There's nothing like the feeling of sitting down in a luxurious first or business class cabin, taking the first sip of something delicious, looking around, and realizing that everyone else in the cabin paid more for the pleasure. One of the best ways to experience the worlds best cabins, without breaking the bank, is to hedge your costs with miles. Without a doubt, Alaska Airlines miles, offer some of the best opportunities, allowing luxury flights on partners Cathay Pacific, Emirates, British Airways, American and Icelandair. That can mean seriously cheap business and first options...

The Deal

Alaska Airlines allow you to buy an unlimited amount of miles, 60,000 at a time, before bonuses. They are currently offering a very attractive 40% bonus on those miles, which turn a 60,000 mile purchase into 84,000 miles, with a total cost of $1,773. 84,000 miles can be enough for some incredible flights, which generally would cost more than $10,000 round trip.

Best Uses 

Qantas First Class US to Australia

It's hard to imagine a better journey to the land of Oz than more than fourteen hours in Qantas First Class, on board their A380. For 70,000 miles one way, or 140,000 round trip, you can secure an incredible ride. As you may know, business class between the US and Australia is never below $5,000, and First goes for double. With this option, you can secure First class round trip for less than $3,000. I love it.

Cathay Pacific Business Class Europe to Hong Kong 

You can grab tickets on Cathay's award winning business class for just 85,000 miles round trip. In the sale you're hedging your costs, spending roughly £1,200 ($1,800) for a lovely, flat bed experience, regardless of what the current paid fare is fetching. 

Emirates First Class US To Africa Or India

There's no question that Emirates A380 First Class experience is among the greatest things one can do at 33,000 feet. You can grab Emirates First for 90,000 miles one way to India, or 100,000 miles one way to Africa. It's not cheap, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than buying the tickets outright, which will cost you over $8,000, often more like $20,000. 

Cathay Pacific First Class Intra Asia

If you've longed to experience Cathay's refined First class, doing so on a longer intra Asia flight could be the perfect foray. At just 27,500 miles one way, and 55,000 round trip, you can grab six or more hours of fine dining, worlds best airport lounges and more, for less than $1,200 round trip, or for an open jaw, less than $585...

LAN Business Class US To South America

LAN and TAM are operating an increasingly new fleet, with 787's and A350's. It's not the most over the top business class seat, but it's very comfortable and a great way to stretch out on a 9+ hour flight to Southern South America. For just 90,000 Alaska MileagePlan miles, you can stretch out round trip, curbing your costs big time.

Booking + Buying

First, if you haven't already, you'll need to make a free MileagePlan account. Easy. Once you've done that, click HERE to buy the points you need. The offer is tiered so the more you buy, the more bonus you get. You can purchase the 60,000 miles +24,000 bonus as many times as you wish. BUY MILES. To book your awards, you'll simply search space on Alaska's website, British Airways website (which displays all partner space), or When you've found what you want, you'll call in or book online. It's a very seamless process, with excellent customer service. 

Expert Tips

One stopover of more than 24 hours is allowed on all of these awards, allowing you an extra free destination in the region or on the way (if applicable). If you have planned travel, want to kickstart a mileage bonus and want to experience the best seats the world has to offer, this is a great opportunity. As with all redemptions using miles, you must remember that you are forgoing earning miles or status points on the flights, it's the cost of doing business. I am a buyer this particular time, for First Class intra Asia, allowing me to experience Cathay's the Wing and The Pier in Hong Kong, and first class for the long intra Asia flights I will take in October...