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Answers (6)

Best Options: Seattle to Greece

Best Options: Seattle to Greece

  1. BKT

    All,

    I’ve got a 2016 Maldives trip in the bank, and have been positioning myself for a 2017 trip to Thailand. The lady mentioned that she’d really like to go to Greece, and in all honesty I’m feeling a bit guilty planning all the trips that I want and not what she wants. So, I’m needing to change it up. To date I’ve been accruing miles/points with Asia in mind. I know relatively little about Europe and need some help/advice. Here is what I currently have:

    ~50K UR Points (currently have open/available for additional points accrual his and hers Freedom and CSP cards)
    ~150K Citi TY Points (my Prestige and TY Premier open/available for additional accrual)
    ~70K Alaska miles (hers – with Alaska CC available for additional accrual)
    ~135K Alaska miles (mine – with Alaska CC available for additional accrual)

    I’m planning this one for 2017 sometime, so there is still plenty of time to accrue additional points necessary. I’m thinking of 8-10 days on ground with 4 in Athens and 4+ in Santorini. I’d desire F flights, though would consider “slumming it” in J if we had to 🙂 We are based in Seattle.

    Since I’m a total novice with regards to Europe, I’d be thankful for ANY thoughts/suggestions/comments on flights AND accommodation.

    Thanks!
    Brian

  2. MidSouthSkier

    [USER=756]@BKT[/USER] – Alaska is going to route you on a combination of AS & BA flights, which mean fuel surcharges but for a fairly reasonable number of miles.

    For a random Tuesday in November I found this for a 1-way flight SEA-ATH. All of these options are for 2-stop flights:
    – low-level business class space for 42.5K + $327
    – regular business class space for 60K + $327 or $497 (depending on flights)
    – first class space for 70K + $497

    Still, that’s gonna be ~$750 to $1000 RT in fees.

    However, at some point Aer Lingus will come under the BA umbrella and they offer service to SFO as well as seasonal service to Athens, so perhaps that’s something to keep an eye on.

    For using your Thank You Points, [URL=’http://frequentmiler.boardingarea.com/2014/06/24/transfer-partner-master-list/’]check out this post from Frequent Miler[/URL]. It’s old, but the spreadsheet it links to is kept up-to-date. Filter the spreadsheet on TYP and take a look at where you can transfer your miles and their partners. That may help you narrow your search.

    Feel free to let us know if you have more questions and we can help further.

  3. No Name

    [USER=756]@BKT[/USER]

    Emirates fly a F and J product into ATH year around and is bookable true Alaska, you will have sign up for some credit card bonuses.

    [URL]https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/award-chart/award-chart-europe.aspx#emirates[/URL]

    While the award allows a stopover in DXB I would not recommend a long stop in high summer due to the temperatures in UAE during that season.

    EK also have a flight from JFK to Milan, I THINK it would be possible to have you stopover in Milan and continue onward on the same award to India/Middle east/Africa.
    [URL]https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/award-chart/award-chart-Africa.aspx#emirates[/URL]
    What I can’t remember is if the Maldives and Sri Lanka is included in AS definition of the regions above.

    Aegean flies Milan-ATH, and you would ave to get a separate ticket, best class of service on this route is Euro-J aka economy with the middle seat blocked off.

    When researching airports/regions you don’t know much about having a look at wikipedia helps. Not the most reliable source out there, and you always want to double check with another source. But it’s a quick way to get the feel of the land so to speak.

    ATH
    [URL]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athens_International_Airport#Airlines_and_destinations[/URL]

    Santorini
    [URL]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorini_%28Thira%29_National_Airport[/URL]

  4. Anonymous

    Perfect advice above, just a comment on the Alaska/Emirates situation:

    [QUOTE=”No Name, post: 12984, member: 268″]

    EK also have a flight from JFK to Milan, I THINK it would be possible to have you stopover in Milan and continue onward on the same award to India/Middle east/Africa.
    [URL]https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/award-chart/award-chart-Africa.aspx#emirates[/URL]
    What I can’t remember is if the Maldives and Sri Lanka is included in AS definition of the regions above.
    [/QUOTE]

    Alaska only allows a stopover in one of two places:
    [LIST]
    [*]The partner hub
    [*]An Alaska-serviced city
    [/LIST]
    So no stopover in Milan, at least not that I’ve ever been able to price. 🙁

    For Alaska awards, the Maldives are considered Asia, and Sri Lanka is the Middle East. Makes no sense to me, but…

  5. BKT

    Thanks for the replies. I just went back and re-read what I originally posted, and I see that I wasn’t totally clear. The Maldives trip is already booked thanks to all of the advice on OMAAT…only 90 days till wheels up! The next one on the docket will be the Greece trip. That’s the trip I’m needing some planning guidance on.

    I’ve done some random searching on Alaska’s website, and know that I can get between SEA and ATH on EK or BA (with really crappy surcharges). As it stands now, we have enough AS miles each for a one way award (SEA-ATH or vice-versa) on EK or BA.

    I guess my real question would be my best use of the TY points. Since I started my initial planning with Thailand in mind, I started collecting TY points thinking I’d transfer them into SQ KrisFlyer, or Asia Miles for the return half of the trip. What is everyone’s best advice on using TY points either to or from Europe? All of my experience in the miles and points world so far has revolved around the Alaska program, so I’m not super well versed in any of the other alliance options out there.

    Since I originally posted the question, I’ve started to look into Turkish (in J), and a stopover in Istanbul and then a continuance on to ATH sounds appealing. I suppose I could still proceed with under the assumption of transferring UR and TY points to KrisFlyer (Star Alliance) for such an award? Are there other options I should be considering? I’m predominantly using the Prestige and TY Premier card at this point, so that is where the bulk of any additional miles/points is likely to come from. I have no qualms about turning the actual booking of the awards to Points Pros (since I’m a one-trick pony that’s good for looking into availability through Alaska’s website…and that’s about it :confused:), I just need to make sure I’m on the right track RE accrual of the most appropriate “currency” (UR/TY/AS) moving forward.

    How would any of you position yourselves from a points accrual strategy if you were in my shoes?
    BKT

  6. No Name

    Turkish would be among my last *A choices EU-US to be honest due to their 2-3-2 config in J. Just my 2 cents, might not be that a big problem if traveling as a couple on day flight and can get the 2 seats that are next to each other.
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Turkish_Airlines/Turkish_Airlines_Boeing_777-300_V2.php[/URL]
    Very good when it comes to dining.
    But they also have a reputation for being useless if things goes wrong. Should hopefully be less of a problem during the summer months
    Review by Lucky
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/02/28/vienna-to-istanbul-via-tokyo-turkish-business-class-tokyo-narita-to-istanbul/[/URL]

    With ATH being a *A hub for Aegean there are many choices for connecting flights.

    Working down the list of *A carrier with flights from EU-US

    Air Canada Rouge
    Seasonal only, US domestic F seats. Avoid if possible, bottom of the *A list.

    Austrian Airlines
    Use one of the standard LH group J cabin setups on the B777, very good catering. Don’t fly west of Chicago
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Austrian_Airlines/Austrian_Airlines_Boeing_777-200.php[/URL]
    On their B767 they have 1-2-1 J cabin, but since the 767 has a more narrow fuselage than other widebodies this might end up being a bit tight. Think similar to Lucky’s 767 Delta review
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Austrian_Airlines/Austrian_Airlines_Boeing_767-300ER.php[/URL]
    Reviews by Lucky
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/02/25/vienna-to-istanbul-via-tokyo-austrian-business-class-vienna-to-tokyo-narita/[/URL]
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/08/13/review-austrian-business-class-vienna-to-tokyo-narita/[/URL]

    Brussels Airlines
    Again use one of the standard LH group J cabin setups, fly only to NYC year around.
    Review by Lucky
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/02/20/vienna-to-istanbul-via-tokyo-brussels-airlines-business-class-new-york-to-brussels/[/URL]

    Egypt Air; No, just No. Not even sure if it can be done on one award and don’t want to find out.

    LOT Polish Airlines
    Well fly a B-787 with J in 2-2-2 config so marginally better than Turkish on the hard product, but the soft product is probably a bit lacking
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/LOT_Polish_Airlines/LOT_Polish_Airlines_Boeing_787-8.php[/URL]
    Fly to ORD and JFK.
    Review by Lucky
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2013/03/06/vienna-to-istanbul-via-tokyo-lot-business-class-warsaw-to-chicago/[/URL]

    Lufthansa
    Connections true FRA and MUC possible, long list of destinations in the US.
    J cabins tend to be in 2-2-2, so not the best product across the pond.
    Have fantastic F cabins, with a good F lounge in MUC and a fantastic F terminal in FRA. Sadly F ground services is hit and miss for connecting passengers.
    Too many plane types to list here
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Lufthansa/information.php[/URL]
    Only *A carrier with direct flight to SEA from EU, operates true FRA.
    Review by Lucky, to many to list. Go to the link and in the field with “search airlines” write Lufthansa
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/trip-report-index/airlines/[/URL]

    Norwegian Air.
    Just kidding :D:D:D. Definitively worst so called premium product TATL, but they do sell one way tickets at no extra cost compared to what the segments cost in R/T tickets.

    Scandinavian Airlines
    Has a 1-2-1 product in J, by the end of June this year all but 1 backup plane should be in the new config.
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/SAS_Airlines/SAS_Airlines_Airbus_A330_B.php[/URL]
    One of the better J cabins TATL, not sure about the soft product. Would not be surprised if LH has them beat there.
    Problem is only Y+ on their EU short haul fleet, if possible fly Aegean to CPH or ARN.

    Check if Krisflyer can redeemed for SK one-way, not 100% sure
    On Lucky TODO list for the year, no review yet
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/01/01/16-airlines-i-want-to-review-in-2016/[/URL]
    SK Y+ short haul product, on an award do Aegean if you can.
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2016/01/01/16-airlines-i-want-to-review-in-2016/[/URL]

    Singapore Airlines.
    Have a route FRA-JFK, on the A380 with both J and F product perhaps being the the best TATL. Not the best lounges and ground services in FRA and the flight leave very early in the morning at 820am so would need to stay the night in FRA. Take LH or Aegean short haul from ATH to FRA.
    Review by Lucky
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/09/04/flying-singapore-suites-class-frankfurt-to-new-york/[/URL]
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/08/21/singapore-airlines-a380-business-class-frankfurt-new-york/[/URL]

    Swiss Airlines.
    Fly to ZRH and GVA. JFK possible true GVA. Many US destinations possible from ZRH
    Seats are of the same type as on Austrian and Brussels.
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Swiss_Airlines/Swiss_Airlines_A330.php[/URL]
    [URL]http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Swiss_Airlines/Swiss_Airlines_A340-300_B.php[/URL]
    Taking delivery of new B777 this and next year, similar J to their Airbuses
    [URL]https://www.swiss.com/ch/EN/fly/fleet/boeing[/URL]
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/07/09/swiss-boeing-777-300er-cabins-routes-announced/[/URL]
    Only LH groups own elite members can redeem for F awards, J should be no problem.

    United has a seasonal EWR to ATH route, only direct route to the US.

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