Explainer: how to get the best seat on a plane
Ever spent 15 hours stuck in the middle seat in economy class? Then this guide's for you.
Who wouldn't rather fly to the other side of the world in style and comfort, with space to stretch out and sleep, as opposed to tying yourself in knots in cattle class?
For those of us without the budget to regularly turn left when boarding, there is hope. It has transpired that if you are clever in collecting air miles, you could fly from the US to Australia for close to the same price as a seat in economy.
How, you might ask. The very simple trick to making huge savings has been revealed by a blogger in the US.
Gilbert Ott, the man behind God Save The Points, claims he is able to pay less than $US1500 ($1976) for a single first-class flight, not much more than economy class flights for New York to Sydney on Qantas that cost from $US1080.
This, according to Ott, is thanks to the air miles that can be bought from Alaska Airlines, the airline partner to Qantas. And it doesn't even matter that you've never flown with them in your life.
Ott suggests that flying to Australia from the US in both directions with Qantas will cost you just 70,000 air miles bought from Alaska. Purchasing these miles through Alaska costs just $US1478 - allowing you to fly to Australia in first class for that relatively small sum.
In the same way, a round trip would cost approximately $US3000, around $US13,000 less than the price you would pay if you bought the flights directly from Qantas.
The trick works, Ott explained, because of the discounts Alaska regularly offers its air miles customers.
You could either search for flights through the Qantas frequent flyer programme or use an online tool such as Awards Nexus in order to cast the widest search for available seats to use mileage points on.
Once you have found the seat you want, it's then that you should approach Alaska Airlines to buy the miles you need.
"There's no catch, just a challenge," Ott in his blog post. "Finding seats in just about any cabin to Australia can be time consuming, but for this opportunity, it's totally worth it.
"Alaska only permits certain routings using miles and sadly the Europe to Australia is not one of them," Ott admits. He also notes that an account with Alaska must be open for 10 days before you can buy miles and that the current sale on miles at a 40 per cent discount expires on April 6, so miles will need to be bought before then.
The Telegraph, London
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