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Best airline or credit card for travel to Niamey

Best airline or credit card for travel to Niamey

Old Jun 28, 19, 5:58 pm
  #1  
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Best airline or credit card for travel to Niamey

Hi,

I need help! I will be working in Niamey, Niger for a year while my family remains in Monterey, CA. I would love to come home to visit about three times during the year, but I am hoping to fly business class to minimize the pain and exhaustion for the short home visits, and maximize the use of miles or credit card programs to mitigate the costs (I am traveling for civil service, not to expand my multi-national business empire!). That being said, I think Turkish and Air France have the best 1 stop options from NIM to SFO, but am not sure what the best way to get award tickets to do this. Air France prices are really expensive, but it is possible to get a Turkish business class ticket for under $4000. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!
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Old Jun 28, 19, 7:17 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by NkNiamey View Post
Hi,

I need help! I will be working in Niamey, Niger for a year while my family remains in Monterey, CA. I would love to come home to visit about three times during the year, but I am hoping to fly business class to minimize the pain and exhaustion for the short home visits, and maximize the use of miles or credit card programs to mitigate the costs (I am traveling for civil service, not to expand my multi-national business empire!). That being said, I think Turkish and Air France have the best 1 stop options from NIM to SFO, but am not sure what the best way to get award tickets to do this. Air France prices are really expensive, but it is possible to get a Turkish business class ticket for under $4000. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!
Welcome to FT!

Turkish is a Star Alliance carrier, which means that -- in theory -- you could redeem miles from any Star Alliance frequent-flyer program for award travel on TK. The problem is that there might not be Business Class award seats available when you want to travel.

Star Alliance FFPs include United's MileagePlus, Aeroplan, and Avianca's Life Miles. Several different U.S.-issued credit cards earn points that can be converted to miles in one or more of those programs; there are a couple of credit cards that earn miles directly in those programs.

Avianca's Life Miles program occasionally offers very good sales on their miles. But different programs have different mileage-expiration dates, so you have to be careful that you don't get stuck with miles that you can't use.

You might try doing some dummy award searches at united.com to see the availability of Business Class award seats on TK. If some of the options say "mixed cabin," be sure to click on the "Details" section, as some of those itineraries might involve some long flights in Economy Class.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 8:34 pm
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Guv1976,

Thanks for the quick response! I noticed the star alliance link, but when I looked up the award on United, I think it would be about 160,000 miles plus $400. On Turkish it was about 98,000. And since I will be earning miles on Turkish airlines I thought that might be best. Other than the flights, I am not sure if I will be able to earn miles on Turkish airlines though. It just seems like there are a million options, and if I come in uneducated, I will be using a program that takes double the time, money, and points to get the same reward. I was hoping an insider would have an idea if I should go the skyteam direction for Air France, or start alliance direction for Turkey - and then the best way to get an award on the respective airline. I have been wading through the options, but it is overwhelming!

Thanks!
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Old Jun 28, 19, 10:47 pm
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NkNiamey Welcome to FT

Originally Posted by NkNiamey View Post
I need help! I will be working in Niamey, Niger for a year while my family remains in Monterey, CA. I would love to come home to visit about three times during the year, but I am hoping to fly business class to minimize the pain and exhaustion for the short home visits, and maximize the use of miles or credit card programs to mitigate the costs (I am traveling for civil service, not to expand my multi-national business empire!). That being said, I think Turkish and Air France have the best 1 stop options from NIM to SFO, but am not sure what the best way to get award tickets to do this. Air France prices are really expensive, but it is possible to get a Turkish business class ticket for under $4000. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
You seem to mixing 2 things: the cash price of a tickets and an award. Their is no relationship.

What ffp's are you a member of now?
Will you using a commercial airline to get to Niamey? Get ff miles from that flight?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diori_...tional_Airport
NIM is not served by many airlines

What credit cards do have now?
What credit cards will you (Africa) & your family (USA) use?

