Hong Kong Airlines - Happier Times a Year Ago - Use those Fortune Wings Club Miles
One of the better error fares we have seen in recent years was the Hong Kong Airlines business class deal from the US to Asia for $600 or so. While waiting for our departure date last March details of their financial problems started to appear in the news which was a little worrying, but all went well and we had a great trip to Asia at a bargain price.
Sadly things seem to be going from worse to worse for HKA and after pulling their US routes a few weeks ago, now there are rumors of inflight entertainment being cancelled and staff not being paid. It looks like the writing is on the wall as they have probably borrowed as much as people are willing to lend at this point.
For the selfish points and miles fiends amongst us this would ring alarm bells. What would we do with the decent haul of J class points we got last year and probably haven’t used yet. The good news is HKA are a part of the Fortune Wings Club consortium with the likes of Hainan and a few other Chinese airlines. So whatever fate awaits the airline, our miles will be safe. But what to do with them??
Generally speaking you tend to have an idea of what to do with a haul of miles whatever the program but Fortune Wings Club is slightly different, certainly for those of us not based in Asia. So what are the sweet spots for the 40k’ish miles you earned??
Etihad - first class up to 1,500 miles
Another airline in trouble but if you can find space and make it work, you can travel in the Etihad Suites between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai. While the flight is only three hours you can have a lot of fun on the ground in the First Class Lounge. But of course you need to get there first. This redemption may need a little top up as it comes in at 44,000 but can be done with a transfer from Bonvoy or Capital One. Or just slum it in Business for 35k.
Etihad Economy or Business
Any distance between 3,001 and 4,500 miles will run you 38k in Etihad Economy which can get you from Abu Dhabi to most parts of Europe or Southern Asia including Hong Kong. While 35k will get you up to 2,000 miles flown in Business class, this would get you from AUH to Istanbul for example.
Short Haul Alaska
If you can make this one work there could be huge value in short hops on Alaska Airlines. It costs just 5,000 points for Alaska fares up to 500 miles. This could be a route such as Portland to Vancouver or flights actually in Alaska which at peak times tend to be quite expensive.
TAP Short Haul
Another useful short haul option could be using TAP from Lisbon to Madrid or particularly useful to me would be Lisbon to Faro which is often a very expensive flight for its meager distance. Again these come in at 5,000 for under 500 miles and 10,000 for under a 1,000 which would get you up to Paris.
These are kind of random redemptions but if you have a haul of Fortune Wing Miles in the first place the chances are you are ok with random. When building a big trip some of these routes may help, I’m hoping to somehow link the Etihad First into a return on the worlds longest flight from Hyderabad at some point. Us avgeeks are a strange bunch!!!!