Last night a friend alerted me via e-mail that something fishy was going on with Continental flights between Seattle and Newark. While CO usually limits connections to one or two at most (and those connections are usually restricted to UA/CO domestic hubs and do not permit backtracking), the routing rules on this particular flight were much, much looser.
People were finding connections in São Paulo, Honolulu, Anchorage, Bogota, Lima, or even Buenos Aires and it wasn't altering the price.
Acting swiftly (becuase you never know how long these deals will last), I recalled that my brother is graduating in early May and I'll need to make a trip home from Germany for that. Why not tack on a two-day mileage run as well?
Booking was tricky because Continental's website was spitting out some weird pricing. First it would look like you hit jackpot, then the itinerary would reprice once you chose your third or fourth leg. Even when I was able to get an itinerary to price out, I'd get an error message when I tired to pay for it.
Keep in mind, this all took place after midnight German time last night. By the time the clock struck two, I was about ready to give up. But I did not (my red eyes vouch for that) and am pleased to present the following itineary:
That's nearly 20,000 status miles (19,871 to be precise) and 40,000 award miles--15K shy of an economy trip from the United States to Europe.
And I could have done better--SEA-DEN-KOA was available as well, but I ended up choosing SEA-SFO-KOA instead to avoid having to fly up to Seattle the night before the trip.
But I'm quite happy with my itinerary, which came to a grand total of $233.
Just think--five of these trips and you've got 1K status for $1165--no vouchers necessary.
My next task will be to secure a Brazilian visa. Under most circumstances, I wouldn't cough up the $140 for a layover, but I also plan to return to Brazil later in the year on TAM and might as well see a bit of São Paulo after many hours of flying.