Although there is greater number discount airlines in Asia, some of the mid-haul routes are still rather pricey. Especially, if you are buying the ticket in short notice. I really like using my United miles for these flights that allow me to essentially to have double open jaw with a stopover ticket for a price of a simple return.
My schedule was somewhat open after the new year, but I was trying to make my way down to Jakarta from Bangkok by Friday. My favorite way of getting to Jakarta is to buy a cheap one-way or return ticket on KLM that still operates one of the few fifth freedoms they have left in Asia on KUL-CGK route that is always very competitively priced.
Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur is one of the more popular fifth freedoms as well; Royal Jordanian, Ethiopian, Lufthansa and Egypt Air all fly this several times a week and have usually fares on sale at rock bottom prices. But not this week.
So, I decided to use some of my United miles and issue an intra-Asia business class return ticket with an open jaw.
Playing around with United.com, I issued BKK-CGK//DPS-SINx-PVGo-ICNx-BKK for 35K miles and $56.50. Essentially, this is Bangkok to Indonesia return with an open jaw in Indonesia and stopover in Shanghai.
It is highly unlikely that I will fly the ticket completely as ticketed, but I had to book it as a return so that I can later modify the return part to fit my need.
Personally, I have found United miles to be highly useful for variety of trips. I rarely, if ever, issue traditional return trips using miles. You can use regular paid fares for those.
American Airlines miles are not useful for trips such as these due to no-stopovers outside of North American gateway rule and somewhat uncompetitive award chart for intra-Asia.