One of the benefits of traveling regularly for business is accumulating plenty of frequent flyer points which you can use for your own personal trips. As well as buying flights, many schemes also allow you to use the points to secure upgrades, book hotels or pay for days out.
But did you know that you can often use your points from one A380 airline to book a flight with another? Here are some of the options.
Star Alliance has 28 member airlines including several which fly A380s such as Lufthansa, Asiana Airlines, Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines. You can use the points accumulated during your business travel to book flights with any of the airlines in the Star Alliance network.
You can also ‘pay’ for an upgrade with your points with any of the member airlines – Star Alliance is the only scheme of its kind which allows you to upgrade across all its airlines.
When you have accumulated enough points you can reach Star Alliance Silver or Gold level which brings additional benefits such as priority access at check-in and through security and immigration, extra baggage allowance, airport lounge access and priority boarding.
Catherine Lux, author of Lux Life London, used her Star Alliance miles to fly First Class from Sydney to New York City with Singapore Airlines – even flying in an A380 double bed suite for two of the journey’s legs.
‘It was very easy – it took me less than a half an hour to book it all – though I did book a year in advance as availability for the suite is very limited.
I’d just moved to Australia and had my first Christmas out there. I missed a cold Christmas so much that I wanted to go all-out in the next year and as Christmas in NYC had always been on my bucket list I decided to go for it! I had all the points just sitting there so I thought I might as well use them for my once-in-a-lifetime experience.’
SkyTeam runs a similar program with 20 member airlines including Air France, China Southern Airlines and Korean Air. As well as being able to book flights using points, Elite Plus, First and Business Class customers can enjoy 600 SkyTeam Airport lounges worldwide.
For example, the SkyTeam lounge at Vancouver Airport has two separate wings and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Not to be outdone, Heathrow Airport with its two-storey lounge includes a wine bar and a Clarins spa.
If you accrue enough points, you can become an Elite Plus member and enjoy extra advantages such as reservations on sold-out flights, priority check-in, security clearance and baggage handling and more.
Other Airline Points Schemes
Emirates Skywards, One World (Avios) and Etihad Guest also work in similar ways, allowing you to accumulate points from one airline and use them for benefits on another, partnered airline.
UK-based finance journalist Rachel Rigby used miles accrued through business flights and her American Airlines credit card to fly to Rio to watch the 2016 Olympics.
She said: ‘Thanks to One World I was able to fly London to Rio via Miami using my American Airlines airmiles. On the return I flew with British Airways using my Avios points, so overall the trip was affordable and amazing – a once in a lifetime experience. I’m a huge fan of airmiles!’
What Is the Best Way to Redeem Points to Travel on the A380?
With A380s flying to dozens of destinations and airlines running these kind of points partnership schemes, it’s never been easier to use your points to enjoy your dream A380 journey. Japanese Airline ANA is to start flying A380s in 2019, bringing the number of airlines flying A380s to 15.
Offers and availability change regularly, so it’s important to book as far in advance as you can and keep an eye on current offers via the airlines’ loyalty schemes websites and their partners.
The Points Guy recently found some excellent A380 offers available via airline loyalty schemes including First Class from New York to Seoul with Asiana Airlines for 80,000 points and $125, or Dallas to Sydney (also First Class) for 70,000 miles and $42.
If you fly frequently for business, it’s well worth joining as many airline loyalty schemes as you can and checking which ones they are partnered with. You can use your miles clocked up while on business to visit countless places on A380 routes – perhaps almost free of charge if you plan carefully!