Cheapest Flights and Awards To & From Cuba

I'm considering a trip to Cuba in April because I fall under one of the 12 categories of Americans that now have a general license to visit Cuba: journalistic activity. (See the US State Department's information on visiting Cuba. This post is not suggesting you should.)

I've been looking into the cheapest ways to get to Cuba with miles or cash.

Luxurious ANA First Class Award Space Wide Open for 50,000 Miles

ANA's "First Square" is one of the nicest First Classes in the world.

The fully enclosed suite featured on ANA's 777-300ERs is a top of the line hard product, including a fully flat bed.

In addition, it comes with--from the reports I've read--typical, excellent service you would expect from a top Asian airline and fancy touches like caviar.

ANA has announced schedule changes that put the 777-300ER on new routes this year.

Tokyo-Narita to Houston starting June 12
Tokyo-Narita to Singapore starting March 29
Tokyo-Narita to Seattle starting May 6
Tokyo-Narita to Frankfurt starting May 7

The only one of

How to Get 1.52 LifeMiles Per Dollar on All Purchases

Update: Mileage sale extended until 10/3/14.

Today (September 30, 2014) is the last day that you can get 1.52 Avianca LifeMiles on all purchases by using your Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard®.

This is a big flipping deal!

The Arrival Plus is already the most valuable card for economy redemptions since its 2 miles per dollar on all purchases and 10% rebate on all travel redemptions means you effectively get 2.28% back toward flights on any airline with no blackouts.

Incredible Asiana First Class on A380 Flying to US

Asiana has started flying an A380 between Seoul-Incheon and Los Angeles. The daily flight includes fully enclosed suites in First Class and fully flat beds in Business Class.

First Class on Asiana A380

Asiana is a member of the Star Alliance, so Asiana flights are bookable with United miles and Avianca LifeMiles without fuel surcharges.

Business Class on Asiana A380

Award space is wide open in summer 2015 on the route in all cabins.

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.

LifeMiles Devalues Its Award Chart Effective October 15th

A few days ago, LifeMiles joined United and Delta in announcing an award chart devaluation, which will take place on October 15, 2014.

Bookings made until October 14, for travel until mid-2015 will cost the current mileage prices.

LifeMiles Corrects Mistake on Chart (Another Deal Bloggers Killed)

Avianca LifeMiles has re-classified Guam as part of the Philippines. This ends the ability to book an award from the continental United States to Japan, Hawaii, or Guam for 12,500 LifeMiles in economy or 25,000 miles in business class that lasted as long as Guam was mis-classified as part of the continental United States.

Now an award from the United States to Guam costs 32,500 miles each way in economy and 65,000 miles in business.

LifeMiles Set to Increase in Price by 10%

Avianca LifeMiles sell for 3 cents each, but frequent 100% bonuses on purchasing miles have made the effective cost 1.5 cents each for most of us.

LifeMiles have a number of strategic uses like Lufthansa First Class between the United States and Europe for 72,500 miles (instead of 110,000 United miles) or hidden city tickets that get you from the United States to Japan for 12,500 miles.

LifeMiles are valuable enough that I've suggested converting Arrival miles to LifeMiles.

United Award Chart vs. LifeMiles Award Chart

On Friday, I wrote about a revolutionary idea:

You can use the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard® to get 1.52 LifeMiles per dollar on all purchases.

2 for 1 Transfer Bonus on LifeMiles

Avianca/TACA LifeMiles, a member of the Star Alliance, is offering a 100% bonus on miles transferred between accounts through March 17, 2014.

During the promotion, the cost to transfer each mile is 1.5 cents. For every mile taken out of your account, the transferee receives 2 miles.

Example:

I pay $150 to transfer 10k miles to my friend.
My account loses 10k miles.