I’ve always been obsessed with “maximizing” my miles and points. For a typical award redemption, I want to fly as many segments and try as many products as possible, even though it hasn’t meant the best itineraries. In December, I racked up 40,000 BIS (butt-in-seat) miles over a span of two weeks. Most people (and I’d assume readers here) who love flying in premium classes would consider the trip was tremendously fun, but it’s likely they’d find a trip like this also exhausting as well. It’s a similar situation with hotel points and elite status. In my previous trips, I’ve always pushed for the best upgrade and benefits and dug for the best room rate whether with BRG’s, glitches, or sale rates.
Recently, I’ve been taking more trips closer to home. Two weeks ago, I spent 80,000 points for business class to Hawaii on Air Canada Premium Rouge and United Business Class. For the sake of comparison, the cheapest business/first class tickets for my dates were going at $1700, while economy tickets were going at around $700-800. Aeroplan’s egregious carrier/fuel surcharges taxes were around $200, and I would have earned roughly 6,000 redeemable miles on those tickets, since I don’t have airline elite status. I’d place business class to be around $1100, since it isn’t that difficult to find some United RPU’s (Regional Premier Upgrades) from a friend to apply on a paid ticket on United.
While valuing the redemption is for another post, my miles were valued at around 1.1 cents for this redemption, which is far lower than the two cent value (if not more) Aeroplan miles get for international premium class redemptions. In this case, it’s moot, because if I didn’t have miles, I wouldn’t be able to go to Hawaii in any case, since I don’t have $800 lying around ready to throw on a weekend trip to Hawaii.
Last weekend, I took another weekend trip to Sacramento and San Francisco to visit friends. I flew there with 9,000 Avios, on Alaska Economy Class, and back on United on a CRJ as part of the itinerary on one of my Aeroplan reduced fare tickets. Again, it wasn’t a “glamorous” trip with Park Hyatt Suites, and international first class, but I enjoyed my vacation just as much as most of my other trips. I started with the miles and points game roughly three years ago, when I was 16 at the time. For the past few years, chasing the deal has always been my passion. The thrill of being able to pay less than others for travel products is undeniable.
This weekend I’m supposed to be flying Asiana and ANA First Class from one of my US Dividend miles tickets, booked 11 months ago when US Airways was still part of Star Alliance. Normally, I think I’d be excited for this trip, but I’m not. I’ve already flown both of those carriers within the last 15 months, and have 2x Asiana First Class segments booked in the next 6 months. I also had 2x ANA First Class segments booked, but decided to cancel that. Is this typical in the lifecycle of a mileage junkie?