Getting Away On Miles: Last Minute Travel Options For Christmas Is Possible!

It’s Christmas Time and I’ve decided to get away! But I'm Going A long ways From Home!

Although everyone seems to say that Christmas Travel is the hardest time to use miles, I think I’ve proven everyone wrong this year. I haven’t posted anything about this trip because this is a surprise trip to visit a friend and I’ve had to keep it as Hush Hush as possible until now. But now that I’ve already boarded the plane and am on my way I will let you all know about what I was able to do with miles in late November and if you act quick there’s still options available for you! (Also in the coming days you'll get to read about some of my headaches and surprises when booking this trip that I've had to post date so this vacation wouldn't leak to those I'm going to surprise!)


My next three weeks

First off, over the next 3 weeks I will travel over 25,673 butt in seat miles. Crazy? Maybe, but I’m going to get to visit some of my favorite places and experience 3 new airlines that I’ve never flown before, and try out longhaul products on 2 airlines that I’ve flown domestically (intra-Malaysia & Intra-China trips), but never on long-haul Transpacific segments. To to this trip I used all Delta and United miles and i booked this trip in late November right after Thanksgiving.


120,000 Skymiles for Biz class on CZ & MH

My first award redemption: 120,000 Delta Miles & $500 in Taxes and fees. My routing: SAN-LAX on Skywest/Delta Connect (orange), LAX-CAN-MNL on China Southern where I’ll get to enjoy their new A380 LAX-CAN (Red), and then when I return I’ll fly the 5 star Malaysia Airlines and travel MNL-KUK-NRT-LAX (Green). Although the $500 in fees was steep when I priced this ticket, using ITA software, it was almost $9,000—which really meant $500 was a bargain! Furthermore, the Delta (old NWA) agent who got me this ticket was a doll, knew how to book CZ & MH flights and was able to secure this routing for me in less than 20 minutes! It was by far my fastest award booking ever on Delta! Then if that wasn’t enough, she allowed me to use a $400 VDB voucher (delta e-cert) towards the taxes, meaning I only paid $100 in taxes and fees!


35K United Miles per Person in Biz

Now that I’m in the Philippines, to surprise my friend who is studying over here, I decided we would take a little trip around Asia. Cashing in my United Award miles (IMO United Miles have the best value for Intra-Asia flights). For only 35,000 miles a person (70k total) and $45 each I got two award tickets for travel within SE Asia. The bonus is due to United’s liberal routing rules I was able to route us via North Asia without incurring additional Miles, even though North Asia to SE Asia costs additional miles! So we are flying MNL-ICN on Asiana (Red), will enjoy a day stop in Seoul (5am-9pm) then continue to Bangkok on Thai Airways (Orange). In Bangkok I used my one free stopover for a 48 hour stop in Bangkok where we will sightsee before continuing on to Phuket. After 11 days in the nearby Islands we fly to Singapore (HKT-BKK-SIN) on Thai Airways and get into Singapore at 2:50pm on the 31st! Again maximizing our layover, we are going to spend New Year’s Ever in Singapore and then continue back to Manila on the 1st on Singapore airlines (green), departing SIN at 2:20pm!

It’s going to be a fun few weeks with lots to see and do! Not to mention I’m stoked to fly all these airlines I’ve never been on! For booking all of these 30 days before the holiday season I feel as though I did pretty good for myself! Award tickets are out there, you just have to know where to look!

Happy Holidays!

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Lee December 15, 2012 at 02:54 pm

Nice itinerary. You have a good mix of airlines on your trip. Looking forward to your trip report. I am on a crazy trip right now to SE Asia and Europe. UA C EWR-IAH, SQ F IAH-DME-SIN, SQ C SIN-HKG, CX Y HKG-SGN, VN Y SGN-DLI-SGN-BKK, TG F BKK-NRT, LH F NRT-FRA, LH Y FRA-KBP-MAD, IB C MAD-MXP, CX F MXP-HKG, SQ C HKG-SIN-EWR

avidtraveler April 24, 2013 at 09:19 am

How were you able to add a stopover on an intra-region award ticket?

The stop over in ICN was only a LONG layover, as long as it's less than 24 hours united does not count it as a stop over, its just a connection. When booking online via I choose mutli-city intin and then I bookedMNL-BKK and chose the route that went via ICN, Leg 2 then BKK-HKT leg 3 HKT-MNL. As long as it's a round trip award a free stop over is allowed.

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