This post is written by Jordan Bishop, perpetual traveler and founder of Yore Oyster. The principles applied are universal, though the recommended tools are available only to Canadians.
I need to come home.
Not because I'm homesick. No, it's because I have flights booked that are taking me to LA, San Francisco, Vegas, Toronto and more, all scheduled for the next couple of weeks.
So I'm going to book my flights in the next 60 minutes. And while I do it, I'm going to document exactly how I do it. Here's my situation:
I need to get from Asia to Los Angeles, where I'll be visiting a few friends. I have unfinished business in both Guangzhou, China and Singapore, so I'd like to leave Asia from one of those two cities.
Oh ya - I want to do it as cheaply as possible.
Luckily, I have a secret: I know how to drop the cost of these Asia to North America flights by 90%.
Yes, that's right, I'm going to pay 10% of what the passengers on my left and right paid.
How will I do it? I'm going to use 37,500 Aeroplan points, which are an exceptionally valuable tool when used in the right way.
And right now, in the next five minutes, I'm going to show you both a) how to get them, and b) how to use them the right way. [Note: if you can't wait and just want to get straight to the tools,
First, I open up the
And when I open up the Guide, something jumps out at me right away. Three of the top seven airlines on the list, my personal favourites, are based in Asia: Singapore Airlines, Air China, and EVA Airways. That tells me something even more important: their hub cities, Singapore, Beijing, and Taipei will definitely offer some great prices to North America.
Just thirty seconds into my search process, my decision is made for me: I'm leaving from Singapore.
A quick search on the Aeroplan website confirms it: I can get from Singapore to LA for $73.80 CAD. I'll book it right now.
(5-minute pause while Jordan books his ticket)
Okay, I've booked the Singapore-LA flight for $73.80. But now I'm curious - what are the prices like from those other two cities? As expected, they're exceptionally cheap, just like my Singapore flight:
Okay, that all makes sense - the Guide basically gave that one away. But what if I just wanted to go to LA directly from Chiang Mai?
Good question. And I'd tell you that's a bad move.
Why? Well, the entire key here is that the most important factor in booking your flights with Aeroplan is the airline, which is why the first thing I did when thinking about my flights was determine which airlines are based where in Asia (using info from the
Not a single one. In that case, we need to look to other airlines based in the same country or region. Here in Thailand we've got Thai Airways which, without surprise, dominates traffic in and out of Chiang Mai.
But there's a problem: Thai Airways isn't anywhere on our list of good airlines to fly with. In fact, on a global scale, it's one of the worst for Aeroplan flights. I avoid them at all costs when booking with Aeroplan, and you should too. From a practical perspective, Thailand is a bad place to fly into or out of.
That sounds harsh, but when you see all of the other options you have, it ceases to matter. Here are just a few amazing flights from cities all over Asia that I found in a couple minutes of searching:
There's actually something exciting here for you if you need to reach Thailand: you can visit another Asian city and still pay less than you would by flying into or out of Thailand. Bonus!
Also, do you notice anything about the above examples? That's right, we're also using United Airlines. United is another favourite from Page 7 of the Guide, so any flights you can take with them are going to be cheap as well. Just like I did with the Singapore to LA flight, combining one of Singapore Airlines, Air China, or EVA Airways with United Airlines is a fantastic, replicable way of getting from Asia to North America.
So that's that; my flight is booked, and there's a myriad of other options for anyone else leaving from Asia as well.
But some of you are thinking, "This doesn't apply to me, I'm not going to LA!" Take a look at these next two flights. Yes, this strategy works to anywhere in North America.
Okay, maybe this is all a bit overwhelming. After all, you just want to get from A to B as cheaply as possible, right?
Your ticket to 25,000 points (and a $75 flight to Asia) is in the American Express Gold Rewards Card. Just take 3 minutes to
As soon as you close that tab, get yourself an
And that's it! You'll be enjoying authentic dim sum in no time.
If you want to show your friends how much of a flight hacker you are,
Oh, and let us know if you got any value out of this post - depending on the response it receives, we may create similar posts for reaching the other continents,
If you have questions, feel free to
Feb 2019 Update: Right now we're recommending the