Over-The-Top Options For Airline Miles

Apr 9, 2012 3:03pm

Need a weekend on a private, exclusive Caribbean island?  An icy-adventure vacation, complete with dog sledding and a stay at the Ice Hotel? A lifetime supply of socks?

All yours, that is —  if you’ve got the mileage.

A new report entitled “Airlines Woo Members with Wild, Weird and Wonderful Rewards,” from airline consulting group IdeaWorks, looks at the mileage rewards offered by more than 150 airlines and finds the offers go far beyond free flights.

Take, for example, the 68-fo0t Azimut yacht on offer from Etihad Airways. It can be yours for about 386 million miles. That’s a lot of flights.

Or, the seven-night stay on Necker Island, the private island owned by Richard Branson.  The 17-acre Caribbean island getaway  for 14 couples  includes all food and drink. The cost?  One million miles on Virgin Atlantic. It’s also available for purchase for $28,895, in case you’re not a frequent flier.

For travelers who prefer the cold of the Arctic to the warmth of the Caribbean, SAS Scandinavian offers an Ice Hotel Weekend in Sweden for two, for about 395, 500 miles. The three-day adventure trip includes a stay at the Ice Hotel, dog sledding and daily breakfast.

(Read more about the Ice Hotel and other Arctic adventures here.)

Here are five more strange-but-cool ways to put your unused airline miles to work for you:

1. 213, 750 miles with Southwest’s Rapid Rewards makes your “Top Gun” dreams come true through the Fighter Pilot Experience. No pilot’s license or flight experience necessary to take part in this intro to basic air combat, which includes an hour of flight time and a DVD to take home.

2. From Air Canada’s Aeroplan, a leather vest autographed by George Clooney for 177,000 miles. All the proceeds from this redemption will go to War Child Canada, Aeroplan Beyond Miles charity.

3.  52,400 Emirates miles (per person) is the price of a private dining experience in the Dubai Desert, complete with camel back ride and dinner in a private tent.

4. 14,700 miles buys a Brussels Beer-Tasting Tour through American Airline’s AAdvantage program. Beer is included and groups max out at 20 people.

5. For just 21,000 miles on Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines’ Miles and More program, neither you nor that special person in your life will ever need to buy socks again.  The “sockscription” delivers every few months. Postage is included.

See the complete report here (PDF). 

 

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