Dubai: There’s a practical reason to save miles for traveling first or business class: you often get more value per mile than on economy class travel.
But the real reason you would earn miles on your first international business class trip isn’t that practical. It’s often whimsical – indulge in a little extravagance without having to worry about burning a hole in your purse.
But is the first class inaccessible to the average person? Not if you use your points correctly, travel experts reveal. There are several ways you can use your miles and points to get that initial seat.
Expert Tip # 1: Use Miles to Buy a First Class Ticket from the Airline
Using your miles to reserve Business Class or First Class seats can be a great deal. For example, many airlines only charge twice as many miles for a Business Class award as they do for an Economy class seat – sometimes even less. That’s a good deal, considering that Business Class seats often cost three to four times as much as Economy Class seats if you pay in cash.
The cost in miles of first-class seats ranges from just 14,500 for a short one-way domestic flight to 280,000 miles for traveling in one of the world’s best luxury suites from New York to Sydney, which is part of the world to another.
However, these numbers cannot be compared, as some airlines’ miles are more valuable than others, but the point is, you need quite a few miles to sleep in a first class bed in the sky.
You reserve premium class seats the same way you would reserve economy class seats using miles. On the website’s search page, look for a checkbox labeled “Use miles” or something similar. Some airlines require you to log in prior to the option to view prices in miles.
If you have almost but not enough miles to book your first class trip, some airlines allow you to pay with a combination of miles and cash. Others offer you the option of purchasing miles.
If you plan to purchase miles, be sure to compare the final ticket price with the miles purchased at the cost of purchasing the ticket outright. This is how many travelers find deals, experts say.
Expert Tip # 2: Use Miles to Go from Economy Class to First Class
However, experts also warn that while it’s possible to upgrade your ticket with miles, it’s rarely a good idea. Many airlines require you to purchase a higher fare in order to upgrade with miles.
Plus, the number of miles billed for these upgrades is often high, sometimes almost as much as you would pay for a full award ticket. On top of that, airlines sometimes require a cash copayment when upgrading with miles.
Also note that if you’ve used miles to book an economy class ticket, you probably won’t be able to upgrade that ticket to a premium cabin. (There are a few exceptions for members with Elite status.) But if you bought the ticket in cash or used credit card points to purchase it through an online portal, you can probably still save it. at the level.
If you still want to take this route, the first thing you need to do to verify upgrade eligibility is find out the fare class of your ticket.
For example, some airlines allow mile upgrades to full-fare economy class tickets in a certain fare class, or discounted economy tickets purchased in a number of other fare classes. Look for one when purchasing your ticket or on your electronic receipt afterwards. If you can’t find it, you can call the airline and ask.
Here is an example on how to calculate and analyze. Let’s say that for a particular domestic flight, it costs 15,000 miles to go from a discounted economy fare to business class, or 15,000 miles to go from a discounted business fare to the first (both-way). simple).
If you are traveling to Europe or South America, these upgrades will cost you 25,000 miles each way. The airline also charges a fee of 280 Dh to 1200 Dh for upgrades, and it warns that you may owe more taxes or fees on top of that.
Again, these mileage fees and requirements are so high that you might be better off paying for a premium seat with miles or dirhams.
Also, having the miles in your pocket does not guarantee that you will get an upgrade. You will have to ask the airline for it. If there are seats available for an upgrade, the agent can upgrade you immediately.
Otherwise, they’ll put you on a waiting list with other people who have requested upgrades. If you don’t have a status, you’re at the back of the pack. If you don’t hear from the airline before you leave for the airport, you’ll be on the upgrade waiting list.
Expert tip # 3: Use your points to buy a first class ticket through a portal
Several banks or credit card issuers have travel portals, where you can spend credit card points to purchase flights, including first class flights. The same banks usually have airline partners that you can transfer your points to.
It is therefore a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of using credit card points on the travel portal versus transferring the points to an airline.
You could get more value per point by transferring to an airline. However, there are advantages to booking through the credit card portal as well. The airline generally considers flights purchased in this manner to be chargeable flights and not as award flights.
This means that you will likely earn loyalty miles for the flight, and you may be able to use miles to upgrade the flight as described above.
Another advantage is that airlines can offer a limited number of seats as award seats on a given flight and have blackout dates, but buyers using a travel portal should not face these limitations. .
The number of points it will cost to purchase the flight in this manner usually matches the cost of the flight.
How can I get so many points?
To dream of accumulating 280,000 miles for a one-way trip in a suite with turndown service may seem like a wonder. But subject matter experts also reiterate that it’s not as out of reach as it sounds, even for people who don’t constantly steal.
Not all programs allow you to transfer points from person to person, so read the fine print before attempting a hat trick like this.
There are premium credit cards that reward new registrations with up to 100,000 miles or points after spending a certain amount of money.
If you opt for a card for the airline of your choice, or a partner card for the airline of your choice, and you devote all your expenses to it, it is not inconceivable that you could accumulate several hundred thousand dollars. miles in a year or two.