FFP miles spent:
135,000 United Mileage Plus miles
Hotel points spent:
75,000 American AAdvantage miles
Airline(s) / Routing:
Lufthansa Airlines from SFO-FRA-FCO and returning FCO-FRA-DEN-SFO
United Airlines website
Type of award(s):
First and business class
Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Month/year of trip:
Tom Goes to Rome
I booked this award ticket eight days out on the United Airlines website. I was able to get a Lufthansa nonstop flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt in first class, connecting to Rome in business class. On the return, I was also in business class from Rome to Frankfurt (two-class plane), connecting to Lufthansa first class Frankfurt to Denver, and then UA home to San Francisco.
The Lufthansa first class cabin is on the upper deck of the 747. There are 16 seats but only eight are sold, guaranteeing each passenger an empty seat next to them that can be converted to a bed by the flight attendant. I’m told there is a new configuration flying where the bed is fixed and there are only eight seats. Sadly, I did not have that configuration in either direction.
I was surprised to find I was assigned an emergency exit row in both directions. I had not requested a seat assignment on either flight (UA does not allow seat selection online and I didn’t call).
I purchased the hotel stay at the Hotel Nord Nuova Roma with AA miles. The daily cost was 23,920 miles if I had used UA miles, 22,040 miles a day if I used AA miles without the EXP discount and 14,700 AA miles a night with the EXP discount, so it was just under 75,000 miles for five nights. The cheapest paid rate on the hotel’s website was $205 a night. For me it was a decent use of miles and saved me over $1,000 in hotel costs.
I particularly enjoy visiting ornate churches and took in a number of those in Rome. I also visited the Trevi fountain, the Coliseum and the Roman forum, the Spanish Steps, Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum.