Ask ten famous chefs their favorite meal, you'll likely get ten different answers. Ask ten travel experts about the most luxurious commercial airline seats and they will virtually all refer you to the ME3, otherwise known as Emirates, Qatar and Etihad. Grabbing seats up front with the ME3 represent one of the absolute best and most luxurious ways to extract maximal value from your effortlessly (spending) or hard earned (flying) miles. Surprisingly, the best currency to collect for any of these award winning seats are with none of the carriers themselves...

Best Miles For Etihad

American Airlines AAdvantage For the next few months, until March 22nd, when American Airlines devalues their chart, and even after that, arguably the best way to fly up front on Etihad is using American Airlines miles. You'll find amazingly advantageous chart options, such as London to Abu Dhabi in the First Class apartment for only 40,000 American miles one way. You'll find similarly stunning rates everywhere Etihad flies, including 90,000 miles one way for their First Class Apartment from the US to India and Middle East, vice versa. Check the American Airlines partner award chart to price out your ideal trip....

Ways To Collect: You can collect American AAdvantage miles from flights on any OneWorld airline including Iberia, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Finnair, TAM, LAN and more. If you're in the US you can earn miles from their credit card, and for those abroad you can collect miles from spending on the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. Those miles can be transferred from Starwood to American. They also have a great sale on miles currently running...

Best Miles For Emirates

Alaska AIrlines Mileage Plan Virtually all redemptions using miles for First or Business class travel on Emirates are astronomical. Hey, someone has to pay for the Dom Perignon! Alaska offers some of the best redemptions on Emirates for the fewest miles, such as Asia to USA (and vice versa) for 100,000 miles, one way in their First Class suite, with an allowed stopover in Dubai. The possibilities are endless if you consult the Alaska chart

Ways To Collect: You can collect Alaska miles by crediting flights on British Airways, American, Delta, Qantas, Emirates itself, KLM, LAN, Air France and more. Additionally, for those in the US you can earn Alaska miles with their credit card, which comes with 25,000 bonus miles and you can sign up for multiple cards.  

Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank If the Alaska numbers were a bit of a wake up call for you, you'll be happier to know that JAL is cheaper, they're also unfortunately harder to collect. There are some unreal redemption rates such as 100,000 miles round trip in First Class between the US and Europe and vice versa, and only 65,000 in business class on Emirates. 

Ways To Collect You can collect JAL Mileage Bank miles by either flying on JAL or their partners, which would entail lots of flying or by earning points from the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card, and then transferring the Starwood points into JAL. From there you can redeem them on Emirates.

Best Miles For Qatar

American Airlines AAdvantage Again? Absolutely. American offers incredible values for many of the most desirable destinations that Qatar flies, with some exceptionally generous routing rules. Perhaps the most gorgeous redemption would be 70,000 miles one way for First Class from Europe (including London and Paris) to Doha, and carrying onto Bangkok. For 140,000 miles round trip, you'll be able to explore Asia and the Middle East. You'll find plenty of great redemptions from the US as well, matching the Etihad rates of 90,000 miles for one way in First Class or 67,500 miles for one way in business. 

*British Airways can be a good call for Qatar's shortest flights*

Ways To Collect: You can collect American AAdvantage miles from flights on any OneWorld airline including Iberia, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Finnair, TAM, LAN and more. If you're in the US you can earn miles from their credit card, and for those abroad you can collect miles from spending on the Starwood Preferred Guest credit card. Those miles can be transferred from Starwood to American. They also have a great sale on miles currently running...

With this info, hopefully you can either unlock maximum value from your current stash, or begin to collect in optimal ways for the most luxurious of flights. Flying in style doesn't happen overnight, it's a series of clever decisions from every day spending, to which frequent flyer number to put in when you fly. With that said you can be up front in no time, just get started. 

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