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Answers (4)

2017 Europe trip

2017 Europe trip

  1. Lyle

    I’m pretty new to this miles and points hobby but got into it for a very specific reason. Premium cabin travel overseas from our home base in NYC. My wife and I typically travel to Europe annually for some type of tour. This year is Italy. We are flying Alitalia on revenue tix I purchased before I discovered your blog and the hobby. Next year we will be doing a river cruise from Zurich to Amsterdam. We have over 200k Ultimate Rewards points and 80k SPG points. I’d like to fly biz class next April for the river cruise. I’d like your thoughts on banking the Alitalia miles from this months trip to Korean Air and then booking Delta/KLM biz class from JFK to Zurich and Amsterdam to JFK coming home. Mostly, I’m curious if you think this will work and if we are likely to find award seats available. We leave end of April 2017 and return 2 weeks later. Thanks in advance.

  2. Anonymous

    Hi [USER=1774]@Lyle[/USER], and welcome!

    When are you traveling on Alitalia? My gut tells me that you are better off banking those to Alitalia, and having that as a backup option. Upgrades from Premium economy to business are super reasonable with Alitalia, and fares will likely be reasonable in April.

    You’re realistically not going to find space on Delta that’s bookable using Korean Air miles that also lines up with your cruise dates (you could get lucky, but that space is pretty rare). You’re more likely to find space on Air France and KLM [I]if[/I] you can book 11 months in advance of departure, but it’s still a gamble, and set dates make it harder.

    So I think you’re realistically going to be booking this using United miles, or a combination of United and Aeroplan miles. If you can try and get to 210k Ultimate Rewards points in the coming weeks you’d have enough miles for the latter.

  3. Lyle

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 15440, member: 7″]Hi [USER=1774]@Lyle[/USER], and welcome!

    When are you traveling on Alitalia? My gut tells me that you are better off banking those to Alitalia, and having that as a backup option. Upgrades from Premium economy to business are super reasonable with Alitalia, and fares will likely be reasonable in April.

    You’re realistically not going to find space on Delta that’s bookable using Korean Air miles that also lines up with your cruise dates (you could get lucky, but that space is pretty rare). You’re more likely to find space on Air France and KLM [I]if[/I] you can book 11 months in advance of departure, but it’s still a gamble, and set dates make it harder.

    So I think you’re realistically going to be booking this using United miles, or a combination of United and Aeroplan miles. If you can try and get to 210k Ultimate Rewards points in the coming weeks you’d have enough miles for the latter.[/QUOTE]
    Thanks for the quick reply Tiffany. We will be flying to Italy end of this month and returning on the 12th of May. Booking next year’s flights 11 months in advance isn’t a problem for us, but not sure if the space will be available. Our preference was the Delta option because it’s nonstop. Never even considered United because my impression (mostly from reading OMAAT) is that their award chart is too expensive. Getting to 210k UR points won’t be an issue.

  4. Anonymous

    Certainly appreciate the desire for a nonstop, but Delta rarely makes space available on that route at the low level (which is all Korean can book).

    Swiss sometimes has availabiliity on their flights between New York and Xurich though. United charges 70,000 miles for a one-way in business class on partner metal, and Aeroplan 55,000 (SPG points transfer to Aeroplan). So you can book three one-ways through United, and one through Aeroplan, which should give you some options.

    Of course, you might get lucky and find roundtrip SkyTeam space, but I like to create as many options as possible — award travel is fabulous, but requires flexibility!

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