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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 4:52 am   #961
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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If you collect Alaska Airline miles you can now do so on Condor flights.

https://newsroom.alaskaair.com/2017-...20_MP||_Condor

So far you can only earn Alaska miles on Condor, redemption for Condor tickets is TBA.

Condor fly direct from Austin Tx to Germany.....
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Old Mar 22nd 2017, 7:06 am   #962
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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Condor fly direct from Austin Tx to Germany.....
and they can book you to the UK on Lufthansa all on the same ticket. So hopefully it will be the same with award tickets.
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Old Jun 10th 2017, 12:23 am   #963
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

so, I was reading this blog and in it there was an article about manufactured spending to get to your credit card spending limits and qualify for all those sign up airmiles.

Paying taxes? university tuition fees? Property tax.

The Ultimate Credit Card Rewards Hack | The Wealthy Accountant

thoughts? seems a bit complicated but the payoff could be worth it.
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Old Jun 12th 2017, 12:27 am   #964
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
so, I was reading this blog and in it there was an article about manufactured spending to get to your credit card spending limits and qualify for all those sign up airmiles.

Paying taxes? university tuition fees? Property tax.

The Ultimate Credit Card Rewards Hack | The Wealthy Accountant

thoughts? seems a bit complicated but the payoff could be worth it.
These are very expensive methods, and I've only ever made payments that cost this much (circa 2%) once - where I had to spend a much higher than normal amount of money.

For everything else, and at all other times, I've used other methods - far cheaper but which tend to come and go over time. Read Flyertalk.
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Old Jul 5th 2017, 6:14 pm   #965
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

Just found some cheap flights to UK with Thomas Cook Airlines. They seem to fly direct from SFO to MAN ... I've never heard of them before (I know Thomas Cook as a travel agency of course). Are they for real?

Do they participate in any award programs?

PS also found similar flights with 'Condor'.

Found both the above using 'Kayak'.
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Old Jul 5th 2017, 7:14 pm   #966
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

Thomas Cook and Condor are owned by the same company. TC flies to UK, Condor is based in Germany and links to LH flights. TC was originally a package holiday charter company. They fit in between low cost and legacy carriers.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 5:01 am   #967
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
Just found some cheap flights to UK with Thomas Cook Airlines. They seem to fly direct from SFO to MAN ... I've never heard of them before (I know Thomas Cook as a travel agency of course). Are they for real?

Do they participate in any award programs?

PS also found similar flights with 'Condor'.

Found both the above using 'Kayak'.
You can credit Condor flights to Alaska Mileage Plan or Lufthansa Miles & More. I've found both programmes useful over time for long-haul premium award redemptions, albeit using miles earned from co-branded credit card sign-ups.

Lufthansa are notoriously stingy in releasing premium class award seats to Star Alliance partners, which means that it's fairly easy to secure awards using their own programme. Note that miles expire 3 years after earning, regardless of account activity.

I've never flown with Alaska, but their miles can be redeemed on a variety of carriers including BA, AA, Cathay and Emirates. Note there have been a couple of partner-specific devaluations in the past (e.g. Emirates) and there's an AA one in the offing. I still rate it as a good program even though.
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Old Jul 7th 2017, 4:06 pm   #968
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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You can credit Condor flights to Alaska Mileage Plan or Lufthansa Miles & More. I've found both programmes useful over time for long-haul premium award redemptions, albeit using miles earned from co-branded credit card sign-ups.

Lufthansa are notoriously stingy in releasing premium class award seats to Star Alliance partners, which means that it's fairly easy to secure awards using their own programme. Note that miles expire 3 years after earning, regardless of account activity.

I've never flown with Alaska, but their miles can be redeemed on a variety of carriers including BA, AA, Cathay and Emirates. Note there have been a couple of partner-specific devaluations in the past (e.g. Emirates) and there's an AA one in the offing. I still rate it as a good program even though.
Well I booked a trip with Thomas Cook Airlines SFO->MAN for Aug/Sep, and got a really low fare ($800; closest other airline was Virgin at $1,500 for similar dates). Not bad IMO for a trip with just 6 weeks notice. I tried using my AA miles but they had nothing that was practical (no non-stops, and the 1-stops had silly connections - eg I could fly SFO-LHR, but then the wait for the LHR-MAN flight was 10 hours of so).

