More and more people are collecting airmiles than ever before, through a variety of means that mainly don’t even involve flying anymore. Airlines are making billions of dollars selling their miles to affiliate programs such as credit card companies, car rental agencies, hotel groups – you name it and there is probably a way to earn some miles there. This has led the airlines themselves to devalue their programs and make redeeming those miles more expensive. That’s nice of them eh.
The next to go is United who will change their awards system in October. No doubt some of the changes are already being applied reducing saver availability etc. What can be guaranteed is the amount of miles needed for what you want to do will no doubt be higher.
There is one great redemption that still remains out there and it’s one I have recently booked. By booking through United Mileage Plus you can fly from Asia to Australia/New Zealand for an extremely low 40,000 miles in Thai first class or 30,000 in business. To put that in perspective a first class seat for the hour hope between New York to Boston on a 737 can run you 50,000 miles on United.
I have always wanted to do a round the world trip on miles and deals and this was a redemption too good to turn down before the price almost doubles. So for 40,000 miles and $67 I will travel from Hong Kong via Bangkok to Sydney in January. Both legs will be in the nose of a 747-800 and there will be a layover of 3 hours to experience the first class lounge in Bangkok. The retail price is currently nudging $3,000 for the same flight.
This will no doubt be the highlight of the trip, airplane wise at least and the rest is still to be booked. But that’s half the fun, unfortunately I missed the crazy Qatar business fares earlier this week, but something will come up and you can read about it here when it does.