A few months ago I was tipped off by a friend of a really cool mileage redemption. Apparently, US Airways considered Russia part of North Asia. (US recently adjusted its redemption chart so Russia is no longer part of North Asia). From a strictly geographical standpoint, they were right. From an airline perspective, it required any redemptions from Russia to North Asia to traverse Europe, the Middle East or South Asia.
After a bit of work, I was able to secure a pretty impressive itinerary. My goal was to grab Turkish First Class before it goes the way of the do do bird. (For those that don't know, TK is slowly returning the Jet Airways leased aircraft and obtaining their own 777-300ERs, with no First class). I was able to craft a six day itinerary that would start and in Moscow (DME) with stops in Cairo, Istanbul, Hong Kong and Tokyo. It provided me two opportunities to experience Turkish First, a few new lines on my Flightmemory map and the opportunity to experience EgypyAir, Turkish and Asiana.
The original itinerary was:
- 11/21 Moscow(DME) to Cairo(CAI) on Egyptair Business
- 11/22 Cairo(CAI) to Istanbul(IST) on Egyptair Business
- 11/24 Istanbul(IST) to Hong Kong(HKG) on Turkish First
- 11/26 Hong Kong(HKG) to Tokyo Haneda(HND) on ANA Business
- 11/26 Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Istanbul(IST) on Turkish First
- 11/27 Istanbul(SAW) to Moscow(DME) on Turkish Business
Due to a schedule change, my Hong Kong - Haneda flight dropped and I was able to be rebooked on Hong Kong - Seoul - Tokyo. This also avoided my ground transfer in Tokyo as I would now be arriving in Narita.
The best part of this itinerary? The total cost was 40,000 miles and $95 in taxes. Unfortunately, as I said earlier, US has since changed their reward chart so booking such an itinerary is no longer possible.