As the year was winding down, at the end of October, I started to assess what I needed to round out my Alaska Airlines elite status. I was running a little low to make MVP Gold 75K. A friend of mine, Eric, also need to get more Alaska miles to get to MVP Gold as well. While I didn't quite need a as many miles as Eric, I also did not know how many miles for work I would get the last bit of 2017.
Eric and I decided to take advantage of discounted Business Class (R) tickets on Hainan Airlines and credit them to our Alaska Airlines account. The advantage of doing this: 200% mileage credit that is ELITE QUALIFYING MILES. This is really huge. The next step then was to find the least expensive way to fly R class on Hainan. I started searching using ITA Matrix. I had seen earlier in the year a $1,350 ticket from LAX to CSX (Changsha, China, capital of the Hunan Province). While I could not find that extremely low rate, I did find wide availability for $1,780. Not the screaming deal but still not a bad deal to get nearly 28,000. That is roughly 6.4 cents for each elite qualifying mile. When you consider that Hainan Airlines is a Skytrax 5-Star airline, it is not the worst way to get miles.
So Eric and I booked our tickets for the weekend before Thanksgiving. Over the next few blog entries, I will write about our fun adventure but wanted to set up the trip for you all in this entry.