Award Trip Report – May, 16 2011

Award Trip Report – May, 16 2011

Steven and Helen Schwartz

FFP miles spent: 250,000 miles

Hotel points spent:
40,000 points plus two Hyatt Free Night certificates

Approximate fees:
$150 per person

Airline(s) / Routing:
SWISS from New York to Venice, returning from Zurich on an open jaw; bmi from Athens to Zurich

How booked:
Dividend Miles call center

Type of award(s):
First class

Hotel Danieli, Venice; Hotel Grand Bretagne, Athens; Park Hyatt, Zurich

Month/year of trip:
August 2010

I make a good living, but not nearly good enough to experience the level of luxury that points make possible. US Airways had a 50 percent bonus on mileage transfers and I transferred 140,000 Starpoints for a total of 262,500 Dividend Miles. With much planning, I managed to snag two first class seats on SWISS, outbound to Venice (through Zurich), returning from Athens where our cruise ended.

A few months before the cruise, I realized I had two free Hyatt nights to use by the end of August. My wife and I decided to break up our return trip and stay at the Park Hyatt in Zurich for a few nights. But the rules for US Airways for partner tickets provided for either an open jaw or a stopover but not both.

Someone suggested bmi one-way from Athens to Zurich and the only thing available was business class, but it was only 9,000 miles per person! But bmi is not a transfer partner with either Starwood or AMEX Membership Rewards. Then I found out I could purchase the points and they were having a 20 percent bonus! Two tickets were only $290 with taxes.

So to summarize, we had:

  • Two first class tickets on SWISS with miles (absolutely AMAZING).
  • Two nights at the Danieli in Venice, points and upgraded to a suite.
  • Seven nights on the Silversea Silver Spirit, paid with cash.
  • One night at the Hotel Grand Bretagne, Athens, points and suite upgrade.
  • Two nights at the Park Hyatt Zurich–free nights from the Big Welcome Back promotion.

I don’t know how much longer we will be able to pull off trips like this, but the last seven years or so have been amazing. I wish you all happy trails!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *