TPG Readers’ Most Impressive Award Flights for the Fewest Miles

Nov 4, 2018

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We recently asked our TPG Lounge readers to share the most impressive award flights they’ve been able to score for the fewest miles. Here’s a look at some of our favorite answers. (Some responses have been lightly edited for style and clarity).

Epic Flights to Europe

When it comes to flights between the US and Europe, our TPG Lounge readers knew where to find the best award redemptions to suit their travel needs.

“600,000 miles for 10 round-trip tickets to Europe in steerage (i.e. economy) from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to London-Heathrow (LHR) and London to Rome (FCO), with five people each way.” — Harrison S.

“30,000 United miles to fly from Bremen (BRE) to Munich (MUC) to Frankfurt (FRA) to San Jose (SJC) in economy on Lufthansa. Spent the whole day in Munich. Lufthansa was asking $3,800 for that leg.” — Jonathan K.

“34,000 to fly in business class from New York-JFK to Madrid (MAD) on Iberia. Possibly the best deal out there. Hope it lasts.” — Aaron R.

“24,000 SkyMiles to fly round-trip from Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to Munich thanks to a TPG flash sale post!” — Maggie B.L.B.

“25,000 Avios on Iberia to fly from Chicago to Madrid in business.” — Norman C.

“10,000 Delta Skymiles for Columbia, SC (CAE) to London (LHR), then Paris (CDG) to CAE. The Amex rep found it by chance when fixing a flight change for me.” — Crystal D.C.

“60,000 miles to fly from Anchorage (ANC) to Athens (ATH) round-trip on United.” — Summer L.

One TPG Lounge reader managed to cash in miles to fly from Anchorage to Athens. (Photo by sborisov / Getty Images).
One TPG reader cashed in enough United miles to fly from Anchorage to Athens. (Photo by sborisov / Getty Images).

Inspiring Trips to India and Asia

Some TPG Lounge members said they’d used their award redemptions for upgrades or upgraded experiences, like flying in first class on Emirates or using miles to fly in a QSuite.

“70,000 American AAdvantage miles plus $15.60 in taxes for a QSuite on Qatar Airways from Dallas-Fort Worth to Doha (DOH) to New Delhi (DEL).” — Raghav B.

“15,000 Skywards miles for a first-class upgrade on Emirates from Dubai to Mumbai. It’s only a 3.5-hour flight but the cheapest shower at 35,000 feet I know so it was well worth the points.” — Vishvas S.

“10,000 Asia Miles from Hong Kong to Singapore (SIN) in economy one-way. The cash price can cost much more.” — Johnny Z.G.

“170,000 American AAdvantage miles for three business class saver one-way tickets from Ontario (ONT) to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) for Sept 2019.” — Jim F.

One TPG Lounge member cashed in miles for tickets to Tokyo. (Photo by kitchakron / Getty Images)
One TPG Lounge member cashed in AAdvantage miles for tickets to Tokyo. (Photo by kitchakron / Getty Images)

Adventures in Mexico, South America and Australia

Whether it’s a great deal to Mexico brought to you by the Southwest Companion Pass or an award flight to Australia, there’s no stopping our intrepid TPG Lounge readers from taking the trip of a lifetime for free with points and miles.

“3,086 Southwest Rapid Rewards points from St. Louis to Cancun one-way, plus my husband flew for free because I had a Companion Pass. I got a lot out of Southwest points combined with the Companion Pass last year and this year. We’re heading to Jamaica in November that way, too. Not sure what I’m going to do without it next year.” — Sam L.

“Two round-trip tickets for 140,000 miles from San Francisco (SFO) to Lima (LIM) in business class on Copa Airlines.” — Frédéric C.B.

“8,000 United miles on a flight from Quito (UIO) to Bogota (BOG).” — Hamza E.

“57,000 SkyPesos to fly from Los Angeles (LAX) to Sydney (SYD) round-trip. Found it on TPG!” — Vivek V.

Sydney is a beautiful city to visit all year long. (Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Sydney)
Sydney is a beautiful city to visit all year long. (Photo courtesy of the Park Hyatt Sydney)

Domestic Deals Worth Bragging About

From free trips to Hawaii to incredible experiences like seeing the Northern Lights in Alaska, our TPG Lounge members definitely earned some major bragging rights with these domestic flight award redemptions.

“19,000 Delta SkyMiles from Phoenix (PHX) to Fairbanks (FAI) in February of this year. Thanks to you, TPG, I saw the Northern Lights!” — Becky B.

“1,000 miles on JetBlue from Boston (BOS) to Orlando (MCO). Leaving Monday for a quick Disney trip to celebrate my daughter’s and my birthday. I was on vacation in Monterey and it popped up so I booked it instantly!” — Leanne B.

“5,048 Southwest Rapid Rewards points for Oakland (OAK) to Las Vegas (LAS) round-trip. I also got two one-way American Airlines first class saver flights from Fresno (FAT) to Orlando (MCO) for 50,000 miles total, then received 10% back so the net was 45,000 AAdvantage miles.” — Yuri H.

“I got tickets today for Denver (DEN) to Seattle (SEA) for 12,000 Delta SkyMiles in Comfort+ in December. Thanks for the head’s up, TPG!” — Brandon G.

“Boston to Aspen (ASE) round-trip in ski season for 15,000 Delta SkyMiles.” — Mark E.

“17,500 Delta SkyMiles for Washington-Dulles (IAH) to Salt Lake City (SLC) to Seattle just 12 hours before departure [with no last-minute booking fee]. The cash price would have been $505.” — Nick C.

“150,000 Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles and $20 in taxes for two round-trip business-class tickets from Detroit (DTW) to Honolulu (HNL) on Delta One. Thanks TPG!” — Gordon L.

“5,000 Alaska Miles from San Francisco to Boise (BOI) with a five-day stopover in Seattle.” — Vlad Z.

“12,500 Avios from Los Angeles to Maui (OGG) on AA metal.” — Steve S.

Doesn't a free flight to Maui sound amazing right about now? (Photo by Pierre Leclerc Photography / Getty Images).
Doesn’t a free flight to Maui sound amazing right about now? (Photo by Pierre Leclerc Photography / Getty Images).

Readers Helping Readers

We love it when our TPG Lounge readers get so involved in a given topic they start answering each other’s questions and lending their best advice based on personal experiences. That’s what happened when Ashley W.H. asked Peter H. to elaborate more on his recent ANA redemption via the American Express Membership Rewards program.

“90,000 Amex MR points for an ANA business-class round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Taipei (TSA), with a stopover in Tokyo. Also, 85,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with a 30% bonus transfer to Virgin America for a first-class round-trip flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo (NRT). Not the lowest in miles this year but lowest for J and F class [overall].” — Peter H.

“I had no idea the Amex MR ANA bookings permitted a stopover. Was that an outlier you found?” — Ashley W.H.

“Works all the time! Just book the round-trip to your destination online — make sure you book it on ANA metal and not via Star Alliance — then call ANA to change the date. There may be a small increase in fuel charges (mine was $20). For example, I booked LAX – Tokyo-Haneda (HND) – TSA round-trip online, then called and asked to push back the date of HND-TSA for a few extra days in Tokyo. The return trip is the same. Of course the stopover flight has to be available for an award ticket. Cathay Pacific allows that via Hong Kong as well, using Alaska miles.” — Peter H.

“Thanks so much! We really enjoyed flying ANA to Japan. We’ve been searching for the best way to get to Australia, but assumed using ANA would require us to redeem Amex MRs for two separate itineraries.” — Ashley W.H.

“You can check and see how they price it. It’ll likely two segments but you never know. Good luck!” — Peter H.

Featured photo of Cancun by Federico Scotto / Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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