Austria, Germany, China 2013: Part 5 – Frankfurt, Robert-Johnson, and Timewarp

This is part 5 of a series on my trip to Austria, Germany and China.

I received 40,000 of the 100,000 miles I used for this award ticket by getting the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®!  This is a great card and one I still carry.  These miles will eventually become American miles which are some of the most valuable.  Click here to apply now for one of your own!

We elected to get a hotel in Frankfurt instead of Mannheim because it was just an hour train ride away. We figured there would be more to do in Frankfurt since the festival was the only thing in Mannheim.  In retrospect, getting a hotel in Mannheim at least for the nights after the festival would have been a good idea since we ended up at the after party which was in Mannheim anyways.

The first thing I always do when traveling to avoid huge roaming charges is to get a local SIM card for my unlocked iPhone.  This also gives you a local number for communicating with friends and calling hotels, etc. I found a Deutsche Telekom store and took my passport and was able to get a prepaid card with I think 500MB of 3G data for €20 and then I put another €20 on there for calls and texts.

The hotel prices were really expensive the first two nights we were there for some reason and we hadn’t booked an advance reservation for the hotel so we ended up getting one of the hidden deals on for $126 a night that was the Westin in a great location in Frankfurt right near the pedestrian street Zeil.IMG_7902

Since I have Gold status with SPG, they gave us an upgraded room even though they didn’t have to since it was a Hotwire booking.

There was even a mall with a neat glass climbing wall and waterfall right in the middle of it!IMG_7901

The Westin had great beds which was important so we could get a good night’s sleep and get over our jet lag.  I don’t normally get too lagged but this time with the combination of a coach flight and then our layover in Vienna, it hit me pretty hard.

Friday night, we headed to the famous Robert Johnson club for Magda and Troy Pierce with my friend Jean-Carlos who drove up from Rammstein. We were a little worried since the club is very hard to get into sometimes and we arrived after midnight, but we were able to walk right in.  Magda was playing great but we left around 5 or so to save our energy for Timewarp the next day.  Andres was excited to be back in Europe so he could have a proper döner kebap.IMG_7906.The next day we moved to the Ramada near Hauptbahnhof that I found for a rate of only E49 a night!

Jean-Carlos drove up and gave us a luxury high speed ride to Mannheim.IMG_7910

Timewarp was pretty incredible.  There are six different stages and it was hard to decide sometimes which was the best.  Here are some pics and videos that I took from the festival.

I also ran into my friend Bart from Belgium who I met at the Ibiza closing parties.  It was great to see him again!

IMG_7934After the festival we ran into some DJs I know and they told us about a semi private after party at a little club called Zimmer in Mannheim that we could go to.  We had been up all night at this point so decided to go back and shower and change before the after party.  This was when a hotel in Mannheim would have been the better option.  We walked through a bit of Mannheim and it looked like a nice little town when the madness of Timewarp wasn’t happening.IMG_7944

The after party was legendary with a who’s who list of DJs both spinning and just hanging out right beside and with you. Seth Troxler, Dubfire, Jamie Jones, Nick Curly, Mathias Tanzmann, Marco Carola, and more.IMG_7947

IMG_7951  Such an amazing experience in a small intimate setting.  The party ended at around 4 and we caught the first train back into Frankfurt where I could sleep for an hour or so before heading to the airport.  It was time for Andres and I to part ways: He was going back to Miami while I was continuing onto Beijing aboard an Austrian Airlines 767-300 in business class!

How I am going to Timewarp in Germany AND Beijing in Business Class for $184

This is part 1 of a series on my trip to Austria, Germany and China.

I received 40,000 of the 100,000 miles I used for this award ticket by getting the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®!  This is a great card and one I still carry.  These miles will eventually become American miles which are some of the most valuable.  Click here to apply now for one of your own!

I’ve been wanting to go to the Timewarp Music Festival in Mannheim for years now but with the timing right after Winter Music Conference in Miami it was hard to make work.  I had heard from DJs and friends who have attended that this 24 hour multi floor festival was one of the “really big deals” in the techno event calendar. When you see pictures like this it is easy to see why.TimeWarp 2013Another of my bucket list items has been a leisurely tour of mainland China including the famous Great Wall!  I had visited Hong Kong and Macau during my round the world award trip that inspired this site, but didn’t have the time then to give the rest of the country a proper visit. China is so vast and has so many incredible sites that I wanted to see as much as I could and not be rushed.Great Wall ChinaWhat if I could combine both of these amazing trips into one kick ass adventure?  It turns out I can!

Why I had to do this trip now?

I wrote an article back in November when the US Airways / American Airlines merger cleared the justice department about some of the strategies you should consider for the merged airline.  I followed up with another article detailing why you might want to get the US Airways card before March 31st when it might disappear into airline history (or more accurately merge into the new American Airlines).  I also personally was sitting on 127,423 US Airways miles in my account!

US Air StatementOne of the best values in award travel is the North America to North Asia in Business Class Award for only 90,000 US Airways Miles.   To make it even sweeter they allow you to route this award ticket via Europe with a stopover if you pay 10,000 miles more (the rate agents said they had to price it at the Europe award rate since it was the higher of the two zones). This means I could plan a 3 week China trip in and out of Beijing with a 5 day mini trip to Timewarp in Germany first! Yeah!!!

Edit: This award sweet spot survived the merger with a little increase in price (to 110K for biz) and is now bookable with OneWorld partners!

How I booked it

I followed the steps in my article on how to check Star Alliance Availability on and found some awesome lie flat new business class seats on Austrian Airways 777 from New York to Vienna and then Austrian Airways 767 from Vienna to Beijing. Then I found a seat on Air China’s 777 new lie flat business class product.This is an almost 14 hour flight from Beijing to Houston, Texas! Think about that one in coach, ugh!  Once I found the long distance legs (which are usually the hardest ones to find) I searched for the other flights from Miami to New York, Vienna to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Vienna, and Houston to Miami.  After an hour on the phone confirming everything, they came back with the damage.  100,000 US Airways Miles and $184 in fees and taxes! US AIr Award SuccessBOOK IT!

But I didn’t tell you the best part!

My best friend and TWM reader Andres was able to use his United Miles to get on the same flights with me on the way over for Timewarp too!  You may recognize him from our Meals for Miles article! 🙂IMG_7673We will be living it up in Germany for 5 days (with a day stop in Vienna ) then he will return to Miami and I will continue on to China.  I’ve always said one of the reasons I started this site is because I want to help friends experience the things I’ve been able to and also to selfishly get my friends with me on some trips!  I’ve given a trip to my Dad as a Christmas present, given away two award seats to the BPM Festival in Mexico to two lucky techno fans, but now an amazing trip with my best friend for close to free is finally becoming a reality!


It is not too late to get a trip like this yourself if you get the 40,000 from the US Airways card now.  You will need a total of 60,000 miles to do this exact trip in coach or 110,000 in Business Class.  I’ve always said the best time to get miles is before you need them.  That is why I tell everyone to read our Getting Started Guide.  But don’t just read it!  Do it!

As always, feel free to comment with any questions and follow me on FacebookTwitter and Instagram!