FFP miles spent:
135,000 Mileage Plus miles and 120,000 Aeroplan miles
Hotel points spent:
UA: $127 and $25 phone fee
Aeroplan: $163.70 and $29.60 phone fee
Airline(s) / Routing:
United Airlines from IAD to MUC and Lufthansa MUC to ATH
Mileage Plus and Aeroplan call centers
Type of award(s):
First and business class
Ippoliti Hotel Nafplio, Athens Sofitel
Month/year of trip:
Annual Greek Vacation
For about a dozen years, my partner and I have taken an annual September/October 10-14 day vacation in Greece. We have seen the major parts of Greece and now spend our time in Nafplio, about 90 miles southwest of Athens on the Bay of Argos. Phil’s retired but I’m not, so for me this really is vacation = relaxation.
We are Star Alliance flyers. I did the legwork on tickets; for this trip it took 90 minutes on a Saturday afternoon in mid-February to define our individual schedules and then to snag award tickets for late September. Phil was using miles in his United Airlines Mileage Plus account, while I was using miles in my Air Canada Aeroplan account transferred from my AMEX Membership Rewards and Marriott Rewards accounts. I’ve flown Air Canada only once, but have found Aeroplan a good place to park points/miles transferred from other programs to use in the Star Alliance.
Obviously, our drawing from different award programs made it a bit trickier to get tickets on the same flights. Amazingly, my online checking of both United Airlines and Aeroplan award plans showed availability for the desired dates for going and returning on the same flights–but only in coach or first on Saver awards–business class was unavailable. This was an easy predicament to resolve: first class it would be on UA 902 IAD-MUC and UA 903 MUC-IAD. We were willing to settle for coach seats on the MUC-ATH-MUC segments but found business class available when I called to make the reservations: LH 3388 MUC-ATH and LH 3393 ATH-MUC. I reserved Phil’s ticket (135K MP miles) before reserving mine (120K AP miles).