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Should I or shouldn’t I? (redeem for a short-haul award)
For some reason I’m having trouble with this decision: Should I redeem 10K Flying Blue miles per person (after transferring from Citi Thank You) plus $45 for an economy seat on Vietnam Airlines from Hanoi to Siem Reap?
The flight is 1hr 40 min on one of Vietnam’s regional A321’s, so Y (or J for that matter) will be nothing special. The purchase price would be $230 per person and we might earn a very few miles on Delta.
Normally I save all of my miles for big splurgey international trips, but have recently considered using them for very short-haul trips when the number of miles is low, just to keep out-of-pocket costs down.
This one seems tough to me. Vietnam Airlines has a monopoly on the route, so fares are higher than they probably should be and no low-cost carriers offer a competing product. (Apparently VietJet did for a very short time.)
Anyway, my way of looking at it is 10K miles would be covering $185 (since the purchase price is $230 and the Flying Blue award has fees of $45). I was attracted by the 10K miles award cost through Flying Blue (as opposed to 25K miles through Delta), but I’m still not sure it’s a great deal.
The only other think I’ll mention is that we have plenty of miles remaining in other currencies and all our trips are covered through March of next year, so burning some miles to keep cash costs down doesn’t seem like a terrible thing.
I’d love your thoughts and advice on this one as I’m sure they’ll be relevant in the future as well!
A lot can depend on how points-rich you are. I have no problem redeeming miles for domestic flights, especially if the flights are expensive. Here the flights aren’t especially expensive but, as you say, it’s part of keeping your costs down. And since it’s “only” 10K miles, I say use ’em if you got ’em!
If you have the Citi TY Prestige card, 10k points is worth $160 when using points to pay for travel on AA. Add in your $45 fees and its $205 per person, which isn’t far off from $230. Redeeming on other airlines is at 1.33 cents per point, so $133+$45 for a total of $178. It’s still only about a $50 difference. However, like [USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER] said, if you have an overabundance of TY points and wont miss it, then by all means, use em!
Alternatively, have you checked out prices for Cambodia Angkor Air? Could be slightly cheaper.
Did a dummy booking for a random day in August, the direct flight with Vietnam came out as the cheapest. Prices seems to be around what [USER=128]@SeattleTodd[/USER] mentioned.
And as [USER=128]@SeattleTodd[/USER] also mentioned only Vienam fly this route directly.