2013: Chicago to Rome to Singapore to Chicago

2013: Chicago to Rome to Singapore to Chicago

Trip Synopsis

Economy Class around the world via Europe and Asia on Lufthansa, Singapore, and ANA for 65K United Miles

The trip has a special place in my heart as it was my first dip into award booking inspired by miles and points aficionados. I was so excited afterwards that I even wrote my first trip report ever.

Encouraged by the success, I set my eyes on the next level of award travel: long haul international in business class.

MMB Analysis

  • United saw this as a round trip to Singapore (South Asia) at 32,500 miles each way with a stopover (ie, a stop over 24 hours) in Rome (Seven day Mediterranean cruise not included :-))
  • First time flying with Star Alliance partners Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines


  • I should have taken advantage of open draw at destination (arrive at/depart from different places in the same region). Since we visited Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia while at Singapore – bus outbound and AirAsia in bound, the KUL/SIN segment could have been avoided. It was nice to experience Asia’s most successful discount airliner AirAsia, but that alone not justified a long layover at Singapore. I could have booked Kuala Lumpur to Chicago as the return trip, going through one of Star Alliance’s hubs at Beijing (Air China), Taipei (EVA), Seoul (Asiana), or Tokyo (ANA).

How will it work out today

  • United mileage chart was devalued in 2014 and again in 2016. Singapore round trip would cost 70,000 in 2014 and 80000 miles now.
  • United eliminated stopover allowance in 2016. We could not have taken a seven-day stopover in Rome.

Trip Metrics

From To Distance (Miles)
Chicago Frankfurt 4344
Frankfurt Rome 595
Rome Frankfurt 595
Frankfurt Singapore 6389
Singapore Tokyo 3324
Tokyo Chicago 6274
Total 21521

Flying 21K on 65K miles. The ratio is stunning, particularly considering it’s my first booking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *