Revealed: An Insane Use of The United ‘Free’ One Way (Part 2)

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I have been writing daily posts about my South America & Africa Points Heist Trip Report. Today, I am using the last leg of my United ticket from that same trip to go from Montana to Michigan. I’m headed there for Thanksgiving and to attend the Michigan vs Ohio State Game at the Big House in the hopes of a Christmas miracle. (OSU definitely didn’t reach the line to gain last year. See the Fourth And Short Trip Recap.)

A summary of the first United booking that I wrote about is here: A flight from North America to Northern South America is 35k. By booking the flight from BZN-DTW for 12,500 additional miles, I received a free business class flight from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Nairobi, Kenya. Taking the flight out of Montana to Michigan during the holidays, instead of using it as a throwaway ticket, is an added bonus because the flight goes for $400+.

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Day, Date Flight Class Departure City and Time Arrival City and Time Aircraft Meal

Sun, 24SEP17

UA5644

X

BOZEMAN, MT
(BZN) 1:02 PM

LOS ANGELES, CA
(LAX) 2:49 PM

Mon, 25SEP17 UA1125 I LOS ANGELES, CA
(LAX) 8:10 AM
HOUSTON, TX
(IAH -BUSH INTL) 1:32 PM
Breakfast

Mon, 25SEP17

UA854

I

HOUSTON, TX
(IAH -BUSH INTL) 4:40 PM

LIMA, PERU
(LIM) 11:15 PM

Dinner

Tue, 26SEP17 AV809 I LIMA, PERU
(LIM) 8:40 AM
CUSCO, CUZCO PE
(CUZ) 9:59 AM

Flight operated by TRANS AMERICAN AI.

Tue, 10OCT17 SA41 I VICTORIA FALLS ZW
(VFA) 1:30 PM
JOHANNESBURG ZA
(JNB) 3:05 PM
A-330

Flight operated by SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS.

Tue, 10OCT17

ET858

I

JOHANNESBURG ZA
(JNB) 11:50 PM

ADDIS ABABA ET
(ADD) 6:30 AM (11OCT)

737-800

Flight operated by ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES.
Wed, 11OCT17 ET304 X ADDIS ABABA ET
(ADD) 11:00 AM
NAIROBI, KENYA
(NBO) 1:10 PM

Flight operated by ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES.

Wed, 22NOV17 UA5392 X BOZEMAN, MT
(BZN) 12:40 PM
CHICAGO, IL
(ORD – O’HARE) 4:46 PM
ERJ 175 Purchase

Flight operated by SKYWEST AIRLINES doing business as UNITED EXPRESS.

Wed, 22NOV17

UA5966

X

CHICAGO, IL
(ORD – O’HARE) 6:10 PM

DETROIT, MI
(DTW) 8:33 PM

ERJ 175

It’s crazy that this trip started in Bozeman on September 24th and then resumed in Bozeman on November 22nd but is still considered to be one ticket. (To replicate this booking, read Revealed: An Insane Use of The United ‘Free’ One way (Part 1).)

I combined the ticket above with a second United booking which got me from South America to Africa in business on SAA. That ticket alone would have been 50,000 miles. But for the low, low price of 57,500, I was able to get so much more using the same trick as before. This time the free portion was DAR-JNB in business as a result of booking the throwaway segment of Sao Paulo to Bahia.

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Day, Date Flight Class Departure City and Time Arrival City and Time Aircraft Meal

Thu, 05OCT17

O68525

X

SANTIAGO, CHILE
(SCL) 1:55 AM

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
(GRU) 5:55 AM

A-320

Flight operated by OCEANAIR LINHAS AEREAS LTDA.
Thu, 05OCT17 SA223 I SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
(GRU) 6:00 PM
JOHANNESBURG ZA
(JNB) 7:25 AM(06OCT)
A-330

Flight operated by SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS.

Fri, 06OCT17

SA40

I

JOHANNESBURG ZA
(JNB) 10:50 AM

VICTORIA FALLS ZW
(VFA) 12:30 PM

A-330

Flight operated by SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS.

Tue, 24OCT17

SA189

I

DAR ES SALAAM, UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA
(DAR) 6:00 AM

JOHANNESBURG ZA
(JNB) 8:35 AM

A-319

Flight operated by SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS.

AD4446

Z

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
(GRU) 1:25 PM

BRASILIA BR
(BSB) 3:10 PM

Flight operated by AZUL.
O66224 X BRASILIA BR
(BSB) 8:55 PM
SALVADOR BR
(SSA) 9:52 PM
A-320

Flight operated by OCEANAIR LINHAS AEREAS LTDA.

For 105,000 United Miles, I received all of this and, should I decide to go to Brazil, I have another flight at my disposal. I still think that the Trip Heard Round The World was my best itinerary, followed by A $60,000 Trip to Tahiti, On Sale for $1999, but this one is pretty damn good too especially if I go to Bahia, Brazil for the second greatest spectacle next to Michigan vs OSU, Carnaval.

Happy Thanksgiving! And Go Blue!

105k includes a stop at Victoria Falls

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