For the next couple of days, American Airlines is offering a 120,000-mile bonus for every 150,000 miles that you buy from their website (with smaller bonuses for smaller increments). If you have an AAdvantage account over 30 days old you’re eligible to purchase, but the bonus reduces every day after that (I’m not actually sure what they’re on about, since the website suggests the bonus is “reduced every day for the first 12 days”, but the bonus has stayed at 120,000 miles all along). This represents a value of 1.77 American cents (HK$0.14) per mile, which is pretty good (it reduces the value of a 150,000-mile roundtrip to Europe to US$2,660, or HK$20,800).
I’m sure most of you have already taken advantage of this offer, so that’s not the point of this post. Instead I want to point out some really nice redemptions that you can make with your extra miles (now that the promotion is almost over, and I’m sure those of you who usually take advantage of these deals have already done so).
Fly QSuites to Europe for the value of HK$20,800, or fly twice if you already have a bunch of miles at hand
Fly QSuites to literally any longhaul destination
The best thing about this deal is probably the abundance of Qatar Airways award space that they release to American AAdvantage. Qatar Airways flies their QSuites to Hong Kong now, and a variety of Europe flights feature QSuites. Award availability is wide open. A roundtrip to anywhere in Europe is 150,000 miles (not exactly the best of the values I’ve found, but most of you will probably find most use out of this), a roundtrip to Johannesburg is 140,000 miles, a roundtrip to Europe involving a segment in British Airways first class between Doha and London is 180,000 miles, and just flying to Doha will cost you 80,000 miles (which is worth around HK$11,200, which is incredible considering you’re buying yourself ~16 hours in QSuites).
Do note that any award to London subjects you to the UK’s ridiculous departure tax, which adds an extra HK$6,000 to your bill. Then again, a HK$26,000 fare to London in business class is unheard of, and you can always choose to connect via somewhere else.
Even flights not featuring QSuites between Doha and your intended destination will probably feature this neat reverse herringbone seat
Fly British Airways first class for 180,000 miles (if you’re lucky)
I noted above that a mixed-cabin fare on Qatar Airways and British Airways will cost you 180,000 miles. Why fly Qatar Airways business class halfway when you can fly British Airways first class the entire way? Well, there are two reasons; many people claim that Qatar Airways’ QSuites are every bit as good as British Airways first class, but more importantly, British Airways award space isn’t nearly as abundant. Still, though, a HK$31,200 (including departure tax) fare for first class is pretty good for a direct flight out of London, and a HK$25,200 fare for first class out of anywhere in Europe isn’t something you should complain about either.
British Airways Airbus A380 Hong Kong Airport
Fly Fiji Airways business class and Qantas first class R/T to Australia for 90,000 miles (Qantas first class R/T for 100,000 if you’re lucky) – or Malaysia Airlines business class
One of the sweet spots for AAdvantage award redemptions out of Hong Kong is to the South Pacific, where business class costs 80,000 miles roundtrip and first class costs 100,000 miles roundtrip. That’s an equivalent of HK$11,200 for business class and HK$14,000 for first class. The downside is that most of this award space will get you in Fiji Airways business class – while I’ve heard great things about their soft product, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they have an angled-flat seat on a 10-hour flight. Even worse, most of the award redemptions seat you in economy class for the shorter intra-South Pacific leg to Australia.
Fiji Airways Airbus A330 Hong Kong Airport
That said, while Qantas first class award space is limited from Hong Kong to Sydney, award space from Sydney is more abundant, so you might be able to score yourself a roundtrip involving Fiji Airways business class and Qantas A380 first class for 90,000 miles, or a value of HK$12,600.
You might also be able to find Malaysia Airlines’ business class award space for the same price, which seats you in their new A330 business class between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney/Melbourne. Unfortunately their A330s don’t come around to Hong Kong that often anymore, so you’ll likely be stuck with a 737 recliner product.
Malaysia Airlines Airbus A330 Hong Kong Airport
Fly Qantas business class to Auckland for 80,000 miles (Qantas first class if you’re lucky)
Fiji Airways also releases abundant award space to Auckland, though the same conditions apply as above – you’ll be in an angled flat seat for the longer Hong Kong-Nadi leg and an economy seat for the second. Fortunately, Qantas also offers business class award space between Hong Kong and Auckland, and it’s more abundant than their first class award space. You might be able to score their Qantas Business Suites on their A330 if you fly through Melbourne (or their 787 frequency from Sydney), which I’ve heard very good things about – check out my friend Josh’s video review of the product. Award space isn’t amazing, but I see plenty of space during the low season in mid-February to late March.
Qantas Airbus A380 Sydney Airport
I strongly encourage you to take advantage of the 120,000 bonus miles promotion if you have an eligible AAdvantage account. Happy spending, and merry Christmas!
What are your favourite ways to redeem AAdvantage miles out of Hong Kong?