Photo review of American Airlines flight from Milan to Miami in Business
This is the eleventh report in a series covering my trip to Europe and Africa around New Year's 2016. The trip involved three nested itineraries (which turned into four): A OneWorld roundtrip itinerary from the US to Milan, a Tunisair roundtrip itinerary from Milan to Tunis, Tunisia, and a Star Alliance roundtrip itinerary from Tunis to Windhoek, Namibia. The return portion of the Star Alliance itinerary would turn into a one-way itinerary on Qatar Airways due to South African Airways delays (hot weather), horrible customer service by South African Airways and United Airlines, and a cancellation of the remainder of the Star Alliance itinerary. I submitted a claim to World Nomads travel insurance for the Qatar Airways ticket I had to buy because I had faced a 24 hour delay by Star Alliance. World Nomads' claim processor Trip Mate rejected the claim (as well as my appeal). According to them, they're off the hook unless the "common carrier" is completely shut down for 24 hours due to weather or a labor strike. The verbiage in the policy doesn't include "common carrier" though. I submitted a complaint to the California Department of Insurance, but they don't actually do anything besides forward the information to the insurance company, who had already ruled on it anyway. I filed a small claims lawsuit against Trip Mate and we reached a confidential settlement before the scheduled trial date. I have a big trip to Asia coming up in April and I bought insurance through Contiki for that trip. Hopefully I won't need to find out what their claims process is like.
The OneWorld itinerary was an open jaw from Chicago to Milan in Economy, and Milan to San Diego in Business. The total cost was 63,000 AAdvantage miles and $84.10. Normal cost would've been 70,000 miles (20,000 for the outbound in Economy and 50,000 for the inbound in Business). However, I was able to get 10% back thanks to my Citi AAdvantage MasterCard.
The roundtrip cost for the Tunisair ticket was $182.48, bought through Vayama.
The roundtrip cost for the business class Star Alliance ticket was 70,000 United MileagePlus miles and $135.00. On the surface, this is an incredible value. Intra-Africa airfares are quite a sweet spot on Star Alliance if you go from one end of the continent to the other. However, my faith in Star Alliance has been completely shattered and I don't think I'll ever take advantage of this intra-Africa MileagePlus fare again.
————— Tunis to Istanbul (Turkish Airlines Business): Tunis to Istanbul ————— Istanbul to Kinshasa (Turkish Airlines Business): Istanbul to Kinshasa ————— Kinshasa to Johannesburg (South African Airways Business): Jo'burg to Windhoek ————— Johannesburg to Windhoek (South African Airways Business): Jo'burg to Windhoek ————— Windhoek to Johannesburg (South African Airways Business): Windhoek to Jo'burg ————— Johannesburg to Lagos (South African Airways Business): Cancelled Flight ————— Lagos to Istanbul (South African Airways Business): Cancelled Flight ————— Istanbul to Tunis (Turkish Airlines Business): Cancelled Flight
———- Tunis to Milan Malpensa (Tunisair Economy): No Show
—– Milan Malpensa to Miami (American Airlines Business): You Are Here —– Miami to Chicago O'Hare (American Airlines First) —– Chicago O'Hare to San Diego (American Airlines First)
Cabin crew 7.5
Milan - MXP
Miami - MIA
Overall this was a great flight thanks to the terrific hard product I got to experience. The flight attendant for my row seemed like she was Italian, so she was a little nicer than a typical American flight attendant. Hopefully AA will finish their 767 retrofit soon so passengers won't have to worry about getting the old product while flying on a 767. The most desirable seats in this scheme are window seats with the table on the aisle side. The AA seat map won't likely indicate which seats have the table on the aisle side, so make sure you choose an even numbered row if you want one of those.
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