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How Brad is flying around the world for 116,000 airline miles + £285 + $30

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In 2015 reader Brad shared with us how he was going to fly around the world in economy for 112,000 airline miles and just £173 of taxes. One and a half years later he has decided to do a similar trip.

Since there was a lot of interest in the article we wrote on this last trip, we thought you’d be interested in this one.  Whilst we don’t spend a lot of time on Head for Points focusing on economy redemptions, they can be good value when you don’t fly BA and don’t incur heavy taxes and charges.

This is what he is doing this time:

itinery map

Manchester – Madrid
£30 Iberia (cash)

Madrid – Lima
25,000 Avios + £90 tax

Lima – Cusco
4,500 Avios + £8 tax

Cusco – Lima
4,500 Avios + £6 tax

Lima – Buenos Aires – Santiago De Chile
12,500 Delta SkyMiles + $30 tax

Santiago De Chile – Easter Island – Papeete
25,000 Avios + £32 tax

(Brad notes that this one is tricky one to get.  When you search for 2 separate one-way tickets for the route they are not available.  However when you search for SCL – PPT you can easily find availability.  The downside is that you only get 10 hours in Easter Island on a stopover!)

Papeete – Auckland – Shanghai – Beijing
15,000 United MileagePlus miles + £35 tax

Beijing – Hong Kong
10,000 Avios + £12 tax

Hong Kong – London Heathrow – Manchester
19,500 Avios + £72 tax

He is covering 31,439 miles in total


This comes to a total of : 88,500 Avios + 12,500 Delta SkyMiles + 15,000 United Airlines MileagePlus = 116,000 airline miles + £285 + $30.

If you wanted to emulate this routing, the Delta miles could be obtained from an American Express Membership Rewards transfer.  It would also be bookable via other Skyteam airlines.  There is no easy way to pick up United miles (there is no bonus on their credit card and the transfer rate from Starwood is 2:1) but, again, you could use another Star Alliance airline – albeit for potentially more miles.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

Comments (97)

  • Nick says:

    It’s not equivalent to a £5000 cash fare because anyone in their right mind would buy a RTW ticket (for a lot less than this) rather than a bunch of one-way cash fares. Not saying it’s not great value, just that this is not a fair comparison.

    Not liking the ‘secretiveness, nod-nod’ in the comments for this article by the way. The whole point of this blog is to share FF tips to make the most of our points, and talking about UA miles ‘tricks’ or ‘reclaiming LAN Avios’ with constant in-crowd references to “if you know what I mean” are neither helpful nor very open to the readership, and just seem like showing off and rubbing our noses in it.

    • John says:

      +1, just like the Conrad Maldives redemption is not equivalent to £1000 per night unless you are actually paying that much

    • Rob says:

      I have no idea what he means, if that helps!

    • Bremb87 says:

      @Nick +1

    • Callum says:

      I vaguely remember a glitch where LAN Avios redemptions were still earning miles (possibly only in non-BA programmes?). That was years ago though so if it’s still happening then I’m quite surprised!

      No idea what the United one is – though the “clue” implies some kind of manufactured spending… In which case I don’t blame them for keeping that one secret given it will no doubt get immediately shut down if everyone does it. The secrecy is certainly irritating though!

      • Sally says:

        +1 think that the pros think they are above the air mile beginners. Shame, everyone started somewhere. Nonetheless well done Brad on your journey

  • Damien says:

    I assume you’re able to hop out at easter island and take a quick tour?