Booked: Dubai

The second installment of the “Booked:” series takes us to the Middle East! For me, Dubai has always been an attraction with all of the stunning architecture, beautiful landscapes, and plenty of great golf courses. Follow along as I walk you through this steal of a flight that secured my trip to Dubai!

 

The Flight:

Many of you have already made up your mind, Dubai is too far away and costs way to much to be affordable. To those who don’t want to pursue the deals, you’re correct. To those who want to look a little harder and put in a little research, you’ll find some great deals. Let me show you how I got a great deal in business class on a world class airline, Emirates.

Booking Process:

Located in Southern California, Los Angeles International (LAX) is my main hub for international transport. I began my flight search from LAX. I found business class flights in my flight window (January) beginning around $3,600 in business class with one stop. Nonstop was starting at $8,300 in business class. I looked at other hubs around LAX including San Francisco International, Seattle International, Dallas Forth Worth, Chicago, and New York area international airports. None of these airports offered anything cheaper than $2,200 which included a layover and no cheaper than $6,000 for direct flights.
I then decided to look at Alaska Airlines and see what rates they could offer using points. Emirates is a member of the Alaska Airlines partnership and is one of the largest airlines in the world and has the most routes in and out of Dubai. They also offer 5-star service and have a phenomenal reputation.
On the Alaska Airlines website, I was able to find a direct flight round trip from LAX for 165,000 miles (82,500 each way) and $81 in fees.
Purchasing this with only miles would cost you $4,537 since Alaska sells miles at $27.50 per 1,000 miles. Still, this is significantly cheaper than any advertised rate out there.
What makes this deal even sweeter, is that I waited until Alaska had one if its yearly sales where you can purchase points and earn up to a 40% bonus.

The Math:

I had about 54,000 miles saved up in my account and needed 111,000 to make the trip happen. Using the Alaska Mileage sale, I purchased 60,000 miles with 24,000 bonus miles (40%) for $1,773 and then purchased 20,000 miles with 7,000 bonus miles (35%) for $591. This got me to my magical 165,000 number for only $2,445 including the $81 fee, for a business class flight.
Compared to the original flight which goes for well over $9,000, I was able to book a round trip, direct, business class flight on Emirates for $2,445. Talk about a steal. Even if you purchased all your miles during the bonus sale, it would cost you $3,487! Again, saving over $1,000 dollars compared to the non-sale price!! The current bonus sale goes through February 22nd, 2019. Check it out here. It happens multiple times annually so be sure to check back and I’ll let you know when the next one is.
If you want to fly economy and save some money, you’d spend 85,000 miles round trip which would cost about $1,800 with miles on sale and about $2,400 without miles on sale.
NEW: Alaska recently announced that it will be limiting points sales to those who are not elite members to 150,000 points per year. Read more here.
The only downside is that reward availability and rates vary greatly year-round. There are plenty of blackout dates and times when the rates are more expensive. This is something to take into consideration when booking awards trips.
Be sure to check out Alaska’s other international partners the next time you book an international trip.
I would recommend against using your mile for a domestic trip as your miles will get you much further internationally if that is something you are interested in. You can check out Alaska’s partner’s award chart here which will give you an idea of how many miles it will take on certain airlines to get to different areas of the world.
Full trip recap will be posted once I get back so look out for that in the new year. In the meantime, let me know if you found any awesome flight deals with these tips or have any questions!

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