I then had to pay another ~$80 for seat reservations, but that still didn't make the overall price too high. I'll find out in Aug/Sep whether the planes are half-way decent!
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Old Aug 7th 2017, 7:55 pm   #969
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

I have 155,330 United points

Mrs L has 135,000 United points.

United have an offer to buy points and get a bonus. I can buy 73,000 miles for $2,746.63 and get a bonus of another 73,000, which added to my points gives me 300,000 enough for a free business ticket (PDX-MAN). I can then transfer 165,000 from Chase Rewards to Mrs Ls United account giving her 300,000 and enough for a free business ticket.

1) I would therefore purchase 2 business class tickets PDX - MAN for $2746.63 plus 450,000 points. Plus $502 taxes on the free tickets.

2) The alternative is just to buy one ticket at the current fare $3,483 plus 300,000 points for another ticket free. Plus $251 taxes on the free ticket.

By my reckoning option 1 is $485 cheaper than option 2. But is that a good deal if I have to use 150,000 more points to get it?
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Old Aug 8th 2017, 8:25 pm   #970
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I have 155,330 United points

Mrs L has 135,000 United points.

United have an offer to buy points and get a bonus. I can buy 73,000 miles for $2,746.63 and get a bonus of another 73,000, which added to my points gives me 300,000 enough for a free business ticket (PDX-MAN). I can then transfer 165,000 from Chase Rewards to Mrs Ls United account giving her 300,000 and enough for a free business ticket.

1) I would therefore purchase 2 business class tickets PDX - MAN for $2746.63 plus 450,000 points. Plus $502 taxes on the free tickets.

2) The alternative is just to buy one ticket at the current fare $3,483 plus 300,000 points for another ticket free. Plus $251 taxes on the free ticket.

By my reckoning option 1 is $485 cheaper than option 2. But is that a good deal if I have to use 150,000 more points to get it?
How many points will the one purchased ticket in option 2 earn?
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Old Aug 8th 2017, 9:06 pm   #971
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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How many points will the one purchased ticket in option 2 earn?
In round figures about 15,000. It is 150% of the miles flown.
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Old Aug 9th 2017, 12:05 pm   #972
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

Quote:
Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
I have 155,330 United points

Mrs L has 135,000 United points.

United have an offer to buy points and get a bonus. I can buy 73,000 miles for $2,746.63 and get a bonus of another 73,000, which added to my points gives me 300,000 enough for a free business ticket (PDX-MAN). I can then transfer 165,000 from Chase Rewards to Mrs Ls United account giving her 300,000 and enough for a free business ticket.

1) I would therefore purchase 2 business class tickets PDX - MAN for $2746.63 plus 450,000 points. Plus $502 taxes on the free tickets.

2) The alternative is just to buy one ticket at the current fare $3,483 plus 300,000 points for another ticket free. Plus $251 taxes on the free ticket.

By my reckoning option 1 is $485 cheaper than option 2. But is that a good deal if I have to use 150,000 more points to get it?
I value UR points at about 1.5c each. Both options seem expensive to me, but I'm sure you are following prices so have a much better feel for it.
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Old Aug 10th 2017, 5:16 pm   #973
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Default Re: Traveling cheaply and well using miles and points

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I value UR points at about 1.5c each. Both options seem expensive to me, but I'm sure you are following prices so have a much better feel for it.
I tend to value UR points at 1c as that is what I can exchange them for against Amazon purchases. 1.5c if used to purchase travel from Chase, but I find they inflate the prices they charge against the airlines web sites.

You are right the 2 options seem expensive. Not against current fares, I'd save about $1,000 per ticket against the purchase price, but what past experience says Delta might reduce prices to in a few weeks time they are expensive. Fortunately the United offer to buy miles is good until September 12th so I can wait a bit before deciding. Appreciate your comment.
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