Airline Status Strategy for 2019

Alaska Airlines MVP GOLD 75K

With the start of the new year it is that time to reconsider my airline status strategy for 2019. I want to start off by saying how excited we are for this year of travel. We are going to fly some new products such as Qantas First Class A380, ANA 777 first class and Cathay Pacific 777 First class. At the same time we will be revisiting some of our favorites in the past including Singapore Airlines first class A380 and 777 as well as Japan Airlines 787 new Apex business class seat.

Cathay Pacific First class enjoying a glass of champagne
Cathay Pacific First class

Tim and I usually book almost all our tickets with miles and very rarely do we pay with money. However, as many of you know the mileage and points game is getting more complex and harder to find either award availability. What is worse is that at times it is actually just outright cheaper to book the ticket with cash than to use points. Remember a good rule of thumb is that you should be getting about 1.8 cents per point in return. Another point is sometime you want to travel with more than two people and finding award tickets for more than two people can be tough.

Furthermore we almost never have airlines status. The reason for this is because for people who work full-time and plan 2-3 big trips per year, we have greater flexibility if we don’t commit ourselves to one program. It is also normally very difficult to get to the higher tier status especially if you are traveling predominantly on award bookings. However given the recent Cathay Pacific First class tickets that Cathay is honoring and the ability to credit such a large number of in seat miles, I decided to look into if it is worth attempting to get status this year. I have previously had MVP GOLD  statuswith Alaska Airlines and really liked all the perks that came with it and found great value from it.

Airline Status Strategy Award miles

Airline Statue Mileage Strategy

So with our first class tickets from Cathay Pacific that we paid less than $1000 we knew we would earn about 19,120 miles towards status with Alaska Airlines. That is not including the extra 25,400 miles as an additional bonus. While these miles don’t count for status they are redeemable for award tickets so in total we will get 44,520 miles. This is a fantastic value as Alaska Airlines charges 50,000 points for a one way business class ticket to Asia from North America. Even though American Airlines gave me Platinum Pro Status for the beginning of the year, I will still credit these miles to Alaska Airlines. The reason is that I personally feel that Alaska Airlines is probably one of the best airlines rewards program as I will explain in later posts as well as which tickets I am personally going to buy instead of award. What are your guys thoughts on different airline status strategy and which are you favorites.

2 thoughts on “Airline Status Strategy for 2019”

  1. Be my travel agent…please! I want you to make decisions for me when it comes to bookings! Maybe we should strictly use our AmEx Platinum? I don’t know!

    • Hello Darla. Feel free to email me at jeff@activetrekker.com if you have a specific trip you are trying to plan. Which credit card to use is always a tough decision and individual. If you do a lot of grocery shopping and dining out I would recommend the American Express Gold as you earn 4 points per dollar compared to just 1 point per dollar on the American Express platinum. We hope you like the blog as we will continue to post information on how we make our travel happen
      Jeff

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