The biggest costs to any trip are usually airfare and hotels. So how in the world did I fly three 10+ hours flights, all in business class for under $100? Let me show you.
This is the first part in a series of Trip Reports where I’ll breakdown the costs associated with airfare and hotels and how I pay for a significant portion of it with miles and points, like I did recently to Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.
So how did I fly in glorious business/first class for under $100?
LAX – SYD: Virgin Australia Business Class – 80,000 Delta Miles + $37.10 tax
AKL – HKG: Cathay Pacific Business Class – 30,000 American Miles + $20.90 tax
HKG – JFK: Asiana Airlines Business Class – 80,000 United Miles + $41.60 tax
I’m sure you’ve read up on The Basics of Earning Miles and Points, so you’re well versed in travel hacking, right? Obviously, staying at hotels and flying will earn you hotel and airline miles, but for those of us who aren’t jetsetting 24/7 just for funzies, travel hacking works.
I used Delta Skymiles that I’ve earned by flying with them for years, as well as miles earned on my Platinum Delta America Express to book a Virgin Australia business class ticket. Virgin Australia is a partner of Delta and easily bookable online on Delta.com.
I used American miles that I earned simply by meeting the minimum spend with the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select card and AAdvantage Aviator card (formerly theThe US Airways Premier World MasterCard). Cathay Pacific is a OneWorld partner and was booked through American Airlines.
I used United miles that I earned through both my United MileagePlus Explorer card and my Chase Sapphire credit card to book on Asiana Airlines, which is a Star Alliance partner. You can easily transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to United miles and book from there.
As I mentioned previously, I utilized a great company to help me find my Cathay Pacific and Asiana Airlines flights. There was a $200 fee associated with it that I felt was well worth it, since I was flying around the holidays and Australia/New Zealand are notoriously hard award ticket routes. I could have booked all of these flights, meaning there wasn’t some special pricing I got by knowing a hidden website or password. I just didn’t know where to look and that’s where PointsPros helped me out. I highly recommend them and may post about my experience in the future.
Additionally, I also had to get to LAX, fly between SYD and AUK, as well as, you know, get home to FLL, so there were tickets that I paid for out of pocket that I will lay out for you in the final total of costs for a 2 week trip. Hint: All total, including hotels, was under $1500.
Do I have your attention now?
*maniacally raises eyebrows*
Still think travel is too expensive for you? Nah. With minimum effort and a lot of organization, you can easily travel in business class on three 10+ hour flights, for under $100.
Stay tuned to see how little I spent on hotels for this trip.