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This is a classic post that first appeared on bengalimilesguru.com that Scott has edited and updated.

You didn’t read wrong. 20,000 points for a BusinessFirst ticket to anywhere United flies in the US! This is a oneway redemption, and it will save you 5,000 miles each way.

How in the world?

Well, the trick is to use Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines. Singapore Airlines currently has a redemption rate of 12.5k/20k/30k miles each way, and it is a 1:1 transfer partner of Membership Rewards.

That means the following itinerary is 20k Singapore miles:

Note that this is four segments. The two longest ones–totaling 6:45–are on flat beds on the brand new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

How?

United’s new 787 has no First Class. They only have BusinessFirst and Economy. That means that although the BusinessFirst beds are far superior to normal domestic first class seats, Singapore considers the redemption a business class redemption. I was worried that Singapore wouldn’t ticket my award for 20k miles, but Singapore did!

I was able to call up Singapore Airlines and book this:

Newark-Houston-San Francisco-Los Angeles on the first 787 flight on November 4th. [Scott: The Dreamliner schedule has changed, but Tahsir is flying the first ORD-IAH flight. See below.]

Two segments will on the 787: EWR-IAH and IAH-SFO.

The redemption follows the same rules as the United award so you can add in your home airport and true destination on both ends like LAX-SFO-IAH-EWR-TPA, and it will still be 20k one way.

If you find saver availability on united.com for the Dreamliner, Singapore will be able to book it with no problems. I recommend just writing down the exact flight numbers and giving it to the agent. This helps you redeem it faster.

Here’s the KrisFlyer number: 1-213-404-0301

How can you find space on the Dreamliner? Scott had a great post about that when the domestic routes were released. See Six and a Half Hours on a Flat Bed for 25,000 United Miles.

I don’t have any Singapore Miles. How do I get them?

Singapore Airlines is a 1:1 transfer partner of AMEX Membership rewards and SPG Starpoints. For every 20k SPG points transferred, you get an extra 5,000 bonus points. That means you only need to transfer 35,000 SPG points to get a roundtrip domestic award with four Dreamliner bed segments!

I’ve read in some places that you cannot hold a Singapore Airlines award, but I have held Singapore awards! Singapore Airlines held my reservation for two days after I told them I needed to transfer the points in.

So there you have it: the cheapest way to redeem for lie-flat seats cross country on the Brand NEW 787 Dreamliner! Only 20k AMEX points!

There are endless possibilities with this award!

Addendum: United has had some problems with the Dreamliner, causing them to change some of their flight schedule. Tahsir is now scheduled for two Dreamliner flights today, including the first one from Chicago to Houston. He will be treating us all to a trip report.

 

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