When I started collecting miles and points, I had no idea that there were so many interesting ways to get flights in business class or higher or accumulate points and it’s taken awhile to get up to speed, but recent events have highlighted some of the more novel promotions that occasionally come up, and illustrate the value of paying attention (and having a flexible schedule to travel, of course). Here’s the story:
The first one came up about two months ago, when Iberia unveiled an almost unbelievable promotion involving getting 9k Iberia Avios for each flight purchased (but not necessarily flown!). It’s this last bit that set the points’n miles blogosphere on fire, since you could buy some cheap inter-Spain flights for $19-$38 or so, and max out the promo at 90,000 Avios (with some restrictions). With Iberia assuring us (see what I did there?) that we didn’t need to actually fly the flights booked, I took a bit of a chance and scooped up my
90k Avios. Well, last week I booked a MEX-MAD roundtrip in Iberia Business class for next October…total $335.00+$260.00 in taxes/fees. Around $600
for roundtrip biz class to Europe is a pretty damn good win in my book. I mean, it’s Iberia, not Air France, but it’s a lie-flat seat across the pond, and I’ll be exploring Portugal as a potential landing spot. I gotta wonder what some dim bulb over at Iberia was thinking, since this is completely crazy. What’s going to happen to all those unoccupied seats, I wonder?
The second promo was supposed to last for five hours, but ended early, I
assume after an amazing response. Here it involved booking hotel rooms through Avianca’s LifeMiles for 5X Lifemiles, which is run by Rocketmiles, a site I previously had no experience with, although you can be damn sure I’ll be paying attention to it in the future. (Here, I have to also confess that I haven’t really given to LifeMiles either until recently, when they had a simultaneous
sale on buying miles and redeeming them on some Asia destinations and I took advantage of that to book a cheap trip to Asia on Asiana F from LAX next summer). This just so happened to be on the eve of my Japan trip, and I was needing to book a couple of nights, so I jumped on the LifeMiles Hotels website and found some pretty amazing redemptions, like 45k miles for a $600 hotel room for two nights. Upshot was I spent about $1400 for five nights in Japanese hotels and collected 105k LifeMiles for that. Even factoring
in that these weren’t my choice of places to stay, and some were a bit overpriced on the website compared to say, hotels.com, it’s still pretty nuts to think I essentially bought 105k LifeMiles at a cheap price and got 5 nights in hotel rooms for free. (LifeMiles regularly go on sale, and you can sometimes get them as cheap as 1.3 cents per mile but not cheaper). Anyway, since I just booked my Asia trip with 144k LifeMiles roundtrip in Asiana F, I’m happy with this result. I’m sure these miles will take me somewhere fun…