Free First Class 2014: Basics of Redeeming Singapore, Aeroplan, Lufthansa, Avianca, ANA, Flying Blue, and Korean Miles

This is the twentieth post in a monthlong series that started here. Each post will take about two minutes to read and may include an action item that takes the reader another two minutes to complete. I am writing this for an audience of people who know nothing about frequent flyer miles, and my goal is that by the end, you know enough to fly for free anywhere you want to go.

I’ve covered how to earn miles and the redemption options for miles.

LifeMiles Blocking Lufthansa First Class Award Space. Back Up Plans

Lufthansa First Class is no longer bookable using LifeMiles.

For the past few years, Lufthansa has only released first class award space to its Star Alliance partners 15 days before flight departure.

How to Request United to Manually Sell Award Seats

Here's how I got United to "manually sell" me award seats for an itinerary. While this technique is not possible in most circumstances, in my case, it turned no award into my dream award!

I was in the midst of constructing a simple roundtrip itinerary from the US to Europe when I ran into some big trouble.

United's online award calendar displayed Austrian award space on the only day I could return to the States.

Trip Report: ANA Business Class from Tokyo to Washington D.C.

This review is a continuation of my fun US Airways redemption that I wrote about back in this post. I reviewed Turkish Business Class: Washington DC to Istanbul and Cathay Pacific Business Class: Tokyo to Hong Kong already.

I was extremely excited for my nonstop flight from Tokyo to Washington-Dulles on ANA.

Amazing Award Space for Two from the US to Asia

All Nippon Airways (ANA)--a Japanese Star Alliance carrier--launches a new route between Tokyo-Haneda and Vancouver from March 30, 2014.

Saver award space is excellent on the route in economy and business class. You can book the space this week--by January 31, 2014--with United miles at pre-devaluation rates.

Gold Mine Award Space to Europe This Summer in Business Class with American, US Airways, United Miles Plus Membership or Ultimate Rewards

There is currently gold mine business class award availability on US Airways flights from the US to southern Europe for this summer.

Award space on US Airways flights is especially advantageous because it means that you can book the space at favorable mileage rates (and no fuel surcharges) with:

US Airways miles
American Airlines miles
United miles (until March 30, 2014)
Ultimate Rewards (until March 30, 2014)
Membership Rewards (until March 30, 2014)

What are the routes? How good is the space? How good is US Airways Business Class?

United Has Better Access to Air Canada Award Space?

While booking a family of four to Australia through our popular Award Booking Service, I ran into a  vexing problem with Star Alliance award space.

On a certain Air Canada route, Air Canada's own Aeroplan members  had access to more award seats than its Star Alliance partners. That's not a surprising practice on the surface. Air New Zealand never releases transpacific space to Star Alliance partners.

Fantastic Business Class Award Space to Asia through October

I'm undeterred by battery issues and constantly on the lookout for ways to fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Anatomy of an Award: Membership Rewards to Argentina

I recently booked a family of four an economy award from Miami to Buenos Aires with their Membership Rewards. It was an interesting award that I think demonstrates the complexities and fun of booking with American Express points.

I won't talk about that award specifically, but I'll use it as a jumping off point for discussion since it illustrates a typical Memberhip Rewards situation.

Beware Phantom Award Availability on

Searching for award space can often be an exercise in frustration. The dates you want don't have availability and premium cabin seats are often scarce. There is nothing in the world, however, more frustrating than phantom availability. You think you've found your dream trip only to have the rug yanked out from under you.

We recently received a request through the Award Booking Service where this came into play. A family of four was looking to travel from New York to Johannesburg, Africa in July using their US Airways miles.