How much is too much? How good is too good? This has been the year of major changes in which airlines and their partners, with or without notice changed the games we’ve enjoyed for many years. Basically, they want more miles for all the things we want most. Here is a list of the greatest loopholes and travel “hacks” which have recently left us behind or will soon. If there’s one “must” in this game, it’s to take advantage of opportunities while they are in front of you…

a room with a tv and a table on the side of the plane

96,200 Miles ANA First Class Japan To USA Round Trip Using Etihad Miles …

A lesser known brilliant trick was to use Etihad miles, which you could create from hotel points, American Express points outside the US…or just by flying Etihad, toward First Class flights on leading Japanese carrier ANA. The airline’s first class is among the nicest ways to traverse Asia and The United States or Europe and you could do so for a mere 96,200 miles round trip. Business was only 89,000! With no advanced notice Etihad shut it down, ending the least possible miles for round trip first class between the US and Asia.

Expiration Date: EXPIRED

an airplane on the runway

4,500 Miles For Short Flights IN USA Using British Airways Miles…

Even without flying on British Airways, you could convert American Express or Chase points into British Airways miles to book flights on American Airlines and other carriers in North America for only 4,500 British Airways miles each way, for flights less than 650 miles. That included an amazing group of destination pairings including New York to Montreal, Washington DC and Boston or Los Angeles To San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego and many more. This was too great an opportunity for people to convert a minimal number of credit card points or miles into what can be expensive tickets. It’s jumping up to 7,500 points come February. Damn!

Expiration Date: February 2016 (book before February for travel up to 2017).

a room with a television and a tv on it

32,500 Mile One Way First Class QATAR AIRWAYS Doha To Bangkok Using GOL Smiles Miles….

Qatar Airways first class is always regarded among the most elite and luxurious in the world and what better use of a stopover in the Gulf than to hop on a first class flight to South East Asia. The ability to use just 32,500 GOL miles for over six hours of first class suite treatment was a royal way to use miles. You could create Smiles by flying airlines like Delta and crediting to the Smiles program or transferring Hilton points into Smiles. Additionally, as a method of generating revenue, the airline regularly sold their miles at temptingly low prices, allowing you to buy enough miles for just $500. Pretty cheap for that kinda ticket. Get on it while you can.

Expiration Date: Inevitable. Availability decreasing every day.

a seat in an airplane

110,000 Mile Business Class Round Trip US to Asia on Cathay Pacific 135,000 For First Using AMerican Airlines Miles…

There’s no way to sugar coat 16 hours on an airplane, unless of course you are flying with Cathay Pacific in first class. In that instance, you may want to sugar coat having to leave the plane. Blame it on the Krug or the caviar but this is one incredible way to travel. Considering you can get 50,000 miles just from an American Airlines credit card, or by crediting your flying with British Airways or other OneWorld partners to American, you can get ripe with American miles very quickly. Hopefully in time to snag one of these $10,000 tickets for pocket change.

Expiration Date: None Yet. Expect LATE 2016.

a row of seats in an airplane

10,000 Miles For International Business Class Upgrades On British Airways…

If there was ever one single reason to fly a carrier, this was a great one. You could upgrade one class of service for only 10,000 miles on flights like US to Europe. Essentially, if you found a dirt cheap Premium Economy ticket, you could immediately use 10,000 British Airways miles (Avios) from flying, American Express or Chase to upgrade to business class with flat beds. This was a magical trick for those who regularly cross the pond to seriously upgrade their travel at minimal expense.

Expiration Date: EXPIRED

a person lying in a bed

40,000 Miles Etihad First Class Apartment London to Abu Dhabi Using American Airlines Miles…

It’s not a first class seat, it’s not a bed, it’s an apartment on an airplane with a seat, a bed, and service that would make even a king smile. For 40,000 American Airlines miles, less than their US credit card offers as a sign up bonus, you can book it. This is too much value to last and is expected to come tumbling down in 2016. Get it while it’s hot. American recently held a sale where you could spent $885 USD to score 40,000 miles, just enough to book this dream suite so even if you have none presently, look out for another sale. All the details on how to book it can be found here.

Expiration Date: None Yet. Expect LATE 2016.

a row of seats in an airplane

125,000 Mile International Business Class Using Delta Miles…

Delta has been a great way to cross the pond with minimal surcharges. You can use their miles to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class to London for just $5.60 and 62,500 miles. Pretty impressive. As the airline has moved to revenue based earning, where you earn miles for money spent rather than miles flown, they’ve began to drop details of the cost to use their miles, while simultaneously hinting that their miles will be used more like money, with a fixed terrible value. If you have Skymiles, I would be very happy to unload them before June, 2016 on a nice international business class ticket. 

Expiration Date: June 2016. 

Here’s one thing I can promise you, no one is going to require less miles than they already do going forward. If they do, I will so happily eat my words. Put your miles where your money should go and get yourself an incredible trip deserving of the loyalty and spending you’ve achieved. 

As Always, Get In Touch:

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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