Thursday, October 3, 2013

There’s more than one way…

The old saying goes, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.” There is also more than one way to book a Business Class seat for your next flight.

For those of us not high enough on the corporate ladder to have our company pay the tab, flying Business Class usually means one of two things: paying out of pocket, or using our accumulated frequent flier miles for an upgrade.

Enter now a third option: buying the frequent flier miles you need at a discount.

Airlines have long offered the option of buying additional miles for their frequent flier programs, but the price of those miles generally hovers around four cents a mile, meaning that the 100,000 miles you might need for a round-trip business class ticket for an overseas trip would cost around $4,000 – essentially the same price as if you paid cash for the ticket.

Occasionally, airlines offer specials that bring the price of additional miles down considerably, but those are limited-time offers and, unless you have a trip planned, buying more miles just to have them sitting in your account doesn’t usually make fiscal sense.

Now, though, there’s another option: buying additional miles from a third party.

I met Jeremy Kenter, who runs TBJGlobalTravel.com, at a United Club in Denver this summer, as we were both ending business trips to the Mile High City. He explained that he both brokers the exchange of frequent flier miles and keeps an eye out for special deals using those miles.

This morning, I received an e-mail from him, alerting me to “a great promotion from US Airways,” which was offering round trip Business Class passage between North America and Europe for 100,000 miles.

The e-mail went on to offer 100,000 US Airways miles for $1,900.

Some quick research showed that, for me, that could amount to a savings of approximately 45%. US Airways’ web site showed a Business Class ticket from Seattle (SEA) to London’s Heathrow Airport (LHR) in mid-December would have cost about $3,500. Of course, award seats are almost always on a “space-available basis” and an annual survey by the company IdeaWorks shows how the various carriers rank. So, as with any special deal, you’ll have to do some homework to see if the deal fits with your plans. If it does, score!

If you’re interested in learning more about TBJGlobal’s services or this special deal, visit the web site at TBJGlobalTravel.com, or contact Jeremy at tbjglobaltravel1@gmail.com.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photo by Carl Dombek
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