Sunday, May 17, 2015

Early Grandmother's Birthday Present

Grandmother's getting a nice taste of luxury the past few years thanks to my parent's frequent flyer miles and hotel points.

Last year for her birthday, we put her and her sisters up in the Park Hyatt Busan in South Korea for 3 nights for 72,000 Hyatt points.

The other weekend, for Mother's Day, she spent a night in the luxurious Park Hyatt New York for a staycation. Instead of paying $900 for the night, we paid just 30,000 Hyatt points.

This afternoon, my father read a blog post that alerted readers that there was a lot of first class availability on Japan Airlines (a OneWorld Alliance partner of American Airlines).

Because Japan Airlines (JAL) is a partner with American Airlines, you can redeem American AAdvantage miles on JAL flights at the saver level. As you longtime LCD readers may know, my parents have a big stash of American Airline AAdvantage Miles. To be exact, my father has about 550k AA miles, my mother has another 137k AA miles. So we decided to use a few of them to book my mother a first class flight from New York to Seoul (via Tokyo) for her birthday later this year.

No one in my entire family had ever flown first class before. Not internationally anyway. This was a whole new level of indulgence for the Songers. The cost?

62,500 American Airline miles (actually only 56,250 miles because we get 10% back from our Citi American Airlines credit card) and $18.80 cash for taxes. Yeah, my father spent a whopping $19 cash for my grandmother's birthday present. Big spender huh?

Well, the actual cash price for this exact flight in first class would have been $9,753!!! Of course, very few people would ever buy that first class flight in cash, let alone a one-way ticket (which makes it more expensive), but it's interesting to see that 56,250 AA miles could be redeemed, instead of $9,742 in cash (implying a ridiculous 17.3 cents/mile). We typically value AA miles at just under 2 cents/mile.

So instead of just a nice dinner for her birthday, she gets a nice dinner at 35,000 feet with caviar!

But since my grandmother doesn't read my blog, she's in for a very nice surprise this fall!

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