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Visit Egypt and Europe in business class for around $2,100

July 20, 2022
8 min read
cairo pyramids
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Many of us have long lists of cities on other continents we’d love to explore but a limited budget of cash and miles available to make these trips happen. This is why we get excited when we find opportunities to explore multiple cities for the price of one. That’s what we have here.

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Between August 2022 and spring 2023, you can find a long list of business-class flights from the U.S. to Cairo at a steep discount compared to what you’d typically pay for a prime seat to Egypt. What’s more, many of these itineraries allow you to stop for a day or more in a European city on either the outbound or return trip.

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This might mean you’ll visit an unusual combination. For example, you can explore the ancient pyramids and, say, the Swiss Alps on the same trip. Considering the price of an international flight, though, it’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Scott’s Cheap Flights was the first to flag these deals. Its Premium membership is available for $49 per year. The Elite tier option is available for $199 per year, and it offers access to deals on premium economy, business- and first-class tickets.

Related: How to plan a free stopover on your next trip abroad

The Cairo skyline. (Photo by Tamboly Photodesign/Aurora Photos/Getty Images)

Deal basics

Airlines: Star Alliance carriers including United Airlines, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, Egyptair.

Routes: Newark, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston to Cairo (with some itineraries including a stopover in a variety of European cities).

Travel dates: August 2022 through spring 2023, depending on the city.

How to book: Directly with the airlines or with Google Flights.

The flights to Cairo that feature a stopover in a European city are available at a lower-than-usual price of between $2,000 and $2,300 round-trip on a combination of Star Alliance carriers; these flights leave from U.S. cities that are key Star Alliance hubs, such as United’s international hub at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD).

If your goal is to just get to Cairo as quickly and easily as possible in business class, you can certainly find those itineraries, too.

As you consider booking a trip with a stopover in Europe, keep a couple of factors in mind. First, consider your baggage. On top of the current luggage issues in Europe that may have you rethinking checking a bag in the first place, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to access your checked bag during your stop in Europe, depending on the itinerary you book. So you’ll want to make sure you have some essentials for a day or two in a carry-on bag.

Also, consider the timing of your stop in Europe. If you’re scheduled to arrive in a European city at 6 p.m. local time on the return trip, and your flight back to the U.S. is at 7 a.m. the next day, this really isn’t going to give you an opportunity to do much of anything during your stop. Frankly, it may be more trouble than it’s worth.

On the contrary, arriving in a European city at 10 a.m. one day and departing for Cairo at 7 a.m. the following day gives you enough time to sightsee before continuing on to Egypt.

Here are a few of the routes and prices we found, for business-class deals.

  • Newark to Cairo with stops in Frankfurt and Geneva for $2,145 (on a combination of Lufthansa, United and Egyptair).
  • Washington to Cairo with a stop in Zurich for $2,166 (on a combination of United, Swiss Air and Lufthansa).
  • Chicago to Cairo with a stop in Vienna for $2,171 (on a combination of Austrian, Lufthansa and United).
  • Houston to Cairo for $2,085 (on a combination of United, Swiss Air, Lufthansa and Egyptair).
  • Los Angeles to Cairo with stops in Zurich and London for $2,266 (on a combination of SwissAir, Austrian and United).

Again, all the current deals are via Star Alliance carriers. As such, if you're coming from the New York area, you can expect to leave from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). This trip involves a mid-August Friday evening departure aboard Lufthansa. You’ll arrive in Frankfurt at 7:30 a.m. local time the next morning, and you’ll have the whole day in Frankfurt on Saturday. Then, you'll have a 10:15 a.m. departure Sunday morning. This means you could have lunch in Frankfurt and get some sightseeing in before continuing on to Egypt.

It's a bit tighter a timeline on the way back, but still one I think you could take advantage of — just be sure to leave some energy for the back end of your travels. You'll fly from Cairo to Geneva and arrive in the mid-afternoon. That should give you time to see a few sights, have some dinner, and spend the night ahead before your mid-morning flight to Newark the next day.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Depending on the itinerary and particular combination of Star Alliance carriers you end up flying, you could really end up in a vast array of European cities along your trip. For travelers departing out of the Washington, D.C. area, you’ll leave Wednesday evening on this November trip out of Dulles International Airport (IAD). You’ll arrive in Zurich early the next morning. From there, you’ll have until midday Sunday to explore Zurich before your flight to Cairo.

Since you’ll often have more energy on the front end of your trip, it may be a good idea to book your stopover on the outbound portion of your journey. That’s what this itinerary involves. You’ll have a brief layover in Munich (which actually may be a little shorter than advisable given the operational issues at European airports).

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

If you’re up for an especially ambitious itinerary, check out this December option out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Departing Monday evening, you’ll arrive in Zurich mid-afternoon Tuesday. Since your next flight won't be until midday Wednesday, you’ll have time for dinner in the city before continuing on to Egypt.

On the return trip, you’ll start with a more traditional connection in Vienna. From there, you’ll fly to London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) and arrive late at night. You won’t depart Heathrow for the final leg of the trip, back to Los Angeles, until late afternoon the next day. This could give you a chance to have breakfast and do a bit of sightseeing in London before your long-haul flight.

(Screenshot from Google Flights)

Related: This newly renovated Four Seasons will have you planning an Egypt beach vacation

Maximize your purchase

Pay with The Platinum Card® from American Express and earn 5 points per dollar on flights booked directly through the airlines or American Express Travel, up to $500,000 per calendar year. With the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. If you’re thinking of booking your itinerary through United Airlines, you might consider the United Club Infinite Card, which earns you 4 miles per dollar on United purchases, along with getting you access to United Clubs and select Star Alliance lounges.

(Photo by Harald Nachtmann/Moment Collection/Getty Images)

Bottom line

While there’s certainly something to be said for getting to your final destination as quickly and efficiently as possible, these deals are great if you’re up for a bit more of an adventure. These options can be cost-effective ways to explore a second city without having to shell out the cash or miles for a second round-trip overseas journey.

These tickets give you a chance to explore all Cairo has to offer, as well as one (or even two) additional cities in Europe, too.

Featured photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images.

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases