The 8 Best Airline Award Ticket Sweet Spots

The 8 Best Airline Award Ticket Sweet Spots

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I do what I can to write about the best deals for earning and redeeming miles. In this post I wanted to share what I consider to be some of the most useful sweet spot award redemptions right now. I last wrote a post like this a few years ago, so wanted to provide a fresh look at how you can get the most bang for your buck when redeeming points.

Aspirational vs. practical award sweet spots

Before I share my list, I want to emphasize that my goal is to make a list of sweet spot awards that are practical. This means that there’s wide use for them, the points are pretty easy to accrue, the redemption process is fairly easy, etc.

I’ll intentionally be leaving out some niche redemptions that make a great headline, but won’t be useful for a vast majority of OMAAT readers. Let me give an example, just to demonstrate why.

Assuming you wanted to redeem miles for Lufthansa first class, you can redeem just 50,000 Asiana Club miles for a one-way award between the United States and Europe. That’s an incredible price, on the surface much better than the 87,000 LifeMiles or 90,000-100,000 Aeroplan points you’d pay for similar redemptions. That being said:

  • Asiana Club isn’t transfer partners with any of the major transferable points currencies, so the points are hard to rack up
  • Asiana Club passes on carrier imposed surcharges, which total nearly $1,000 one-way between the United States and Europe in Lufthansa first class, which basically negates the mileage savings, by most reasonable points valuations
  • You need to book by phone through the Asiana Club call center, and it’s not even open 24/7
  • Asiana Club requires you to ticket awards at least 72 hours in advance, and often Lufthansa only opens first class awards last minute

Of course redeeming just 50,000 miles for Lufthansa first class makes a great headline (and is a good value overall), but practically speaking it’s not something most people will use.

Lufthansa first class 747

My favorite airline mileage sweet spots

I wanted to share some of my favorite airline mileage sweet spots. I’m specifically focusing on redemptions that with points that are easy to accrue (ideally with transferable points currencies), where the booking process is fairly easy, and where there’s wide appeal.

With that out of the way, here are some of my favorite award redemptions, in no particular order.

ANA first & business class using Virgin Atlantic miles

All Nippon Airways has a phenomenal new first class and business class product, and the best way to book this is through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. I’d actually argue that this is the single best award redemption value in the world. Specifically, redemption rates are as follows (one-way):

  • Flying between the US West Coast and Japan costs 45,000 Flying Club points in business class or 55,000 Flying Club points in first class
  • Flying between the US East Coast and Japan costs 47,500 Flying Club points in business class or 60,000 Flying Club points in first class

This is an incredible redemption value, though the major catch is finding award availability, especially for multiple passengers. While there are fuel surcharges on these redemptions, they’re quite mild. The other major catch (for now) is that Japan hasn’t fully reopened to tourists.

How do you book All Nippon Airways awards? You can search award availability through another program (Aeroplan, MileagePlus, etc.), and then call Virgin Atlantic Flying Club to book — they can be reached at 800.365.9500.

How do you earn Virgin Atlantic Flying Club points? Virgin Atlantic is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital OneChase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou, so there are quite a few ways to earn their points.

All Nippon Airways business class 777

Qatar Airways business class using American miles

Qatar Airways’ Qsuites is one of the best business class products in the world, and the most economical way to book this is with American AAdvantage miles. For one-way travel, you can redeem just 70,000 AAdvantage miles from the United States to the Middle East or India, or 75,000 AAdvantage miles from the United States to Africa.

There are no fuel surcharges on these redemptions. This can be useful whether you’re looking to travel to India, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, South Africa or wherever else. Note that for those redemption rates you can also fly Etihad Airways, though I do have a slight preference for Qatar.

How do you book Qatar Airways awards? These awards can be booked directly on aa.com.

How do you earn American AAdvantage miles? American has several co-branded credit cards, and AAdvantage also frequently sells miles directly at a reasonable cost.

Qatar Airways business class A350

Cathay Pacific first & business class using Alaska miles

Cathay Pacific first class and business class are both excellent, and the best way to book those products is with Alaska Mileage Plan miles. You can expect to pay the following number of miles (one-way):

  • Flying between the US and Asia will cost you 50,000 Mileage Plan miles in business class or 70,000 Mileage Plan miles in first class
  • Flying between the US and Australia will cost you 60,000 Mileage Plan miles in business class or 80,000 Mileage Plan miles in first class
  • Flying between the US and Africa, India, or the Middle East, will cost you 62,500 Mileage Plan miles in business class or 70,000 Mileage Plan miles in first class

Alaska Mileage Plan even allows stopovers on one-way awards, though that’s of limited use at the moment, with Hong Kong’s borders remaining closed to most. There are no fuel surcharges on these awards. Furthermore, keep in mind that Cathay Pacific doesn’t offer first class on many routes, especially right now.

How do you book Cathay Pacific awards? You can search award availability through another program (AAdvantage, Executive Club, etc.), and then call Alaska Mileage Plan to book — they can be reached at 800.654.5669.

How do you earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles? Alaska often sells miles at a discount.

Cathay Pacific first class 777

Japan Airlines first & business class using Alaska miles

Japan Airlines first class and business class are both phenomenal, and the best way to book those products is with Alaska Mileage Plan miles. You can expect to pay the following number of miles (one-way):

  • Flying between the US and Japan will cost you 60,000 Mileage Plan miles in business class or 70,000 Mileage Plan miles in first class
  • Flying between the US and Southeast Asia will cost you 65,000 Mileage Plan miles in business class or 75,000 Mileage Plan miles in first class

Alaska Mileage Plan even allows stopovers on one-way awards, but much like Hong Kong, Japan’s borders remain closed to most. Fortunately that’s expected to change soon. There are no fuel surcharges on these awards.

How do you book Japan Airlines awards? These awards can be booked directly on alaskaair.com.

How do you earn Alaska Mileage Plan miles? Alaska often sells miles at a discount.

Japan Airlines business class 787

Turkish Airlines business class using Turkish miles

Turkish Airlines is my favorite airline brand in the world, and the airline has an excellent business class soft product. The Turkish Miles&Smiles program has some real sweet spots, especially for travel on Turkish Airlines flights. Keep in mind that Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline in the world, meaning the airline can really get you just about anywhere with one stop.

You can expect to pay the following number of miles one-way:

  • Flying between the US and Europe will cost you 45,000 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles
  • Flying between the US and Middle East will cost you 47,500 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles
  • Flying between the US and Central Asia will cost you 52,500 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles
  • Flying between the US and North Africa will cost you 60,000 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles
  • Flying between the US and Far East will cost you 67,500 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles
  • Flying between the US and Central Africa will cost you 72,500 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles
  • Flying between the US and South Africa will cost you 85,000 Turkish Miles&Smiles miles

Turkish Miles&Smiles allows a stopover in Istanbul, but only if traveling roundtrip. Furthermore, Turkish Airlines does have fuel surcharges on award tickets, but they’re quite mild.

How do you book Turkish Airlines awards? These awards can be booked directly on turkishairlines.com.

How do you earn Turkish Miles&Smiles miles? Turkish is transfer partners with Capital One and Citi ThankYou.

Turkish Airlines business class 787

Aeroplan long haul award with stopover for 5,000 points

I’m going to be less specific with this one than the other awards on the list. I consider Air Canada Aeroplan to be the single most useful frequent flyer program, and I particularly like how the program allows stopovers on one-way awards for an additional 5,000 points. That pairs beautifully with all the unique airline partners that Aeroplan has.

Aeroplan has a hybrid zone and distance based award chart, and generally has pretty lenient routing rules. Just to give a few examples of potential redemption opportunities (all prices are one-way and include the extra 5,000 points for a stopover):

  • For 90,000 Aeroplan points you could fly from Newark to Paris to Muscat on United and Oman Air in business class, with a stopover in Paris
  • For 90,000 Aeroplan points you could fly from from Toronto to London to Bangkok on Air Canada and Thai Airways in business class, with a stopover in London
  • For 85,000 Aeroplan points you could fly from Paris to Mauritius to Cape Town on Air Mauritius in business class, with a stopover in Mauritius

Long story short, any time you want a stopover that’s somewhere around the middle of your journey, Aeroplan offers spectacular value.

How do you book Aeroplan awards? These awards can be booked directly on aircanada.com.

How do you earn Air Canada Aeroplan points? Air Canada is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards, has the Aeroplan® Credit Card (review) in the United States, and often sells points at a discount.

Oman Air first class 787

Alaska & American economy awards using British Airways Avios

While not as aspirational as some of the above options, British Airways’ distance based award chart can be useful for regional awards on Alaska Airlines and American Airlines. Specifically, you can expect to pay the following for one-way travel::

  • Flying a single segment of up to 1,150 miles will cost you 7,500 British Airways Avios
  • Flying a single segment of 1,151-2,000 miles will cost you 10,000 British Airways Avios
  • Flying a single segment of 2,001-3,000 miles will cost you 12,500 British Airways Avios

In other words, flying from Miami to most points in the Caribbean would cost just 7,500 Avios, while flying from the US West Coast to Hawaii would cost you just 12,500 Avios. If you can find award availability, this is a pretty unbeatable deal.

How do you book Alaska & American awards? These awards can be booked directly on ba.com.

How do you earn British Airways Executive Club Avios? British Airways is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One, and Chase Ultimate Rewards, has the co-branded British Airways Visa Signature® Card (review) in the United States, and often sells Avios at a discount.

American Airlines economy class A321neo

United domestic awards using Turkish miles

The Turkish Miles&Smiles program isn’t just useful for travel on Turkish Airlines, but it’s also great for domestic flights within the United States. Turkish Airlines is in the Star Alliance, so it’s possible to redeem Miles&Smiles miles for travel on United Airlines.

For domestic flights within the United States, Turkish charges just 7,500 miles in economy or 12,500 miles in business class (one-way). The best part is that this pricing is valid within all 50 United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

That’s an outrageously good deal. The catch? United isn’t great about making saver level award seats available on domestic flights. Furthermore, these awards aren’t consistently bookable online, and calling Turkish’s call center can be an adventure.

How do you book United Airlines awards? You can search award availability through another program (Aeroplan, MileagePlus, etc.), and then generally have to call Turkish Airlines to book — they can be reached at 800.874.8875.

How do you earn Turkish Miles&Smiles miles? Turkish is transfer partners with Capital One and Citi ThankYou.

United Airlines economy class Boeing 737 MAX

Bottom line

While there are lots of amazing airline award redemptions out there, the above are some of my favorites. I didn’t just choose redemptions that have the lowest cost on “paper,” but rather redemptions that I think are largely actually valuable based on ease of accruing points, award availability, eligible routes, etc.

What are your favorite airline award redemptions?

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  1. A.Azuha Guest

    My most valued award booking thus far:

    DOH - BKK (QR F)
    BKK - HND (JL J)
    HND - HIJ (JL Y)

    All for 50k AA miles, with a visit to the PHENOMENAL Al Safwa lounge :D

    Another sweet spot, bookable with 40k AA miles :

    HND/NRT - DOH (QR Qsuites) *13h in Qsuites!
    DOH - CAI (QR regional F) *Al Safwa lounge access included!

  2. Luke Guest

    Just today booked United flight leaving tomorrow from EWR to London Heathrow for 45,000 Turkish miles and smiles points each in business class.

    Took over 2 hours though and frustrating is an understatement. Even when this award availability shows on Turkish 's own program to book online, it is only allowed for booking for the points account holder and to book for anyone else have to call their customer service. Had to call 3 separate...

    Just today booked United flight leaving tomorrow from EWR to London Heathrow for 45,000 Turkish miles and smiles points each in business class.

    Took over 2 hours though and frustrating is an understatement. Even when this award availability shows on Turkish 's own program to book online, it is only allowed for booking for the points account holder and to book for anyone else have to call their customer service. Had to call 3 separate times before had the luck to find a competent agent who knew how to do this. The first agent I spoke to outright said "why are you calling Turkish to book a flight on United" and hung up on me. The second agent simply at first claimed to not find availability and refused to let me state the exact flight number and claimed that what shows available om United website doesn't match theirs. Third agent finally knew exactly what to do and within a minute found the partner award availability for flight I wanted.

  3. Christ Guest

    One of my favorites is using Lifemiles for short-haul flights on United: 6,500 Lifemiles vs. 15,000 UA miles

  4. Slumbdog Broke Guest

    Ben, when booking ANA first or business through Virgin, do you have to have the miles in your Flying Club account? Or can you transfer them as customer service secures them for you? I'm always so hesitant to try this out of fear that my points will get locked up in a loyalty program I never really use.

    1. Eric Guest

      You are able to hold the award space for 3 days.

    2. BryanCX New Member

      Great to know. Thanks

  5. Zen Guest

    Just flew LAX-NRT-BKK on Japan First & Business using 75000 Alaska miles. Great soft product on the First class leg. Agree it's an excellent value. Sadly couldn't nab the first class seats on the NRT-BKK leg where they're sold as business. Also sad that Japan was closed so we couldn't add a free stopover there (didn't even have time to have some sushi in the Sakura lounge as our first flight was delayed.

    1. Christian Guest

      Interesting that you liked the soft product. Was this your first time flying JAL in first? My wife and I flew them KUL-NRT-ORD with the flight to the US in first and to say we were underwhelmed is a huge understatement. Our reserved seats got pulled from us so that instead of both of us having window seats we were both stuck with middle seats. We managed to get one glass of champagne each before...

      Interesting that you liked the soft product. Was this your first time flying JAL in first? My wife and I flew them KUL-NRT-ORD with the flight to the US in first and to say we were underwhelmed is a huge understatement. Our reserved seats got pulled from us so that instead of both of us having window seats we were both stuck with middle seats. We managed to get one glass of champagne each before departure but when we tried for a second before our meal it was all consumed. The highlight of the meal for us - caviar - had been pulled from the menu, as had the vast majority of the snack options such as Japanese curry and the rather awesome hamburger. The lobster and filet mignon were gone from the menu as well, with beef short rib being the top tier meat. The wifi didn't work for us but we didn't want to discomfit the FA's. Speaking of the flight attendants, despite some linguistic hurdles they were great.

      I wondered if I was just misremembering previous flights in JL first class but then I went to OMAAT's reviews and saw that things really have taken a major downturn compared to Ben's last review.

    2. Christian Guest

      Sorry, I was unclear. We flew JAL this past weekend. A time frame puts the flight into perspective.

    3. Mick Guest

      I never understood why people rated jal f so highly. I’d take QF first over them any day.

  6. Mateusz Guest

    You could write about more ex Europe deals as well

  7. Bgriff Guest

    I recently discovered some excellent values for booking AF and KL short-haul flights, in either economy or business, using Virgin Atlantic miles...have seen as little as 4k one-way economy and 9k one-way business. Plus fuel surcharges, but can still represent a good deal, especially for business, and a much better deal than booking through Flying Blue or Delta (especially if you would be transferring points into any of the three programs).

  8. Mick Guest

    I would put QF F using Alaska miles up there too. Maybe even first. I just booked Sydney to lax via mel on the a380 for 70k miles for June 10. And yes I know availability is tough.

    I also flew qf j in biz from ord to syd using aa miles in March this year with my son so it does exist.

    In 2018 I booked 3 seats in first from ord...

    I would put QF F using Alaska miles up there too. Maybe even first. I just booked Sydney to lax via mel on the a380 for 70k miles for June 10. And yes I know availability is tough.

    I also flew qf j in biz from ord to syd using aa miles in March this year with my son so it does exist.

    In 2018 I booked 3 seats in first from ord to HK then on to Sydney in biz so sometimes more than 1 seat exists.

    Availability on anything is tough to come by atm.

    But I think it’s false to say a lot of these are unicorns now because availability is low.

    ANA used to release a lot of biz and first class availability close in.

    Also, I still find LifeMiles the best way to purchase flights. From the USA to Europe at 1.29c a mile is pretty good (eg lhr to Frankfurt To ord including upper deck 747 is pretty sweet). I flew Singapore to hnd to ord on ana in March and it cost me about $1200 in j (flying with my son again so found 2 seats).

    First class in jal using Alaska is nice. I wish they let you fly it all the way to oZ the same way you can fly to oz using Cathay.

  9. Steven E Guest

    @ Razzak Memon- are you serious -No name carriers - this has got to be a joke

  10. Dominic Guest

    *BIG* fan of using Turkish points to get to Europe in business. Their 787 product is quite nice and I tend to sleep well on the 10+ hour hop to Istanbul. If you have AMEX points you want to use, transfer them to ANA and then book through there (you'll actually save 2k points (88k vs 90k r/t)).

    The downside is I cannot for the life of me figure out how to book a ticket...

    *BIG* fan of using Turkish points to get to Europe in business. Their 787 product is quite nice and I tend to sleep well on the 10+ hour hop to Istanbul. If you have AMEX points you want to use, transfer them to ANA and then book through there (you'll actually save 2k points (88k vs 90k r/t)).

    The downside is I cannot for the life of me figure out how to book a ticket for a 2nd passenger online. I always have to call Turkish Airlines. I don't have this problem when booking via ANA.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Dominic -- That's another great option to highlight! ANA Mileage Club has some amazing redemptions on paper, but I find much of the booking process to be so clunky, especially when booking for others. That's why I didn't really highlight it more, but it's a great program to be aware of.

    2. Dominic Guest

      I much prefer booking directly with Turkish if I have the points, but I tend to always be awash in AMEX points so having ANA in your back pocket is pretty great. To be honest, once you get past the quirks of adding "family members" it's rather easy to book. The main reason I don't book with ANA every time (besides the only r/t award rule) is the added layer of complexity when a partner...

      I much prefer booking directly with Turkish if I have the points, but I tend to always be awash in AMEX points so having ANA in your back pocket is pretty great. To be honest, once you get past the quirks of adding "family members" it's rather easy to book. The main reason I don't book with ANA every time (besides the only r/t award rule) is the added layer of complexity when a partner flight gets cancelled. Happened on my last flight to Italy on Turkish booked via ANA. Turkish cancelled our returning flight 10 days out. Ended up having to get a waiver from ANA to fly home on Lufthansa - which was not easy.

  11. Razzak Memon Guest

    I recommend looking at our our American Airlines instead of bothering with foreign carriers. AA flies to almost everywhere and offers good old fashioned American hospitality on board. You can't bet the service on AA and once you try it you won't care about these no name carriers.

    1. EBWaa Guest

      This wasn’t funny when you started doing it and and it’s not improving with repetition. What on Earth do you get out of trolling like this?

  12. Cy Guest

    Ben: how does booking Qsuites with AA miles (I’ve done it many times) compare with using their new Avios, which is obviously much easier for most of us to accumulate. Thx

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Cy -- It's a good question and depends on the region. In some cases redemption rates are comparable (like between the US and Doha), while in other cases (with connecting itineraries) it's generally a bit more expensive. That being said, if you transfer points to Avios when there's a bonus, it could be a great value.

      The big variable is the fuel surcharges. In some cases they're almost non-existent, while in other cases they're quite high.

    2. upstater Guest

      Ben, any advice on using CX miles? We had round trip 1F and 2J booked for PER, plus same for OW to China. Then Covid hit... and we got 600K CX miles. Was thinking about South Africa or Bali...

      I see bookable QR flights on Asia miles, or BA with exorbitant fees. AA one has to call, and they never have J.

  13. Jim Guest

    In March I was able to book a business class round the world trip scheduled for next November for 190,000 Alaska Airlines miles. My itinerary includes LAX-HND-BKK on Japan Airlines and BKK-HEL-LAX on Finnair. Booked everything on the AS website.

    Last week I added BKK-SIN-DPS-SIN-BKK in J on Singapore for $1280. That is currently less than a transcon trip in F on Delta and I get lounge access on every leg.

    1. Willmo Guest

      That’s less than the amount Iberia want from me for a 1 hour regional jet Y class flight from IBZ to NCE

  14. Christian Guest

    While I applaud the nod toward practicality, I'd say that some of these are pretty close to unicorn status:

    Cathay wasn't allowing more than one first class partner award seat in first class for the last couple of years so if you want to enjoy the experience with another person you're out of luck. That's when Cathay had a usable schedule and no onerous Covid considerations.

    Back in April I checked ANA for two first...

    While I applaud the nod toward practicality, I'd say that some of these are pretty close to unicorn status:

    Cathay wasn't allowing more than one first class partner award seat in first class for the last couple of years so if you want to enjoy the experience with another person you're out of luck. That's when Cathay had a usable schedule and no onerous Covid considerations.

    Back in April I checked ANA for two first class award seats from JFK or ORD all the way to the end of schedule. They showed zero days of availability.

    United business class awards, especially to Hawaii, using Turkish miles are extraordinarily tough to find. Nothing out of NYC or ORD for a year for two people.

    AA has found a new and interesting way to deprive partner airlines of saver space: They increase the cost of awards so there are no saver seats available then sometimes offer Web Saver Seats to AA customers. That lets them officially follow the rules while screwing over partner programs. Net effect? Very few saver seats for partners like BA. Again.

    This is not to say that Ben's list is worthless. Far from it. I've used Alaska miles on Cathay to Asia in business class for 50K miles for many years and hope to continue doing so in the future. Turkish miles for Turkish flights are really quite a bargain. I just wish that there had been some practical advice on how to realistically book all of these. Otherwise, why not list 4 first class Qantas seats from LAX to SYD with Alaska miles?

    Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Has anyone else found reasonable space recently on the examples I cited as unicorns? I actually want to be wrong here but don't think that will be the case.

    1. Andrew Guest

      So… I agree on some level. Cathay pacific only offers 1 F award seat per flight so you can only do J if you want two (but nothing is available due to Covid). Qatar with AA points is pretty easy if you book 11 months in advance. I’ve done maldives and South Africa with no issues in Qsuites. Turkish has wide open availability on their J so that is legit (I booked with a 30%...

      So… I agree on some level. Cathay pacific only offers 1 F award seat per flight so you can only do J if you want two (but nothing is available due to Covid). Qatar with AA points is pretty easy if you book 11 months in advance. I’ve done maldives and South Africa with no issues in Qsuites. Turkish has wide open availability on their J so that is legit (I booked with a 30% discount during their promo last December so 63k round trip in J to Europe) . United business with Turkish is a unicorn. ANA F with Virgin points is a unicorn but I have booked it 3 times (haven’t flown yet). I was able to find two F from JFK to Haneda. On the return flight we had to do 1 F and 1 J to ORD, so some flexibility is required. It takes constant searching to get the good flights. I know I stayed up until 2:00 AM to book ANA F on Virgin (when the call center opened) and it was booked literally minutes before my call went through so I didn’t get the two F seats.

  15. TravelinWilly Diamond

    Can one book a TK biz award to southern Africa?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ TravelinWilly -- You sure can, it's 85K miles one-way. Also a good deal, but not quite as good. Regardless, I'll update the post to reflect that, since I'm sure it'll interest some.

  16. Miamiorbust Guest

    BA for most regional JL and CX J flights in Asia is pretty spectacular as well. Will concede it doesn’t work for everyone but for those with access to Japan it has been a great niche award. CX is nearly impossible to make work even for those with business or diplomatic exceptions in the region. HKG to PVG, someday. May be.

  17. Omar Guest

    Surprised VS miles on NZ and VS miles on DL did not make the cut though finding availability is very hard.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Omar -- Those are exceptional values, but award availability is so, so, so hard to come by that I just didn't think it was worth highlighting.

    2. henare Diamond

      Maybe this could be the topic of a followup post ... tougher deals, but more unicorn-like in nature.

  18. Mantis Guest

    I'd say instead it should be JAL/CX F using Alaska miles, and JAL/CX J using AA miles. Using AS miles for J is a waste.

  19. Craig Guest

    What kind of schedule is Cathay flying these days and is it remotely reliable?
    Cathay (and the Alaska sweetspot) were my "go to" for Asia travel, but that was pre-pandemic.

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Craig -- It's definitely getting more reliable by the week, with Hong Kong reopening to transit passengers and even eliminating testing requirements for those passengers. Still, it's not ideal, and Cathay is still mostly flying A350s to the US, which don't feature first class.

  20. Ken Guest

    I think Turkish used to have issues to receive the ticket once you bought a flight using Turkish miles. You needed to stop by a a physical ticket counter or something along those lines. Have these issues been resolved now?

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Ken -- I don't believe that's an issue nowadays anymore, as the booking process has been simplified and streamlined.

  21. Andrew Diamond

    OK the timing of this article along with ANA eliminating most first routes from the west coast is choice.

    Seriously, just pretend that benefit doesn't exist, because ANA and VS certainly does when they cancel your first award tickets with no responsibility to reticket them.

    1. Art_Czar Member

      The first 5 award options are undisputablly the most valuable use of transferable points for long-haul in premium cabins.
      I haven't had a chance to book Aeroplan's 5k add-on stopover as yet, but it's certainly one to keep in mind for the future.
      I've read a lot about the last 2 options over the years, but surprisingly have never found award availability on AA/UA nonstop domestic awards to redeem for BA/TK miles.

    2. Andrew Guest

      I’ve got two ANA F tickets out of JFK for October in the new suites booked with Virgin Atlantic. I’m hoping we don’t get cancelled. Felt like a unicorn to get two reward seats out of JFK on the same flight in F.

    3. Andrew Diamond

      @Andrew (guest) - just be sure to watch the bookings closely. I wouldn't have even noticed it if Ben hadn't posted an article in the last few days and I noticed the outbound flight was changed to a 787.

    4. Andrew Guest

      Yea, it’s been the 777 for our flight number recently. I guess we’ll have the check as we get closer.

    5. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Andrew -- You're right, international travel remains complicated, especially for airlines in countries that are still largely closed to tourists. Then you have the further issue of Russian airspace closures. So this redemption does have some caveats at the moment, but I think there's no denying that at least in the long run, it's one of the best redemptions out there.

  22. Tijani Karaborni Guest

    When looking at MileagePlus how can you tell what qualifies as a “saver” fare? I’m currently looking at a RT from SGF to SEA and I can see “economy” awards tickets but can’t tell if that would qualify for the 7,500 mile Turkish Miles and Smiles fare. Thanks!

    1. Ben Schlappig OMAAT

      @ Tijani Karaborni -- Indeed it can be hard to tell based on United's website. When you find a specific flight, click the "details" button, and then see if the flight books into "X" (for economy) or "I" (for domestic first class). If it does, then it should be bookable through Turkish. You can also just search availability through another partner, like Aeroplan.

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RichM Gold

Obvious troll is obvious.

5
EBWaa Guest

This wasn’t funny when you started doing it and and it’s not improving with repetition. What on Earth do you get out of trolling like this?

3
Dominic Guest

*BIG* fan of using Turkish points to get to Europe in business. Their 787 product is quite nice and I tend to sleep well on the 10+ hour hop to Istanbul. If you have AMEX points you want to use, transfer them to ANA and then book through there (you'll actually save 2k points (88k vs 90k r/t)). The downside is I cannot for the life of me figure out how to book a ticket for a 2nd passenger online. I always have to call Turkish Airlines. I don't have this problem when booking via ANA.

2
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