a bed in a plane
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Your bed in the sky is ready…

Airlines value your points at about one cent a piece, or less. So when you can extract 5 cents of value or better, and pay almost nil out of pocket, there’s reason to celebrate. There’s an endless sea of routes within North America where using points can be great, but when it comes to the absolute best in flight experiences for the best points value, there’s one that’s generally above the rest. Direct flights between Vancouver and New York are never cheap using cash, but you can score some of the best seats on the planet for a pittance of points…

a city with a lake and mountains in the backgroundSide Story: Vancouver Is Fantastic

Vancouver is one of the best cities in North America, and it’s far more than a city. Less than an hour from some of the best ski slopes and outdoors activities in the world, with totally underrated sandy beaches just a short ferry ride away – it’s a destination. The food is fantastic, the quality of life is contagious and everywhere you look is beautiful. Here’s a guide to maximizing even a short trip to Vancouver. And of course, if you’re going the other way – New York ain’t too shabby either. Even if you’re considering Vancouver from another East coast city, it could easily make sense to venture to New York to take advantage of the cool opportunities we’ll lay out below.

Great Airlines, Amazing Seats

Cathay Pacific and Air Canada both operate direct flights between New York and Vancouver. Air Canada flies a gorgeous new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, while Cathay Pacific operates a four class 777 wide body jet, with their coveted first class, business class, premium economy and economy cabins. Both airlines are easily accessible via a wide variety of points programs used every day, such as United, American, British Airways, Singapore, AsiaMiles and Aeroplan.

a woman standing in a cabinPrime Luxury Points Examples

Air Canada offers their latest “Executive Pods” on flights between Newark and Vancouver. The lowest round trip fare you’ll find all year for a direct flat bed is $2,800. On the other hand, you can just use 50,000 United or Aeroplan points and $50 in taxes, giving you more than 5 cents per point of value. Cathay Pacific offers round trip business class for $5,200 virtually all year, or you can use just 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage points for round trip business class – or 110,000 for round trip Cathay Pacific First Class. Krug, anyone? You can alternately use AsiaMiles or British Airways to book at similar rates.

Economy Too

We searched all year and the cheapest round trip direct economy flight we found was over $326. In fact, on most dates – flights are over $500 round trip. Using just 25,000 – 30,000 miles round trip to book one of these tickets can represent over a 2 cents per mile value. Either way, it allows travelers to use a relatively small number of points to cover flights which can really start to add up, especially when booking for two or more passengers.

a city street with many tall buildings and people crossing itBooking

Easy! You can book these flights using credit card points you probably already have, such as Amex, Citi or Chase. You can search flight availability using the United, Aeroplan or Singapore Air websites for Air Canada flights. Use the British Airways or AsiaMiles websites for the Cathay Pacific flights and call American Airlines to book over the phone. This is a great way to explore one of the best destinations in North America, in total style. You won’t even break your points piggy bank either!

Have you taken advantage of this North American points gem?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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1 Comment

  1. No point of mentioning Air Canada and business class on that route…. they do not release award seats on that route in anything other than economy. I forgot this is the website that sends you on wild goose chases for awards that do not exist.

    CX – yes… well know route for many years and sometimes available
    AC – you will not find an award in Business

    I challenge you to post ONE day where you can book the AC 787 in Business Class. It is readily available in Economy but not in business…

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