NYC to Melbourne on Business Class for free

Matt Kepnes lives it up on Etihad Airways Business Class. Photo / nomadicmatt
Matt Kepnes lives it up on Etihad Airways Business Class. Photo / nomadicmatt

An expert travel hacker has landed himself a free trip from New York to Melbourne flying Business Class.

Travel guru Matt Kepnes shrewdly uses frequent flyer points to take several extravagant free trips a year - and he says anyone can do the same, if they follow his advice.

His latest freebie saw the blogger, known as Nomadic Matt, travel from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York, via Abu Dhabi, then on to Melbourne - all within the comfort and luxury of Etihad Airways' Business Class.


The 34-year-old from Boston told the Daily Mail he decided to visit friends in Australia as cheaply - and comfortable - as possible.

"I wanted to find a way to get there without spending a lot of money and in Business Class," he said. "I redeemed 112,000 American Airlines miles for the flight along with $40 in fees."

He collects extra miles through spending, online shopping and credit card sign-up bonuses.

"I spent about 20 minutes on the phone to AA trying to find a route that worked and the Etihad flight [a codeshare flight] worked out the best as I could get Business Class," he says.

"Though flying through LA is quicker than going the long way through the Middle East, Business Class redemptions are rare."

And for his return journey, he will fly from Auckland to Las Vegas on Air New Zealand, using United miles.

"It's an airline I've always wanted to fly," he adds.

Kepnes started travelling in 2006 and his Nomadic Matt blog attracts more than 800,000 readers a month.

He has also written several travel books, including The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking, which lays out his tactics to use frequent flyer points schemes for free travel.

"The world is awash in miles and, if you know a few important tips, tricks, and strategies, you'll be able to get anywhere you want for as long as you want," he says.

- nzherald.co.nz

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