Wide Open Star Alliance Business Saver Award Space To SE Asia In 2022
We see wide open Star Alliance business saver award space to Southeast Asia in early 2022 and want to share the info with you. Here’s a look at cities, possible routes, and points you’ll need. We’ll cover a few options for booking and then also mention some things to think about before booking.
Bangkok. You’re going to Bangkok, Thailand.
I searched destinations in Japan, other parts of Thailand, China and all of Thailand’s neighbors. The reduced rates with saver availability are all to Bangkok BKK airport. Other destinations have much higher mileage requirements.
Availability is wide open from February of 2022 until the end of the booking calendar, currently April 2022.
How Many Points Do You Need?
If you check Award Hacker, the lowest mileage requirement to Bangkok is 50,000 Alaska miles to fly on Cathay Pacific. Depending on how you value Alaska miles, you might not want to spend that. The lowest requirement for Star Alliance is Asiana. Unfortunately, they’re only a transfer partner of Marriott points at a 3:1 ratio.
That’s where the current ‘mixed cabin’ and business saver award space availability on Star Alliance becomes a good deal.
United Airlines has wide open availability in its own program for 75,000 miles per person, one way. You’ll also pay $21.20 in taxes and fees.
All of the US 48 / continental US is included. Mileage requirements from Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, or Mexico are higher–sometimes significantly.
Depending on where you’re starting from, you’ll route through Chicago or Denver, according to the routes we found.
Leaving the US, flights are on United Airlines in Polaris business class (read our review here). You’ll fly through Shanghai PVG airport in China. From there, you connect to Bangkok BKK on Thai Airways.
Note that this last leg is in economy. That’s a 5-hour flight. Bookings with 1 flight in a different class of service are known as ‘mixed cabin’, and make sure you know which flights are in what cabin. Some airlines will offer a ‘mixed cabin’ booking where you fly 10 hours in economy and then 2 hours in business class, and they’ll charge you for business class pricing the whole way.
Other Booking Options
If you don’t have any United miles and don’t have any Chase Ultimate Rewards or Marriott points to transfer to United, there are other options.
Here are mileage requirements with other Star Alliance partners on the same dates:
- Avianca LifeMiles ‘mixed cabin’ (economy to Toronto, then business class) – 74,540 miles
- Singapore KrisFlyer – 95,000 miles
- Singapore KrisFlyer not flying on Singapore Airlines – 105,500 miles
- Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles – 135,000 miles
Here are your point transfer options to these programs:
- Avianca LifeMiles – American Express Membership Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points
- Singapore KrisFlyer – American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Points
- Turkish Miles & Smiles – Capital One, Citi ThankYou Points
Cash and portal booking options:
- The cash price with United is $3,742 and requires 249,420 points (if using the Chase Sapphire Reserve for 1.5 cents per point via the Chase travel portal)
- AmexTravel.com requires 374,200 points at 1 cent a piece without the Business Platinum 50% back.
Things To Consider
Consider the fact that this is for early next year, and you might not know your plans for that time. Also, remember that Thailand is not currently open for tourists, but they’re planning a phased re-opening for people who are vaccinated. Just in case: be sure to understand the change / cancellation policies of whomever you book with. Use a credit card that includes trip cancelation protections.
Also, be aware of the fact that the United options always route through Shanghai. As of now, tourists are not allowed to enter or transit China. Hopefully, that will change between now and next year. If it doesn’t, remember the part above about change & cancellation policies.
Thailand is an awesome country to visit. You can check out some of our reviews here and here, if you’re looking for ideas. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on business class flights, now is your chance.