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“I Saved for 2 Years to Fly the Etihad Residence, and It Was Worth Every Cent”

“I Saved for 2 Years to Fly the Etihad Residence, and It Was Worth Every Cent”

Million Mile Secrets“I Saved for 2 Years to Fly the Etihad Residence, and It Was Worth Every Cent”Million Mile Secrets Team

Welcome to the next installment of our interview series where folks share their thoughts about Big Travel with Small Money!

Miles & Points Interview:   Points From the Pacific

Zac writes Points From the Pacific to help readers to travel in luxury for less.  You can also follow him on Instagram!

Points From The Pacific
The Qatar Airways Onboard Bar

How and when did you start collecting miles and points?

I started collecting miles and points at the age of 14.  Yes, that’s very young.  But as I’ve grown up I’ve realized the value of miles and points.  The first points I collected were Virgin Australia Velocity points as I’m currently living in Australia.

Why did you start your blog?  What’s special about it?

I started my blog as a way to keep people up to date with movements regarding points and miles in Australia.  Unlike the US, there aren’t a large number of blogs just devoted to points and travel news.  So I thought it would be cool to start one and see how it performed.

I think it’s special as my age sets me apart from other blogs in the space.  At 17, my perspectives are quite different to those that are much older than I am and I tend to write for a younger audience.

Points From The Pacific
Spotless Lavatory With Shower Aboard an Emirates A380 First Class Flight

What’s the one single thing people can do to get more miles?

I think buying miles is now the fastest and most lucrative way to get miles.  As long as you buy them when they’re on sale and from the right frequent flyer program, you can get some extremely good values from them – it’s something I do quite often.

What’s your most memorable travel experience?

My most memorable travel experience was definitely flying Etihad’s Residence onboard the A380 from Abu Dhabi to Sydney at the start of the year.  I saved for 2 years to do the flight and it was worth every cent.  I hope to one day do it again.

Points From The Pacific
Turn Down Service in the Etihad Apartment During a Flight From London to Abu Dhabi (This Is NOT the Residence)

What do your family and friends think of your miles & points hobby?

I get mixed reactions.  Many of my friends think I’m like a celebrity flying in First and Business Class.  But am also quite insane doing multiple flights on end.  My family still think I’m crazy which is always quite funny.

Is there any tool or trick which you’ve found especially useful in this hobby?

It’s not really a trick of sorts, but it’s researching and learning about different frequent flyer programs.  Why not use 70,000 points on one program instead of 144,000 on another program?  When I tell people about doing this, they’re always shocked and weren’t aware that was even possible.

What was the least expected way you’ve earned miles or points?

The least expected way was probably using a toolbar on the internet which gave 150 Qantas points.

Points From The Pacific
Japan Airlines First Class Digs

What do you now know about collecting miles and points which you wish you knew when you started out?

Earn and burn as quickly as possible.  And take advantage of promotions as soon as you can.  Even if you don’t plan to take advantage of a promotion, you may as well just sign-up for it.

What would your readers be surprised to know about you?

I have an obsession with suits.  Both the TV series and clothing.  I have a tradition and it’s every time I visit New York, I’ll visit my favorite store and pick up a suit.  Those trips tend to be very expensive…

Points From The Pacific
Singapore Airlines First Class Suites

Any parting words?

Earn and burn!

Zac – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on having Big Travel with Small Money!

If you’d like to be considered for our interview series, please send me a note!

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9 comments

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I'm sorry but saving for 2 years to fly one flight is absolutely ludicrous. It's beyond ludicrous but I can't think of any better word. Holy cow

congrats on your trip and which ever way you saved well done

one thing that gets me is how much that trip meant to you but you use a picture of you in a Qatar flight why not a picture in the Residence

Wait, how does a teenager have money to buy miles often? And are they allowed to have credit cards in AUS at that age?

It's not the destination, it's the journey. Kudos to you for doing it in only 2 years. Who would PAY for a flight when you can fly for free?

I'd agree with Justin on this, but at 17 I could understand why you'd do this. I would also say you might regret that decision as you get older, however it also strikes me that most 17 year-olds can't afford such things even if they save like madmen for two years.
So leads me to two questions:
1. Was your flight a TPG style 32K splurge or a OMAAT type 7G/well-planned trip?
2. Has your blog been bringing you good income? And if not, what was the source of income?
I'm almost double your age and with a 6 figure salary I still can't justify purchasing a ticket on EK Residence. Of course, I have expenses too 😉

I've seen "regular" first class awards available on Etihad through the American Airlines Advantage program, but never the Residence suites. Any tips on earning the Residence award when redeeming American Airlines points?

I think you need to pay with $ for the Residence, it's not available on point redemption.

The Residence can be bought via points....it was 500,000 each way, at one point I have zero clue what it is now

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