Madrid 2013: Planning Wife’s First Mileage Run

Madrid 2013: Planning Wife’s First Mileage Run

Original flight (my flight)

The original flight was a simple roundtrip from JFK to HEL on Finnair. Its pretty standard on Finnair to have a long layover in HEL on the way to Madrid and then an overnight stay in HEL on the way back.

Award flight

My wife wanted to join me on this short trip to Europe. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea but she insisted on it as my trip was over Thanksgiving break and would be crazy to be apart during Thanksgiving. I didn’t think it was such a big deal for her.

There was no availability on Finnair using AA miles for my exact itinerary so I had to come up with alternatives.

We live in Boston, so cheapest way to get to Madrid was BOS-DUB on Aer Lingus in business class, then a cheap coach ticket DUB-MAD. I paid for lounge access for her as she wouldn’t get it on her coach ticket or as an arrival after business class to DUB. It wasn’t much cost and I wanted to make sure she can check out the lounge. I heard it was pretty good as its fairly new in the new terminal at DUB.

On the way back was going to be interesting. I found a business class ticket MAD-HEL on the same flight I was on. It was funny how she was sitting up front and I was in the back.  She would then have a business class ticket on Lufthansa HEL-FRA-BOS in business. I kept trying to find first class seat for her but there wasn’t any. I tried to change the ticket online once I saw the availability but it disappeared before I could call in from Helsinki.


This was a summary of my very short time in Europe:

  • Wednesday – fly to HEL
  • Thursday – land in HEL, long layover, get to Madrid around 10pm
  • Saturday morning – fly back to HEL
  • Sunday afternoon – fly to JFK

This was my wife’s itinerary

  • Wednesday – fly to DUB in business
  • Thursday – land in DUB, long layover, get to Madrid around 9pm
  • Saturday morning – fly to HEL in Business
  • Sunday afternoon – Fly to BOS via FRA in business on LH

This was the first time my wife would be traveling internationally by herself. I tried to give her very clear instructions but overall she was fine. She also grew up in NYC so navigating other English speaking countries isn’t too bad for her. She was a bit concerned about Spain as we both don’t know any Spanish.

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