Miles

8000 Avios Points for Economist Subscription

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https://subscriptions.economist.com/GLB/partners/IberiaPlus/dbl/ 

You can earn 8,000 Avios in Iberia Plus if you take out a 1-year digital and print subscription to The Economist.  Its runs $160 for a print & digital subscription. Alternatively, you can earn 6,000 Avios with a $130 print-only or digital-only subscription.

You need to have an Iberia Plus account (sign up here: http://www.iberia.com/iberiaplus_en/). Once the Avios points arrive, you can convert them to British Airways or avios.com via the ‘Combine my Avios’ function online.

Tip: If you just want to maximize miles then wait for the points to post (4-6 weeks) then cancel your subscription and receive a pro-rated refund. According to: http://www.economist.com/help/manageprintsubscription#cancelsub – “To cancel your subscription, please contact your local print service centre. You may cancel at any time, and the remaining part of your subscription will be refunded.”

Economist Subscription Options

Economist Subscription Options

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Earn Miles for Online Search – Bing Rewards

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Its not a lot of miles, but if you are going to do online searches anyways its a good way to keep your accounts alive if you are no longer actively using them.

Participating programs: American Airlines AAdvantage®, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns®, Hawaiian Airlines® HawaiianMiles®, Icelandair Saga Club, IHG® Rewards Club, LifeMiles, My BestBuy™ Rewards, SVM FuelCircle, US Airways® Dividend Miles® and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.

I am personally excited that I can keep my few Hawaiian miles alive from the one flight I took years and years ago. Also a good thing if you just need a few more miles to get to an award. Bing also has promotions to earn 10-20 points on some searches.

Amazing Deal – US Airways Share Miles 100% Bonus!

US Airways has recently been acquired by American Airlines, but they are going to continue to run separate mileage programs for the immediate future. This is good news as US Airways has some awesome mileage promotions such as: buy 100,000 miles for $1500 or share 50,000 for $500 and give additional 50,000 for free for a total of 100,000 miles (plus taxes and fees). These come and go, but do not expect them to last under American Airlines once they combine programs.

For the next 7 days US Airways has a share promotion going on:

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US Airways Share Miles Bonus Deal

Basically you can get up to a 100% bonus on sharing miles. So if you give 50,000 miles to someone they will get an additional 50,000 miles. This means you are able to give a total of 100,000 miles for $500 (plus taxes and fees of around $67 USD total). Now this does require you to have at least 50,000 miles in your account to take advantage of the best transfer level, but if you and your friend / wife / husband each have enough miles and share with each other you will each be able to net 50,000 miles for only $500 (plus taxes and fees).

Is this a good deal? 

YES! You are basically buying miles for 1.1 cents a piece. Very cheap considering that most airlines sell them for around 3-4 cents each. Also US Airways has one of the best mileage redemption charts around. They will very likely change over to American’s award chart after the integration is complete so take advantage of this while it lasts. Take a look at the chart below to see how good using miles on US Airways and their OneWorld partners can be.

Sweet Spots:

US & Canada to North Asia roundtrip for only 90,000 miles in business class!  (North Asia includes China, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Mongolia, South Korea, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan). These fares often run $5,000-8,000 so its a steal.

– US & Canada to Africa roundtrip for only 110,000 miles in business class! These are usually $8,000-10,000 so a really good deal for very long flights.

– US & Canada to South Pacific (Australia, New Zealand) roundtrip for only 130,000 miles in business class! These fares can easily run $6,000-10,000 so this is a very good deal. For what is usually a 20 hour plus journey with one or two stops OR a 14 hour direct flight from SFO/LAX this is a good deal. You don’t want to be stuck in economy for a 14 hour direct flight.

US Airways Redemption Chart

 

 

Promotion Rules.

1. You must be a Dividend Miles member for at least 12 days, so sign up now if you are not and want to take advantage.
2. The 100% bonus goes to the person who receives the miles- not the one transferring them.
3. The maximum bonus per account is 50,000and receive is 100,000 (which includes the bonus miles).
4. For each Share there is a processing fee of $30 and a 7.5% tax recovery charge and GST/HST will be charged to Canadian residents.
5. Bonus amounts will be awarded upon completion of the transaction.

 

 

United Business Class Review: SFO – ICN

IMG_9374With United recent mile devaluation I was lucky to have booked a a business class trip right before the deadline. I ended up booking a trip from San Francisco (SFO) to Bangkok, Thailand (BKK) with a 3 hour stop over in Seoul, Korea (ICN). The first leg was on a United 747-400 and I got to sit in the upper deck (seat 13A), which is my favourite place to be since it feels more private than the business class seats on the bottom deck. The flight from Seoul to Bangkok was on Asiana Airlines business class, which I will review later on.

United Club Lounge

United boards from SFO’s fantastic international terminal, but their lounge is a total disaster. It is often crowded, bathrooms are dirty and the food and beverage selection very lacking (they make you pay for most of the good alcohol). Its only redeeming value is that its free with your business/first class ticket and its better than their domestic lounge (which is often worse than just sitting outside by your gate).

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United Club Service Desk

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United Club Bar – premium alcohol (almost all the good stuff) was extra $$$.

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United Club Lounge area: bananas (literally) best described how bad it was. Free coffee, tea and drinks made from powdered ingredients.

Boarding

Boarding was uneventful with the usual United order of Global Services, First Class, 1K, Business Class, Gold, Silver, then by economy boarding groups. Since so many people have United co-branded credit cards there are lots of people in Group 2 (right behind Business/gold) and United Silver will get you into Group 2 as well. At SFO there are two doors since the 747-400 is a large plane and I used the business class one.

Seats / Upper Deck

This is where I started getting excited. Walking up the 747 stairs reminds me of when I was a young child and having the United flight attendants escort me up to the cockpit so I could sit in the captains chair where they would let you try on the flight cap and then give you a model plane. Those days are long gone, but the memories will remain. Somehow the plane seemed much, much larger when I was young 🙂

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The queen of the skies.

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These stairs lead to a magic place.

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Business-First upper deck on the 747-400. Not a lot of above head bin room, but lots of room next to the seats.

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I had to put both of my carry-ons in the storage cubbies next to my seat, which was nice but made it hard to get the wheelie out.  The seats themselves are the newer Business-First seats that have fully 180 degree lie-flat configuration. They fold down to allow 6’4″ of sleeping space with a 20″ across section (that is most narrow around the shoulders strangely where you think you would need the most room). Seat seat has a 15″ IFE personal entertainment screen that had lots of the latest movies, in flight map, music and more. I usually end up watching lots of the movies to kill time but try to sleep on long flights.

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Lots of controls to play with if you like to adjust your seat. Had a air cushion for lumbar / massage, but it didn’t work very well. Overall the seats were 8/10 for business class seats, not as good as the newer pods on some european / asian carriers, but for a trip I booked for 120K miles I was not going to complain about being able to sleep on the 12+ hour flight.

To be continued in Part 2: Food and Drinks.