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Little Evil

Long Haul Business Class for under $2K (Long Post)

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Luv2Phuket

I copied the attached pdf chart from a blog today - it goes through the transfer partners for each of the 4 major "transfer credit card programs" 


 

Transfer partners.pdf

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Little Evil

Was scrolling through Amex's website today to review my account when I happen to notice that under my Gold card, the 4X at restaurants is now global. This must be relatively new, as my Feb trip only produced 1X at LoS restaurants. Just worth noting this perk boost, as I'm always strategy whenever I make a purchase and this is pretty significant. 

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Luv2Phuket

I am going stir crazy!  Just got through a stressful project, and I'm spinning my wheels on a current one.  I am burnt out....and ready to get back to Pattaya!  5555

With the July 4 holiday next week, I was thinking I might make a break for it.

As expected, award availability on Cathay/JAL was nonexistent, but I was able to find a tolerable ANA flight on the 3rd for 90k United miles.

The problem is in getting home on the 10th or 11th....

EVA has availability, BUT has cancelled everything through July 5th or 6th due to the current strike....don't know if I can risk that!

Singapore has availability on PE for 68,000 KrisFlyer miles.  NOT a great deal (only saving 27,000 KrisFlyer for the serious drop from Biz to PE just seems like a bad deal to me), as it also would require Economy on the 2 1/2 hour leg from BKK to SIN.

Am I insane for thinking of doing....basically, ALL OF THE ABOVE!
 - Book ANA using United to go in;
 - Book EVA Biz class coming back: AND
 - Book SQ Economy/PE as a fallback if the EVA strike screws up that ticket.

This would cause a BIG hit to my "transferable" programs for a 7 night trip - it would drop my Chase UR from 139k to 49k (for United); it would wipe out ALL of my AMEX MRs (to SQ); it would wipe out ALL of my Cap One points (to build the EVA); AND it would knock my Citi TY down from 120k to 77k (to top off both SQ and EVA).  I would probably hit my Citi TY a little harder and move the full 95k to SQ, so I could waitlist biz class on the same flights.

The "plus" side is that I would have either 75k EVA or 68k KrisFlyer (possibly 95k) left in my account afterward, depending upon which I end up taking/cancelling.

I have a trip planned for November.  I think the "smarter" play may be to just wait and look at taking a Labor Day trip, while building my points a little more.

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basket case

You could always risk it and wait to see if JL or CX opens up. They usually release seats a week out

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Luv2Phuket

I decided it was best to wait until September....but then I flipped 180 degrees today and am now booked to head to Thailand in 4 days!

Decent flight in on July 3 (ANA biz connecting to Thai biz) using 90,000 United miles.  It arrives late on the 4th (10 p.m.), but that was better than the option that got in at 4 a.m. on Friday the 5th.

Flight back is inconvenient, but works out very well for me -- I leave BKK at 11:30 p.m. and arrive in Osaka at 7 a.m.  My connecting flight to LAX doesn't leave Osaka until 5:45 p.m., BUT I have friends who will be in Osaka for fights that day/night.  I can take a taxi in from the airport, shower/change at their hotel, and hang out with them during the day, then head back to the airport before the 5:45 p.m. flight to LAX (I'll only have a small carry-on bag and should have my boarding pass, so security shouldn't be an issue. 

I found it interesting that BA's website showed no availability, but Alaska had the JAL flight up for 65,000 miles and less than $62 in taxes.  Can't beat that with a stick!

Hotels worked out well, too -- I had a Chase IHG free night certificate that was expiring in September and an IHG BOGO cert that expires at the end of October, with no current plans to use either.  Now I'll use both at the InterContinental in Bangkok (basically, I will pay for 1 night and get 2 free). 

In addition to the 3 nights in Bangkok, I'm spending 4 night in Pattaya -- I'm using a Hilton free weekend certificate (it was good through next June) for one night, then paying for 3 more nights at the Hilton.  BUT I get an annual $250 credit to be spent at certain Hilton resorts, including the Pattaya Hilton, that was expiring at the end of the year, and I had no plans to use it.  This will enable me to use it, as well (knocking off almost exactly the cost of 1.5 nights).

 

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basket case

Damned impressive!!

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skink
On 27/05/2019 at 20:04, Luv2Phuket said:

Tomorrow is the last day to buy Hilton points with a 100% bonus (so .5 cents each)....

Any idea how often they have those 100% bonus sales on Hilton points? I see the one you posted about ended May 28, and I just missed one that ended July 4th. Want to try Conrad Koh Samui towards the end of this year.

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Luv2Phuket
Any idea how often they have those 100% bonus sales on Hilton points? I see the one you posted about ended May 28, and I just missed one that ended July 4th. Want to try Conrad Koh Samui towards the end of this year.


No idea, but that sounds like a good use of points!

Speaking of Hilton, I ended up being upgraded to a one bedroom suite w/ tub on the balcony for my entire stay (only 4 nights). I did a pre-paid rate of around $140 per night, so that worked out well!

When I checked in, the girl said that it was my 13th stay with them. That’s a little scary, given that the Hilton did not open until late 2010! 5555


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skink

In what is most likely bad news, AA.com has started displaying JAL award space.

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Little Evil
16 minutes ago, skink said:

In what is most likely bad news, AA.com has started displaying JAL award space.

Wonder if it will work as "well" as their own metal award searches, like my last search of NYC to MIA had a 2 leg flight that included a 4 hour layover in ORD. WTF? Thanks AA for such amazing award options!

Talking about JAL--here's a first for me: Managed to find JAL biz on their 789 (no F in this route, sadly) this late Aug on Alaska Air points. I prefer CX because of the points savings in this program, but in this award climate beggars can't be choosers. Booked the ticket for like 65k one way and some $50 something processing fee. Was feeling all warm and fuzzy that I secured the ticket knowing that I had the return already and that my trip was finally all set. Then a cold chill ran down my spine for some reason. Did I somehow make a mistake? 

Went and checked my booked return ticket. CX F on waitlist.  Holy shit! Did I forget what I booked? Scanned email for confirmations and lo and behold--I didn't have a return flight. I had an outbound already on CX via Asia Miles. Fuck. Cancelled Asia Miles because of the two, it was more points. Had to choose between cancellation fee or forfeit 12k miles. Chose the latter.

I'm slipping, guys. I think you can take away any points game merit badges I've earned over the years. 

 

 

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Luv2Phuket

I just landed at LAX after a JAL award ticket booked via Alaska (65k miles).

The sweet spot for Alaska with JAL is first class at 75k miles. An award ticket became available, but it didn’t fit my schedule as well.

What I found somewhat surprising is that Avios did NOT show the JAL availability.

Cathay availability is still long gone. I kept hoping something would open up and I could extend my trip a day or 2, but nothing ever came available.


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HimBadMan
27 minutes ago, Luv2Phuket said:

I just landed at LAX after a JAL award ticket booked via Alaska (65k miles).

The sweet spot for Alaska with JAL is first class at 75k miles. An award ticket became available, but it didn’t fit my schedule as well.

What I found somewhat surprising is that Avios did NOT show the JAL availability.

Cathay availability is still long gone. I kept hoping something would open up and I could extend my trip a day or 2, but nothing ever came available.


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I'm still looking for a return leg on my Sept trip via AA miles. 

JAL has a few options but I refuse to fly their 788 with lie angle flat suites.    Will only book their apex suites on 777..     heard some of their 788 or 789 have apex suites now.  

But again award redemptions are getting hard..   I have a Sept 8th economy booked to LAX for my return. (Exit rows)  I can live with that but rather use 33k more miles for a biz 

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Little Evil
14 minutes ago, HimBadMan said:

I'm still looking for a return leg on my Sept trip via AA miles. 

JAL has a few options but I refuse to fly their 788 with lie angle flat suites.    Will only book their apex suites on 777..     heard some of their 788 or 789 have apex suites now.  

But again award redemptions are getting hard..   I have a Sept 8th economy booked to LAX for my return. (Exit rows)  I can live with that but rather use 33k more miles for a biz 

The Shell Neo and older Shell are only on the 788 E03 (787 V1), and have slowly been replaced with Sky Suite (Apex) on all 787's to the point that I haven't see the Shells on longhaul in a while. I have seen them on the domestic leg though, but I don't care as much on the short leg. Even then, though, the last 2 leg trip I took on Jal was Sky Suite for long leg and Sky Suite II for short leg. I think it is pretty safe to say that if you know you're on a 789, then you're at least getting Sky Suite. YMMV on equipment change though. 

I really like Apex for privacy when you get a window seat, but don't particularly like the complete lack of storage. 

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HimBadMan
27 minutes ago, Little Evil said:

The Shell Neo and older Shell are only on the 788 E03 (787 V1), and have slowly been replaced with Sky Suite (Apex) on all 787's to the point that I haven't see the Shells on longhaul in a while. I have seen them on the domestic leg though, but I don't care as much on the short leg. Even then, though, the last 2 leg trip I took on Jal was Sky Suite for long leg and Sky Suite II for short leg. I think it is pretty safe to say that if you know you're on a 789, then you're at least getting Sky Suite. YMMV on equipment change though. 

I really like Apex for privacy when you get a window seat, but don't particularly like the complete lack of storage. 

Good to know about the 787s. Pretty sure the flights from Japan to San Diego which usually has availability has old shell seats.  

 

Edit. Double checkd. Good call even the flights to San Diego are sky suites 

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Luv2Phuket

Osaka to LAX was on a 787 (I think) fitted with their "Sky Suite III" seating - like in this YouTube video:


My prior experience on JAL was in the "staggered" suites that are all straight - think it was the Apex II or Apex I

BKK to Osaka was a 2-2-2 angle flat layout.  It was tolerable, but I would have preferred this lie flat layout since it was an overnight flight (left BKK at 11:30 p.m.; arrived in Osaka at 7 a.m.).

I put this trip together at the last minute -- literally 4 days before my departing flight -- and the itinerary wasn't great:
 - daytime departure to BKK via Tokyo, so a 10 p.m. arrival.  Brutal - couldn't sleep on the LAX-Narita flight; threw my body clock way off and I stayed up way too late on that first night (4:30 a.m.) and paid the price for that later.  It seemed like it took me 3 or 4 days to recover.
 - return flight was 32.5 hours door-to-door due to a 10-hour layover in Osaka.  I had a good friend there on business, so took the train into Osaka and met him for lunch before going back to the airport.  Otherwise, booking a hotel for the day and getting 6 hours sleep would have been a good call, as I am running on fumes right now.

 

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Luv2Phuket

On the subject of using AA to book JAL, I just saw this: 
https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.com/2019/07/11/american-just-introduced-online-booking-for-japan-airlines-awards/

It says AA will only charge 60k miles each way for biz class and only 70k for first.  I think that's only to Japan, though, so maybe more miles to connect on to BKK? 

In any event, setting aside the run on potential availability, that's great news for me, as I have a warchest of AA miles that I am dying to use.

One downside is that the flights for which I saw availability on JAL were not at great times - mine was an 11:30 p.m. departure, with a 10-hour layover in Osaka; another was an 8 a.m. departure to Narita, with only a 1-hour layover/connection time.  

 

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