Old Dec 21, 12, 8:33 pm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SFO/OAK
Posts: 144
Need advice and miles strategy for international adoption travel

Well folks, its been about 3 years since I logged in here, probably 4 years since I posted.

Yet when this situation and challenge came up, I knew exactly the place to go.

My wife and I are hopeful in completing an international adoption within the next 12-18 months. I'm investigating if it's possible to accumulate enough miles to cover our airfare travel to Kinshasa in the DR Congo.

The reason I mention international adoption is not to evoke any feeling, but mainly because that will likely mean we won't be able to use any type of Saver awards due to short travel lead times. That, and, as FT knows, no advance purchase fare discount combined with a long travel distance would normally mean astronomical fares.

This is what I've got so far:

We'll be flying SFO-FIH. The main carriers I see flying this route (multiple stops) are:

United/Brussels/Lufthansa (Star Alliance)
Air France (SkyTeam)

Fares generally are $2k-$4k depending on the lead time.

Round-Trip "Standard Awards" on United to Africa are 160k miles.
From what I can gather on the Delta (SkyTeam) site, the mileage required is similar.

So, here is my question: How do I go about accumulating 160k mileage for either program in the course of 12-18 months? I don't have the ability to do any MRs. I'm not averse, however, to doing many/multiple credit card offers, canceling, and repeating.

I was on http://webflyer.com/ and was going through different scenarios for transferring miles into either program - but it seems like in many scenarios transferring miles through a couple different programs results in a huge value hit.

What's the most efficient accumulation of either Star Alliance or SkyTeam miles?

Thanks FT, and I look forward to any feedback whatsoever!
jumpmonger23 is offline