distance of 701-1,400 miles cost 7,500 miles
— Tickets covering a distance of 1,401-2,100 miles cost 10,000 miles

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A Creative Way To Redeem Miles For Swiss First Class

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There are first class awards that are tough to book with miles through a partner program, like Qantas first, Qatar first, Etihad first, etc. Then there are awards that are generally impossible to book with miles through a partner program, like Air France first and Swiss first.

Back in the day Swiss was one of the most generous airlines out there when it came to releasing first class award space, and I remember many instances where they made all eight first class seats available as awards. That’s why I had reviewed them a few times several years ago.

Unfortunately that changed in 2013, when Swiss added a restriction to first class redemptions. As of 2013, only elite members in the Miles & More program can redeem miles for Swiss first class. However, back in June of this year there was a brief period where Swiss first class became bookable with partner miles. I’m not sure how or why this happened, though it did, and it allowed me to fly Swiss first class from Zurich to Los Angeles last month.

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Be Alerted When Etihad Award Seats Become Available

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ExpertFlyer is a subscription based website that I find very useful as a frequent flyer. It’s useful for looking up flight seatmaps, searching award availability, looking up minimum connection times at airports, looking at available fare buckets, etc.

However, for many the single most useful aspect of ExpertFlyer is the ability to set award availability alerts. In other words, you can set an alert for a specific type of award on a specific flight, and ExpertFlyer will email and text you when that seat becomes available.

Given how many airlines open up award availability last minute nowadays, that’s a fantastic tool to have access to, rather than refreshing award availability all the time, like many of us do.

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Extra Air Canada Award Space For Aeroplan Members (And Less For Everyone Else)

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While there’s rarely a dull moment around here, sometimes the nuances of searching award space or booking flights with miles aren’t that interesting for a broader audience. Especially now that the US Airways Dividend Miles Comedy Hour is a thing of the past.

When we come across something interesting though, we do our best to share it. Sometimes that’s a trick or a great deal, and other times it’s more of a cautionary tale for others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

In this case, after spending several annoyed hours trying to figure out what was “broken,” we realized we had collective amnesia surrounding an obscure Air Canada policy — that they do, theoretically, give extra space to Aeroplan members.

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LifeMiles Is Discounting Star Alliance First & Business Class Awards!

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Yesterday I wrote about how the LifeMiles program is offering a special bonus on purchased miles for readers of OMAAT. Specifically, readers can get an extra 15% bonus on purchased miles above what they’d usually earn, which is an opportunity to purchase miles for as little as ~1.375 cents each. That’s a fantastic deal.

To take advantage of this offer you have to register on this page between December 12 and December 19, and then have to buy miles between December 13 and December 20, 2016.

You have to wait 24 hours from the time you register until you buy miles through the offer to get the better bonus. You should see the better bonus reflected on the purchase page once you’re eligible.

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Aer Lingus Doesn’t Understand How A Distance Based Award Chart Works

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Early last year it was announced that IAG would be taking over Aer Lingus. For those of you not familiar, IAG is the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, and Vueling. As part of this, Aer Lingus also announced that they would rebrand their loyalty program, which would be joining the “Avios” scheme. The new program is called AerClub, and was just recently launched.

I find it a bit puzzling that there are so many different Avios currencies, and that British Airways basically runs several parallel loyalty programs, all of which are slightly different. That seems unnecessarily complicated to me, especially since you can transfer points between currencies. For example, there are plenty of instances where redeeming Iberia Avios is a better value than redeeming British Airways Avios.

Anyway, the AerClub program is now live, and while I’ll have a more detailed post about the currency as such soon, there’s one specific aspect of the program that I feel deserves a separate post.

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Alaska Adds (Expensive) Awards To Australia & New Zealand

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Yesterday Alaska published rates for Japan Airlines awards, which we’re pretty excited about. It looks like Alaska has been making other updates this week as well, which are pretty interesting.

As I mentioned yesterday, Alaska Mileage Plan is unique in that they have a separate award chart for each partner carrier. Both the origin and destination country have to be listed on the award chart for that specific carrier, otherwise it’s not a valid redemption. As of yesterday, for example, you couldn’t use Alaska miles for Emirates or American awards to/from Australia.

That appears to have changed overnight, as I’m now seeing redemption options on both carriers.

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9 Reasons To Be Excited About Redeeming Alaska Miles On JAL

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Yesterday Tiffany posted about how it’s now possible to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles on Japan Airlines. While the partnership between Alaska and Japan Airlines was first announced in May, we were told that reciprocal mileage redemptions would only be possible in late 2016.

Many of us were caught off guard by this redemption opportunity being added, given that Alaska didn’t provide any further updates or timeline for adding JAL as a partner, but rather the awards just suddenly became bookable.

Tiffany did a great job summing up the ability to redeem Alaska miles on JAL, though I wanted to write a follow-up post about this new option, because I’m really excited, as I think this is the best new partnership that Alaska has added in a long time. Why am I so excited?

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Japan Airlines Awards Now Bookable Through Alaska Mileage Plan!

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Earlier this year Alaska Airlines and Japan Airlines announced a partnership, with a reciprocal frequent flyer relationship and a codesharing agreement.

Some of the mileage earning and redemption rules were published right away, including:

• Alaska Mileage Plan earning rates for travel on Japan Airlines
• Japan Airlines Mileage Bank earning rates for travel on Alaska
• Japan Airlines Mileage Bank redemption rates for travel on Alaska

After months of anticipation, we finally know the Alaska Mileage Plan redemption rates for travel on Japan Airlines. There are some surprises in the chart, but the prices in general are at least as good as we’d expected!

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How To Redeem Points For JetBlue Mint

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JetBlue is quickly expanding their Mint product, which is their competitively priced fully flat bed business class product on a growing number of routes. While JetBlue started by offering Mint from New York to Los Angeles and San Francisco a couple of years back, they have expanded it nicely since then, and have even loftier expansion goals.

So, given JetBlue’s lack of frequent flyer program partnerships, what are the best ways to redeem points for JetBlue Mint?

To start, I should probably explain what makes Mint special. I flew JetBlue Mint for the first time this August from New York to Los Angeles, and was blown away. The JetBlue Mint cabin has four “suites,” which can be reserved by Mint customers on a first come first serve basis.

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FlyingBlue Publishes New 25% Off Awards To Europe

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One of the best uses of Air France/KLM FlyingBlue miles is booking their Promo Awards.

FlyingBlue publishes these every month, and they offer 20-50% off select award tickets on Air France and KLM metal.

Back in the day Promo Awards would consistently be for 50% off and would have a good number of options in business class, though unfortunately they’ve devalued the promotion somewhat since then, and the discounts are now pretty consistently for 25% off. That’s still very good, just not as good.

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You Can Now Redeem Delta Miles For Premium Economy… But It’s Expensive

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Even though US airlines have long had partner airlines that offer premium economy cabins, historically they haven’t allowed miles to be redeemed for that cabin. I suspect it’s because the US airlines didn’t have a premium economy product of their own, so it was easier to just not offer that redemption option.

Well, American and Delta are both in the process of adding a true premium economy product to their longhaul flights (which will be different than the extra legroom economy cabins they currently offer), so soon enough we should see new award and upgrade policies for getting into these cabins. It looks like we already have a clue of what this pricing will be like.

Delta is now letting you redeem SkyMiles for travel in Virgin Atlantic premium economy.

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