The cost of a award in ff miles & cash surcharges can vary a lot.
FF miles are not the same value in different freq flyer programs
Credit cards can transfer to ffp at the same rate, but not always
Earn to burn is what matters (and considering cash surcharges if any)

Business class awards can be hard to get [Or impossible]. More so if trying to book at short notice
A guide to award cost. Does not include all ffp's. But check the ffp rules carefuly--
--->AwardHacker: a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles --> AwardHacker.com

Credit card transfer links
---
Edit

Originally Posted by NkNiamey View Post
I noticed the star alliance link, but when I looked up the award on United, I think it would be about 160,000 miles plus $400. On Turkish it was about 98,000. And since I will be earning miles on Turkish airlines I thought that might be best. Other than the flights, I am not sure if I will be able to earn miles on Turkish airlines though. It just seems like there are a million options, and if I come in uneducated, I will be using a program that takes double the time, money, and points to get the same reward.

I was hoping an insider would have an idea if I should go the skyteam direction for Air France, or start alliance direction for Turkey - and then the best way to get an award on the respective airline. I have been wading through the options, but it is overwhelming!
If you are flying to NIM on TK, you can earn ff miles in any Star Alliance freq flyer progarm, subject to being an eligible flight & the rules of the ffp.
Many people earn a lot of ff miles from credit cards. But living in NIM using a (USA) credit card may be limited

Be mindful of expiry Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire. Click to open the wiki.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jun 28, 19 at 11:04 pm
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Old Jun 29, 19, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by NkNiamey View Post
Guv1976,

Thanks for the quick response! I noticed the star alliance link, but when I looked up the award on United, I think it would be about 160,000 miles plus $400. On Turkish it was about 98,000. And since I will be earning miles on Turkish airlines I thought that might be best. Other than the flights, I am not sure if I will be able to earn miles on Turkish airlines though. It just seems like there are a million options, and if I come in uneducated, I will be using a program that takes double the time, money, and points to get the same reward. I was hoping an insider would have an idea if I should go the skyteam direction for Air France, or start alliance direction for Turkey - and then the best way to get an award on the respective airline. I have been wading through the options, but it is overwhelming!

Thanks!
Here's a link to a recent blog post re: buying LifeMiles during a sale to get cheap award seats:

https://thepointsguy.com/news/lifemi...y-miles-promo/

Note, especially, that LifeMiles generally expire after 12 months; that award availability is never guaranteed; and that no one knows if or when there will be a devaluation of the LifeMiles program.

Are there very high taxes flying in or out of NIM? $400 in fees on a MileagePlus award through UA seems very unusual. Also, keep in mind that when flying TK on a paid ticket, you do not have to earn TK miles: you could opt to credit your TK flights to a different Star Alliance program, like Mileage Plus, Aeroplan, or LifeMiles.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 4:44 pm
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Mwenenzi,

Thanks for the response. With respect to your questions :

What ffp's are you a member of now?
Delta (70K miles) and United (10K miles)
Will you using a commercial airline to get to Niamey? Get ff miles from that flight?
Yes and Yes
NIM is not served by many airlines
Air France or Turkish is my plan

What credit cards do have now?
Used amex and delta points and miles bonus so have some options -eg Citi
What credit cards will you (Africa) & your family (USA) use?
That is to be determined based on what strategy I take.

I have read over many of the resources, but the main reason I came to this forum was hoping that somebody was familiar with the path I am about to take. I don't have enough experience to know which option between skyteam or star alliance is best to leverage Air France or Turkish respectively, and then which airline to use on that alliance.

My initial thought is to just by the cheapest ticket in cash. I may be able to get enough Delta miles with transferring my Amex points to get teh 200K delta miles required to get an air france ticket. I may also rely on City thank you bonus and transfer, and some United flights credited to Turkish to get teh 100K required for a Turkish ticket...we shall see

Thanks for the inputs
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Old Jul 1, 19, 7:22 am
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I just got back from Niamey. There are very few places that take credit cards. The only place we used the credit card was the hotel where we stayed. Most restaurants only take cash. Of course, there are ATM machines throughout the city. The grocery store only took cash. Your credit card will be of little value there. YMMV.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 9:13 am
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Powerlifter,

Thanks for the inputs. My plan for the credit cards is just to get the bonuses with my spending in preparation for leaving. I don't plan on utilizing them, if at all, in Niamey.

How was your flight there? Did you use an awards ticket

Cheers,
NkNiamey
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Old Jul 8, 19, 8:03 am
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No, I went there on business. The client paid for the Air France ticket. The flight was ok. It was a long hike to the end of 2E to check in the flight. They would not let me carry my rollaboard on the plane. It took a while to go through security as you had to take a train to the gate. YMMV.
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