Abroaders Podcast

Listen to this week's show and learn:

  • New airline travel partner with Chase
  • Alaska offering a bonus earning
  • The deal with upgrades on American, United, and Delta

People on this episode

<li><a href="https://twitter.com/ajdunnggs">AJ</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/erikpaquet">Erik</a></li>


Locations on this Episode

For today’s episode, Erik and AJ check in from Barcelona, Spain


Links  Mentioned in this episode

* Indicate a new bullet point by hitting return twice (i.e. leave a blank line in between)

* TextExpander = wplink



Chase transfers to KLM

Earn points on Alaska with global partners

Starwood points on sale

Free Roaming on AT&T in Mexico & Canada

1,000 Easy United Miles with Prosper App

Earn 250 Virgin America Elevate Miles

Stay at all 11 SPG brands for 11,000 Bonus Points

Hilton Status Matches

Auckland-Honolulu route with Air New Zealand Upgraded to 787

Air India Fifth Freedom Route



AA upgrades

AA upgrades on BA and Iberia flights

AA 500-mile upgrade

United upgrade chart

United Upgrade overview

Delta Mileage upgrade

Delta Upgrade with miles

Delta changing upgrade companion


Core Content:

Upgrading with the three major players



  • May upgrade to the next cabin of service for a single one-way trip from a purchased ticket depending on the type of fare you buy there will either be a full mile upgrade or an additional paid fee (per one-way)
  • Buy Discount ticket will need to pay $75-$350 and use 15K-25K to upgrade from economy to business
  • Buy Full fare economy and use 5K-15K to upgrade
  • Buy discount business and pay $175-$550 as well as 15K-25K to upgrade to First class
  • Buy Full fare Business and use 15K-25K to upgrade to first
  • Taxes may be different when upgrading
  • Must book ticket first then call AA representative to upgrade
  • Can call before hand and find out if seats are available for upgrade or there are open seats in business that may become available for award upgrade before departure.  
  • These Upgrades available with AA carriers
  • Just like booking an award ticket, upgrades may not be available on all segments for the one way trip.
  • Maximum of 3 segments will be upgraded on a one way
  • Fare conditions will still apply to original purchased fare will apply
  • Will only occur miles based on fare portion that was purchased, not upgraded
  • You can upgrade on BA and Iberia flights using AA miles (tickets must be purchased on AA)
  • 500-mile upgrade
  • Elite status members can upgrade for free on AA carrier flights 500 miles and more ( may use multiple 500-mile upgrades to be combined) Anything less than 500 will automatically be on the upgrade list.
  • Gold and platinum member receive 500-mile upgrades every 12,500 EQM
  • May purchase upgrades for $40 (If you are elite)





  • Can upgrade most flights on United, Copa, and ANA flights
  • To Request upgrade as you booking your ticket, you can do so by either calling customer care, or selecting “Mileage upgrade award” when in the advanced search page
  • If request after a ticket has been bought, must call the United Mileage program
  • The price of an upgrade is based on region of travel, fare class and status
  • Upgrades may be confirmed as soon as you make the booking, otherwise you will be put on a waitlist and notified when one comes available
  • If no upgrade becomes available by the time you depart, miles and taxes will be refunded to your accounts  
  • Can pay anywhere between 7,500K -35K in mile upgrades and pay $75-600 for a copay to upgrade (check out pages 4-5 in link to see exactly how much, very easy to navigate)
  • Complimentary premier upgrades are available on select Untied carrier flights for premier members and their companion traveling
  • Premier members who are primary cardholders for some Chase-issued mileageplus credit cards are eligible for premier upgrades when traveling on award tickets on United flights.


  • This does not include companions traveling on the same reservation.
  • Call Premier Priority Desk number listed on the back of their membership card to request upgrade consideration .
  • contact the Premier Priority Desk number listed on the back of their membership to request upgrade
  • Star alliance upgrades with United miles is possible, check out page 5 of the award chart





  • Two ways to upgrade: (no award chart to see how much in fees, though it looks like there may not be any fees, only the amount in miles needed to upgrade, you won’t be able to view how much the upgrade with miles will cost unless you have enough miles in your account)
  • Upgrade with miles
  • Must login to view upgrade availability
  • You will automatically see the option to upgrade with miles in your trip summary
  • Only flights all must be within the 50 states of the U.S
  • Must have enough availability and miles in your account to upgrade everyone in your party.
  • Upgrade with Miles is only available during an original booking at delta.com or with a Reservations Specialist.
  • You will earn miles and MQMs based on the cabin flown.




