As announced on Instagram this weekend (you're following @travelonpoints1, right?), we booked our Summer 2020 adventure!
Earlier this year, EgyptAir announced new non-stop service from IAD to CAI on a Boeing 787-900. Since I am an avgeek and the 787 is my favorite airplane, Egypt and Jordan are very high on our bucket lists, and a non-stop to Africa saves a TON of travel time, I immediately knew this flight would happen at some point.
While eating breakfast on Saturday morning, I was running award searches for the Middle East and North Africa. (Seriously, this is what I do with my life). I noticed tons of saver space from IAD to CAI and beyond. After a few hours of tweaking the routes, timing, vacation days available, etc., Sarah and I booked our adventure over a holiday weekend with non-stop flights to/from Cairo!!
As we are currently MR-rich and UR- and TYP-poor, I immediately eliminated all Star Alliance transfer partners of Chase UR and Citi TYP, namely United and Turkish, and focused on MR transfer partners. Good thing I did! While comparing prices for this flight to prepare this post, I stumbled upon breaking news on United's website. Despite prior assurances to the contrary, United is introducing dynamic pricing to ALL award flights (including partner awards) on November 15, 2019. What we've been told would remain at 80,000 each way in business is now showing at 85,000 each way (plus the free excursionist perk):
Because we were using MRs, I immediately looked at Aeroplan (Air Canada). Saver space was showing to/from Cairo on the dates we wanted! Aeroplan allows for a “stopover” on a round-trip booking, meaning you can see two destinations on a round-trip. As I knew we would like to take advantage of a stopover, I saw saver space available on EgyptAir for many onward flights to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. We debated booking a few days of relaxation in Muscat, Oman before deciding we couldn't visit this section of the globe without checking out Petra!
After locking-in our desired destinations, the booking process was easy. MR to Aeroplan is an instantaneous transfer. Within 5 minutes of initiating the transfer process, we were booked. 165,000 MR to Aeroplan plus $130 each. Our routing: EgyptAir: IAD-CAI (stopover in Cairo); CAI-AMM; AMM-CAI-IAD all in business class. Not the cheapest award booking in the world, but for direct flights of 10+ hours eastward and 12+ hours westward, on a holiday weekend, and combining two destinations into one round-trip, this made a lot of sense for us.
Now we begin the 12 month wait to visit these beautiful places!
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