“Where do you want to go 2018” Instagram Winner post

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Congrats Cpain99!

Miles asked his Instagram followers to comment where they want to go in 2018, and the comment with the most likes would get a custom post. After 35 comments in just a few days, the winner, with 12 likes, was cpain99. And where to? Kherson, Ukraine. Before we dig into how I would plan a simple trip there, I thought I’d highlight two other readers and give them some tips into nailing down a trip as well. Hanno.opperman and fatworm 2000, I’m going to write a short tip sheet for you guys to check out at the end of this post. What I loved about all three of these posts was the focus on doing it to see a loved one, for a loved one, or with a loved one. There’s no better use of points IMO – In Miles’ Opinion 😉

The winners:

Cpain99 was the out and out winner, has never left North America, and wants to visit her brother in the Ukraine. This is so awesome and a the perfect use for some points. I’m going to highlight a very simple way to approach this trip, and if you have any questions or want a more complex routing…please reach out.

Cpain99 wants to get to Kherson, Ukraine

The first thing I do when searching to a destination that I’m not uber familiar with ( Kherson, Ukraine would qualify) is to look up the airlines that service the airport. Once you see the airlines, you can figure out which points would work, and how to search for availability. I recommend going to the airport’s wikipedia page:

Kherson has a small number of airlines that service its airport. The two airlines that pop out to me are Turkish and Ukraine International Airlines. While Ukraine services the U.S. – it only flies into JFK, whereas Turkish has many destinations in the U.S. and amazing food, so we’ll concentrate on that, as it should be possible to find with just one connection.

a screenshot of a computer

What points can you use to fly Turkish?

Turkish is a member of Star Alliance so we need to look at Star Alliance partners to redeem. The easiest forms of redemption will be United, Singapore, and Aeroplan.  How do you earn those points?

  • United —> Chase Ultimate Rewards, SPG
  • Singapore Airlines —-> Chase Ultimate Rewards, SPG, Citi Thank You, and Amex Membership Rewards
  • Aeroplan —-> American Express Membership Rewards

There are several cards with each bank that can earn you those points. Sign up bonuses range from 30k points to 80k points. A roundtrip coach ticket will set you back roughly 60k.

One of the best cards you can hold in your wallet is the Chase Sapphire Preferred (it’s currently offering 50k bonus points). A great business card to compliment it, is the Chase Ink Business Preferred ( currently offering an 80k points bonus.)

With just one card sign up ( the Sapphire Preferred offers 50k points after $4k spend, and 5k points for an Authorized User) you pretty much have a roundtrip flight to Kherson, Ukraine wrapped up.

How do you search for the availability?

Regardless of the points you use to book your star alliance flights, the easiest search engine to use is United.com. I used random dates over the summer from JFK. Turkish services a number of U.S. airports ( Boston, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, LA, San Fran, D.C.)

a screenshot of a computer

As you can see, it’ll set you back 60k points and $52 roundtrip.

Once you have the points available, booking the ticket is as easy as transferring them to United and clicking through the booking process.

Cpain – if you have any other questions, please let me know 🙂 I’m happy to walk you through the process and get you to your brother.

Now for the other two commenters

Hanno.Opperman wants to get to the islands of Thailand from London

  • The best deals to Thailand don’t originate out of London, so if you’re willing to position outside of London, you’ll find much better deals – potentially saving hundreds.
  • Here’s a custom search on the ITA Matrix from Stockholm, Oslo, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Copenhagen to Bangkok and Krabi
  • Rates start at just 450 USD – They can drop even lower than that.
  • https://matrix.itasoftware.com/#calendar:research=ARNBKK-BKKARN


fatworm20000 wants to go from London to Tokyo

  • He has a Loads of Virgin Atlantic miles but they don’t fly there and he wants to get his fam there in a premium cabin
  • This is true
  • However, Virgin partners with ANA and has really great prices roundtrip
  • a screenshot of a white sheet
  • How do you find avail? United.com

I hope this helps! If you need help with award booking —we offer an award booking service. Please email us miles@monkeymiles.com for inquiries.



Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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