It’s time for my next trip report, a short one that will detail my trip to Italy last month. Let’s just say I took the scenic route…
An ambitious goal to be sure, but it is my desire to review every premium cabin product on every alliance (Star Alliance, oneworld, SkyTeam). I’m slowing whittling down the list and wanted to focus on SkyTeam for this trip.
The destination was Italy, not so much because it was Italy, but because the award space dictated it. Ironically, I had to return to Italy the following week for another matter and wish the award space would have worked out for that trip, but why take one trip when you can take two?
Thanks to favorable award space and routing rules, the trip turned out like this.
- Los Angeles to Cancun on United Airlines (737-800) – $119
- Cancun to Buenos Aires on Aerolineas Argentinas (A340-300) – 62,500 Flying Blue + $291
- Buenos Aires to Madrid on Air Europa (787-8) – included
- Madrid to Rome on Alitalia (A320) – included
- Rome to Los Angeles on Alitalia (777) – 48,000 Alitalia MilleMiglia + €157
You’ll notice a couple things. First, Los Angeles to Cancun was on United, a Star Alliance carrier. I could have made it a 100% SkyTeam trip by flying Delta to Cancun, but I just could not resist. The United ticket was cheap, at a good time (though I cut it close), and my upgrade easily cleared to business class.
Second, I flew from Cancun to Rome via Buenos Aires and Madrid on a single award ticket for 62.5K miles. How is that possible? Thank FlyingBlue’s generous routing rules. Routing from North America to Europe is permitted via South America. In fact, it even shows up on the website if it is available.
But that was the main issue–Aerolineas Argentinas and Air Europa (and Alitalia) do not make a lot of award space available. In fact, it is so rare that I saw only two dates over an 11-month period that had the space I needed.
Alitalia did not even have any space from Rome to Los Angeles. I had to book to Mexico City and thankfully Los Angeles opened up at later point.
I’ve already given previews of Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europa, and Alitalia. Stay tuned for the full flight reports. I’ll also include several lounge reviews from Cancun, Buenos Aires, Madrid, and Rome.