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Who made first class travel crazy, sexy and cool? The Asian and Middle Eastern airline companies upped the “fly like a rockstar” frenzy with suites and showers.

Pictures of Etihad and Cathay Pacific first class seats and Emirates bar in the sky

Pictures of Etihad and Cathay Pacific seats plus Emirates bar in the sky

In summer 2014, I watched Become a Travel Hacker by Chris Guillebeau on CreativeLive.com where Chris said “ultimately it’s the experience of travel that really matters… it helps to have a destination or travel experience in mind… for this course.” So I started dreaming about flying on Emirates, Etihad or Cathay Pacific airlines to somewhere… anywhere.

Then in September 2014, I read Booking Emirates Awards with Alaska Miles Got Easier by Lucky on onemileatatime.com so I opened up an Alaska Airline Mileage Plan account and applied for the Alaska Airlines credit card where I earned 30,000 miles.

I was on my way to a rockstar lifestyle!

How did I do it?

Well, it took a lot longer than I imagined…

  • From 2014 to 2017, I flew American Airlines a lot for business but on occasion I would have my miles applied to my Alaska Mileage Plan account. I didn’t do this all the time because I was saving my American Airline Advantage Miles for my Australia-New Zealand trip.
  • In between, I did some shopping on Alaska Airlines portal when bonuses were announced and purchased a roundtrip flight to Portland Oregon in 2016.
  • In September 2017, I flew roundtrip to Reykjavik Iceland and I had those IcelandAir miles (5,600) applied to my Alaska Mileage Plan.
  • In November 2017, I converted my 36,000+ Virgin America Elevate Miles after the merger/buyout at 1.3 per mile for around 47,000 Alaska miles.
  • And when I flew roundtrip to Dubai and Amman Jordan on Emirates in December 2017, I had those miles (16,000) applied to my Alaska Mileage Plan account instead of my Emirates Skyward Miles account.

Where did I decide to go?

In March 2018, I finally decided on a slow-travel route through South-East Asia.

And yes, I had enough miles to get a one-way two-segment business class ticket from New York to Dubai to Singapore on Emirates = 105,000 miles plus $29.00 for taxes and fees.

I paid $29.00 using Alaska Airline Mileage Plan miles for an Emirates Business Class flight from JFK to Dubai to Singapore

I paid $29 using Alaska Airline Mileage Plan miles for an Emirates Business Class JFK-DXB-SIN flight

 

Even if I had tried to use Emirates Skyward Miles, it would’ve cost me 131,250 miles plus $852.00.

Emirates Skyward miles required plus taxes and fees for an Emirates Business Class flight from JFK to Dubai to Singapore

Emirates Skyward miles required for an Emirates Business Class JFK-DXB-SIN flight

 

The actual cost of the ticket ($9,322.30) made me choke! There is no way I could (or would) ever spend that much money on a ticket or on anything really.

The actual cost of an Emirates Business Class flight from JFK to Dubai to Singapore

The cash price of an Emirates Business Class JFK-BXB-SIN flight

 

So even though I did not have enough miles for a first class ticket, Emirates Business Class was still the absolute best redemption for me! And for the last two days I was sitting pretty in Emirates Lounges and at the Bar in the Sky!

 

Follow me on Instagram or Twitter as @DaniLew_1 to see where I end up next…

 

 

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Danielle Lewis

Danielle Lewis

Danielle Lewis is a Travel Agent/Advisor and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her personal photography on Instagram @DaniLew_1 and her travel stories on Instagram @SelfishMeTravel #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe #SelfishMeTravel

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