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Last night, I held a Twitter chat to promote my new e-book that came out on Tuesday. By the way, if you haven’t picked up the book yet, you’ll want to do that by tomorrow (Tuesday) to get free access to a one hour live q-and-a seminar I’ll be hosting online next month.

I got a lot of great questions that you can check out here. Let me run through some of the answers I gave and expand on them.

Rob wanted to know about Europe to the Antipodes.

When I think of UK to Australia/New Zealand, I think about taxes and fuel surcharges. You would save a LOT on taxes by starting somewhere other than London. You would save a lot on fuel surcharges by booking an award with miles that don’t add fuel surcharges to awards.

Rob’s best bet is American Airlines miles. There are no fuel surcharges on American Airlines miles except when flying British Airways or Iberia. But you don’t want to fly them on this route. You want to fly Qantas’ A380, which has great Business and First Class award space for 60,000 and 80,000 miles each way respectively.

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David wanted to know about getting a family to Europe in Business Class.

I suggested United miles because United has good Business Class space to Europe (all lie flat) and so do its partners Lufthansa, Austrian, and LOT (also all lie flat.) He would need 460,000 to 560,000 United miles for four roundtrips in Business Class to Europe depending on whether he flew United or partners.

He could book the same award space for 360,000 Aeroplan miles, but for Americans the only easy way to get Aeroplan miles is via a transfer from American Express Membership Rewards. United miles are easier because there are several United credit cards plus you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards. Plus Aeroplan collects fuel surcharges on many partners to Europe.

Zef wanted to know about getting to Hawaii with American Express Membership Rewards (MR) and Citi ThankYou Points (TY).

Here is a step-by-step guide to booking that trip with Singapore miles, a transfer partner of both.

Chad wanted to know about a trip to Iceland with miles.

Iceland is very hard to get to with miles.

  • Delta flies during the summer from New York, but there is almost never Saver award space.
  • American and United don’t fly the route.
  • Icelandair has a ton of routes from the United States to Iceland, but doesn’t partner with any miles you have.
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  • WOW Air just started flying flights as cheap as $99 one way from Baltimore and Boston to Iceland.

I told him that his best bet was to book a Singapore miles award to Baltimore or Boston (see previous answer) and then a WOW Air flight to Iceland with 9,900 Arrival miles.

But I am optimistic that the new partnership between Alaska Airlines and Icelandair will mean that we can redeem Alaska miles on Icelandair soon.

Eric asked about which miles to use to Machu Picchu:

I fully answered that in this post. I gave my Top Ten Things to Do, Eat, and See in Peru here.

Michelle asked about the best miles to go to Australia.

First, I want to correct a mistake I see a lot of rookies make. You’re not locked in by the airline you need to fly for business. Separate status and award tickets. Of course Michelle must have a lot of Delta miles if she has status with them, and she should learn to maximize those miles. But that doesn’t mean she should ignore all other miles.

The best miles for an economy award redemption to Australia are American Airlines miles. American and Qantas have great economy award space to Australia for 75,000 miles roundtrip. She should get those with a credit card. The American Airlines Platinum and Executive credit cards both offer 50,000 bonus miles.

Josh wanted to know the best miles for West Coast to Maui.

All of these airports have 12,500 British Airways Avios one way award flights (on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines flights) to Maui.

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And the British Airways Visa card has a 100,000 Avios bonus right now, which is four roundtrips for Josh. Check out the full post here on these 12,500 Avios awards to all four major Hawaiian islands.

Dan asked about off peak awards other than American’s.

I posted about the other best one yesterday: 12,500 Flying Blue Miles + taxes + $110 in fuel surcharges each way between select, rotating American cities and anywhere in Europe or Israel. Unfortunately the currently bookable list has no awards below 18,750 miles, but the next list will probably have 12,500 mile awards.

Finally Jeff asked about using one type of miles to go somewhere and another to return.

I’ve done this tons of times for myself and clients of my Award Booking Service. American, United, Delta, Alaska, Singapore, Aeroplan, Flying Blue, British Airways, and many other types of miles offer one way awards for half the price of a roundtrip, so take advantage.

Open an American Airlines card and a United card, and use one type of miles to fly to Europe in Business Class and the other to return. Or one type of miles for 2x one ways to South America and the other for 2x returns.

Bottom Line

I didn’t know what to expect from my first ever Twitter chat, but the hour flew by, and I wasn’t able to get to all the questions. Hopefully my answers on Twitter and my expansions here help.

Anyone who reads my new e-book, Fly Free in First, will learn the answers to all the questions I got today and a lot more.

And if you pick it up by Tuesday, you’ll get exclusive, free access to an online question and answer seminar next month. So get the book here right now.

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