Trip-Planning: 2022 Year-End Mileage-Mattress Run

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Forgive me for churning out more delayed trip reviews, as I continue to catch up on the backlog from last year’s “revenge” travels.

After my recent trip to India and the Middle East, I realised how close I was to re-qualifying for my frequent flyer and hotel statuses and decided to go on a short trip to a neighbouring country, Malaysia, to hit the required elite nights and miles for better travel experiences for an additional year.

Objectives

1) Re-qualify for Marriott Bonvoy Titanium Elite

Before this trip, I was a Marriott Titanium Elite member on 62 Elite Nights, with a year-end trip still being planned (yes, more delayed reviews coming up). I ended up booking 5 nights in Marriott hotels for that year-end trip and knew that I would be on 67 (natural) Elite Nights by the end of the year.

Choosing 5 Elite Nights as my Annual Choice Benefit would bring my total to 72 Elite Nights, just 3 nights short of the 75-night requirement for Titanium status re-qualification.

There aren’t many differences in benefits between Marriott’s Platinum and Titanium statuses, but hitting 75 nights in a year would get me a Free Night Cert worth 40k points! In previous years, I had redeemed this cert at amazing properties like Al Bustan Palace The Ritz-Carlton Muscat, The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta Pacific Place and The St. Regis Istanbul.

As I have also yet to check out some Marriott properties in Kuala Lumpur, it was a no-brainer to do a short 3-night trip there.

View from the Club Lounge at Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur

2) Re-qualify for Qatar Airways Privilege Club Gold

Upon completing my New Zealand trip on Qatar Airways, I had 266 Qpoints with Privilege Club, just 4 shy of a Gold member re-qualification. It would be a shame to miss out by just 4 Qpoints as Qatar’s Gold status (oneworld Sapphire) gets me great benefits including:

  • Business Class lounge access (+ 1 guest) when flying with any oneworld airline (regardless of class of travel)
  • 5% mileage discount on award flights on Privilege Club
  • 75% bonus earn rate on paid Qatar Airways flights
  • 40 Qcredits that can be used to upgrade from Economy to Business Class or Business to First Class
  • Better award availability on Privilege Club
  • Free award changes/cancellations on Privilege Club

I could have purchased 4 Qpoints for US$25 each, but that would mean that I wouldn’t be able to do it again for another 36 months.

I ended up booking a Business Class ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru with Qatar’s oneworld partner, Malaysia Airlines, for just a little more in cash.

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Hotels and Flights booked

To position in Kuala Lumpur, I booked a flight from Singapore with a low-cost carrier for about US$52.

For the trip home from Johor Bahru back to Singapore, I booked a train ride for about US$1. If you don’t already know, the 5-minute train ride is the fastest way to travel between both cities as there is no bad traffic to worry about (obviously) and the immigration counters are completely separate from the ones used by bus passengers!

I’ll be reviewing these hotels and flight that I had booked to achieve my objectives, as well as a couple of airport lounges in Kuala Lumpur.

Hotels/FlightTotal
Cost
AC Hotel
Kuala Lumpur
5k points
The Majestic Hotel
Kuala Lumpur
15k points
Sheraton Imperial
Kuala Lumpur
15k points
Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru in
Malaysia Airlines Business Class
US$113
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Bottom line

Mileage/Mattress runs can make sense when a member is very close to qualification and the benefits outweigh the total cost of the additional trip.

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