This is the twelfth 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): Milan Malpensa to Miami —– Miami to Chicago O'Hare (American Airlines First): You Are Here —– Chicago O'Hare to San Diego (American Airlines First)
Passport Control was actually very smooth (especially considering how strange my itinerary was), though the security check took a while and there was no separate line for business class. Next I headed up to the train to get over to the lounge.
Nice views being up high in the terminal.
The D15 Admirals Club was under construction. They had a temporary set up there, but I decided to just go to other one.
This club was crowded, loud, and just generally uncomfortable. I was a bit spoiled having just experienced the Qatar Airways lounge in Doha, so things like giving people limited drink coupons seemed kind of hokey.
Dirty dishes provided for the infamous snack towers.
My ticket was billed as first class, but it was actually international business class on a 767. They did not pass out the entertainment tablets on this flight which was sort of disappointing.
Nuts and a drink prior to the meal.
Meal was what you'd expect.
Decent view of Chicago as we set up to land.
American Airlines Admirals Club (Concourse D)
Miami - MIA
Chicago - ORD
The only good thing about this flight was the hard product we had, if you don't count the fact that they never passed out the entertainment tablets. The lounge, onboard service, and meal were all very mediocre.
1 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".