This is part 1 of a series on my trip to Austria, Germany and China.
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 1 – How I am going to Timewarp in Germany AND Beijing in Business Class for $184
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 2- 12 Amazing Places I want to see on my trip to China. The last one is terrifying!
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 3 – How I got paid to take a free trip.
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 4 – 9 Hours in Vienna
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 5 – Frankfurt, Robert-Johnson, and Timewarp
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 6 – The Flagship Austrian Airlines Business Class Lounge
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 7 – Vienna to Beijing Business Class on an Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 8 – Beijing, Tian’anmen Square, The Forbidden City
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 9 – The Great Wall of China at Jinshanling
- Austria, Germany, China 2014: Part 10 – How my Discover Card saved my life in China
- Austria, Germany, and China 2014: Part 11 – Bullet Trains and Zhengzhou
- Austria, Germany, and China 2014: Part 12 – Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors
- Austria, Germany and China 2014: Part 13 – Zhangjiajie, Monkeys and Avatar
- Austria, Germany and China 2014: Part 14 – Changsha, Wuhan, and Hefei
- Austria, Germany and China 2014: Part 15 – Intercontinental Hangzhou: Is this the coolest hotel I have stayed at?
I received 40,000 of the 100,000 miles I used for this award ticket by getting the US Airways® Premier World MasterCard®! This is a great card and one I still carry. These miles will eventually become American miles which are some of the most valuable. Click here to apply now for one of your own!
I’ve been wanting to go to the Timewarp Music Festival in Mannheim for years now but with the timing right after Winter Music Conference in Miami it was hard to make work. I had heard from DJs and friends who have attended that this 24 hour multi floor festival was one of the “really big deals” in the techno event calendar. When you see pictures like this it is easy to see why.Another of my bucket list items has been a leisurely tour of mainland China including the famous Great Wall! I had visited Hong Kong and Macau during my round the world award trip that inspired this site, but didn’t have the time then to give the rest of the country a proper visit. China is so vast and has so many incredible sites that I wanted to see as much as I could and not be rushed.What if I could combine both of these amazing trips into one kick ass adventure? It turns out I can!
Why I had to do this trip now?
I wrote an article back in November when the US Airways / American Airlines merger cleared the justice department about some of the strategies you should consider for the merged airline. I followed up with another article detailing why you might want to get the US Airways card before March 31st when it might disappear into airline history (or more accurately merge into the new American Airlines). I also personally was sitting on 127,423 US Airways miles in my account!
One of the best values in award travel is the North America to North Asia in Business Class Award for only 90,000 US Airways Miles. To make it even sweeter they allow you to route this award ticket via Europe with a stopover if you pay 10,000 miles more (the rate agents said they had to price it at the Europe award rate since it was the higher of the two zones). This means I could plan a 3 week China trip in and out of Beijing with a 5 day mini trip to Timewarp in Germany first! Yeah!!!
Edit: This award sweet spot survived the merger with a little increase in price (to 110K for biz) and is now bookable with OneWorld partners!
How I booked it
I followed the steps in my article on how to check Star Alliance Availability on United.com and found some awesome lie flat new business class seats on Austrian Airways 777 from New York to Vienna and then Austrian Airways 767 from Vienna to Beijing. Then I found a seat on Air China’s 777 new lie flat business class product.This is an almost 14 hour flight from Beijing to Houston, Texas! Think about that one in coach, ugh! Once I found the long distance legs (which are usually the hardest ones to find) I searched for the other flights from Miami to New York, Vienna to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Vienna, and Houston to Miami. After an hour on the phone confirming everything, they came back with the damage. 100,000 US Airways Miles and $184 in fees and taxes! BOOK IT!
But I didn’t tell you the best part!
My best friend and TWM reader Andres was able to use his United Miles to get on the same flights with me on the way over for Timewarp too! You may recognize him from our Meals for Miles article! 🙂We will be living it up in Germany for 5 days (with a day stop in Vienna ) then he will return to Miami and I will continue on to China. I’ve always said one of the reasons I started this site is because I want to help friends experience the things I’ve been able to and also to selfishly get my friends with me on some trips! I’ve given a trip to my Dad as a Christmas present, given away two award seats to the BPM Festival in Mexico to two lucky techno fans, but now an amazing trip with my best friend for close to free is finally becoming a reality!
It is not too late to get a trip like this yourself if you get the 40,000 from the US Airways card now. You will need a total of 60,000 miles to do this exact trip in coach or 110,000 in Business Class. I’ve always said the best time to get miles is before you need them. That is why I tell everyone to read our Getting Started Guide. But don’t just read it! Do it!