There are a few really sweet routes that don’t make sense. Like Flying Blue pricing flights to Israel as Europe tickets. And there are a few odd region definition exceptions, like Guam being “Asia 2″ on the AA award chart. This post is about me trying to think of a list of these odd exceptions and how we can maximize on them.
Then for fun I tried to put together all the incredible prices into one incredible ticket that stops in 11 cities around the world for 140,000 miles. And there’s more fun to be had.
AA Miles: Guam, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka both = Asia 2
This article idea started when reviewing the destinations in each zone for AA miles. For whatever reason it struck me odd that Guam was “Asia 2″. Then I noticed that Sri Lanka was too. Even just Hong Kong to Sri Lanka is a decently long flight for 15k miles.
So how many more odd (in a good way) routes are there?
AA Miles: AA’s off-peak applies to the Caribbean
Technically on the partner award chart, it shows prices from “North America”, which happens to include the Caribbean and Mexico. Off-peak to Hawaii, Europe, or Japan can originate or end in the Caribbean. So Jamaica to Turkey would cost you 20,000 miles from Oct 15 to May 15.
AA Miles: Egypt = Middle East + Japan to Middle East is 22.5k/30k
I’ve mentioned this route before because it’s a long route for 30,000 miles in business class. Basically India and Egypt are in one region. So when looking to go from Asia to India, it’s a bad deal, but when looking to go from Asia to Egypt, it’s a great deal.
AA Miles: Canary Islands = Europe
Canary Islands are a part of Spain, but really they are off the west coast of Africa. What’s cool about them being a part of “Europe” in AA’s award chart is that you can go from the Canary Islands to Istanbul for 10,000 miles. That’s a long flight. Or you could do Jamaica to Canary Islands for 20,000 miles in off-peak.
Flying Blue Miles: Promo Awards can be half-off
Flying Blue gives tickets for 25% to 50% off some months, making you want to redeem on Air France/KLM. However, their prices are already great to Europe at 50,000 miles. 50% is 25,000 miles roundtrip! Insane.
Read more: Best Use of Flying Blue Miles
Flying Blue Miles: “Europe” includes Israel, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and the Canary Islands
That’s crazy. One, that means you can go from the Canary Islands to Israel for 15,000 miles, which is insane. And it also means during promo awards you can go to Israel for 12,500 miles.
Lufthansa Miles: Hawaii to “Australia/New Zealand/Oceania” = 20,000 miles
The problem is that Lufthansa charges 50k each way when you transit through a third region. So you have to always stay within the Oceania region to get this price, which includes:
Australia (incl. Tasmania), Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, Mariana Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Islands, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tahiti (incl. French Polynesia), Tonga
That basically leaves you with routing through Guam on United (which can still get you to Cairns, Australia), or Air New Zealand if the stars align. This could be crazy if you did United’s island hopper route that stops on multiple islands in the pacific/micronesia. Plus you could use a stopover.
Either way, Hawaii to Palau for 20,000 miles is a great deal. Plus, it’s 20,000 miles to Hawaii from the US with Lufthansa.
Read more: Lufthansa Trans-Pacific Hopper
United Miles: Stopovers to save miles
This a concept I came up with and it ended up being one of my most popular posts when I fist posted it. But United has a funny thing where they arbitrarily pick a price when two different priced zones are combined with a stopover.
For example US to Oceania is 70,000 miles, and US to Australia is 80,000 miles. So if you stop in Fiji on the way to Australia, what’s the price? The answer is 70,000 miles. Thus, if you want to save miles on a trip to Sydney, stop in Fiji! Who’d a thought?
But it gets crazier. Want to know how to save miles on a trip to Africa (from 80k miles)? Crazy answer: Stopover in Japan, making the price 70k miles.
Read more (of the best post ever): United Stopovers Secrets
United Miles: Japan to “Oceania” for 12,5000 miles
This is a crazy route and a crazy price. Maybe it’s worth paying 30,000 miles though if you plan to go all the way to Tahiti or something via New Zealand. Trust me, I’ve done this route and it’s a lot of flying.
But this is an incredible “Hopper” ticket if you can stopover in New Zealand by making it a roundtrip. Imagine that. Japan, New Zealand, Fiji, and back for 25k. That’s a mild version of what we did except we got off the plane on the route back to get an extra stop in.
Read more: 4 Variations of the Pacific Hopper
United Miles: Caribbean and Central America to South America for 10,000 miles
This is the deal of the century that no one else seems to get. Get a cheap flight down to Mexico or the Caribbean on Southwest or something, and then hop down to Peru and back for 20,000 miles roundtrip with a stopover.
I say you do Puerto Rico – Panama (stopover) – Peru (destination) – Mexico (open-jaw/final destination) for 20,000 miles plus the Southwest tickets back, which can’t be a lot with the Southwest Companion Pass. You’ll spend less than a normal ticket to Peru.
Read more: The Latin Hopper with United Miles
British Airways Avios: Flights that are close to 3,000 miles but not more
The deal of the century is any British Airways flight that is 2,999 miles. It’s usually a mid to long haul distance but it only costs 12,500 BA Avios. For example, Boston to Dublin. That’s 25,000 miles for a roundtrip to Europe! Same with west coast USA to Hawaii.
2 Different Progrms that price the Caribbean at 12,500 miles
AA has lesser known “off-peak” pricing that allows you to go anywhere in the Caribbean for 12,500 miles each direction. Dates for Caribbean/Mexico off-peak are September 7 – November 14.
Flying Blue considers the US territories of Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands as domestic, and price it out as 12,500 miles.
Putting it all together into the bestest ticket ever
Let’s put together what we learned here, booking an around the world ticket for 140,000 miles!
- US to Canary Islands with Promo Awards = 12,500 Flying Blue Miles
- Avios to Madrid = 7,500 Avios
- Europe to Israel = 15,000 Flying Blue miles
- Israel to Japan = 22,500 AA miles
- Japan to Palau = 12,500 United Miles
- Palau to Hawaii = 20,000 Lufthansa miles
- Hawaii to Jamaica = 17,500 AA miles with off-peak
- United Latin Hopper: Jamaica – Panama – Peru – Puerto Rico = 20,000 United miles
- Puerto Rico to home = 12,500 AA (off-peak) or Flying Blue Miles
140,000 miles total!