Award Trip Report – Winter in Europe

Award Trip Report – Winter in Europe

Ben Amster

FFP miles spent:
135,000 MileagePlus miles (20,000 miles refunded)

Hotel points spent:

Approximate fees:
$148.20 in taxes

Airline(s) / Routing:
Lufthansa SEA-FRA (rebooked on Delta SEA-AMS), Croatia Airlines AMS-ZAG-DBV, Croatia Airlines DBV-ZAG, Austrian Airlines ZAG-VIE-OTP, Lufthansa OTP-FRA-SEA

How booked:
Over the phone

Type of award(s):
First class

Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik and JW Marriott Bucharest

Month/year of trip:
December 2010

In early November, I decided to take my newly minted 1K status out for a spin, making an award reservation I wasn’t sure I could use knowing full well that I could cancel and change the reservation as needed.

While some segments had to be originally booked in business class with connections through United hubs, as the departure date got closer I was able to grab first class seats on the Lufthansa nonstops to and from Seattle. The trip I eventually booked was SEA-FRA-ZAG-DBV (stopover) DBV-ZAG-VIE-OTP (stopover) OTP-FRA-SEA.

On the day of departure, a representative of Lufthansa in Seattle called to inform me that the flight had been cancelled and asked if I needed to get to Dubrovnik today. I informed them of my preference to get there as soon as possible, and they said they’d look into my options and get back to me. Maybe 15-20 minutes later, they called back and said they could re-route me to Dubrovnik via Delta’s SEA-AMS flight and then Croatia Airlines AMS-ZAG-DBV. I said that would be fine and they proceeded to re-issue the ticket. I was downgraded from first to business class on the Seattle to Amsterdam leg and received a pro-rated refund of miles.

In Dubrovnik I stayed at the Hilton Imperial where I had secured a fabulous rate through Hilton’s “Any Weekend Anywhere” promotion. This may have been my favorite hotel stay ever–the Hilton is located just outside Dubrovnik’s old city and I was upgraded to an elite plus room with a balcony looking out at the city walls. In Bucharest I stayed at the JW Marriott. Although a bit out of central Bucharest, the property was comfortable and had a great executive lounge.

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