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The Points Guy Defends Jessel Taank’s Husband’s Vietnam Trip: “Justice for Pavit”

The Points Guy Brian Kelly has weighed in on the benefits of Pavit's vacation to Vietnam.

By Cydney Contreras

If you were questioning the merits of taking a 22-hour flight to Vietnam, only to turn around after little more than 24 hours, you're not alone. 

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Jessel Taank's husband Pavit Randhawa's solo trip was the subject of much speculation on Season 14 of The Real Housewives of New York City. From an outsider's perspective it seemed that Pavit was leaving Jessel to care for their two sons so he could sit in an airplane for almost 48 hours and spend another 24 hours exploring Vietnam. 

And though Pavit repeatedly stated he was doing it for the points, Sai de Silva was so bewildered by the concept of a mileage run, she began to wonder if Pavit was seeking out something less savory than banh mi. 

So, to clear up any confusion, Bravo's The Daily Dish spoke to The Points Guy founder Brian Kelly, who said that he wants "justice for Pavit." 

Keep reading to learn about the benefits of a mileage run...

A split of Brian Kelly aka The Points guy at an event and Jessel Taank and Pavit Randhawa at WWHL.

What is a mileage run? 

Put simply, a mileage run is a trip planned for the purpose of racking up miles. There are two kinds of miles: redeemable miles that can be used to purchase airline tickets and elite-qualifying miles. The former is good for acquiring extra perks, like flight upgrades and extra legroom, while elite-qualifying miles help a flyer attain elite status, giving you access to airport lounges and premium services. 

"That's the basis for why people will go on mileage runs, so that they can cross the threshold to get elite status for the next year. This is completely normal," Brian said. 

For the purpose of this story, we'll focus on redeemable miles, which Pavit primarily sought to earn with this trip. 

How to redeem airline miles like Pavit

Jessel Taank and her husband Pavit Randhawa outdoors at a seaside marina together.

As Brian explained, redeemable miles can be traded for additional tickets.

"For example, 100,000 American Airlines miles can get you basically a round-trip ticket to Europe in business class," Brian said. 

Assuming Pavit already has elite status, Brian estimated that he could've earned "like 100,000 miles just by flying the flight because it's so far." 

Then, consider the cost of a ticket. Pavit said in Episode 13, "A Night at Swingers," that he bought the round-trip ticket for about $900.

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"Pavit, I'm pretty sure, got a mistake fare, which is when airlines publish fares that are really, really cheap by accident. So that's like, this is a slam dunk," Brian explained, adding that first-class tickets on Cathay Pacific normally cost about $10,000. 

"So, if he's going to spend 1000 bucks, he gets to go to Asia and then he earns enough miles to then go to Europe in business class, which is like $5,000. So, it's like a total no-brainer," he continued. 

This is why Brian felt "enraged" when he was watching the Housewives speculate about the purpose of the trip, saying, "He's going to earn enough miles to, in the future, take his family to the Caribbean or to Europe, so like the amount of redeemable miles can be worth more than the actual ticket that you bought." 

What's it like flying first-class? 

According to Brian, flying first-class is a truly unbeatable experience, especially if it's with Cathay Pacific. Amenities offered include lie-flat beds, three-course meals, unlimited high-end champagne, and more.

Pavit, a self-proclaimed foodie, already offered a glimpse at his experience on Instagram, revealing that he had plenty of Champagne and caviar during the first leg of his flight. 

"In general, the service is unlike flying in coach in America where you're basically screamed at from start to finish," he said.  

If anything, flying first-class offers a stress-free experience that might actually make you feel more rested post-vacation.  

"Cathay Pacific has amazing food in-flight, amazing service, the Hong Kong Airport is awesome. So yeah, going for a quick trip to Vietnam on one of the world's best airlines, that in itself can be enjoyable, especially if someone's a new father, as I am. Like, being able to get your me-time doing what you love is completely normal," Brian said.  

And other airlines offer different, sometimes better, amenities. When flying Emirates, for example, Brian said first-class passengers are able to "take a hot shower in the sky." 

"There's unlimited caviar and Dom Perignon, and a huge TV. It's like you're in your own living room for 14 hours just being able to binge movies and be served. It's awesome. There are many times where I'm flying where I'm like, 'Oh, I wish they would keep going,'" he continued. 

How to earn airline miles 

Jessel Taank and Pavit Randhawa pose together at night in front of a pool.

Brian acknowledges that traveling for the sake of racking up points or miles is not common practice among the general population and has even decreased in popularity among frequent flyers because of strict airline policies. But that doesn't mean the average person can't find good deals on flights.  

"Mileage runs don't make sense for most people. But what I would tell people like you is, instead of doing mileage runs and spending money needlessly, you should just get credit cards. Credit cards give you tons of points and then you can just redeem those for first-class flights," he said. 

And though many travelers would say that flying is the worst part of any vacation, Bryan argued that "when you fly [with] the right airlines, the actual travel can be part of the fun — not a part that you have to dread." 

Take it from Pavit, who calls himself The Wiiingman on Instagram because of his passion for travel or even Jenna Lyons, who flew early to Anguilla early so she could nab a business class seat instead of coach.

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