A month or so back there was a slight malfunction in Aeroplan’s award pricing engine (Aeroplan is Air Canada’s award program).  They have a zone-based award chart (much like American Airlines and United) in the Star Alliance.  After the big United partner devaluation, many started going to Aeroplan for premium awards.  They have reasonable rates for awards but charge fuel surcharges on most redemptions, which limits the value somewhat.

Anyway, there were reports of a glitch in the matrix award booking engine.  I dropped what I was doing (sorry about all those eggs on the floor) and ran to my computer to check for myself.

So, what caused the glitch was booking a domestic stopover on an international itinerary.  This would cause the award to book at the domestic round trip rate for whatever class you booked instead of the international rate.  Canadian Kilometers reported the mistake and had a great post covering the details, but basically it meant I could get a roundtrip coach award to Europe for 25000 miles.  Far less than 40000-60000 other carriers normally charge.

Long story short, I wanted to go back to Austria, to St. Gilgen.  I made a booking quickly, checked my vacation, and started putting a trip together.  Here’s what it was going to look like:

  • Fly to Chicago on United and stay there for a night
  • Fly Chicago to Munich on a mix of United and Lufthansa, connecting in CDG
  • Go to Austria for 3 days
  • Fly home from Munich on Lufthansa and United (all in coach)

Sounds quick I know, but that’s kind of how I do things.  In the end it would end up looking like last year’s Weekend Jaunt to Europe.  Things took an interesting turn, however, and the trip ended up taking a unique twist, and by “unique twist” I mean I changed it completely two days before I was scheduled to depart.  Somehow, everything worked out.

Here’s what the revised itinerary ended up looking like:

  • Fly Dallas to Munich on a combination of American (in Main Cabin Extra on their 777-300ER) and British Airways (coach, but a window seat with an empty middle, so basically Business Class)
  • Drive to and around Austria for a few days
  • Drive to Frankfurt
  • Fly to New York City on Singapore Airlines in Suites Class!
  • Fly home to Dallas later that night on the most depressing flight ever in Coach

So stay tuned for a great trip report, there will be some hilarious misadventures along the way!

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