Business Class to Europe and Africa for $177 plus miles

A week ago I returned from one of the best trips I’ve ever done – both in terms of total enjoyment, and in terms of most “bang for the buck” out of frequent flier miles.

I visited Europe and South Africa. I flew in business class on American, and on Qatar (amazing product, btw). I paid $177 in taxes and fees, and used 110,000 USAirways miles.

map Europe and South Africa

I flew a total of 25,158 miles — about 250 miles MORE than the circumference of the earth. And I did it in comfort in business class seats that convert to lie flat beds on all the longest legs (including a 15 1/2 hour flight from Doha, Qatar to Miami)

The bad news is that with the merger of USAirways and American, the USAirways Dividend Miles program no longer exists. That award to South Africa was a particular “Sweet spot” in the USAir program that has not carried over to American. So getting to South Africa now would cost more miles — 150,000 using an American Airlines award.

But this is still a great example of what is possible using frequent flier miles wisely.

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