I’ve touched on this topic briefly in the past but it seems like most people get bored or feel like it might be too complicated.
This past weekend, I was a man on a mission. I had just finished the minimum spend requirement for my Alaska Visa a coupe weeks ago and was anxiously waiting for the 30,000 miles to post to my account. That would put me over the 70,000 miles needed to book a business class ticket from Johannesburg to Hong Kong AND and a first class ticket from Hong Kong to the US.
I had been searching for availability all week on the British Airways and Qantas websites for any sort of availability for Cathay Pacific. I found a date that worked along with a availability (Cathay Pacific releases 1 first class award seat early) that would get back back to LA. Unfortunately, I didn’t know exactly when my miles would post to my account and if that flight would still be available once the miles did.
After obsessively checking my account, the miles FINALLY posted around 6:30pm Sunday. However, as feared, the flight I had been eyeing was no longer available. I then checked to see if there was any availability around those dates to anywhere in the US since Cathay Pacific flies to a few different cities in the US. To my surprise, I found 2 seats available to JFK on the exact dates I needed. I called Alaska (since Cathay award flights can’t be booked online) and about 10 minutes later, I was all booked.
I say this as some hopeful inspiration to those who might think airline miles may not be worth the time or the effort. If you enjoy travelling in any form and would like to travel above your means, I really think you should think about it. The HKG to JFK leg of my trip alone costs over $17,000. I paid $122 for taxes and fees a long with 70,000 miles. And this doesn’t include the JNB to HKG leg in business class. If that isn’t cause for celebration, I don’t know what is.
This also reaffirmed my belief that Alaska is the best loyalty airline program.