My US Airways round the world ticket is booked!

Earlier in the week I shared a dilemma I was facing in regards to how to get to Chicago this weekend for the Chicago Seminar Do. Revenue fares were crazy expensive, so I started thinking of creative alternatives. After much deliberation, like any rational personal I decided I might as well get to Chicago via Europe and North Asia, as I covered in this post. It’s presently possible to purchase US Airways miles for ~1.1 cents each, so I’m paying ~$1,000 for the 90,000 miles needed to fly to Asia via Europe, and am stopping in Chicago in the process.

Anyway, in this post I outlined the airlines I could potentially sample on my 72 hour round the world itinerary. After all, the purpose of taking these flights in this case is to be able to review some new airlines.

So based on the feedback you guys left on the post, I’m flying the following carriers:

  • Air China 777-300ER Business Class
  • ANA Regional 787 Business Class
  • US Airways A330 Envoy Suite
  • Two(!!!!) Flights on EVA Air’s “Hello Kitty” Service

Booking the ticket was actually surprisingly easy, aside from the usual fun when it came time for the agent to give me the confirmation codes for partner airlines. “BR” is EVA Air’s code, and “CA” is Air China’s code, or as the agent likes to call them, Brussels Airlines and Canadia Airways.

Now I just have to figure out how to get my hands on one of these backpacks before my EVA Air flight…

EVA Air Backpack

Of course I’ll provide updates every step of the way, and as always will be posting more than my fair share of pictures/commentary on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Thanks to everyone for the feedback on the trip!


  1. that’s so awesome! i can’t wait to read your review on the hello kitty flight =)

    steal some toilet paper! take lots of pictures!

    and i’d rock that bookbag any day.

  2. Lucky…

    How are you able to do an RTW ticket through USAir for 90k points when they require 300k points for an RTW ticket?

    Your title says RTW but are you actually backtracking through Europe?
    Or is USairways doing something special for you so that you are able to do an actual RTW ticket for so much less?
    Or are you actually using more than one ticket?

    It seems like a huge bargain for an RTW trip and I’m sure we all would like to take advantage of it.


  3. How often do you get push back for the non-existent “crossing two oceans” rule that some agents bring up? Any wording for how to get around that, or do you just hang up call back?

  4. What is your exact Itinerary? If this is a Round the World ticket how did you get that for just 90K? 90K is to go to North Asia from US.

  5. Hi Lucky, Does US agent allow you to make more than 1 stopover? Is there anyway to get around that rule and are they showing LH availability?

  6. Just did my own RTW on 90k US miles a few days ago, and it only took TWO CALLS!

    DCA-ORD United
    ORD-NRT ANA new 777 (7 days in Japan)
    BKK-CDG THAI A380 (2 nights in Paris)
    CDG-IST Turkish A330 (overnight in Istanbul)
    IST-IAD Turkish A340

    First agent said I couldn’t book unless at least one of the segments was “non-stop” (dc-tokyo, tokyo-paris, or paris-dc). Second agent booked with no issues and no complaints!

  7. And I thought flying COS-DEN-IAH-ORD was circuitous! (Not really, but the best I could do with time constraints!) Looking forward to meeting you. #ChicagoSeminars

  8. It took me two days and 5-6 calls to get: MCI->IAH->PEK(dest)->ICN->CDG(Stopover)->MUC->CLT->MCI, all long hauls are in business(CA/OZ/LH). the problem was that they think the itinerary is US -> Europe with stop over in Beijing. so they wanted 100K miles instead 90k miles. After calls to the agent/supervisor/manager, finally they let me use 90k miles on exception. And also the weird thing is that both United and Aeroplan shows the J availability on LH A380 from PEK -> FRA, but US airways see zero availability on that flight. Air china has no J from PEK->CDG. I creatively found PEK-ICN-CDG in Asiana. I was hope to get on LH A380, but OZ is bad at all.

  9. @dan, you mentioned 90k US miles. How did you manage to get 2 stopovers (NRT and CDG) on USAirways award? As far as I know, you can only have 1 stopover or 1 open-jaw.

  10. Re: Dan’s itinerary. He’s going through BKK on Thai. I did the 90K North Aisa this year, and my original routing was to use BKK, but USAir said that was South Asia and the award would be higher, just for transiting, changing planes, it would have been only 2 hours on the ground. Again, all depends who you get on the phone. Happy travels.

  11. I booked my own RTW with US Airways in business for 90k a few weeks ago. Only took one call.

    UA278 San Francisco to Seattle
    NH1077 Seattle to Tokyo
    NH955 Tokyo to Beijing (Destination)
    LX197 Beijing to Zurich
    LX1804 Zurich to Istanbul (Stopover)
    TK33 Istanbul to Houston
    UA1178 Houston to San Francisco

    Crossing two oceans was never an issue. The thing that took the longest was them trying to figure out the taxes and fees.

  12. Wow, Dan’s ticket is awesome! Do you have a layover in BKK. That is the destination I really want too. I will seriously consider taking the whole family if this is possible.

  13. @ Perplexed — US Airways lets you route from the US to North Asia via Europe and charge just 90,000 miles in business class. You can cross the Atlantic in one direction and Pacific in the other direction if you’d like. A RTW refers to an itinerary with more actual stopovers than just the roundtrip I booked.

  14. @ Alex K — To be honest that’s not an issue I face often. The more common issue is that they claim they charge you the cost of the highest region transited (in this case, charging 100,000 miles for travel between the US and North Asia via Europe, since that’s how many miles you’d pay for travel between the US and Europe). When I get that I just hang up and call again.

  15. @ Chris — Right, it’s a ticket from the US to North Asia that routes via the Atlantic in one direction and the Pacific in the other direction, so while it’s a roundtrip ticket between the US and North Asia, it’s also an around the world technically.

  16. @ FAN — You’re limited to one stopover or one open jaw unfortunately. I haven’t been able to get around their blocking of Lufthansa first class in a long time now.

  17. @ Chris — That’s actually the next Star Alliance first class product that I really want to try. Or perhaps more accurately it’s the only Star Alliance first class product I’ve yet to try. šŸ˜‰

  18. It’s not just LH first class that’s blocked; I’ve had a hard time getting LH business class tickets that are clearly available, too.

  19. @ Will — Yeah, that’s the most common issue I run into with US Airways awards to North Asia (them claiming they cost 100,000 miles when transiting Europe).

    US Airways does indeed at times have slightly different Lufthansa business class award space than United and Aeroplan. Sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s worse.

  20. @ RedHat — You’re allowed a stopover in addition to your destination, so best I can tell dan has one stopover (Paris) and one destination (Tokyo).

  21. Hi Ben

    Currently I have an award ticket trip booked for LAX-SFO-PVG then PVG-SFO-LAX

    After being inspired by your post, I was thinking about changing the return to PVG-IST(stopover)-IAH-LAS

    Is the legal routing?

    If I change my award booking(it’s already been ticket), can they preserve my outbound or do they have to cancel and start over? I already had a hard time finding the outbound seats and I am not sure if those seats will be available again?

  22. Nice work! I am very envious. I am just not in a position to do one of those RTW trips. I could maybe pull it off next year and hopefully can book one before things change (if they even do with the merger).

    On another note, good luck!! I am currently sitting in the terminal, trying to fly to ORD, and they have major mechanical issues. I am double booked onto another flight as a back up, but we will see how this unfolds…. šŸ™‚

  23. @ danny — You can do the stopover in Istanbul, though you’d also have to return to LAX and not LAS. You’re not allowed a stopover AND an open jaw — it has to be one or the other.

  24. @danny I’m assuming you have a typo in your message but if you don’t and you really want to go to LAS, add a LAS-LAX leg and just don’t fly it šŸ™‚

  25. Awesome itinerary!! Would love to see some posts of more “exotic” airlines/destinations beyond the usual Europe/Asia circuit. Perhaps Ethiopian’s Dreamliner?

  26. @ Flyerguy — Actually hoping to try Ethiopian, EgyptAir, and SAA on my next US Airways award. Agree they would make an interesting review.

  27. Ben, I’m still confused how this is going to get you from Seattle to Chicago and Asia. Wouldn’t that be 2 stopovers? Can you spell out your itinerary and which airlines you’re taking in each route?

  28. I’m super jealous of your Hello Kitty flights! Wish I could come too… I love Hello Kitty! šŸ™‚

  29. Ben, yes i realized that Chicago would be your only stopover after I posted. And no worries, I’ll wait for you to post your reviews after. I can’t believe that happened to you. People suck.

  30. congrat on booking the tix! i rerad yr previous posts on the subject and tried to check out availabilities via ANA web. however i cant get thro’ to the check out the partnership flgt awards as they said i dont hv sufficient mileage, am i doing something wrong? pls adv. Many Thanks

  31. @ andrew — There’s a workaround for that if you don’t have enough miles:
    1.go to ANA International Flight Awards
    2.Enter an ANA operated route
    3.Click Next the bottom click on Use Star Alliance Members Airline (2nd blue button from the bottom) the near future credit something small to ANA to avoid having to do 1-4

  32. Hi Ben

    Do you know around what time each day does opens up the award availability on the calender? I am looking to book 6 people on us airways with united miles and the date in sept 2014 should be bookable in a few days. thank you!

  33. @ dan — Space on United often opens up around midnight Central time, but for other carriers it’s often released at different times unfortunately.

  34. “Air China 777-300ER Business Class”

    Good call on the value play.

    “ANA Regional 787 Business Class”

    Top Asian airline and launch customer of an entirely new generation of aircraft. This makes so much more sense than trying to extract a relevant review from flying the latest and greatest with a tired old dump of an airline like LOT.

    “US Airways A330 Envoy Suite”

    US ended up on my avoidance list as a result of merging with America West, which I hated. These days I hear good things about US premium cabins and let’s face it, without the US loyalty program itself these cabins would rarely if ever be available at these rates, so it makes sense to give their own product a chance to impress.

    “Two Flights on EVA Airā€™s ā€œHello Kittyā€ Service”

    Um, yeah. EVA international business class itself sounds good to me, but there is no way in hell I’m ever flying this specific aircraft unless it’s by accident or emergency. There’s only so much cuteness I can handle before my head explodes.

    “Actually hoping to try Ethiopian, EgyptAir, and SAA on my next US Airways award.”

    If you fly SAA how about reporting on the 346? I have a strange curiosity about that aircraft. I guess because it’s pretty rare among the airlines and locations I’ve flown. I barely caught a few seconds of one (LH) while traveling under it on a remote stand bus in HKG a couple days ago.

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