A few months ago, I purchased a mistake fare for a trip to South Africa. The route is rather circuitous, and with recent changes, I won’t bank many miles for the trip. I wasn’t sure if I’d keep it or cancel it, but I’m leaning towards going. According to my calculations, I’ll have 4 nights in Cape Town – a city I’ve always, always, always wanted to visit. I’d like to visit for longer, but 4 days still is something.
The airfare was a little under $400. On the way over, I fly overnight to Paris, spend a day in Paris, then fly overnight to Abu Dhabi, and then take a day flight to Johannesburg. I will arrange my own flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town. On the way back, I will fly overnight from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi, and then non-stop from Abu Dhabi to New York JFK.
All of the flights, other than the initial flight to Paris, are on Etihad Airways. Each such leg can be upgraded to business for about 35,000 – 67,000 miles.
I was thinking of upgrading the longest leg – AUH-JFK to business class at a cost of approximately 67,000 miles.
I don’t have any Etihad miles, but Citibank is a transfer partner. Right now there is a bonus of 25%, when you convert Citibank Thank You points for Etihad miles.
This promotion ends tomorrow, May 15th, so I need to decide immediately.
The benefits would be a 14-hour ride in Etihad business, as well as use of the Etihad business lounge on my 3 hour layover in Abu Dhabi. This would be pretty cool to experience. On the negative side, even with the transfer bonus, this upgrade will cost more than 50,000 Thank You points, which could otherwise be used for other trips.
What do you think? Should I do it? Is it worth it? Have you flown business class on Etihad? What is it like? Should I upgrade one of the shorter (but overnight) legs of the trip instead?
Seriously, I would like your input, your advice, your experience.