How would you get back from Yerevan to Los Angeles? I’m making five stops using three tickets.
The sane person would take Aeroflot via Moscow or Austrian via Vienna. But I’m a travel blogger…and I’m cheap.
Everything came together around one flight. A couple months back, Icelandair ran a fare sale with one-way business class tickets under $500. I booked Reykjavík (KEF) to San Francisco (SFO). My goal was not just to review Icelandair’s “Premium Saga” business class, but also to visit Greenland…and this was well before President Trump offered to buy it from Denmark…
But work got in the way and I was forced to push my trip to Greenland to later…maybe in the dark of winter, maybe next summer. Instead, I found myself in Yerevan and needing to get to Reykjavík.
That proved to be quite a dilemma, as there was ZERO award space out of Yerevan. In fact, most flights were sold out…zeroed out without even a single full-fare seat for sale.
As a last ditch option, I would have flown Georgian Airways to Tbilisi and paid a boatload of money to fly Air Baltic to Reykjavík via Riga. That cost 50% more than the Icelandair business class ticket, but would have been a new product to try and got me to KEF quickly.
But at the last moment, award space opened on Aegean. Moving instantly, I confirmed a one-way award Yerevan to Reykjavík in business class for 25K United miles, one of the sweet spots on the award chart as far as I am concerned.
My final routing:
- Yerevan – Athens on Aegean
- Athens – Berlin on Aegean
- Berlin – Copenhagen on SAS
- Copenhagen – Reykjavík on SAS
- Reykjavík – San Francisco on Icelandair
- San Francisco – Burbank on United
6/6 flights are in business class, but not even one has a lie-flat bed. It should be an interesting trip home…
I’m looking forward to trying Aegean Business Class again, checking out the recently renovated SAS lounge in CPH, and spending a day in Berlin and day in Reykjavík.
So begins my 8,320 mile trip home.
This has to be the bonus of being a Star Alliance guy. So many European Airlines in the program that you will inevitably find something that works.
Save the trip to Greenland for later. Once it becomes the 51st US state, it’ll be a domestic redemption on United.
Of course, when Greenland gets 2 senators and a congresscritter, those will all be Democrats (not to mention Greenland’s electoral votes will help elect President Warren); all of this will backfire on the great deal-maker, but he’s not exactly playing 3-dimensional chess…
Good God, why??
$500 plus 25K for the trip is a relative steal, but as you pointed out you’re not really flying a lie flat J class and you have 5 stops on the way home. In the future, look into Qatar ow’s from Eurasia. Decent ow J class for roughly $2200 (21 day adv purch) and a good chance you would get the Q suites to LAX
Matthew, just curious: I’m pretty sure you use ExpertFlyer to find award spaces above, but did you feed all those segments manually into UA’s multi city search tool to get it to price the award ticket or did you just seach for one way flight from EVN to KEF and let the UA system find all those segments for you?
UA no longer allows custom routing. I just searched for EVN to KEF on the website and had a choice between what I booked (long connection in Berlin) or a long connection in Vienna. I chose Berlin.