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45K Mile One-Way Biz Class to Tokyo & New Awards to Tahiti

NowBoarding, your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less:


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Full Transcript

NowBoarding, your daily travel news in 7 minutes or less. This is your host, Ed Pizza, bringing you the latest travel deals and travel news you need to know Monday through Friday. Tune in daily so you don’t miss any of the best deals!

Look for links to all of today’s stories in the show notes on whatever podcast platform you’re listening. And, please share the show with a friend!

We’ve got 6 stories to cover in today’s news, so let’s get started.

First up is one that won’t last long. Zach over at Monkey Miles found 45,000 mile one-way flights in business class on American Airlines. His initial report was that the flights had to originate in Dallas and connect through LAX. However, I also found the same deal for flights originating from my home airport of Washington-Dulles. As Zach points out, these flights are normally 60,000 miles one-way at the saver level when you can find them. You’re more likely to spend something like 100,000, though. 45,000 is a steal for business class for certain dates in January and February if you have some flexibility.

Sticking with American Airlines, their AAdvantage program is now offering premium economy options on Air Tahiti Nui. In my opinion, this is a pretty big deal for a couple of reasons. First, premium economy is a nice middle-of-the-road option for the long, but not terribly long, flight to Tahiti from Los Angeles. 65,000 miles is certainly more than the 40,000 required for economy but a decent amount less than the 80,000 miles required one-way in business class.

The second reason I really like this is for families. If you’re trying to score 4 comfortable seats to Tahiti, you can get there with 260,000 AAdvantage miles one-way in premium economy versus 320,000 in business class. That’s a pretty hefty difference for a family vacation.

Seems like a oneworld theme today, as British Airways is adding another US destinationthat should be useful for West Coast folks looking to score award flights to Europe. Portland, Oregon is the latest destination, which will be served 5 days a week on a 787. I love the 787 for long-haul flights. The humidification and lower altitude affects onboard make long-haul travel easier. New routes are also a great place to find award availability before demand heats up.

The flight to London leaves a touch on the early side at 6:45pm. That leaves a couple of hours to eat and relax before getting roughly 6 hours of sleep. That’s not too horrible, though I always prefer to walk onto a redeye at bedtime and go right to sleep. On the way back, it’s a 3:05pm departure which should allow a decent amount of connections from elsewhere in Europe. It lands at around 5pm in Portland, which also leaves time for onward connections.

British Airways does have some nasty surcharges on award tickets, especially when departing from London in a premium cabin (as you’ll tack on the UK departure fees as well). You can ticket through AA for lower fees, with business class weighing in at 57,500 miles one-way for a saver award when you can find it.

Marriott is discontinuing a trick that allowed some folks to earn elite status on the cheap. They used to allow you to book an event at a hotel to earn 10 elite night credits. This could be as simple as renting a meeting room at your local Fairfield Inn. However, word is that this trick is officially going away in 2020. Marriott status isn’t as valuable to me as SPG status was for many years. The elimination of this loophole also makes that status harder to achieve.

Doctor of Credit has an update on American Airlines’ new SimplyMiles program. This is a program similar to AmexOffers, where you get offers in your Mastercard account to earn bonus miles. It turns out that some folks are getting targeted offers to earn 5 bonus miles per dollar spent, which is a pretty solid deal. Check your e-mail to see if you’re targeted.

That’s a full wrap on today’s travel news. If you’ve got a piece of travel news that you think I should feature on NowBoarding, you can e-mail me at ed@pizzainmotion.com, or find me on social media, Twitter, Facebookand Instagram. And, you can find me blogging daily at pizzainmotion.com.

Lastly, I need your help, for just a minute. Reviews and ratings are a huge part of what helps us reach a larger audience. So take a minute and help us out, leaving us a review and a rating wherever you get your podcasts. And, please tell a friend. That’s your travel news in 7 minutes or less. I hope you’ll join us again on a future flight!

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