Tag Archives | us airways

I Only Fly Business Class

That title might seem like an especially snobby statement, but allow me a minute to explain…

I travel from Buenos Aires to the United States at least three times a year. Two of those trips are typically for my own business and one of those trips is a family trip. Each flight is at least 14+ hours with connections. It’s a long way to go – especially in coach – so, I only travel business class. And no, I don’t have a corporate expense account or a wealthy aunt that left me a huge inheritance.

I travel business and I pay the same price as coach. And you can too.

Once again, this is all possible through playing the miles and points game – credit card sign up bonuses, spending promotions, shopping portals, special offers, etc. Over the last few years I have racked up millions of miles by doing things that I would normally do anyhow. I then use those miles to get luxury travel at the same cost I would have paid for standard fares.

US Airways Share Miles BonusI’ve written a number of times on this blog about points and miles deals that you can take advantage of, and one of the best deals for obtaining miles has just become available again. The US Airways Share Miles Bonus is back and allows you to share miles with someone and get up to a 100% bonus.

The best deal is to transfer 50,000 miles to someone for $567.50. This would get them a bonus of 50,000 miles – effectively “buying” those extra 50,000 miles for 1.1 cents per mile. This is a great deal! You could then use these miles to fly on American Airlines from Buenos Aires to the United States for 20,000 to 30,000 miles one way in coach or 50,000 miles one way in business. Who wouldn’t pay that price for a coach ticket?

There are a few restrictions – accounts must be open for at least 12 days, each person can only receive one transfer bonus, and the deal ends April 13, 2014. You’ll also need a base amount of miles to do the transfer or know someone who has them and is willing to transfer them back and forth with you.

My family has four US Airways accounts and we plan to do transfer between each account: Person A -> Person B -> Person C -> Person D -> Person A. This will net us an additional 200,000 US Airways miles for a total cost of $2270. This is a big upfront cost, but will help us to meet minimum spending on one credit card and when you look at it as 2 business class tickets for $1135 each, you can see that’s a great deal and less than a coach ticket would cost.

So, are you going to take part?

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Fly To Buenos Aires for Only $706 – US Airways Share Miles Promotion

I’ve written a few times about US Airways’ “buy miles” promotions which are offered several times a year and are a fairly decent way to get cheap business class fares to Buenos Aires. Through those offers you can buy 100,000 US Airways miles for U$S 1881, or about 1.9 cents each. Now that’s a pretty good deal, but this new promotion is even better…

US Airways Share Miles PromotionUS Airways is offering a 100% bonus on “shared miles until October 15, 2013. That means that when you transfer miles to someone else’s account, they’ll end up with double the amount that you transferred. Send 10,000, get 20,000. Send 20,000, get 40,000. And so on.

The maximum amount of miles you can send is 50,000. This would cost you $567.50 and give the person you sent miles to 100,000 in their account. This works out to buying 50,000 miles at 1.13 cents each. That’s an incredible deal!

60,000 miles is  enough to get you a round trip coach airfare from Buenos Aires to the States (or vice-versa).As US Airways does not fly to Argentina, you’ll have to use those miles on a Star Alliance partner like United or Copa. Since you have to pay the phone booking fee of $50 for this award, your total cost would work out to $706.00. That’s a pretty substantial savings from normal coach fares which are $1200+. If you transfer the 50,000 miles from one account to the other and then back again, you’ve just got an extra 100,000 miles – enough for a business class ticket to Buenos Aires for only $1185 ($567.50 1st transfer + $567.50 2nd transfer + $50 phone booking fee). Now, that’s an awesome price for a business class ticket!

To take part in this promotion you’ll need to have an account that been open at least 12 days and you’ll also need the initial US Airways miles in your account (or a friend’s or family member’s) to share. If you do not have US Airways miles, you can transfer 40,000 Starwood points to the US Airways program and get a total of 50,000 US Airways miles.

