Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > MilesBuzz
Reload this Page >

What is Your Best Airline Award Redemption?

What is Your Best Airline Award Redemption?

Old Mar 3, 11, 9:08 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: UA, AA, SPG, HH
Posts: 569
What is Your Best Airline Award Redemption?

So I thought it would be fun and educational to hear about some of the better trips that people have booked using miles. I'm thinking the best way to do this is:

1. First, post the best use of miles that you have redeemed for that is still currently available for booking (this could be very useful for people like myself trying to see just what is possible and how I can max out my miles)

2. Second, post the best use of miles that you have ever redeemed for (even if it is no longer available)

3. I was debating about including hotel points but I think the thread might get a little bit out of hand so I decided to focus it just on airline redemptions and if people enjoy this thread then I'll make another one for hotel redemptions

So, while I have been on FT Since July '10 I've only taken 2 trips booked using miles and neither of them were anything special as far as maximizing value but here goes:

1. The better of my 2 trips was probably the first award flight I've ever booked. I booked IAD - PRG - BUD - IAD open jaw flying LH metal in Y for 55K UA miles (earned primarily from the UA 50K CC promo) + $100 in taxes and fees.
2. I have never made any award bookings that are no longer available so I guess this is a N/A for me.

Haha I remember being quite proud of myself for that open jaw booking since only a week previous I had been one of those people that 'just didn't get it' and thought FF miles were useless.

How about all of you?
HoKo is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 10:38 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: *G, SPG, OW Sapphire
Posts: 2,563
Best trip I have ever booked (only premium award so far, really) was a LH First Class JFK-FRA that ended up being the one that was swapped for the A380. Can't wait!
johndeere19 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 10:38 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Cos Cob
Programs: AA EXP 2MM Hertz PC HHonors Diamond
Posts: 369
Using 600k AA miles for flights on AY, BA and AA: 5 J seats together JFK-HEL-VNO-HEL-LHR-JFK with stop overs in Vilnius and London.
diaspora04 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 10:41 am
  #4  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 9,031
#2: being able to book LGA-ORD one-way on AA with only 2 hrs advance notice, due to a complete Delta meltdown/crisis @ JFK which resulted in me missing my DL flight to Chicago.
izzik is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 10:46 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: STL
Programs: AA mostly
Posts: 150
I have only booked 1 flight using miles (40k), which was a trip to Italy last May with my best friend. I'm peeved I wasn't aware of the free stopover, as I definitely would've added on a trip to Hawaii for last December, but oh well.

The miles I have now are for a trip to Buenos Aires sometime in the next year. I'm working on getting enough to also get my son's ticket.
nshelledy is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 10:50 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,562
100k Skymiles last June for:

MCI-LHR
AMS-DUB
DUB-MCI

All in first/business, open-jaw, and stopover. By far the best I've ever gotten with skymiles.
Astrophsx is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 11:59 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 22,064
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.601 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

In 2010, I used 150,000 AA miles on a distance-based oneworld Business Class award (which permitted First Class travel on two-class domestic AA flights), which allowed me to visit Hawaii on one trip; Europe on another trip; and the Caribbean on a third trip; with multiple stopovers. (In order to get three separate trips out of the same award, I had to fly in and out of a couple of different airports besides those in NYC, so as not to violate the award's routing and stopover rules. But Bolt Bus and Megabus made that pretty cheap. )

IIRC, in the 80's or 90's, some FFP awards included free hotel nights and free car-rental days along with the free flights, for no additional mileage.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 12:41 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: SPG and UA
Posts: 20
Last summer did one-way MIA-NYC-NRT with a stopover in New York for only 25,000 AA miles.

One that I have yet to take advantage of but will be in the near future is a RT to South America (excluding Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay) from the US (JFK, MIA, or LAX) for only 20,000 SPG points.

Also being based out of MIA presents quite a few good reward possibilities such as the following.
RT to Bahamas for 6000 SPG points.
RT to GCM for 8000 SPG points.
RT to MBJ, CUN, or KIN for 9000 SPG points.

Last edited by trillo88; Mar 3, 11 at 1:05 pm Reason: Fixed incorrect number of miles used for MIA-NRT
trillo88 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:00 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SFO/EWR/DEL
Programs: UA 1K, MR Gold, HH Diamond
Posts: 2,546
Originally Posted by trillo88 View Post
Last summer did one-way MIA-NYC-NRT with a stopover in New York for only 20,000 AA miles.

One that I have yet to take advantage of but will be in the near future is a RT to South America (excluding Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay) from the US for only 20,000 SPG points.

Also being based out of MIA presents quite a few good reward possibilities such as the following.
RT to Bahamas for 6000 SPG points.
RT to GCM for 8000 SPG points.
RT to MBJ, CUN, or KIN for 9000 SPG points.
How did you manage 20k to Japan on AA? Award chart says 25k off-peak.

What airline is the RT trip to S. America for 20k SPG on?
abcx is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:00 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: UA, AA, SPG, HH
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by trillo88 View Post
Last summer did one-way MIA-NYC-NRT with a stopover in New York for only 20,000 AA miles.

One that I have yet to take advantage of but will be in the near future is a RT to South America (excluding Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay) from the US for only 20,000 SPG points.

Also being based out of MIA presents quite a few good reward possibilities such as the following.
RT to Bahamas for 6000 SPG points.
RT to GCM for 8000 SPG points.
RT to MBJ, CUN, or KIN for 9000 SPG points.
Nice! So are you transferring to ANA for their distance based award chart then?
HoKo is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:04 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: SPG and UA
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by abcx View Post
How did you manage 20k to Japan on AA? Award chart says 25k off-peak.

What airline is the RT trip to S. America for 20k SPG on?
Oops my bad, it actually was 25,000.

And the airline for the trip to South America is LAN.
trillo88 is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:26 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: BOS and ...
Programs: UA 2MM, DL 500k, WoH 1M, HH Gold, Rad. Gold, CP Gold, Miracle Fruit-su Club
Posts: 9,930
Strictly within the question as framed, using United miles to book one-way travel on british midland itineraries. But looking at the whole picture, flying through the UK is daunting, deleterious, as in "deal killer" when t&f are considered. Freebies become just somewhat discounted. It wasn't always this way, but it grows worse and worse, so "free" travel on bmi costs more and more. I avoid Heathrow like the plague for this reason.

Otherwise, flying bmi on UA miles..... (^)
Firewind is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:32 pm
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: HH Diamond, Marriott Platinum, IHG Gold, Hyatt something
Posts: 29,076
My best recent award was AMS-HKG-CGK on CX First using AA miles. I was the only customer in first, and had two FAs at my service. Great food, excellent F seats, and great service.

Best all time use of mileage was a NW RTW award in 2006. 220K. About $300 in taxes. Spread over 11 months, 6 continents, and all in Biz or FC. Those were the days.

Flew KE, AZ, AF, OK and CO. I wrote about it in Expert Flyer, March 2008.
Jaimito Cartero is online now  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:33 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SEA
Programs: AA, AS, BA, UA, HH, Hyatt
Posts: 104
My best award redemption was this last Christmas/ new years when the wife and I did sfo-hkg in CX F, HKG- MEL on QF F, MEL-BNE-HKG in QF J, HKG-SFO in CX F. I think I used 225K BA miles and 227.5k AA miles...
Milano Suprano is offline  
Old Mar 3, 11, 1:36 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Washington, DC (DCA)
Programs: UA, AA, AS, SPG.
Posts: 3,463
My best was a First Class faux RTW trip in 2009. For 150k US miles per person I booked the following.

DCA-ORD (UA)
ORD-LAX (UA)
LAX-NRT (SQ)
NRT-SIN (SQ)
(stop)
SIN-IST (TK)
(day - free tour by TK)
IST-JNB (TK)
(dest)
JNB-FRA (LH)
FRA-ORD (LH)
ORD-DCA (UA)

At my stopover city I paid for flights and visited BKK, HKT, and KUL. At my destination city I paid for flights and visited CPT, VFA, and LVI. I also went on a Safari in Botswana.

It was an epic trip! I blogged about it here: http://gpalcher.wordpress.com
uva185 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: