Round the World Dividends From the Geographically Challenged

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For my next trick, I’m introducing another Trip Report: Round the World Dividends From the Geographically Challenged.

It’s a shame that US Airways is merging with American Airlines. As part of the merger, AA is mandating a geography class for all US Airways whose services will be retained. The blogosphere is littered with tales of savvy travelers who have taken advantage of what is either apathy, incompetence, or less cynically put, superb customer service to book flights from the United States to the moon with a stopover in Seychelles.

In 2013, I took a chance booking a round-trip flight from Istanbul with a stopover in Seychelles an extended layover in Toronto with my final destination of Los Angeles.

Agent: So you are going from Istanbul to Seychelles then back to the United States? Hmm, is Istanbul in Asia or Europe?

Me: …

Agent: Do you happen to have the flight numbers?

Me: Yes

Agent: Please hold.

Cue Anxiety Hold Music

Agent: OK, that’ll be 60,000 miles and $160.

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Today, I still have no idea if US Airways considers Turkey to be in Europe or Turkey to be in Asia. According to the Country Count List, it’s technically in both. Either way, how this was considered a round-trip ticket is a question left to be contemplated by a higher power.

Thanks to US Airways’ great customer service, I was able to visit the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) in Istanbul, Anse Source d’Argent beach in Seychelles, have pho with my cousins in Toronto, and catch up with friends at Cabo Cantina in Marina del Rey all for 60,000 US Airways Dividend Miles and $160.

My only complaint was that I had to do it all in coach and the slight visa issue I had in Sudan.

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