Booking EgyptAir: The No Points Problem

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After running 26.2 miles in the Athens Marathon, I’ll still be a ways away from my next destination, Egypt. Pre United devaluation, I would’ve flown EgyptAir on Star Alliance but that option is no longer viable. I’m talking to you CEO Munoz. I scoured the Internet and consulted with fellow experts as to the best way to travel to the following places:

  • Cairo
  • Luxor
  • Sharm el Sheikh

In the end, cash was king. The problem with cash is that it means spending money. Not everything can be free obviously but how do I know I’m booking the right flight on the right date to get the best price. Points alleviates the stress of the fluctuating ticket market since the saver award is or isn’t available. In cash bookings, there isn’t a sure-fire way of ascertaining whether the fare you are booking is great or terrible apart from hitting refresh for weeks on end and seeing the fare rise. “I should’ve booked it two weeks ago!”

But, there are ways to improve your chances of getting a better fare that I will outline below:

  • Step 1: Use ITA Matrix for searching for fares even though the flight can’t be booked there. Create a handy Excel chart with routing options to track all the fares. Be sure to price each leg separately.
    The beautiful colors are optional.
    The beautiful colors are optional.

    Doing it as one trip yields a much higher price.
    Doing it as one trip yields a much higher price.
  • Step 2: Head to the carrier’s website and select the company’s home country. In this case, I went to EgyptAir.com and chose Egypt, not the United States as my country in order to receive the best fare. capture 6
  • Step 3: Input the flights from above. Take note of the total. 6,974.00 EGP or $890=$450/pax is cheaper than my Excel price of $470.capture 4
  • Step 4: Book the flight with the right credit card. I used the Citi Prestige card which gives me $250 off the fare and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Step 5: Take note that you don’t have to put your domestic carrier as your preferred mileage program. United miles may not be as desirable as Singapore.

    Put your first name in the right spot.
    Put your first name in the right spot.
  • Step 6: Enjoy dealing with the fraud alert. Capture 5

Overall, no one likes to pay for tickets but what’s worse than paying is spending more than you should. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to confirming ‘my favorite food’ with this helpful agent.

 

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