Booked! 80k United to Africa on Turkish


It’s been quite a week at The points gods are certainly smiling on me. I thought the first good deal was booking Detroit to Napoli on Air France for 18k (in coach). Then the deal of a lifetime happened when I booked Madrid to Chicago for 25k on Iberia. That took care of my spring Euro trip.

Now I needed a ride to Africa where I plan on climbing Mt. Kili in record time, much like I did when I ran the marathon in Athens. The flight back, Virgin Atlantic from JNB-LHR-SFO is already on the books.

I began my search by looking for flights on Qatar. I quickly gave up because I could not find business to Doha and there was zero availability from Doha (DOH) to Kilimanjaro (JRO). I also want to save my AA miles for a future trip. This led me to United which used to be the best value for points flights until it killed points travel. Last year, I flew from Shanghai to Tahiti via New Zealand in (mostly) business for 60k round trip. That was an incredible value that would be next to impossible to replicate.

Here’s what I found instead:

Business class to JRO via Ethiopian Airlines for 80k miles. I’ve read that the Cloud Nine service was decent but not spectacular. I kept searching and eventually found the winner. The flight is SFO-IST on Turkish then IST-JRO also on Turkish with a three-hour layover in Istanbul. I flew Turkish when I had the great idea to move to Mongolia and really enjoyed it. (Turkish, not Mongolia) I wish I had more time in the Turkish lounge, the Costco of airline lounges, but this was the best that I could find.

While this booking isn’t the tremendous value of the Tahiti trip, it is a great redemption in the post deval world of points travel.

africa africa $



  1. Great deal. But it would be nice if you would refer to the actual country you are flying to in your headline rather than simply “Africa” it’s insulting and treats the continent as a monolith. It’s massive continent with dozens of countries. Come on man, you wouldn’t do that if you were going to an Asian or South American or European country

  2. finally, i get to work for you again. two independent clauses require a comma :

    “I quickly gave up because I could not find business to Doha ~~NEED COMMA HERE~~ and there was zero availability from Doha (DOH) to Kilimanjaro (JRO).”

    feels good to be employed again. do you need my address again, or do you have it on record in terms of sending me a check (four figures, please…with a comma between the first two, coolio?).

    have fun buddy. mt. k should be money!

Leave a Reply