Philippine Airlines flies non-stop from North America to Southeast Asia. You don’t hear about them often because they do not have any US frequent flyer partners, and no bank program transfers points to the Mabuhay Miles program.
And yet therein lies an opportunity.
- Just like Chase transfers to Korean Air open up a world of availability to Asia because there’s very little competition for first class awards on Korean from US members, if you can get access to miles that can be redeemed on Philippine Airlines you’ve got a whole world of availability at your fingertips.
- Citibank points transfer to Etihad Guest and Eithad’s miles can be used on Philippine Airlines.
- ANA Mileage Club has a new partnership with Philippine Airlines. American Express Membership Rewards points and Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints transfer to ANA.
Here are the routes that Philippine Airlines flies daily:
- Manila – Vancouver
- Manila – San Francisco (plus a second flight once a week)
- Manila – Los Angeles (plus a second flight four times a week)
Sure, you can try to redeem for United, Asiana, or ANA. But with Philippine Airlines the line is shorter.
Philippine Airlines awards can’t be searched for online that I’m aware of, so you have to call presently (in this case Etihad) to find the space as well as book.
With the ANA partnership I wouldn’t be surprised if Philippine Airlines space becomes bookable (and therefore seaerchable) on their website on or about November 26 when the new relationship takes flight.
- Even the Philippine Airlines website does not have online award search for the carrier’s seats — their members actually have to issue tickets in person!.
The Etihad Option…
The Etihad Guest program prices awards based on distance. For Philippine Airlines awards these flights fall within the 6001 – 8000 mileage band.
That means the price each way is:
- 70,000 points for economy
- 124,444 points for business class
Taxes and fees run a little over $250 each way. Awards must be booked at least 14 days prior to travel.
That’s a lot of points. And Philippine Airlines isn’t known for having the single best inflight product. But it’s a way to use Citibank Thank You Points for long haul business class, with very little competition (remember, until recently you could only use the points at a little over a penny apiece towards paid airfare so a business class roundtrip could cost 300,000 – 800,000 points — comparatively speaking this is a bargain!).
And unlike American Express or Chase points, Thank You Points may be transferred t anyone you wish
ANA Mileage Club Saves You Tons of Points
ANA current has a distance-based award chart which will last through mid-April.
Taking the Vancouver or San Francisco non-stops is less than 14,000 miles roundtrip so a business class award would cost just 90,000 miles. Taking the Los Angeles flight roundtrip would be 105,000 miles in business class. And you could tack additional flying beyond Manila on Philippine Airlines – as long as you stay under 18,000 total miles flown – for that same 105,000 miles.
Starting in mid-April ANA will be moving to a zone- or region-based award chart. Under this chart South Asia roundtrip in business class will cost 110,000 miles. ANA does add fuel surcharges to award tickets.