Advice wanted SFO to Germany summer 2014

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by sonomaguy, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. sonomaguy

    sonomaguy New Member

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    I hope I'm posting this in the correct spot. If it needs to be somewhere else please let me know.

    My family of 4 is hoping to use rewards points to get from the san francisco area to northern germany next summer (best airports are DUS then FRA). We would love to fly direct if possible but one stop with convenient layover is ok as well. We aer hoping for a 10 to 14 day trip in july 2014. We have the following points:

    AMEX - 287k
    American Air - 248k
    chase freedom card (ultimate rewards) - 117k

    Can someone please offer some advice on my best strategy? I also saw there might be some milpoint members who offer this advice for a fee, please feel free to post here with contact info.

  2. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    Air Berlin is oneworld, you can use AA miles or BA Avios for a trip. Air Berlin doesn't stop in SFO, you'd probably need to connect via LAX or JFK. Quick Kayak search for a random Sunday in July 2014 doesn't show any nonstops from the Bay area to DUS.

    You can do AA to JFK or LAX and then try for Air Berlin to DUS. SFO->LAX is pretty cheap, would even pay to use cash if you can't find availability.

    I just booked 5 tickets on AB from JFK->DUS for June 2014, so it is conceivable that you can get all four of you on the same flight. I also had a combination of a few hundred K AA miles, Amex MR points and Chase points. I used BA Avios (transferred Amex points in May when they had a bonus of 1 AMEX to 1.35 Avios), it was fewer Avios from the East coast to Germany than AA miles. I did a quick search of both the AA and BA award charts and it looks like it's 30K miles each way using either miles from LAX. If you want to add on the SFO->LAX leg, the amount of miles is the same on AA, but adds a leg and 9000 Avios using BA.

    Both AA and BA include Air Berlin in their award search results. Since you have enough AA miles, no particular reason not to try that route. You may want to split the group - it's not uncommon to find 2-3 seats in economy and another couple in business, so that might be an approach. A search of BA's site shows decent outbound availability, but for the return, you might need to split up or take an extra layover.

    There may be additional choices using AMEX to transfer to a Star Alliance carrier, but I have less personal information as I do with oneworld.

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