Last fall, I asked several of you whether it would be worthwhile to credit my Emirates flights in Business Class to Jetblue True Blue or to Alaska’s Mileage Program. The responses were very helpful and I am already over halfway through retaining Alaska MVP status for next year (currently am MVP Gold).
My travels have decreased significantly recently due to part-time graduate school, but I do have at least one big international trip coming up in the spring to the Baltics as part of my program. I have already booked my outbound flight to Vilnius, Lithuania flying in Aeroflot Premium Economy. I managed to snag a relatively inexpensive one-way ticket from New York to Vilnius which has pseudo-decent accrual rates on Delta. I also did it partially for the story: this will be my first “true” Premium Economy Class experience, and word on the street is that catering in Aeroflot’s Premium Economy class product is the same as in its Business Class. More on that to come…
On the return, I am flying out of Helsinki back to the United States, and I have found some relatively decent one-way fares on Icelandair, either from Helsinki to Boston or Toronto, for ~$1,400 in SAGA Class.
Per its website, Icelandair’s SAGA class is essentially its most premium product, although it is more akin to a short/medium-haul First Class rather than a true long-haul Upper cabin class. This is understandable given that Icelandair positions itself as a value-carrier with a hybrid-style offering. Certain amenities like in-flight entertainment, non-alcoholic drinks, pillows and blankets (on U.S. flights) and 1 checked bag (23 KGs) are complimentary in the Economy Class product. Meals, however, are available for sale. Icelandair generally offers the most competitive prices between the U.S. and Europe over its Reykjavic hub that don’t entirely nickel and dime passengers.
In SAGA class, customers can expect full meals, complimentary Wi-Fi and extra checked baggage allowance. The seat also features 40′ of legroom, in a 2×2 configuration, although it is a recliner-style seat.
Icelandair SAGA class product descriptionThe routing pairs I am looking at from Helsinki to Toronto and Helsinki to Washington are measured at 4,100 and 4,300 miles, approximately, which would earn a little over 6,500 miles (elite-qualifying) and over 8,600 redeemable miles on Alaska, per its website.
While $1,400 may seem a bit steep for this fare, it is available for 97,500 Chase Sapphire Points, which is about a 33% discount.
Should I Book This Fare?!
For those who think I’m crazy, here is my rationale for taking this flight:
- Icelandair is an airline I have never flown, and I am fascinated by the prospect
- It will earn me a sizable number of redeemable miles that can be applied towards the relatively inexpensive mileage tickets that Alaska offers through its mileage program
- It gets me closer to requalifying for MVP for 2018
- I don’t really travel often enough to use my Chase Sapphire Rewards points for other travel, and its also not that difficult for me to make up the points given the 3 pts/$1 spending on dining and travel
- I am crazy.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments section.