  • Mileage Upgrade Awards
  • redeemed for fixed mileage amounts according to area of travel and are only valid with certain fare classes.
  • Most flights Delta operated flights and some KLM flights eligible
  • Delta bulk fares, companion fares, group fares,  Round the World fares, Award Travel of any kind cannot be upgraded with a separate award or by paying an additional fee
  • If you are not confirmed for the upgrade before 3 hours before departure, it does not carry over to the airport standby list
  • Earn miles based on the fare you purchased.



Direct download: AP_124_Final.mp3
Category:Travel Hacking -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

You’ve heard of co-working. Have you heard of co-living? Essentially, it’s co-working on steroids. This week A.J. talks with Chris Reynolds of theentrepreneurhouse.com about his journety to connect entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses (while exploring new cities and cultivating meaningful relationships). Shownotes can be found at www.abroaders.com/chris

Direct download: AP_123_Final.mp3
Category:Lodging -- posted at: 5:00am EDT

American, Alaska, and Avianca are all selling miles at a significant discount right now. Although buying miles is not always a good deal, you can often get a significant discount on business and first class airfare by purchasing miles to redeem in premium cabins. This week AJ and Erik cover the ride up front at a 20-50% discount by purchasing points. Shownotes can be found at www.abroaders.com/buymiles

Direct download: AP_122_Final.mp3
Category:Travel Hacking -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

News & Updates

Air France Promo awards


Boston to Europe biz class

Europe to ME 25k one way

Alaska offers 50% bonus on buying miles


1.97cpp at max

Devalued, yes, but still nice opportunities

Avios Transfer Capability

  • Iberia Plus and BA Executive Club


No more phone booking fees with AA

Tanks JT (&TPG for publishing)

Do my barclays points expire? - Andreas Jorge

Through 6/15

Virgin Atlantic

Amex transfer


  • High fees
  • Low miles
  • US-outward better than say (UK) to U.S.
  • What’s the best business class you can fly using Virgin’s program?
  • NY-London 12,500 + 134 (40k for biz class + $419)
  • Find delta to avoid surcharges?

Etihad Amex Transfer


Core Content


30% transfer bonus through 6/15

Own Flights -


  • London to Abu Dhabi — 65,964 miles in business class, 87,732 miles in first class
    • 51k
    • 67k
  • Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi — 108,076 miles in business class, 143,741 miles in first class
    • 83k
    • 111k
  • New York to Abu Dhabi — 88,391 miles in business class, 117,560 miles in first class
    • Biz - 68k
    • First - 91k

Partner Flights


  • Must book 14 days in advance
  • Must book by phone
  • Stopover / open jaw / one way rules and award prices vary by partner


Abroaders Master Booking Resource


http://www.etihadguest.com/en/contact-us/ - Guest Service Center Phone List (By Country)



NRT-LAX - 5,400 miles

63,000 biz

37,000 econ



Um … wow short flights?

Sao Paulo to Salvador - 899 miles @ 6,000 points in economy

Sao Paulo to Rio - 200 miles @ 3,000 points each way

Compare that to Delta at 12,500 each way

Air Berlin


62.5k biz (Berlin - LAX or SFO)

Virgin Australia

Super reasonable for flights within Australia (10-12k points one way)

Royal Air Maroc

- 6000 from BCN to CMN

10,000 would cover most of western europe (within the 1,500mi band)




Under 6,000 miles

ICN-LAX or SFO  - 59,000 biz class / 35,000 in economy

American Airlines


Off peak to Europe - October 15 – May 15 (20,000 economy)

Off Peak hawaii - January 12 – March 8, August 22, and December 15

  • 17,500 - 20k each way on AA chart
  • 22,500 regular




  • Economy 21972
  • Biz 36620

TLV - 20k biz 12k econ

South African


JNB to GRU - 4,628 miles

Econ - 38,889

Biz - 66,667

Not worth considering: Alitalia / Korean / Air New Zealand

Direct download: AP121_Final.mp3
Category:Travel Hacking -- posted at: 8:00am EDT