I have read many times that booking an award ticket with US Airways is NOTHING short of a headache, and based on every blog I’ve ever read it appears to be true. However, I have also read a number of stories about amazing award bookings that can ONLY be done with US Airways miles. This time, I experienced both—an amazing award ticket with routing rules that are nearly impossible to replicate at a cost that one could never complain about. Yet it did take me over 9 hours and 10 calls to the US Airways booking desk to secure and being labled as special needs by US Airways! Thank god for headsets and being able to multitask because otherwise this would have been the most expensive ticket of my life…let’s be honest, time is valuable!
Over the last year I have been slowly collecting US Airways miles. US Dividend miles have been earned slowly between a mixture of the US Airways shopping portal, dining for miles and the US Airways Credit Card Bonus (which I signed up for twice in the last 12 months and do note that this card and bonus offers will no longer be available after this year). In the last 12 months I’ve earned 80,000 US Airways miles from the US Airways credit card bonuses (40K sign up bonus miles x2) and then another 40K from the shopping portal and through buy and share mile promotions. I was originally trying to get 90K miles for a business class ticket to North Asia, but by the time I earned enough miles; US merged with AA and devalued their chart, meaning this was not really an option any more.
Despite this, the US Airways Dividend program still has a couple of sweet spots in their award charts: 120k in first class to North Asia from the USA or 120K miles in first or 90K miles in Business to South East and Central Asia from Central America or the Caribbean. I decided to try to take advantage of these sweet spots and try to maximize my flying experience and of course to take advantage of US lucrative routing allowance before US and AA became one American’s restrictive rules trumped US’s. So 9 hours later and 10 phones calls this is what I booked:
Blue: MEX-MIA AA Business Class (first not offered), Red: MIA-GRU TAM First Class, GRU-CDG TAM Business (first not offered), Orange: CDG-KUL Malaysia Air A380 First Class, Green: KUL-HKG Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class (first not offered), HKG-LAX Cathay Pacific First Class, Blue: LAX-DFW-MIA AA Business Class (first not offered).
Around the world in 10 days on four carriers in a mix of first and business class! I will experience TAM’s first class product on its final flight and Malaysia’s A380 first class suite which is exclusively flown between Paris and London to Kuala Lumpur. I will end the trip with a luxurious experience on Cathay Pacific, flying business class from KUL to HKG to connect onwards in their well-reviewed and much raved about first class cabin to Los Angeles before completing my around the world journey back to Mexico D.F!
My trip includes multiple stops along the way which allows me to stretch my legs, visit friends, and explore: 9 hours in Miami, 17 hours in São Paulo, 72 hours in Paris, 7 days in Malaysia, 2 hours in Hong Kong (which I plan to spend at the First Class Lounge) and 12 hours in LAX. There are a lot of stops along the way, but I planned this trip and I would never complain about an award routing that flies me 28,673 miles around the world for just 120,000 miles and $297! And to be real, I was able to secure this just 9 weeks before departure! Call me fortunate or lucky, but this award trip which departs on my birthday is going to be one hell of an experience and among the best birthday presents I ever gave myself! I love me some miles!
More from this trip:
- Around the world in First for 120,000 miles
- How much did my 120,000 mile + $300 ticket really cost?
- Courtyard Airport Hotel – Mexico City
- American Express Centurion lounge Mexico D.F. terminal 1
- American Airlines Admirals Club Mexico D.F.
- American Airlines Premium Lounge Miami
- Saloon VIP Terminal J Miami
- Tam Farewell to First Class B777 Miami (MIA) to Sao Paulo (GRU)
- 15 hours in Sao Paulo 15 Hours In Sao Paulo – Graffiti, History, Laughter, and Caipirinhas
- LAN TAM VIP Lounge Sao Paulo Terminal 3 (GRU)
- TAM “Business” Class B777 Sao Paulo (GRU) to Paris (CDG)
- Marriott Champs-Elysees Paris
- Malaysia Airlines “First class” lounge Paris – ICARE Lounge
- Malaysia Airlines First Class A380 Paris (CDG) to Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
- Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur (KUL) – First Class lounge
- Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur Regional Golden Lounge Review
- Cathay Pacific First and Business Class lounge Kuala Lumpur (KUL).
- Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class A330 Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Hong Kong (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific First Class Lounge Hong Kong (HKG)– The Wing
- Cathay Pacific First Class B777 Hong Kong (HKG) to Los Angeles (LAX)