Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
While anyone can comment on regular blog post, registration is required in order to post a question in this space. Creating your account is free, and you'll be able to see when your question is answered, as well as like comments from other users. And of course, you'll earn status points for offering helpful answers!
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so please jump in and share tips!
Afraid of making a rookie mistake
Hi, I’m about to book my first ever award ticket and really don’t want to waste my miles.
I’m planning on staying in Europe for 2 months before heading to SE Asia (for a yet unknown amount of time).
I found United award tickets for 30k miles for the USA-Europe leg of the trip and 55k for Europe to SE Asia. I also found the following one: USA-Iceland 15k, Iceland-Austria 15k (so, basically, a week-long stopover in Iceland for 30k miles total), then Europe to Bali for 55k.
Does 85k miles for this itinerary sound like a good deal or could I do better? I found the same itinerary (incl. Iceland) for about $1000 on Momondo, but that’s using budget airlines, so the baggage fees would make it a bit higher.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Hi imMax — Do you have a [I]general[/I] idea of how long you’re planning on staying in Asia? If you’ll be returning within a year you could possibly add the return flight without spending many more miles. You could always change the date later.
In general redeeming miles for international economy isn’t a “good deal” unless you can really stretch the redemption. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good deal for you!
Thank you Tiffany. After Bali, I plan to spend some time in Asia, December and January in Australia and New Zealand and I’m not sure where I’ll head after that. I’ll try to play with the return (and stopovers and open jaws), that’s a good idea. I know that redeeming for higher class of service would give me better value per mile, but because I only have 250k miles total, I’m trying to get as many flights out of them as I can. Is there a flaw in my thinking?
I would book your return to the US as part of the same ticket, so you have US > Europe > Asia > US all on one award. Then you can book another award Asia > Australia > New Zealand > Asia to meet the return flight — we call this “nesting” itineraries, and it should save you some miles. You have enough to do that in business class if availability participates.
Thank you for the advice! It’s less miles for the whole trip (incl. return) than for the one ways! I’ll definitely book it that way. There’s 2 of us going so I have enough miles for the whole trip in economy.