This is the first post in a series on my 2013 trip to the Ibiza Closing parties. Part of the free plane tickets were funded by the 40,000 point sign up bonus of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. I redeemed 135,000 points for First Class flights from Miami to Ibiza on Lufthansa.
- Ibiza 2013: Part 1 – How I went to the 2013 Ibiza Closing Parties in First Class for $218
- Ibiza 2013: Part 2 – Lufthansa First Class Lounge in New York – JFK
- Ibiza 2013: Part 3 – Lufthansa First Class New York to Munich on an A-330
- Ibiza 2013: Part 4 – The Lufthansa First Class Lounge in Munich
- Ibiza 2013: Part 5 – Back to the White Isle
- Ibiza 2013: Part 6 – The Lufthansa First Class Terminal in Frankfurt
- Ibiza 2013: Part 7 – Lufthansa Old First Class Frankfurt to Toronto on an A-340
- Ibiza 2013: Part 8 – The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
I love last minute travel. One minute you have no plans and the next you are flying across the world to have an amazing time. This was one of those times!
As many of you know, last year I went to the Ibiza closing parties for the first time and while I only paid $239 and flew business class, this year I wanted to do even better! I had some friends who were going to the closing parties and had rented a bad ass condo and had invited me to stay with them. So I just needed to get a plane ticket out there and some tickets or guestlists to the parties and I would be all set!
I have oodles of Chase Ultimate Rewards points that I got from my Chase Ink Bold card (40,000 point sign up bonus) and my Chase Sapphire Preferred card (50,000 point sign up bonus) so I was free to use any of the three alliances. I checked Oneworld since Iberia flies right into Ibiza, but there was no availability. I then used the same steps that I explained to you guys in my article on How to Check Star Alliance Availability on United.com and I saw a couple of business class seats but not a whole lot of routing that would make sense. I don’t mind hopping around airports a bit as long as I fly in business or first class and have lounge access during any long layovers. I always try to fly business or first class to get the maximum value from my miles. Here is the chart for using one way travel using United miles on Star Alliance carriers such as Lufthansa. For round trip travel it would be 60K miles for Economy class, 100K for Business class, and 135K for First Class.
United has an interactive planner you can access here or you can access the full award chart here if you want to check other destinations. What I did see available when I checked was some Lufthansa First Class seats!
Lufthansa First Class is one of those things I have been wanting to fly forever and the First Class Terminal in Frankfurt is the stuff of legends in the travel and points world. I found a routing that I thought would work and then I called in to try and book it since it wouldn’t let me book it online due to the complexity of the routing. When I got the representative on the phone though, one of the segments was showing phantom availability, which happens with Lufthansa sometimes when the actual seats become mismatched from the seats showing on United.com. The representative was awesome though and she checked several alternate routings and found out a great solution that had availability.
Before I get to that, a couple of things about getting to Ibiza using Star Alliance carriers. Since Ibiza is a small, seasonal island, there aren’t any direct flights from the US. You typically have to fly to Madrid or Barcelona and then take a small plane from there. But there aren’t any Star Alliance carriers that fly from Madrid or Barcelona to Ibiza! What I found out though are there are some limited flights from Munich to Ibiza on Lufthansa on certain days. By booking my outbound flight through Munich, I was able to take this non stop flight and save buying the flight from Madrid to Ibiza. Getting back I wasn’t so lucky and the only thing that was available was Madrid to Frankfurt and then back across the Atlantic through Toronto. So I would need to buy a one way flight from Ibiza to Madrid to catch my award ticket home.
So when all was said and done this is what I came up with for a total of 135,000 United miles and $218 ($118 + $75 last minute booking fee + $25 Phone booking fee). Keep in mind that this was all booked the day before I was scheduled to leave!
You will see that I booked this using an Open Jaw (called this because I fly into Ibiza and out of Madrid) and I flew out of Miami and back into Fort Lauderdale. I had to do this so I could tack on a Free One Way flight to Los Angeles as I discussed in this article. A trip around Valentine’s day to the Surfing Championships in Huntington Beach sounded like fun!
So there I was, booked again to travel to the White Isle for some of the best parties in the world. And I was able to go First Class for the first time as well! Wait until I write about that, it was incredible!