Thai First, ANA First, United First All for 60k

Hot off the heels of FTU LAX, I'm writing a post to show people how to construct an awesome, yet rare aspirational trip. It's a trip with United, ANA, and Thai First!

For the past few months, I've been super busy with our Award Booking Service and haven't had time to post here. I was amazed at how many people actually came to me this weekend and told me to write more! Everyone also asked me to write about my upcoming trip that I booked.

For many, the question is simple.

MileValue Award Booking Service Price Increase

Two month ago Tahsir joined the MileValue Award Booking Service team. His joining brought much appreciated expertise and capacity. But even with him, we are overworked. The next step may be to train and bring in more help, but we don't want to rush into that because maintaining the quality of our work is our paramount concern.

As Tahsir says, we enjoy award bookings because everyone we help is so excited afterward. They've just booked a dream vacation.

Is 20k to Europe a Glitch?

Yesterday I posted about flying to Europe for 20,000 American Airlines miles year round--even during peak summer time--by adding a free oneway to your award that falls between October 15 and May 15. See 20k Miles to All of Europe All Summer.

Gary Leff commented on the post:
This is a glitch in how the website prices the award, rather than AA policy.

20k Miles to All of Europe All Summer

Update 5/26/14: This deal is dead since American Airlines eliminated free stopovers.

Or: Save 10k Miles by Adding a Free Oneway

Summer airfare to Europe often tops $1,000 in economy class roundtrip. But you can get to Europe this summer for only 20k miles.

All the legacy carriers--American, Delta, United, US Airways--charge 60k miles roundtrip to Europe in economy class. That's where the European award similarities end.

American and United let you go oneway for 30k miles.

Anatomy of an Award: South America, Africa, Europe, and North America in Biz for 100k

Or: Help Me Choose Which Business Class Products to Fly I got trigger happy and booked without asking

Or: How An American Can Exploit the South American Sweet Spot with US Airways Miles

Or: How to Get an Open Jaw AND a Stopover on a US Airways Award

Or: How I saved 20k miles

Necessity is the mother of invention. I wanted to think of a way to get from Buenos Aires to Europe next summer with a stopover in South Africa, then from Europe to Chicago in time for the Chicago seminars.

Best Practices for Searching Oneworld Availability

This post is about the best practices to use when searching oneworld availability when you want to use your American Airlines miles.

American Airlines miles can be used on any oneworld airline and on its non-oneworld partners. For a list of oneworld airlines, see Free First Class Next Month: Airlines’ Codes, Hubs, and Alliances.

The best part about using partner award availability is that partner award availability always prices at the sAAver level, so you are always getting the best miles price you can.

Surcharge Info on All Delta SkyMiles Partners

The Delta SkyMiles program has a lot of drawbacks. One of the most annoying is that it charges fuel surcharges on award redemptions on several of its partners. For this post, I've compiled a list of SkyMiles partners that fly to the US, and I've priced out a roundtrip award from the US to their hubs in either economy or business class.

Delta miles can't be used for three-cabin first class redemptions. Awards cost the roundtrip price whether you fly oneway or roundtrip.

I've noted which awards incur surcharges and how much those surcharges are.

A System to Get to Europe with Delta SkyMiles

I use three steps to get to my European destination with Delta SkyMiles. For each direction:

Find transatlantic space.
Find domestic space within the US on Delta or Alaska from my home airport to the international gateway.
Find intra-European space to my destination.

Those steps are roughly in order of difficulty--though many times finding domestic space on Delta is impossible at the low-miles price.

Award Space on American Airlines’ Brand New Routes

A few weeks ago, One Mile at a Time was all over the new American Airlines international routes:

Dallas (DFW) <-> Seoul (ICN)
Dallas (DFW) <-> Lima (LIM)
Chicago (ORD) <-> Dusseldorf (DUS)
New York (JFK) <-> Dublin (DUB)

Those flights went on sale yesterday, meaning that they were added to the award calendars. I decided to take a look at the award-space picture, and I found some surprising results.

Getting to Tahiti with Hawaiian, United, and US Airways Miles and Membership Rewards

See my previous posts on Getting to Tahiti with American and Delta Miles.

This post will be about getting to French Polynesia–Tahiti, Bora Bora, and more–with Hawaiian Miles, United MileagePlus Miles, US Airways Dividend Miles, and American Express Membership Rewards. Tahiti is an award I get asked to book frequently through my Award Booking Service, and I wanted to share some free tips.

French Polynesia is a French-speaking “overseas country” controlled by France. It is south of Hawaii and east of Australia. The main tourist spots are Tahiti, Bora Bora, and Mo’orea.