Earlier I wrote a few ideas how you make your final destination a stopover to save miles (here). What? What does that mean? It’s actually pretty simple. A stopover is when you make a layover more than 24 hours. As long as it is en-route (relatively speaking), many airlines allow one stopover. However, in my first post on Breaking Award Charts I talk about ways you can route your ticket to save miles. This time I’d like to explain a little more.
Here’s what I mean:
- A ticket from North America to the Middle East with United is 80,000 miles round trip in economy.
- A ticket from North America to Southeast Asia on United is 65,000 miles round trip in economy.
Obviously, the ticket to Southeast Asia is cheaper because it is closer. However, a little known fact is that you can take the long way to Asia – via Europe. What most people don’t know is that you can make a stopover in the Middle East or Subcontinental India instead of Europe and it will be priced the same as a ticket to Asia.
How and why?
The how is the same as you would book any stopover. Here I talk about how you can book stopovers with United using the multi-destination tool. If you understand the concept, you should be able to route it online. With US Airways, you have to call.
The odd thing is how easy it is. It doesn’t matter if you go the long ways both times or if the stopover is first or second… it prices the cheaper option.
Why? The practical reason and the fun reason. The practical reason is that many people need/want to travel to India or the Middle East. Perhaps you are just frugal with your miles or you simply don’t have enough to get the Middle East otherwise (if you only had 65k instead of the regular 80k). If you’re going to the Middle East and you route through Southeast Asia for more than 24 hours, you will save 15,000 miles. It doesn’t matter where you spend more time.
So the practical reason is; if you’re going to The Middle East, you might as well stop by Asia for a day and save some miles. The fun reason is; if you’re going to Asia, wouldn’t it be fun to go see the Middle East (or India) too?
In the original post I give more route examples of how to break an award chart.