Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the phenomenon called Pokemon GO. It’s creating quite a stir as people run around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to bag rare Pokemon. Even if you don’t play video games, it’s probably caught your attention in some way or another as the application has more users than Twitter, and more hours of engagement by users than Facebook. It’s the biggest mobile game the United States has ever seen and it only launched at the beginning of this month.
There are 26 new European markets that just launched Pokemon GO two days ago:
One of the basic premises of Pokemon GO is to catch Pokemon via augmented reality that uses your device’s camera and GPS (the creatures show up on your phone as though they are in the real world). The game is still very new so it’s hard to see any established patterns yet, but variance of location and geographies will increase your chance of seeing certain types of Pokemon. There appear to even be a few that are specific to certain regions.
Below are some suggestions of how to get to a few these countries where you can keep up your Pokemon GO game. Gotta catch ’em all?
Using Asiana or ANA Miles to Get to Europe in a Premium Cabin Cheaply
Asiana and ANA are Star Alliance members with very cheap redemption charts to Europe. You can book Business or First Class with just 40k or 50k Asiana miles one way (SPG points transfer to Asiana 1:1 and also get 5k bonus Asiana miles for transferring in 20k point increments). Or if you prefer to save those valuable SPG points, another cheap option is to transfer Membership Rewards to ANA Mileage Club. You can book a roundtrip in Business Class for 88k ANA miles. The award has to be booked as a roundtrip, however, as ANA doesn’t allow one way redemptions.
Both Asiana and ANA charge fuel surcharges on awards flights that have fuel surcharges as part of a normal cash ticket, with the exception of United flights. So make sure when looking for award space on united.com to single out a United flight (normally I would say to use the United only filter, but there is a glitch with it currently, so you’ll have to search day by day). All award space on united.com that that is labeled Saver space is bookable with Asiana and ANA miles.
Even if you don’t live in the American cities mentioned below with good award space, you can add a United flight from your hometown airport to the gateway city (or vice versa) for zero extra Asiana miles as long as it’s in the same or a lower level cabin than the transoceanic flight, and you don’t exceed more than two connections per award. The same applies when redeeming ANA miles, except you can’t have more than two connections on the entire roundtrip since awards can’t be booked as one ways.
Chicago to Brussels
All of the days shaded in with green or blue have space for two people in either Business or First Class on United flights between Chicago and Brussels– that’s 25 days in what remains of July and August.
The return back to Chicago is just as wide open for two travelers in August and September.
Washington D.C. to Amsterdam
All of the days shaded in with green or blue have space for at least one person in either Business or First Class on United flights between Washington D.C. and Amsterdam– that’s 22 days in what remains of July and August.
The return home to Washington D.C. from Amsterdam doesn’t have quite as much space but you still have plenty of options.
Newark to Geneva
All of the days shaded in with green or blue have space for at least two people in either Business or First Class on United flights between Newark and Geneva– that’s 17 days in what remains of July and August.
The return to Newark from Geneva has almost any options.
Buy it With Your Prestige
Use your Citi Prestige® Card to pay the taxes & fees for these awards, as you will earn 3 Thank You points for every dollar spent on air travel.
If you’re really into Pokemon GO, use Pokemapper to help plan your trip. It’s a crowd-sourced map of Pokeman sightings around the world.
But whether you’re into it or not, these places are great destinations in their own right and the award space is useful for a last minute summer getaway.