Ethiopian Airlines has just completed their integration into the Star Alliance, now offering a great new option for travel to Africa (well, sort of). The good news is that the ANA tool is already updated to show Etiopian Airlines award space, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such good award space. Ever.
For example, they fly from Washington to Addis Ababa, and I can’t find a single day that doesn’t have award space in both coach and business class.
Now I don’t know about you, but Ethiopian is near the top of the list of airlines I want to fly. I’ve seen them boarding so often at Dulles and I’ve always been curious what the onboard product is like, so I actually really want to fly them.
I know a lot of people travel to Nairobi to start tours or go on safari, and this is actually by far the easiest way to get there from the east coast. Nairobi is only about 700 miles from Addis Ababa, so this is a much faster way to fly than through Johannesburg on South African Airways. Per Great Circle Mapper:
But here’s the real fun you can have with Ethiopian Airlines. Call up US Airways Dividend Miles and tell the agent you want to book an award ticket from Washington Dulles to Addis Ababa. Make sure you say the name real naturally with no hesitation. Responses you’ll get include:
- “Adidas? I think that’s a brand of shoe.”
- “Sir, you’re just pulling my leg.”
- “That’s in Nebraska, right?”
Seriously, give it a try.
Anyway, I’m honestly excited about Ethiopian joining Star Alliance, not just because they have tons of award space, but because they’re now the most direct option to many parts of Africa.