It came together in a hurry and I’m quite proud of the savings we made. The ticketing goes like this:
SAV-IAD-FRA round trip on UA with vouchers from bumps and my last little bit of Thank You Points vouchers. We upgraded and have confirmed biz class seats with SWU’s. My out of pocket was $-39.23 as we had that left on a voucher. I left it with the gals at SAV to give to somebody that was coming up a little short on their ticket. Not the best use of SWU’s, but I had extras last year and won’t let that happen again
We continue on immediately on to Budapest on Malev and the ticketing continues with a American Airlines All Airline Award at 10K per coach segment and minor taxes. We got Frankfurt (FRA)-Budapest (BUD)- Prague (PRG) on Malev Airlines-Berlin (TXL) -Warsaw, Poland on Brussels Airlines for 40K AA each and then purchased the last segment Krakow to Frankfurt on Lufthansa for $85 each with taxes.
We will be taking the train from Warsaw to Krakow one way. I haven’t checked the cost, but it shouldn’t be too bad and the 5 hour ride through the countryside of Poland should be interesting.
The hotels are Budapest Hilton on points 4 nights 119K (like an AXON award), Prague Crowne Plaza at 5K per night (5 nights) with the PointsBreak (best of them all), Berlin Hilton on points 125K (AXON) +40K 5th night (ugh), Warsaw Holiday Inn by the train station downtown 10K points (1 night), Krakow Holiday Inn City Center cash and points Priority Club (I may switch this to SPG cash and points if it opens up) (4 nights) and lastly the Frankfurt Sheraton Towers and Conference Center at the airport with cash and points at 4K +$60 per night for two nights.
The whole deal is virtually free except the cash and points option and the Lufthansa tickets which were a better value than the 10K AA miles.
Two things happened along the way of interest.
First: I contacted Gary at the View from the Wing blog and he was very helpful with his award booking suggestions. He knows more tricks than I will ever remember.
I did this one all myself and I went a different way than he suggested (my vouchers were expiring), but it was great to have a real pro as a sounding board. He really knows his stuff and I can assure you if you are at all hesitant to try something like this, his award booking service will be worth every penny you spend on it. Gary will save yo money and miles
And secondly: Once I started the booking process, this was the easiest one I’ve done. Maybe it was because it was only 3 weeks and I had great availability with the All Airlines Award by American (check out that award chart) or maybe, just maybe, I’m actually getting the hang of it. I finished it all in one day.
My thanks to all that have made suggestions on the sites to see, Gary for his expertise and our friends at the US Mint for making this trip possible at: Prices We All Can Afford!