Sub-$900 Roundtrip Transatlantic Business Class Fare

Attention to all my readers based in Belarus (hey, that might actually be a thing, because as I look at my Google Analytics page I see I’ve had a couple of hundred sessions there in the past month)!

I’ve written about Ukraine International Airlines, which operates a route between New York and Kiev, using a (rather dated) Boeing 767-300 aircraft. Their business class fares are consistently excellent (especially if traveling one-way, which is typically exorbitantly priced on other airlines), so I’ve been tempted to try them, just to see how bad they are.

Ukraine-Airlines-Business-Class

I’ve also pretty consistently seen roundtrip business class fares in the ~$1,500 range.

Well, per IAkH on FlyerTalk, it’s worth pointing out that there’s an especially good fare for travel on UAI this fall. You can fly roundtrip business class from Minsk, Belarus, to New York, for just $898.

Ukraine-Cheap-Business-Class-Fare

This fare is available for travel between October 3 and December 15, 2016, though is only available if you’re originating in Minsk, and not if you’re originating in the US. The fare can be booked directly on UIA’s website.

That’s an incredible deal for such a trip. What I hadn’t originally realized about Ukraine International Airlines is that they partner with Air France FlyingBlue and Etihad Guest, so you can actually earn 120% miles with either of those programs for these flights.

Etihad-Ukraine

I assume most people aren’t too thrilled at the thought of earning miles in Ukraine’s own Panorama Club program, though their top tier status only requires 20,000 elite qualifying miles… too bad it doesn’t really come with any useful perks.

Ukraine-Status

I’m tempted to take advantage of this fare. While I’d need a visa in advance using my US passport, it looks like I could use my German passport to get a visa on arrival in Belarus, if I’m reading things correctly.

Perhaps I could book this as a roundtrip, and them position myself using Air Serbia in one direction, and Pakistan International Airlines (via their Manchester to New York flight) in the other direction, with positioning flights required, of course.

Has anyone been to Minsk, and if so, is it worth a visit?

Comments

  1. It would be awesome to see you review this airline, as I would probably never fly them without your blessing

  2. Minsk is reasonably pleasant in summer. Bit like time travel to Soviet times – wide roads with few cars. Not much for a mainstream tourist to do though.

  3. Minsk is very inexpensive and clean, with great food, if you are into potato pancake staffed with meat and mushrooms, pirogi, etc. But between October 3 and December 15 it is rainy, and later snow is possible too. Minsk has great opera/ballet theater by the way 🙂 I would love to read your review about my native city which I did not visit for last 22 years.

  4. I just came back from Minsk last week and would highly recommend it. Very cosmopolitan city and the people are extremely friendly. Two days would be enough to see all the sites in the city and if you could swing going to the opera there, it would be quite an experience. To highlight how inexpensive of a city it is, we bought six seats, 3 rows from the orchestra for $36 total. Very safe and clean city as well.

    One note of caution is that English is seldom spoken and almost all the signs are in Belurusian or Russian, so unless you know any you’ll have a bit of difficulty getting around. There is a Renaissance there which is amazing and of course they speak English there, but navigating alone is tough.

    We drove in / out, which also was a nightmare at the border with a rental car, so not sure how flying will be. As a US passport holder I had to specify the exact dates I would be there, which was also verified by the hotel I was staying at. The hotel sends your info to the police to register, which you must do when getting there, so it pays to stay at a reputable one vs. some Airbnb.

  5. I’d guess that your Ukraine visitors may just as likely be from VPN sites as anything.

  6. Word on the ground in the Baltics and Ukraine is that it’s pretty easy to snag a Belarus at the embassies there. Minsk isn’t too long of a trip on the ground at all from Vilnius.

  7. i think you go for it, you get to try 3 horrible airlines but all have this charm of the unexpected, Ukrainian airlines u have considered alot so its abt time plus crediting to etihad would be smart as their points sytem seems to be geetting better and PIA because im sure u have been intriguied by them in the past, go for it 😀

  8. Best comment by far! 🙂

    Rochelle Rochelle says:
    June 7, 2016 at 7:19 pm
    I once had a long journey from Milan to Minsk…

  9. Lucky I know you are on a quest to try many new products this year.

    But if you are doing a flight out of the UK then BA, Virgin or Norwegian in Premium Economy would probably be much more helpful to most of your readers then PIA, even if the review would not be that amusing as PIA.

  10. If you end up in Minsk the Renaissance hotel has been pretty decent. And the Visa process isn’t bad, for example in Helsinki you can get the express visa in 5-10 minutes. And the Belavia flight from Helsinki to Minsk is usually dirt cheap (return flights usually less than 200usd) and only about 1hour 30min.

  11. Went to Belarus a couple years back on a “genealogy” trip. 125 years after my great great great grandparents fled anti-semitism I experienced plenty of it myself (I felt more comfortable being Jewish in Egypt and Lebanon than in Belarus).

    They weren’t too fond of the lgbtq community either.

  12. Just booked Fco/Kiev/Tehran round trip eco for just 125 eur by november (business class 449 eur, not bad too), look forward to try Ukraine experience, a lot of such inexpensive ticket that time from most of european cities, Stockholm going just 88 eur round trip to Ika, maybe u could try a jump to Iran as well with further flight with Ukraine Intl:), believe me Iran worth much much more of what wrongly considered.

  13. Just bought Fco/Kiev/Tehran roundtrip for 125 euro with Ukraine Airlines (business tkt 449 eur, not that bad too), look forward to try this company, a lot of inexpensive fares to Ika from most european capitals, Stockholm just 88 eur roundtrip, maybe u could try further flight with them and experience amazing Iran a country and people I’m sure will leave u speechless:).
    When in Minsk also consider a jump to Vilnius, a small but so beautiful city with so many spots to visit.

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