Archive for the US Airways Category

Addendum to the previous post about the US Airways promotion bonus

Posted in Airlines, Deals, Miles, Promotion, US Airways with tags , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by getgowing

Before you read this post, read “Flying international business class for a little more than economy prices first.

To see even more of the world, it MAY be possible to go to Southeast Asia via Europe….meaning fly from the Bahamas to Zurich, stop and stay awhile, then continue on to Singapore.  Obviously the possibilities are enormous since both Europe and Southeast Asia have a large concentration of big cities close by to each other.

Also, award tickets are generally good for up to year.  So you don’t need to do this jaunt almost around the world all in one trip.  Here are your two tickets, Home-Caribbean & Caribbean-Southeast Asia, broken down into individual legs:

  • Home-Caribbean (A)
  • Caribbean-Home (B)
  • Caribbean-Home (C)
  • Home-Bangkok (D)
  • Bangkok-London (E)
  • London-Home (F)
  • Home-Caribbean (G)
You could make your Home, a stopover on your award ticket.  So between now and next June, you could take:
  • June 25 – Flight A
  • June 30 – Flight C
  • Stay home for a few months, teach summer school…whatever you want to do.
  • December 20 – Flight D
  • December 28 – Flight E
  • January 3 – Flight F
  • Stay home for a few months again, teach school, go to work,…whatever you want to do.
  • April 15 – Flight G
  • April 20 – Flight B
Through this sample, you went to:
  1. The Caribbean in late June 2011
  2. Thailand for Christmas
  3. London for New Year’s
  4. The Caribbean again for Spring Break
Don’t think just because you have a ticket does it mean that it all has to be used at once.  The great thing about award tickets is that their price doesn’t change and can be used over a long period of time.  Granted, an itinerary exactly like this may be impossible with blackout dates/lack of availability and require hours of planning, but it would definitely be worth it.  Think outside the box.  A necessity to travel hack.
What are you waiting for,  Get Gowing!

Flying international business class for a little more than economy prices

Posted in Airlines, Deals, Miles, Promotion, US Airways with tags , , , , , on June 6, 2011 by getgowing

Thank you to Chris M. for this tip.

Every now and then (though recently its been happening a lot) US Airways runs a promotion where if you buy X miles, they will give you a 100% bonus (promotion page here), meaning you will get double miles for the normal price.  For those that are regular readers of this blog, this promotion could be your gateway drug to “travel hacking.”

The easiest way I promote getting miles is through a credit card offer.  I, like many of you, was extremely protective of my credit score (before I started applying for the credit cards earlier in the year, my FICO was about 770), not letting anything unnecessary to lower it.  While opening a new credit card may not necessarily lower your score, I still understand your hesitation.

This promotion can easily (at least monetarily) get you into Singapore Airlines’s Business Class from New York to Australia for a little more than the price of an Economy ticket.  With the 100% mileage bonus, 2k miles = $27.50.  The maximum bonus they offer is 50k miles.  So purchasing 100k miles will cost $1,375.00.  There is also a 7.5% tax, so the grand total for purchasing 100k miles is ~$1,478.  Many times, a ticket to Sydney in economy (from New York) can cost $1,500 anyway.

So looking at the award chart:  US Airways Star Alliance partner airline award chart

A business class ticket from the US to the South Pacific is 110k miles.  The first 100k miles costs $1,478.  The next 10k miles costs ~$148 after tax.  Through this promotion, you could fly from New York to Sydney for ~$1,626.  And that would include a flat bed to sleep on on the plane, lounge access in all the airports.  I haven’t been there yet, but I hear the lounge in Singapore Changi Airport is really nice…..even just the regular airport is nice.  A free movie theater, indoor parks, even has a 4-story slide you can ride!

Just for comparison, I dummy booked a business class ticket on Singapore Airlines’s website from New York to  Sydney.

Random dates, leaving/returning on a Wed in October

When you look at it, that is a real bargain.  You technically could be saving almost $11,400!  However it’s not the greatest comparison because you would only be saving that amount of money if were going to spend $13,000 out of pocket for the ticket.  If I had that kind of money to just buy on a flight, and only business class no less, I wouldn’t be spending time finding ways to travel hack.

The other factor to take into consideration is that since this is an award ticket, you wouldn’t be gaining any miles like you would if you paid $1,500 for an economy ticket.  (The mileage for the above itinerary EWR-SIN-SYD round trip is 26,884mi.)  So that lowers the value of the ticket a little bit.  Besides the cost, I might shy away from this because I also would need miles to maintain airline status.  I would say this would be a fantastic option if I were a newly wed about to buy a house (won’t open any credit cards because I’m looking to start a mortgage), an infrequent flyer looking to lower costs for my honeymoon, and looking for premium travel to a long-haul destination.

For the more advanced players in this game and to those who want more vacation…..If you look carefully, the mileage amounts to South & Central Asia (country definition is at the bottom of the chart) lowers if you fly from the Caribbean instead of the US.  So if you wanted to, for the price of 120k miles (~$1,774) + a positioning flight to the Caribbean (is possible to get a ticket for less than $200 roundtrip) you could fly to Thailand or the Philippines in FIRST CLASS.  You use the positioning flight to get to the Bahamas.  Enjoy a little vacation there (or not), then plan your trip to Thailand using your miles starting from there.  Fly back to the Bahamas, in FIRST CLASS, enjoy another vacation (or not), then use the last portion of your positioning flight to fly back home to the US.  First class tickets can easily soar upwards of $15,000 or more to Southeast Asia.

To me, if I had a couple thousand to use on a vacation, I would instantly jump on this.  As a reader of Get Gowing, you are already getting an awesome deal that you can brag to your friends about.  This theoretical trip to Thailand can get even more valuable if you include any stopovers.  Lets say you took ANA to Thailand instead of Singapore Airlines.  You could easily book a stopover at their hub in Tokyo for a few days, then continue on to Bangkok, all for the same amount of miles!  If you tried paying for a ticket, the cost could go up exponentially!

So for about $2,000… could get a trip to the Bahamas, Tokyo, and Bangkok.  And that would be a modest itinerary, at least for me.  That’s the making of a spectacular honeymoon!

If you do the math, using this promotion for economy tickets is just not lucrative enough.

One caveat is that new US Airways Dividend Miles (the name for their frequent flyer program) accounts cannot buy, share, or gift miles for the first 11 days of account opening.  Before even deciding if you are going to jump on this promotion or not, go HERE and open an account.  Its Free to sign up.  You then have 11 days to decide where you wan to go…..but this 100% bonus miles promotion ends June 30, 2011.

What are you waiting for?……Get Gowing!

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