Now that most of you have already learned how to earn and manage lots of miles and points and how to get the best mileage out of your miles in major US-based global airlines’ programs, it is time to book your award tickets before any of your miles and points expire. This post provides an easy-to-use table comparing the various award fees (in additional to mandatory taxes and security fees) some of those major airlines may charge for award travel.
Southwest Airlines just announced the 40%-off Big Winter Sale today, so I’d like to take this opportunity to go over a few reasons why I LUV Southwest (as promised) and how you could start to do so as well. To thank you for your loyalty and continued support, TravelWhimsy and I also would like to give away 8 Southwest drink coupons (beer, wine, cocktail). Check out the giveaway details at the end of this post.
A bit of background before I start. We are both fairly new to Southwest. Prior to our South America trip, we had only flown Southwest once or twice (many many years ago). We don’t travel for business, but will both have achieved United Airlines’ Premier Platinum status at the end of the year with over 75,000 actual miles flown on United just for leisure weekend travel (more on this in a separate post – another promise). I’m afraid that my loyalty to United (started on August 13, 1998) is waning…
Check out my guest post “Getting the Most Mileage out of Your Miles” published on the UsingMiles blog today. The post contains a table summarizing the best redemption values offered by the four major US-based airlines for international travel. If you are a newcomer to the miles & points world, this could be helpful to you in setting a travel goal and focusing your efforts on achieving that goal efficiently. For our advanced readers, this could be a good reference tool for future trip planning.
Again, the generous FREE LIFETIME premier membership (normally $29.99/year) offered by UsingMiles to all TravelByPoints readers is still available, and you can learn more about it in this post or sign up here.
Let me know what you think! I respond to all comments.
Follow the following 9 EASY steps, and you and your family members can EACH be 1,000 United Mileage Plus miles richer in less than 5 minutes.
Happy Friday! We have randomly selected 6 winners for the United MileagePlus Club Card fee-free codes (to those not selected, don’t give up yet! You may still be able to get the card for free for your first year).
Thanks to our reader WorldTraveler1’s comment, we have an update on the Turkish Airlines’ elite status match.
Finally, we will talk about yet another alternative to securing Star Alliance Gold status/benefits WITHOUT flying 50,000 miles each year (and hopefully keep that status for as long as this Greek airline stays alive)!
This past weekend, TravelWhimsy and I visited Vermont again. After our Friday night red-eye flight from San Francisco to Cleveland (CLE), we stopped by the United Club at CLE and picked up 6 fee-free codes for the new United MileagePlus Club Card to give away to our readers. The Club Card normally charges $395 annual fee but gives you a full year of United Club membership. Key card benefits I value (I don’t have any affiliations with Chase):
- No close-in fee ($75 per ticket) charged for award tickets booked within 21 days of departure (award spaces typically open up as the travel dates get closer);
- 1.5 United miles for every dollar spent: this might be interesting to those of you who don’t want to deal with prepaid gift cards to get almost 5x points for all your purchases.
Besides the giveaway details, this post will also discuss how you might be able to get two years of United Club membership and Star Alliance Gold status for free.
This is part 2 of a series of posts devoted to our whirlwind tour of Peru & Chile.
- Less than $1,000 per person all-in for our 11-day tour in Peru & Chile
- How you can use <75,000 points to replicate our itinerary to visit Machu Picchu, Easter Island, and more
- How to prepare for altitude sickness in Machu Picchu & Lake Titicaca
- What to bring for your trip to Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and/or Easter Island
- How many different sets of tickets do you have to buy for that one-day visit to Machu Picchu?
- How to Create Your Own Machu Picchu “Inka Trail” Experience in One Day
- Using the Tambo del Inka, a Starwood Luxury Collection Resort, as Your Base for Your Visit to Machu Picchu
- Tour Guide #1 – Sabino for Cusco, Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Peru
- Tour Guide #2 – Silvia for Puno, Lake Titicaca, Sillustani, Peru
- How We Did Lima, Peru in One Day
- Tour Guide #3 – Sergio for Easter Island, Chile
- Taking Advantage of an Airport Hotel for Our Walking Tour of Santiago, Chile
- Airport Lounge Access + LAN International Business vs. Economy
- Budgeting for Your Next Big Dream Vacation
- You Won’t Believe What Happened on Our Way Home!
During our recent South America adventure, we each flew over 16,000 miles with 10 segments. Had we had to pay for those flights, it would have cost over $20,000 for 3. You CAN replicate our entire itinerary (in economy) for less than 75,000 miles/points per person (or 35,000 for Machu Picchu only), originating in North America (even if you live in Hawaii, Alaska, or Canada)!
Our Cost for 3 Adults (all miles & points came from credit card sign-up bonuses):
- 220,000 BA miles (including a few long-haul segments on LAN Airlines’ flat-bed premium business seats)
- 6,120 Southwest points (3 tickets from Los Angeles to Las Vegas)
- $580.22 (taxes, fees, and 2 tickets between Las Vegas & Los Angeles on AA)
A 3rd seat disappeared during the process of booking, so we had to split on the way to Lima. TravelWhimsy and I flew to Lima (LIM) via Los Angeles (LAX), and mom flew to LIM on AA via Miami (MIA).
Our Twitter reader Chris asked us for help with planning his upcoming 6-day/5-night trip from Washington DC to London in October with his girlfriend to celebrate his graduation from graduate school (Congrats, Chris!). I thought that this topic might be helpful to some of our other readers who might be considering a similar trip.