Travel hacking: Choosing airline and FFPs

So I mentioned in the last post that I have 0 miles and 0 frequent flyer programs (FFPs) under my belt.

Whilst I am still figuring out the ins and outs of collecting miles, I have now registered for 2 FFPs.

FFPs are essential because that’s where you transfer hard earned miles to. When the miles accumulate you can then redeem them for premium cabin (business or first class) flights. And I have already have one in mind for late June which is slightly less than 2 months away.

After searching around the internet, I narrowed down to Alaska airlines to join. Yes, I said it right and I think some eyes just popped. Alaska airlines doesn’t even have flights to Singapore. And that’s a good thing actually! Because they don’t belong to any alliances, they have direct agreements with many airlines from different alliances instead. So if I collect Alaska airline miles, it can be redeemed in any (most) of the partner airlines.

That’s not the only plus point though. Using their miles, I can get a free stopover for the price of 1 ticket. Very few airlines allow that (without requiring more miles or money upfront). For example, if I fly from Singapore to city X. I can book a trip to city Z, explore Z and then book the 2nd flight from city Z to X.

Also, and most importantly, they actually sell miles (very few other airlines do) with bonuses. Meaning if you buy a number of miles, with their promotion you can get a maximum of 40% (offers abound and differ) on top of the number of miles you bought. This makes the purchase cheaper. So why would I buy miles. Collecting miles either through credit card spend or flying is an arduous process which I am about to begin. This is a way to ‘cut the queue’ and jump straight pass the ‘entrance’. Especially since I have already had a trip this coming June in mind.

But why would I not buy the ticket outright? I hear some of you asking. Well, let me do a quick calculation using google flights. Say I choose to book a business class flight to Japan flying Japan airlines for 1. I am required to pay $3545.60 all in (SGD). The same flight on Japan airlines redeeming Alaska miles means I pay $1510.29 (for points) + $72 (for taxes) all in (SGD) (it can get cheaper than that but for simplicity’s sake and using the most conservative numbers). I save $1963.31 right off the bat.

Well. This is an exciting beginning to my travel hacking journey. I can’t wait for the rest to unfold for this year.


  • On April 26, 2017