Two Cool Business Class Awards for 40K SPG Points Each - If You Can Book Them - Running with Miles
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Two Cool Business Class Awards for 40K SPG Points Each – If You Can Book Them

award booking
Written by Charlie

Here are 2 cool business class awards that can be booked for only 40,000 Starpoints, thanks to a friendly award chart. But, can you book them?

Advertiser Disclosure

Edit: Sorry for any misunderstanding – I added the word “Each” to the title to make it more clear.

I love checking out award charts for various frequent flyer programs. There are some true gems hiding in many of the smaller programs for sure! But, almost as fun is checking the region definitions of programs. Did you know that Israel is in 4 different region categories according to various programs? 🙂

Two Cool Business Class Awards for 40K SPG Points Each – If You Can Book Them

Check out this new promo by Aegean that can help you earn 500 free miles – more if you are not yet a member!

Let me highlight two of these kinds of awards and they are within the same program. Aegean’s Miles+Bonus program has a lot to like about it and they are currently my favorite award program for business class travel between the US and Europe (45,000 miles one way on Star Alliance carriers). Hopefully, this gets you thinking about some of the awards that are possible with other programs!

business class awards

The two award flights that can give great value – if you can book them!

Aegean is a transfer partner of SPG’s Starpoints. They transfer at a rate of 1:1 with the same 5,000 mile bonus on every block of 20,000 points that other programs have. That means that transferring 40,000 SPG points to Aegean will actually give you 50,000 Aegean miles – 5,000 more than you will need for either of these awards.

See: How to Book Aegean Partner Awards

Note: One of the things that can make awards like these difficult is the Aegean rule that only allows 1 stopover, which is your connection. That severely limits some options on routes like this and it can be difficult to find the exact routes you would need to fit in this rule.

Award #1 – Trinidad -> Tel Aviv, Israel

Maps generated by the
Great Circle Mapper –
copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

This is an unusual one and something that would probably not entice a whole lot of people! But, what makes it interesting is that Trinidad is just about 7 miles off the coast of Venezuela – so it is that close to the continent of South America. Israel, on the other hand, is what most people would consider as being in the Middle East.

How Many Miles?

If you were to book a business class award with United for this route, it would cost you 75,000 miles. If you were to book with a carrier like Air Canada using United miles, it would cost you 85,000 miles.

With Aegean, it would only cost 45,000 miles. That is because Aegean classifies Trinidad as part of the North America region (and there is a whole lot that fits in there!) and counts Israel as part of Europe and North Africa. So, a simple Newark to London business class award would cost the same 45,000 miles that a Port of Spain, Trinidad to Tel Aviv, Israel (via Newark) would cost!

The Problem?

Award availability for Newark to Tel Aviv on United in business class is notoriously hard to find! This is a major route for United and they do not have that big of a problem filling their business class cabin.

Still, there have been some days that it opens up! And, if it doesn’t and you still want to take advantage of this route, economy is available for only 30,000 miles for Trinidad to Tel Aviv! 🙂

You could also check out Air Canada with Port-of-Spain to Toronto to Tel Aviv. Availability is still not great but it is another option.

Award #2 – South America -> South Africa

Maps generated by the
Great Circle Mapper –
copyright © Karl L. Swartz.

Here is another fun one! There are a couple of options that can fly you from cities in South America to Europe and then on to Johannesburg. United lets you fly from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Johannesburg for only 45,000 miles in business class – but it must be the direct South Africa flight.

With Aegean, you theoretically can book on something like Swiss Air from Sao Paulo to Zurich to Johannesburg – for only 45,000 miles in business class!

That is over 20 hours of business class on a great airline for only 40,000 SPG points! Not bad at all! It can also be done with Turkish Airlines through Istanbul for an even longer business class experience. United charges 97,500 miles for that same kind of ticket!

If you wanted to maximize your business class experience, this is definitely a way to do it!

The Problem?

I spoke to several agents after finding flights that would work and keep inside the 1 connection rule. Almost all of them could not see any of the options I had found.

When I fed the flights to one of the agents, she was able to find it and she confirmed that it would be 45,000 miles. Each agent I spoke with also said that such an award would be 45,000 miles (transiting Europe) – if they could find availability.

If you can find it, this would definitely be a nice award to take advantage of, especially if you take advantage of the 24 hour layover limit and hit a European city enroute to South Africa.

Takeaway

These routings are more about some fun possibilities than anything else for most of us due to the location of them. But, it does go to show what could be possible with various programs when we dive into them to see what is available. Remember, do not just look at the award chart but also look at the region definitions to see what gems may be hiding there! 

Have you ever booked one of these awards?

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

6 Comments

  • People say a3 is so restrictive because of the 1 connection rule. That rule aside, I have found it to be pretty crazy as to what routes they allow you to book

    • That rule is probably one of the only things keeping the fantastic awards at the price they are! 🙂
      I have had them waive it once (I don’t think they realized they did?) but every other time, it is “no.”

  • The other problem is that Starpoints are very valuable and difficult to come by. 40000 starpoints are probably as good as 70000 or more miles and as hard to get as 70000 miles.

    • I started with that because more people are familiar with them than A3 miles, but it is not that hard to accrue A3 miles either. They have a decent earning chart and if you can hit A3 silver, you can actually have up to 5 other people contribute to your miles. For small earning United flight, that can help!
      Plus, if you have 5 people sign up and use the app, that would be an extra 7,500 miles you could add to the Together account – for free!

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