I recently managed to book United Polaris Business Class from Houston (IAH) to Buenos Aires (EZE) using EuroBonus points. I’m pretty excited as this is going to be my first time trying the Polaris new cabin on the 777-200.
I booked it using 54.000 EuroBonus points + 1022 SEK for 2 pax, using one of my SAS Amex Elite 2 for 1 voucher. Hence, per passenger, that gives a grand total of 27.000 EuroBonus points + 511 SEK ($50 USD).
BUT, working out the itinerary was tricky because I couldn’t find availability in Business Cass, so I describe the full process below. I ended up having to call a SAS agent who was very kind and helped me score these great tickets.
Booking United Polaris Business Class with SAS EuroBonus Points
I first used AwardFares to quickly search for EuroBonus award tickets in Business Class from Boston to Buenos Aires. There was nothing. I only saw space in Economy Class, which I confirmed on SAS website. The one-way ticket was 30.000 points + taxes (per passenger).
Then, I checked that United flies nonstop from Buenos Aires to both Houston (IAH) and New York (EWR), so I changed my search on AwardFares to display those destinations instead and tried to work out the itinerary from there. Bingo! There were seats in United Polaris Business Class from Houston.
Effectively, I could see those seats using SAS’ EuroBonus Star Alliance award search. The price was 54.000 points per passenger plus taxes in Business Class, on their 777-200. The problem was that there was nothing in Business Class from Boston to Houston.
As a matter of fact, if I checked from Boston to Houston there was nothing nonstop in Economy. This is because the segments I saw earlier (in the first search) were married segments. Married segments are flights you can only book in combination, but not on their own.
There were a few other options but all of them with plenty of stops as you can see below.
Then, I decided to call an agent. If they could find me a flight from Boston to Houston, even if it had one stop, and in Economy Class, then I could get a mixed-class ticket and combine that with the final leg in Polaris Business Class AT THE SAME PRICE.
Yes, the same price as if I were going from Boston: no extra points. That’s because a ticket from Boston to Buenos Aires in Business class costs the same (in points) as one from Houston to Buenos Aires, even if it has connecting flights or more stops.
I ended up calling SAS customer service and explaining my route and what I wanted to an agent. The agent was very nice and had a lot of patience until he finally found an option via Washington (IAD). I booked it and used
Was it a good redemption?
One could argue that this wasn’t the best option to use one Amex 2 for 1 voucher. Typically you want to use those vouchers on more expensive flights, so you save more points (e.g., if the trip is 135k or 105k points, then you save a lot more, than just 54k). Which is true.
My main point in using the voucher was that it expires in December 2023, and I have another one. I don’t find many opportunities to use them that are worth it, so I decided to go for it this time and secure the award flight.
After all, the price in cash was $5511.40 USD. When you do the math, at 54.000 points, I got USD $0.10 PER POINT (which is crazy!). 10 cents per point is something quite hard to achieve. Typically I’m happy with 2.5 or 3 USD cents per point. Thus, it was a no-brainer for me.
What’s your next redemption?
If you have any redemption in mind, what is it? Have you checked the value you are getting based on the price in cash and the number of points you need? Let me know in the comments!