Travel links and Tips

Delta Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Sydney Airport

Delta Airlines Boeing 777-200ER at Sydney Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is a collection on links to various travel related sites with some great information!

New Routes Mean Plenty of Available Award Seats: by Hack My Trip

may 30, 2013 by  7 comments

Earlier this week, Thai Airways added the route from Los Angeles (LAX) to Bangkok (BKK) via Osaka (KIX) into their reservation system beginning January 2014. The Los Angeles – Osaka segment has already been added to the list of Fifth Freedom Routes(since the Thai carrier can carry passengers between the USA and Japan).

Thai used to run a non-stop flight from Bangkok to Los Angeles, but fuel prices pretty much shut that route down. We’re seeing a similar thing with Singapore Airlines ending their nonstop Los Angeles and Newark flights later this year.

Thai began flying to Los Angeles via Seoul-Incheon (ICN), which is another fifth-freedom route. In addition to that, they’re now starting this second route via Osaka. What’s great is that the route will be run 3x per week on the 777-300ER and availability is wide open. If you’re planning a trip to Asia with United or US Airways miles, look out for these flights:

Thai TG694 Bangkok-Osaka 2:20pm-9:30pm MWF Osaka-Los Angeles 10:45pm-3:50pm MWF

Thai TG695 Los Angeles-Osaka 1:00am-6:40am (next day) TuThSa Osaka-Bangkok 8:10am-12:40pm SuWF

The 777-300ER aircraft are newer deliveries for Thai, and are different from the leased aircraft they had with First Class suites. These planes only go up to Business class, with a 1-2-1 staggered setup that allows direct aisle access for all. Those traveling in a couple can have seats next to each other in the middle section, while solo travelers can choose an aisle or window with no neighbor.

Thai 777-300ER Business Class. Photo by Liem Bahneman/NYCAviation

Thai 777-300ER Business Class. Photo by Liem Bahneman/NYCAviation

I’m currently in the middle of a huge miles and points burn-a-thon for my family, as we’re celebrating a big family event at the turn of the year. All the flights I have to redeem are between India and the United States. From California, routes via Europe and Asia are pretty much the same distance, so I have a lot of options with United miles, which allow redemptions on plenty of partners and don’t limit routing rules like American Airlines does.

Most flights from Los Angeles to Bangkok have only 2 business class seats available at first, but I found that once I redeemed the first 2 business class seats, Thai released 2 more business class seats almost immediately. I was able to book 4 people on the same Los Angeles-Osaka-Bangkok flight, with 2 groups splitting up for onward connections from Bangkok.

This underscores the value of following a site like, which I follow on Twitter and peruse for any information regarding new routes or routes that are adding flight capacity. There’s no doubt that availability will dry up as more people are able to redeem miles on a new route, so being one of the first to burn miles on a certain flight can really help get the dates you want.

Via AirlineRoute with a H/T to Canadian Kilometers. Image from

For more information Visit:
On a different topic: Here is another great blog post from POINTS, MILES & MARTINI’S  (if you are looking for a good opportunity on award travel!)

Booking A Delta Award Flight To Joburg In Business At The Low Award Level and more…

In This Issue…

  • Booking A Delta Award Flight To Joburg In Business At The Low Award Level
  • Hurry – Two French Polynesia Business Class Award Seats Available
  • More Recent Articles
  • Search Points Miles and Martinis

Booking A Delta Award Flight To Joburg In Business At The Low Award Level

Delta operates the fourth longest flight in the world. The flight operates on a 777 from Atlanta to Joburg. It is often very difficult to find award availability at the low level in Business Class. So this presents a problem for anyone looking to redeem SkyMiles to South Africa at the low level. If you fall in this camp and can’t find availability on the non-stop flight, consider routing through Europe to find the low level Business Class availability you are looking for.


Outbound Flight To Joburg

Searching for the Atlanta to Joburg flight is easy on Delta’s website. You’ll frequently find award availability on this flight, but it will be at the high level requiring 380,000 SkyMiles, not a good value for those seeking to minimize the amount of miles spent. Instead, consider the routing options through Europe. Here are three examples of award availability to Joburg from Atlanta. All of these options are pricing out at the low level requiring 140,000 SkyMiles to South Africa.


The first flight routes through Amsterdam and has a 21 hour layover. This could give enough time to explore Amsterdam for a day. The next two flights are a little more complicated and not ideal for a leisure trip in my opinion. But all three options will get you to South Africa in Business Class at the low level.

Return Flight Through Europe

There are a few options on the return. The best again is the non-stop to Atlanta unless of course you are looking to build in a stop over in Europe. Then I’d suggest the Air France flight through Paris. Searching

on Air France’s US website is probably the best option here but you can also search on Delta’s website or ExpertFlyer


The last leg from Europe to Atlanta or anywhere in the United States is probably the easiest to find. There are endless combinations of flights across the Atlantic. The most direct routes will likely require more miles. For example, on the dates in this example the non-stop flights from Paris to Atlanta were pricing out above the low award level. So I found an Air France flight to Dusseldorf connecting on to a Delta flight back to Atlanta.


If booked with legal connections and stop-overs, this ticket should price out at 140,000 SkyMiles plus taxes and fees.

Bottom Line

The purpose of this post isn’t to highlight how easy it is to use Delta SkyMiles to get the exact flight you want. It is to illustrate that if you want the low level award availability to a destination, you have to work for it. If you are flexible you can likely find something that will work at the low award level.

Finding low level award availability on the 4th longest flight in the world from Atlanta to Joburg is not easy. If you are set on going to South Africa at the low level using SkyMiles, consider routing options through Europe. Don’t forget to add in a stop-over or open-jaw if you are looking to enjoy a little bit of Europe on the way over or back.

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If you are interested in more information be sure to visit: Points, Miles & Martinis.  You can follow them via Email, Twitter, and Facebook!  Be sure to tell them who sent you!  Thanks! ~Kat

Safe Flying and Blue Sky’s!!

Boeing 767-400ER by Delta Airlines.

Boeing 767-400ER by Delta Airlines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


About magyarok27

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3 Responses to Travel links and Tips

  1. Kat Bultman says:

    Sure, welcome to the site. Just starting out myself, so I’m still building up all the sections and topics. 🙂

  2. constantly i used to read smaller articles or reviews
    which also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading at this time.

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