Creative routings using US Airways miles

US 100 Bonus Miles

As I’ve mentioned over the past week or two in previous posts, I recently redeemed an award ticket using US Airways miles. I redeemed 90K miles for a last minute round-trip flight between Hong Kong and the US. In fact, if you want to buy US Airways miles cheap, they’re on sale this month with a 100% bonus!

Here’s the background story, I needed a last minute flight within a few weeks from HKG – NY and LA during the height of summer travel. Regular fares in economy class were running around $14,000 – $20,000 HKD for a roundtrip of open jaw and I’d still have to buy my ticket between NY and LA.

So, I decided to do some hunting on Star Alliance and see what flights were available, barely any unfortunately for flights over the Pacific. I used primarily United.com and ANA’s tools to check for seats and found seats going via Europe to JFK, so that’s what I did.

Here’s a tip: when calling US Airways to book your ticket, have all of flight segments ready to provide to the agent one by one, it’s easiest for them. Also, inventory sometimes differs on US Airways than what other airlines see, if you can’t get the agent to find that flight, try another agent maybe. If that doesn’t work then you better find another alternative.

On the outbound I booked HKG – BKK – ZRH – FRA – JFK on TG connecting to LH.

Depart:   Hong Kong, Hong Kong  (HKG)  New York, NY (JFK Airport)  (JFK)
Date:  Friday, August 02, 2013
Status:  Active
Flight #/ CarrierDepartArriveTravel timeMealAircraftCabinSeats
639    07:05 PM HKG08:45 PM BKK2h 40mNoneA330Unknown
Operated by Thai Airlines
Stop: Change plane in Bangkok, Thailand (BKK)
970    12:40 AM BKK07:25 AM ZRH11h 45mNoneA340-600Unknown
Operated by Thai Airlines
Stop: Change plane in Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)
1183    08:20 AM ZRH09:25 AM FRA1h 5mNone737-300Unknown
Operated by Lufthansa
Stop: Change plane in Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
400    10:20 AM FRA12:45 PM JFK8h 25mNone747-400Unknown
Operated by Lufthansa

I know, it’s a bit crazy to have three connections to JFK, not to mention I was delayed 7 hours from FRA – JFK due to mechanical failure so the plane had to turn back to FRA. I’m trying to get 600 EUR compensation for the delay, I’ll let you guys know how that goes.

After three nights in NYC, my one stopover on the award, I went to NY to LAX. There were no non-stops available from JFK to LAX so I went through Washington DC, but this was exactly what I wanted, since I have a new niece I stopped by for the day to meet her! This was booked on US Shuttle and UA.

Depart:   New York, NY (LaGuardia)  (LGA)  Washington, DC (Reagan National)  (DCA)
Date:  Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Status:  Active
Flight #/ CarrierDepartArriveTravel timeMealAircraftCabinSeats
2173    09:00 AM LGA10:24 AM DCA1h 24mA319Coach
Depart:   Washington, DC (Dulles Int’l Airport)  (IAD)  Los Angeles, CA  (LAX)
Date:  Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Status:  Active
Flight #/ CarrierDepartArriveTravel timeMealAircraftCabinSeats
337    08:03 PM IAD10:20 PM LAX5h 17mNone757-200Unknown
Operated by United

Once I reached Los Angeles, that was the end of my outbound trip, HKG – LAX with a stopover in NYC. On the return it was much simpler and direct. LAX – SFO – YVR – HKG on UA connecting to AC.

Depart:   Los Angeles, CA  (LAX)  Hong Kong, Hong Kong  (HKG)
Date:  Sunday, August 11, 2013
Status:  Active
Flight #/ CarrierDepartArriveTravel timeMealAircraftCabinSeats
414    06:00 AM LAX07:20 AM SFO1h 20mNone757-200Unknown
Operated by United
Stop: Change plane in San Francisco, CA (SFO)
1159    08:05 AM SFO10:22 AM YVR2h 17mNone737-800Unknown
Operated by United
Stop: Change plane in Vancouver, Canada (YVR)
7    01:50 PM YVR05:55 PM HKG13h 5mNone777-300ERUnknown
Operated by Air Canada

Of course I could’ve flown LAX – YVR non-stop if there were only award seats available on that flight. Waking up at 4am to get to LAX by 5am was a bit annoying but at least the flight delays during the AM are minimal. Make sure you allow plenty of time during the AM flights in LA as security is really backed up, usually by mid-morning it’s flowing better.

Amazingly through all of the connections my luggage made it through without a hitch. The neon orange Star Alliance priority tags also proved wonderful as my bag always hit the luggage belt first, love flying business. I’ll followup with some posts about the flight reviews, overall no complaints except w/ Lufthansa on the mechanical failure.

I hope this post shows you some of the creative routings, stopovers, connections, etc you can do on US Airways awards. While I did suffer on the length of the flights and number of connections, flying business helped minimize that pain and I saved at least $2,000 USD at the same time!

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. jake says:

    not sure how you saved USD 2000 since your US Airways miles were worth at least USD 1500…

  2. Varun Checker says:

    Hi HKTravel,

    Im looking to book an award using dividend miles, but I’m not targeted for this months 100% bonus miles promotion. If you’re targeted, could you share your dividend miles number with me, as thats all I require to gift myself some miles.

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *