In my previous post I talked about how I decided to book a trip to Greece when first-class awards on American Airlines became readily available. I booked two one-way tickets in Envoy class on US Airways flights from Atlanta to Athens. We thought it would be great to visit some of the less-touristy islands in the Northern Aegean, such as Lesbos and Samothrace. We would end our trip up in Northern Greece, so we could fly from Istanbul, Thessaloniki, or back from Athens. Logistically Thessaloniki made the most sense, so we decided to fly from there. We fondly remember the cute little Aegean Air lounge there, where the boarding bus picks you up straight from the lounge. We have access to the lounge through my United Club card, which gives us access to Star Alliance lounges when we fly any Star Alliance airline, even on economy tickets.
To see what flights are possible from Thessaloniki (SKG) my first stop was Wikipedia–SKG Airport.
I investigated the flights to Frankfurt, because I thought it will be easy to get a transatlantic back to the states from there. I went to united.com and filled out the blue search box. If you have a United Mileage Plus or Club Card, log in first–you may see more award availability. Notice that I have put in a date, but have toggled the “My dates are flexible” button.
Clicking search I was faced with the 2-month availability calender.
Availability is great every day in economy. I clicked on June 6 and found the following:
There’s a nice saver award for 30K miles, and I know that I can add the SKG-FRA segment for no extra cost.
Next I went to the home page to check availability from SKG to FRA. I know most of the transatlantic flights back to the US will leave Europe in the morning, so I knew I probably would have to fly from SKG in the afternoon and overnight in FRA. Here is the blue search window I filled out on united.com. Notice I have now put in a specific date:
Clicking search, I came up with the following flight:
There it is, an nice afternoon flight from SKG to FRA. I ignored the mileage cost, because I knew that it wouldn’t be extra when I structure the whole ticket.
Now I was ready to put the ticket together. Going back to the home page on united, I now used the “multiple destinations” search.
Clicking that link brought me to:
I entered in the two flights I had researched before, made sure I was searching for 2 passengers, and that the award travel button was toggled. After I hit search, then the SKG-FRA flight came up first.
Notice that there is no mileage given, because this flight will be a “free” segment added onto my FRA-ATL flight. When I clicked “select” I was ask to add the next segment.
Still no mileage is showing, but as I clicked through, I got the big picture with all segments and showing the price of 30K miles per ticket and $183.40 in taxes for both tickets.
Now my next step was to arrange where I’ll stay in Frankfurt (on points of course), but that is the subject for another post!