If there is one thing I am good at, it is squeezing everything to the very last drop. What is the point of doing anything if you aren’t going to maximize the earning and redemption potential?
Asiana Airlines Round-trip Deals:
This amazing carrier based in Seoul, South Korea is certainly top-notch. They offer 33-34″ of legroom in economy plus they fly the massive double-decker A380. Compare that to United, Delta and American who typically give you 30-31″ of ‘seat pitch’ depending on the aircraft.
There are some excellent fares from SFO, LAX SEA, ORD, and JFK to Asia on Asiana. A notable fare is Seattle to Hong Kong via Seoul for $497 round-trip. Amazing deal on a quality airline, no doubt.
The real reason I am writing this post is the great deal between Los Angeles and Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), Vietnam at just $527 round-trip. Check out the best winter and spring dates on Google Flights
Notice the big red arrow above, it is pointing at the fare class ‘T’. Depending on the price and/or class of ticket, say basic economy, full fare economy, first class etc, you’ll be given a fare class. For sake of time, the more you pay for a ticket or the higher the class (like first class), the better the fare letter or fare code you will get. And by better I mean the more frequent flyer miles you will earn. Simple enough?
Earning while burning
At $527 round-trip from LAX to SGN, you are already getting a great price on an top-tier airline such as Asiana. While you are burning your $527~ you will also be earning. You see, Asiana ‘T’ class earns at 80% of the miles flown when crediting to Etihad Guest. (<create a new account)
Here is how the math works out, using this flight calculator, we can see that Los Angeles > Seoul < Ho Chi Minh City round-trip clocks in at 16,380 miles. Those are called butt-miles. Your butt will fly 16,380 miles (likely more since this is direct routing). Asiana will allow you to send miles flown on your ‘T’ class ticket to Etihad guest, Etihad guest will credit you with 80%.
16,380 X .8 = 13,104 Etihad Guest miles
Where did I find out that Asiana credits Etihad Guest at 80% redeemable miles when flying ‘T’ class? Easy, just hop over to WhereToCredit and plug-in Asiana and ‘T’ class.
Note the directions from Etihad once you’ve created a free account and have an Etihad Guest number. When purchasing your Asiana ticket you will “Provide your Etihad Guest number when making a booking”.
A free flight from Europe to Asia with these miles?
As if a $527 round-trip to Southeast Asia on Asiana wasn’t awesome enough, you can get a lot of free travel out of your earned Etihad Guest miles.
Here are a few options (using the LAX > SGN sample earning 13,104 Etihad miles):
• Use 12,000 Etihad Guest miles to fly one-way from Paris to Casablanca on Royal Air Moroc (typically over $200 for this flight)
• Use 10,500 Etihad Guest miles to fly one-way on Hainan from Beijing to Haikou, Xiamen, or Guangzhou
• Use 12,500 Etihad Guest miles to fly on American Airlines one-way anywhere within the USA and Canada when you find sAAver level award space (excludes Hawaii)
• Use 12,000 Etihad Guest miles to fly one-way IN BUSINESS class on Brussels Airlines between Brussels and (plus many others):
• Use 13,000 Etihad Guest miles to fly one-way in economy class on Brussels Airlines between Brussels and Marrakesh, Morocco.
And the BEST redemption, in my opinion:
• One-way on CSA between Prague, Czech Republic and Seoul, South Korea for 12,805 Etihad Guest miles.
From Prague to Seoul for 12,805 Etihad Guest miles one-way is a smoking deal, only made better with a business class redemption of 25,610 miles. If you wanted to transfer more points to Etihad you can do so from American Express, SPG, and Citi ThankYou.
CSA is known to lease their A330 from Korean Air so the seats should be rather roomy and comfortable in all classes.
You can view the full list of airline partners and redemption charts with Etihad here. (note: read the fine print on each partner, some don’t allow one-way awards)
Pretty cool, huh? For $527 you’ll fly to SE Asia and back, when you get back you’ll have earned enough points to book a number of flights that have a cash value well over $200!