Athens Marathon: Step 1, The Flight to Greece

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Wheels up! Even though I haven’t received confirmation of my marathon registration, I’ve going to go ahead and book my award flight. There are no great options for OneWorld flights to Athens so I had to be a bit creative and unfortunately come out-of-pocket to secure a reasonable flight.

My three options are:

  1. Depart November 6th from Philadelphia to Madrid, Madrid to Athens in coach on Iberia arriving November 7th at 3PM, only hours before the gun goes off at 9AM on November 8th.
    • Total cost: 20,000 AAdvantage Miles + taxes + AA calling on the phone fee which they won’t waive even if I complain because they’ll say that Iberia is bookable on AA.com. Looking on British, it shows fuel surcharges of $300 but I don’t think that would be the case if I booked through American.
  2. Depart November 5th from Denver to Munich in coach on US Airways arriving November 6th at 8:50AM. From there I could stay in Munich for a night or make the connection to Athens the same day. This would give me an extra day to recoup before the race.
    • Total Cost 20,000 AAdvantage Miles + $5.60 + $101 for flight from MUC to ATH
  3. Delta from Montana for $2750 connection in MSP, JFK, and FCO.

As tempting as option 3 sounds, I am going with option 2. TPOL lover and friends are going to wonder how I can fly coach after so many lovely experiences in business and first. Worse, how can I fly US Airways across the pond? Well, first there were zero business class seats available unless you want to pay British gas money. Much like valet parking, I refuse to pay. Second, and more importantly, much of the fun of flying business is the ability to eat, drink, and be fat and merry. With the race only days away, I won’t be able to ask for an 8th glass of champagne. On the other hand, being able to relax in a lie flat seat would make the transition from thriving America to a crumbling Eurozone more comfortable.

Ah well, off to Greece I go in peasant class. Wish me luck.

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