Award Travel Posts

Using United Miles to Visit Turkey and China

Hello UPGRD readers! 

My name is James Dozer and I'm excited to be one of the new bloggers for UPGRD.  To help celebrate my addition to the UPGRD team, my first few posts will be dedicated to my recent trip to Turkey ...


US Airways + TAM Join oneworld Alliance


As Star Alliance shrinks, oneworld grows. Effective today, both US Airways and TAM transition from Star Alliance to oneworld, adding a more robust route network across the U.S., South America, and Europe for oneworld ...

Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class from Houston to Istanbul

Turkish 777

The first leg that I will review from my winter trip to Europe is the flight from Houston to Istanbul in Business Class on the Turkish Airlines 777.  The eastbound flight is typically about 11 hours, which is an ideal length for my preferences; with enough time to enjoy a meal, work or watch ...


Top 10 Airline Award Redemptions for March 2014

Award chart devaluations continue, there are still a number of superb deals available. Here are my top ten award travel bright spots for March 2014. Nothing has changed from last month except the removal of United Airlines Asian redemptions and the addition of Singapore Airlines Suites Class ...


United Releases Award Space on New Los Angeles - Melbourne Route!


United formally announced new service between Los Angeles and Melbourne yesterday. The route will operate 6x weekly, utilize a Boeing 787-9, and be operated by ex-Continental crews. On Wednesday, I noted--

United has indicated that the flight will be loaded into the system tomorrow, so ...

Old United MileagePlus Award Chart Extended Through 02 February 2014!

Just got off the phone with United, where an agent read a memo stating that to "ensure a seamless customer experience" the old award chart will remain in effect through 02 February 2014. All travel booked on or after 03 February will incur the new massively devalued rates. 

My guess ...


Brussels Airlines Business Class from Dulles to Brussels - Star to Spain


Our vacation to Europe was nearly derailed before we even left the US.  Yet again United's operational difficulties caused a lot of stress.  We sat on board at O'Hare ready for an on time departure but there were various issues that ultimately lead to a delay of over an ...


Reminder: New Aeroplan Award Chart Takes Effect on 01/01/14


Aeroplan is updating its award chart on January 01, 2014 and the changes are both good and bad.

The Good: One-way awards at half the round-trip cost

Right now Aeroplan charges 67% of the r/t price for a one-way award. Starting on 01/01, that rate will drop to 50%. That means a ...

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Singapore Airlines First Class to Seoul SQ15 - Singapore Award


The final legs of my trip to the Maldives and in Singapore First Class would take us back to the US from Singapore with a stop in Seoul.  


We had already flown this route in the reverse direction on the outbound journey to Singapore.  Like most eastbound ...

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United: US Airways Award Flights Bookable through March 30, 2014

United Airlines released an update concerning its future relationship with US Airways--

As you've undoubtedly seen, American Airlines and US Airways closed their merger today. While our partnership with US Airways will be ending on March 30, 2014, it's still "business as usual" ...


Simplicity: The Key to a Smooth US Airways Award Booking


US Airways mileage awards are perhaps the most enigmatic because there is seemingly no rhyme or reason to what is permitted and what is not. I laid out some general guidelines about booking US Airways awards, but six phone calls will result in six different interpretations of the rules. Still, I ...


Leaked US Airways Memo: Agents Forbidden to Manually Request Award Space

US Airways apparently did not appreciate my story on how to book blocked Lufthansa award space, because a new memo has been issued that explicitly instructs Dividend Miles agents not to manually request award space on any flight.

It was only in late September when US Airways told me ...


Delta Skymiles Logic: A Devaluation Before the Devaluation


You have to wonder what is going through the minds of the decision makers at Delta Air Lines when they announce a devaluation of their Skymiles award chart effecting all travel on or after 01 June 2014 then decide that was not enough and today implement an interim devaluation effective for travel ...

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Clarification from United Airlines on Award Chart Changes

United has addressed some initial confusion stemming from its announcement yesterday that on 01 February 2014 the award chart chart will be massacred.

1. United claims the cost of premium seats on partner carriers is "out of sync" with what current mileage levels.

Frankly, the ...


Why the US Airways Dividend Miles MasterCard is Still Worthwhile


I remain deeply unsatisfied with the indifference US Airways has shown to booking Lufthansa award space I wrote about last week, but US Airways miles remain highly valuable, particularly when compared to partner Star Alliance carriers. For that reason, I still recommend picking up the US ...