What would you do if you had 300,000 miles to spend?

I had 300,000+ miles in various accounts. That’s in the past tense because I just spent 116k miles to book a return trip for two on SIA business class to Sydney via Spontaneous Escapes.

Edited 260miles
It’s not 300k because I didn’t want to transfer the rest of my precious Citi Miles

So how do I spend the rest of the miles, which should minimally refuel itself back to 300k by the end of this year?

IMG_E2691
New A380-800. HK To SIN. HK redemptions are quite hefty now, but Spontaneous Escapes makes it affordable

Well, I could blow it on two single long haul business class trips to the United States west coast (95k miles x 2) or I could take a series of short trips, or medium haul trips. I’m leaning towards short and medium haul. Here’s my take:

Golden gate bridge
I plan to visit the Golden Gate Bridge in SF one day. Waiting for the opportune moment. Might have to settle for Premium Economy

 

  • Point 1: Unless I’m travelling alone, redeeming two single business class flights for my wife and I means that we would have to do the return leg on economy. That’s a given, except there is one problem: One way trips always costs more.
SF to SG
USD $1056 = ~ SGD $1,500 for two. This was the cheapest flight I could find and it’s on ‘economy lite’

For a few hundred more per person, I could get return PREMIUM economy tickets at $1,500 per person sans the miles I need to spend.

Premium economy USA
SFO promo Premium Economy return fare – $1500 per person
  • Point 2: I’m probably the only silly blogger who advocates that business class isn’t all about the business seats itself, but the experience before check in, aka lounge experience. I know that some people have Priority Pass (PP), Dragonpass, or Plaza Premier Lounge passes. Let’s be real folks, they mostly pale in comparison with proper business class lounges, especially SIA’s SilverKris Lounges. Click here to read about my horrible PP experience. Whether I’m flying a short haul 2 to 3.5 hour flight or a medium haul ~5 hour flight, or a long haul flight, there will be +/- two hour waiting time before boarding. This means that my miles go further at the pre-boarding stage, all else equal.
IMG_0874
Image: TWG teas at SilverKris Lounge. Business Class lounges usually have better quality stuff
  • Point 3: Short to medium haul return flights feature more frequently on Spontaneous Escapes than long haul flights. This means chances are, I’ll be able to book at 30% to 50% OFF the redemption rates with some planning.
  • Point 4: My unique circumstance – For my wife and I to align our schedules and to take a >10 day holiday leave relies on perfect alignment of all the planets. Long haul will also eat up 2 days, leaving us with limited time at our destinations.

 

Which are the destinations I would consider / deem value for miles redemption?

Here’s my return business class redemption list with return flight duration, crafted in descending order of how ‘worth it’ it is:

 

Medium-Long Haul:

Istanbul: 98,000 (21.5 Hours)

Johannesburg: 98,000 (21 Hours)

Sydney: 124,000 (15 Hours 50 mins)

Brisbane: 124,000 (15 Hours 50 mins)

Melbourne: 124,000 (15 Hours 5 mins)

 

Medium Haul:

Beijing: 78,000 (12 Hour 20 mins)

Tokyo (Narita): 94,000 (14 Hours 15 mins)

Dubai: 98,000 (14 Hours 45 mins)

Taipei: 61,000 (9 Hours 10 mins)

Tokyo (HND): 94,000 (13 Hours 55 mins)

Perth: 73,000 (10 Hours 35 mins)

Nagoya: 94,000 (13 Hours 35 mins)

Osaka: 94,000 (13 Hours 20 mins)

Shanghai: 78,000 (10 Hours 40 mins)

Seoul: 94,000 (12 Hours 45 mins)

Male (Maldives): 78,000 (9 Hours 10 mins)

 

Short Haul:

Manila: 43,000 (7.5 Hours)

Hanoi: 43,000 (6.5 Hours)

Bali: 38,000 (5 Hours 5 mins)

Hong Kong: 61,000 (7 Hours 35 mins)

Brunei: 38,000 (4 Hours 20 mins)

Bangkok: 43,000 (4 Hours 50 mins)

 

You’d probably notice that a number of destinations are missing. This is either because they’re not worth it to redeem (IMO) or it’s some obscure destination.

Spontaneous Escapes changes the equation totally, so as Bruce Lee said, “Be like water.” Meaning to say, be flexible! Deals come and go and we must be ready, which is also what I’m preparing to write about… coming soon on SGGOODLIFE!

 

Have a great day folks!

 

 

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