I recently redeemed a chunk of my British Midland International (bmi) points for an intra-Europe award that includes Iceland and Armenia. The trip is coming up soon, but the more I think about the itinerary, the more I think my points and money would be better allocated elsewhere.
First, the itinerary:
- Frankfurt to Oslo in SAS Business Class
- Oslo to Reykjavik, Iceland in SAS Business Class [one night in Iceland]
- Reykjavik to Oslo in SAS Business Class [one-night in Oslo]
- Oslo to Vienna in Austrian Business Class
- Vienna to Yerevan in Austrian Business Class [three nights in Armenia/Georgia]
- Yerevan to London in British Midland Business Class
- London to Frankfurt on Lufthansa Business Class
I like the itinerary, but I would like an extra day in Iceland and this trip would be at the end of October--when the days will be cooler and darker.
The cost of the ticket was 55K miles--bmi charges for intra-Europe awards on a per-segment basis, so I was charged for a o/w from Frankfurt to Reykjavik via Oslo, a o/w from Reykjavik to Yerevan via Oslo and Vienna, and a o/w from Yerevan to Frankfurt via London.
Then there was notorious taxes plus fuel surcharges on the award, which you can see below.
I checked Continental Airlines and the taxes would have been roughly half, through $300 for taxes on an intra-Europe award is stil quite high.
True, I am in Europe now and this trip would allow me to visit two countries where tickets price are generally very high. It would also give me a chance to try out Austrian Airlines and bmi, two Star Alliance carriers I have not had the chance to fly on.
But I think I will save the award for next May when the weather will be more pleasant and I can have a few more days to explore Iceland. Perhaps I'll book it with Continental as well. $650 in taxes alone just does not set well with me (which reminds me I have some British Airways miles to burn...)