How I booked CLT to BKK for $2500 in Business Class w @USAirways

At the end of April, I have to fly to Brussels for a 1day meeting and then onto Thailand for a week’s vacation and three weeks of business.  Flying to Bangkok in coach isn’t the most appealing thought in the world….so I had to find a way to fly business…on a budget.

Flights to Thailand in coach were ranging from $2200 – 2800 and in business from $4800 – 6000.  After hours of research and planning I couldn’t find a way to make it happen.  I called the US Air Chairman’s Preferred Desk and spoke with a wonderful agent named Anna.  She was extremely creative in helping me find a way to fly business.

First, we booked a round-trip ticket from Charlotte to Frankfurt on US Airways in coach for $700 and used two upgrade certificates so I could fly Envoy – each way.  I will take the train from Frankfurt to Brussels and back to Frankfurt .

Since US Airways doesn’t fly to Bangkok, we looked at Star Alliance Partners. We couldn’t find a business class ticket from Frankfurt to Bangkok on Thai Air that was affordable, and we couldn’t find an upgradable fare with Star Alliance Upgrade Award availability, but what Anna did find was a round trip ticket in Business using frequent flyer miles – on the exact dates I needed – for 90,000 miles.  US Airways is running a special – through today, April 15 – to buy miles and get up to 100% bonus.  For $1750 I bought 45,000 miles and got 100% bonus to total 90,000 miles.  To get 100% bonus, you have to sign up for a account and register your US Airways #.  If you already have a account with a registered US Air account #, you are only eligible for 50% bonus miles.

The total price of the trip – Charlotte to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Bangkok and back again – came to $2450.

The only downside to this is that I won’t earn miles on the Frankfurt to Bangkok leg – I hope that doesn’t hurt my status this year – and if it does, I can always buy up on US Air.

During my trip to Thailand, I’ll have lots of great reviews – The Westin Grande Sukhumvit, The St Regis Bangkok, The Sheraton Krabi and one other hotel in Phuket yet to be decided.

10 Comments on "How I booked CLT to BKK for $2500 in Business Class w @USAirways"

  1. Couldn’t you have booked the same 90K Star Alliance Business award with a stopover in Frankfurt, then Bangkok as your final destination? You wouldn’t have earned miles…but saved $700 and 2 upgrade certs.

  2. @David – CLT to BKK is 120k miles in Business and you can only buy 50k miles at a time (or 100k) so I’d give up 20k miles w/out reimbursement.

  3. Are you sure about the existing Points members prior to the promotion not getting the additional 50% bonus??

    per terms and conditions: You must be a registered user of or join during the offer period to receive the additional 50% bonus.

    Hope you are wrong…………Jethro

  4. Agreed, terms clearly state you must be registered or join during promotion, so existing members with a registered US Airways account tracked with should be fine.

  5. Also, check the award FAQ thread in the US forum. You likely could have booked th e award from the US to BKK with a stopover in BRU on the way all for 90k in business. But kudos nonetheless to the agent for working with you to find a solution! CP agents can be outstanding!

  6. @Arizona Guy – yes, I agree, the terms do look like everyone gets the 100% bonus if you’re registered. Thanks for everyone who pointed that out.
    I wish I could have gotten the 90k deal from the US to BKK. That would have been amazing…but at the time, we couldn’t find it.

  7. @Jethro – looks like you’re right! Thanks for catching that.

  8. Great results! Two thoughts about this trip and how it was arranged:
    1: Your Preferred Desk agent, ‘Anna’ was your hidden ace and one in a thousand (even on the preferred desk) that is willing to go a few extra miles for you. Most just won’t do it.
    2: Your short train trip between Frankfurt and Brussels will likely be the highlight of your travel time. In my experience, European trains are far more pleasant than flying, in ANY class. Best wishes, -C.

  9. Levi Flight | April 21, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

    Hi Stacey, I am curious – as this is a business trip are you getting to expense the cost of buying the miles to a client. I have wondered about doing this. I guess the key is showing a clear chain between the purchase of miles and the ticket, that it was as cost effective as an economy, and having a savvy/flexible client.

  10. @Levi Flight – yes, I am getting it reimbursed. Before I made the purchase, I made sure to get approvals in writing. Once I explained the cost savings, and showed that this ticketing was actually less expensive than an outright coach purchase, it was approved. Of course, I saved all the documentation for backup later – just in case.

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