Awards

Great Deal: JAL Business Class Awards Wide Open Between NYC and Tokyo!

Japan-Airlines-Business-Class-777 - 4

Japan Airlines presently operates two daily flights between Tokyo and New York, though they’ll be adjusting that service starting in a couple of months, which is great for award availability. It’s probably easiest to explain what’s changing by showing a side-to-side schedule comparison:

Presently JAL operates the following flight daily using a 777-300ER:

JL6 Tokyo Narita to New York JFK departing 10:50AM arriving 10:45AM
JL5 New York JFK to Tokyo Narita departing 1:15PM arriving 4:25PM (+1 day)

Continue Reading »

Good Air New Zealand Business Class Award Availability!

Air-New-Zealand-777

Air New Zealand is an airline that has historically been pretty stingy with making premium cabin award seats available, at least for travel to the U.S. That probably largely has to do with the fact that they had a monopoly in the U.S. mainland to New Zealand market. Fortunately in the meantime both American and United have started service to New Zealand, so they have some competition, at last.

Last year we began to see some Air New Zealand award availability out of the U.S. for the first time in a long time, though we haven’t consistently seen space since then.

Well, at the moment Air New Zealand has a good amount of business class award availability between the U.S. and New Zealand. A majority of the space seems to be available between May and the end of September. Admittedly this is winter of New Zealand, though it can be a beautiful time to visit. I visited New Zealand in winter about a decade ago, and had an amazing time.

Continue Reading »

Roundtrip Transcon Virgin America First Class Tickets For 15,000 Miles

virgin-america-first-class

Several weeks ago Alaska announced that they were introducing some new discounted distance based awards. Specifically, there are discounted awards available if flying a distance of less than 700 miles, a distance of 701 to 1,400 miles or a distance of 1,401 to 2,100 miles.

As I explained at the time, this presented some incredible opportunities to book one-way awards for 5,000 miles including a stopover.

While not directly related to this type of award, there are certainly other opportunities to take advantage of discounted distance based awards.

Continue Reading »

You Can Now Redeem Alaska Miles On Virgin America

virgin-america-first-class

It’s a big day for Alaska Mileage Plan and Virgin America Elevate, as it’s now possible to convert your Virgin America Elevate points into Alaska Mileage Plan miles at a 1:1.3 ratio (though a transfer in the other direction isn’t possible).

However, that’s not the only new development today.

It’s now also possible to redeem Alaska Mileage Plan miles for travel on Virgin America. This is an interesting opportunity, given that Virgin America Elevate is a revenue based program, meaning the number of points required for a redemption is based on how much a ticket would cost. Meanwhile Alaska Mileage Plan is a traditional program, meaning award availability comes at fixed costs.

Continue Reading »

Korean Air Adds Online Award Bookings For Partner Airlines

Saudia-New-First-Class-2

This news first broke last week when I was in Cuba without wifi, and it just occurred to me I haven’t written about it. So I apologize for the delay, as I figure I’m better off writing about it late rather than never. As of recently, Korean Air lets you book SkyTeam awards on many partner airlines through their website. I’ll explain why that’s awesome news.

First of all, the reason this will be useful to many is because Korean Air SkyPass is a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, meaning that Ultimate Rewards points can be converted to Korean Air at a 1:1 ratio.

This is a great use of points earned on cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, for example.

Continue Reading »

Here’s a Sneak Peek At FlyingBlue’s January Promo Awards

KLM-Business-Class-747-05

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.

Continue Reading »

Garuda Indonesia Has Pulled Their 90% Off Award Promo Early

garuda-award

What a flippin’ mess. It looks like Garuda Indonesia has pulled their 90% off award promo as of December 24 (Jakarta time). Garuda Indonesia on Twitter claims that “available seat is fully booked,” though I’m guessing this just turned out to be too much of a headache. There’s no way all the seats have been booked, given that every single award seat throughout the system (including in economy) is available through this promotion.

The website seems to have just been updated to reflect this change, at least the Indonesian site (the promotion still shows when selecting English as the language). However, call center agents are consistently confirming that the promotion is over.

I guess the next big question is whether Garuda Indonesia will honor the promotion for those who had tickets on hold but hadn’t yet ticketed, or if it’s not being honored for anyone.

Continue Reading »

A Reader’s Experience Ticketing A 90% Off Garuda Indonesia Award

buy-garuda-miles

Garuda Indonesia has what I’ve called the mileage deal of the decade at the moment, as they’re offering 90% off award tickets booked through the end of the year. Unfortunately it’s also the most mind-numbingly confusing and convoluted airline promotion of the decade. For those of you not up-to-date on this situation, here are my previous posts:

— 9 Things To Know About Garuda Indonesia’s 90% Off Award Promotion
— Garuda’s 90% Off Award Promotion Is CONFIRMED!
— Best Deal Of The Year: 90% Off Garuda Indonesia First Class Award Tickets!!!

Before I share a reader’s experience with this promotion, I had a couple more thoughts to share:

Continue Reading »

9 Things To Know About Garuda Indonesia’s 90% Off Award Promotion

garuda-indonesia-first-class-5

Garuda Indonesia has what I’d consider to be the mileage deal of the decade at the moment, as they’re offering 90% off award tickets booked through the end of the year. Garuda Indonesia first class is incredible, so there’s potentially a lot of value to be had with this promotion. However, the GarudaMiles program as such can be quite confusing, so in this post I figured I’d share some of the things to be aware of if you’re considering taking advantage of this promotion, which are based on the questions I’ve seen asked so far.

Before you get too far into this, sign up for a GarudaMiles account. This can be done on their website and the process is instant. Many people have issues with completing this form, so be aware that:

— If you’re American, look for “American” in the dropdown menu rather than “United States” for nationality
— Some people are having issues entering the city of their address; just leave the dropdown blank and enter the city name in the box next to it, and that should work

Continue Reading »

Garuda’s 90% Off Award Promotion Is CONFIRMED!

garuda-indonesia-first-class-86

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.

Continue Reading »

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

garuda-indonesia-first-class-1

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.

Continue Reading »

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

Seattle-Skyline-Market

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

Continue Reading »

A Creative Way To Redeem Miles For Swiss First Class

swiss-first-class-777-2

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.

Continue Reading »

Be Alerted When Etihad Award Seats Become Available

Etihad-First-Class-777-02

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.

Continue Reading »