Thanks to the ability to purchase miles, you do not have to be loaded in order to travel in style. A common misconception is that flying is the only way to earn frequent flyer miles. In fact you can simply purchase them online. I have covered briefly in my previous posts some of my favourite mileage currencies for redeeming cheap business class tickets Avianca Lifemiles and Alaska Mileage Plan.
Before moving on to United Mileage Plus program, I am hoping to respond to my friend Hann Lam’s request to include more redemption examples within America or between America & Asia. In relation to Lifemiles, continental US (Hawaii excluded) and Canada is considered within the same zone. So it does not matter whether your itinerary involves flying from Vancouver to Miami or simply a short flight within California, each redemption costs a standard rate of 12,500 miles for economy and 25,000 miles for business class. Hence it is a no-brainer as to which of the above redemption is more valued.
Assuming you are taking advantage of the current top tiered Lifemiles promotion of USD14.4 per 1000 miles, a trip from Vancouver to Miami will cost ~USD360 one-way on business class, well below the normal revenue tickets of more than USD700.
Sample itinerary #1 – Within North America
Sample itinerary #2: North Asia to North America
Lifemiles charges 75,000 miles for one-way business class, which is equivalent to ~USD1040* + taxes with the current offer. Again, this is a significant discount compared to revenue tickets and a reasonable price to pay as an upgrade from economy class. I was recently in Tokyo en route to New York. From Tokyo, I had the option to fly either with ANA over the Pacific Ocean or with Lufthansa via Europe. Both itineraries cost the same miles of 75,000. Naturally my avgeek tendencies kicked in – I chose the longer trip via Europe to maximise butt-in-seat miles, and also the fact that I have never flown with Lufthansa or on a 747-8 (a third-generation Boeing jumbo jet).
Would you fly with ANA or Lufthansa for your next trip to America using Lifemiles?