One of the greatest long standing award chart values has been US Airways’ 90,000 mile roundtrip business class award between the US and North Asia. I especially loved this award back when US Airways belonged to the Star Alliance, given how many great Star Alliance business class products there are.
Last year alone I flew three of these types of awards using US Airways miles:
- New York to Brussels to Vienna to Tokyo to Istanbul to Warsaw to Chicago in January
- Seattle to Frankfurt to Nice/Zurich to Vienna to Tokyo to Taipei to San Francisco in July
- Chicago to Charlotte to Paris to Beijing to Tokyo to Taipei to Los Angeles in October
Before US Airways transitioned from Star Alliance to oneworld I decided to book one last 90,000 mile business class award to North Asia on the Star Alliance, and it’s a good thing I did, because shortly thereafter they devalued that award redemption and increased the cost to 110,000 miles.
This trip wasn’t so much designed to try the best Star Alliance products, but rather to sample some of the “missing” ones I hadn’t yet flown. So this time around I’ll be flying from New York to Beijing via Warsaw and Zurich, returning via Addis Ababa and Frankfurt (because, well, who wouldn’t… right?).
Originally the segment from Beijing to Addis Ababa was scheduled to be operated by a 777, while the segment from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt was scheduled to be operated by a 787. However, unfortunately they downgraded the aircraft from Addis Ababa to Frankfurt to a 767, which was kind of disappointing. Then again, a disappointing flight for me usually leads to an entertaining trip report for you guys, if history is any indicator.
Now it looks like they’ve also changed the aircraft type from Beijing to Addis Ababa from a 777 to a 787. So I guess that’s a good thing?
My gosh, Ethiopian sure does love last minute equipment swaps! As long as they don’t substitute either segment to a Q400, I think we’ll be fine.
This big trip will be kicking off today, so suffice to say it will be a whirlwind week!
While I’ll be writing trip reports about all my flights, you can follow along “live” through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook:
I’m traveling with my friend Andrew (who’s also one of the funniest people I know), and he has promised to post entertaining Tweets, so feel free to follow him on Twitter at @adb36. If it’s half as funny as his Facebook feed, you’re in for a treat.
Anyway, if anyone has any specific requests or tips for maximizing our Cloud Nine Ethiopian Airlines experience, I’d love to hear ’em!
Safe travels, everyone!