I’ve got a trip coming up in a couple weeks and, thanks to my ability to procrastinate spectacularly, I’ve yet to book the return half. There are, as I see it, three reasonable options available to me and none of them are particularly compelling so I’m reaching out to you, my readers, to help me choose. Note that this is not a binding vote or anything like that; I’m just curious which y’all think makes the most sense given the parameters I’m about to lay out.
Option 1: Norwegian and the 787
This is the only revenue fare option I’m considering; the other two are award trips. It would include an afternoon flight from my origin to Oslo, a three hour layover and then onward to JFK on the 787. At least in theory. I’ve previously booked the Norwegian 787 and ended up flying on a disgusting A343. The 787s continue to have reliability problems for Norwegian though, best as I can tell, only two of the past ten have been a swap to something else. All-in the fare is ~$550, including a seat assignment and some meals in-flight. One new line for my flight history map.
Option 2: Star Alliance award
For 30,000 UA miles and ~$50 in taxes I fly via Frankfurt, also in the afternoon, into JFK. Similar total flight time as the Norwegian option but this one also involves the Lufthansa 744 in economy. Not my favorite long-haul coach product at all. On the plus side, good flight times and I know what I’m getting in to. Also one new line for my map.
Option 3: oneworld award
Only 20,000 miles and a similar $50 in taxes, but I also need to position on the European end to get to a gateway served by a oneworld partner which adds ~$90 to the total. It also involves an overnight in Helsinki in mid-January but I’m already going to be in cold weather mode so I see that as a perk, not a drawback. This one involves more new lines (3) and I can probably add on another random domestic one-way flight later in the year as part of the same award so that’s a plus. The downsides are higher costs (including the positioning flight and the extra night in Helsinki), a 65 minute connection in Manchester and I only have AA Gold status (and that’s in theory as the challenge hasn’t “cleared” yet).
So, which would you choose?
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