I have already done this three ways: from me to my wife, from my wife to my daughter, and then from my daughter back to me. That means that as a family we’re now up 150,000 miles for only $1702.50. The points posted instantly.

I’m also hopeful that the US Airways and American Airlines merger goes through. If that happens, it would mean that these miles will convert to American Airlines miles down the road. I find American Airlines miles to be much more valuable and their off-season pricing to South America starts at only 20,000 miles one way!

 

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Fly Business Class To Or From Buenos Aires for $1881

US Airways Bonus MilesUS Airways is once again offering a 100% bonus on purchased miles. With this promotion, you can buy 50,000 US Airways miles for $1881 and get an additional 50,000 free. That’s enough for a low mileage business class ticket to or from Buenos Aires (and many other places as well).

Business class seats routinely sell for upwards of $3800 each, so this is a great value. Plus, if you look at the normal cost of a coach ticket (around $1400) and add in the excess baggage fees, you’ll find that you’re probably already close to the cost of flying business and getting the additional luggage allowances as well.

Now, US Airways does not have a lot of flights to Buenos Aires, but since they’re part of Star Alliance, you’ll find that their partners do have a good amount of award space. Simply search for low mileage award space at United.com, find the flights you want, call up US Airways and book the ticket on a partner airline like United or Copa. You can read this guide for the exact steps involved, or follow this one for a brief primer on how to search for award space. Note that they do have a $50 phone booking fee for international flights that cannot be avoided.

This offer expires on August 31, 2013, and you must have been a Dividend Miles member for 12 days in order to purchase miles, so you’d better create an account right away if you do not have one. It also helps to have a flexible schedule in order to find the lowest mileage days.

If you do not have any upcoming trips planned, this may be a good way to bulk up your American Airlines miles as well. The US Airways and American Airlines merger is schedule to be completed at the end of this year and all these US Airways miles should convert to American miles at that time. This is a bit speculative but could be very worthwhile as American has some great off-season mileage deals to Argentina.

I’ll be taking advantage of this promotion and helping to meet the minimum spending requirements on my recent credit card app-o-rama too. Go buy your miles now!

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Airfare Deals to Buenos Aires

We’re always on the lookout for good airfare deals to Buenos Aires being that normal coach fares are now over $1400. So when we came across two recent deals, we knew we had to share them.

First, LAN is having their “the big deal” mid-year sale with fares to most South American countries on sale. Coach tickets to Buenos Aires are going for only $899 during this promotion. You must book by June 18, 2012, for travel from September 1, 2012 – November 30, 2012. While these restrictions might not work for everyone, this is certainly a good deal on a coach seat.

US Airways is also back with their 100% bonus on purchased miles. We wrote about this deal last year, and while they raised the price on their purchased miles, this can still be a great deal, especially when flying business.

If you buy 30,000 miles for $1128, they’ll give you another 30,000 miles which is enough for a coach ticket to Buenos Aires. This is not a great deal, considering that you’d have to find low mileage dates in order to redeem this ticket. However, you can buy 50,000 miles for $1881 and they’ll give you another 50,000 miles. With 100,000 miles, you can get a business class ticket to Buenos Aires. These seats sell for upwards of $3800 each, so your value is much greater. Plus, if you look at the normal cost of a coach ticket (around $1400) and add in the baggage fees, you’ll find that you’re probably already close to the cost of flying business and getting additional luggage allowances.

Now, US Airways does not have a lot of flights to Buenos Aires, but since they’re part of Star Alliance, you’ll find that their partner United does have a good amount of award space. Simply search for low mileage award space at United.com, find the flights you want, call up US Airways and book the ticket on United. We just did this using the miles we purchased last year and it worked perfectly. (They do have a $50 phone booking fee for international flights that cannot be avoided.)

This offer expires on June 30, 2012, and you must have been a Dividend Miles member for 12 days in order to purchase miles, so you’d better create an account right away if you do not have one. It also helps to have a flexible schedule in order to find the lowest mileage days.

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