Sunday, July 20, 2014

Free flights to Tokyo on American Airlines

It’s time for our next international trip!  We both work very hard to earn more, save more, and invest more.  Taking regular vacations help us lower our stress levels and increase our happiness.  We are looking forward to traveling to Japan and Taiwan in November 2014!

We will be flying from LAX (Los Angeles) to HND (Tokyo, Japan) and stay in Tokyo for 6 days.  Next, we will fly to TPE (Taipei, Taiwan) and will be staying in Taipei for 5 days.   We will then continue onwards to OKA (Okinawa, Japan) and will stay there for 4 to 5 days before returning home. 

We are conservative with our miles and points
As soon as we got approved for time off work, we began to search for the best way to utilize our miles.  While many people get satisfaction from using their miles and points to fly first class, we are much more conservative and are happy to fly economy (which in our opinion already has lots of its own luxuries).  We treat our miles and points just like cash, and are very conservative with them.  This being said, I’m not condemning the use of miles and points to fly on premium airline seats: if you have the miles, you’re entitled to use them anyway you wish.  We have considered “splurging” with some of our miles on business class seats for our flight home. 

Today I will share how we are flying to Tokyo, Japan for nearly free using some American Airlines miles! 

Award travel with American Airlines
The first place I went to look up award travel was the American Airlines Award Reservation page. We were pleasantly surprised to see that flying to Tokyo all throughout November would only use of 25,000 AAdvantage miles and $5 in fees per person! 

I was curious to see how much it would cost us in miles to fly business class, and was shocked to see that it would cost us 120,000 miles per person.  A first class award ticket would have cost us 170,000 miles per person.  We are happy to be using as few miles as possible. 50,000 miles and $10 is a great redemption for an international flight for two passengers to Tokyo, Japan!

Award travel with United Airlines
The second place I went to look up award travel was Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be directly converted to United Airlines miles and we considered this option.  The cheapest award flight I could find was for 35,000 miles and $5 per person. 

It was a no brainer for us to use our American Airlines miles to book our flight.   The less miles we use to fly, the better.   

How much would it cost to pay cash for our flight?
I did a few online searches to help me get an idea of how much money we are saving by using miles instead of cash.  First I went to (American Airlines) and priced out the flight in cash.  The cheapest option offered was a one way ticket $808 per person.  If we were to pay for our tickets with cash on American Airlines, our flight would have cost us $1,616 ($808 x 2)!

Next, I priced out the same flight on (United Airlines) and it came out even more expensive.  The cheapest flight option was $1,057 per person.  If we were to pay for our tickets with cash on United Airlines, our flight would have cost us $2,114 ($1057 x 2)!

I used to find the cheapest flight possible online, which was $722 per person.  If we were to pay for our tickets with this discount, we would have paid $1,444!  Paying for our flights with cash is just too expensive of an option for us!  By paying for both of our flights with 50,000 miles and $10 total, we are saving a ton of money for other expenses.

Don’t forget that your travel expenses don’t stop once you get to your destination.  A lot of your travel expenses go towards hotel stay, food and entertainment.  When we get to travel for nearly free, we can save more money towards our financial freedom.  Stay tuned for more award travel updates as we begin to redeem more miles for free travel!

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