Subject: How to get the most out of a ticket
Hi Ziners:

#a couple of related stories and a serious question:

I was sent to work for 5 months in Cairo in 1996. Cairo was constructing their Metro System and we were contracted to provide training to their operational staff. Since I was a train operator and trainer it was quite an opportunity of a lifetime. My assignment was to work on writing the training manuals to submit to the Egyptian government AND to try to teach. (I am a woman and the 'powers-that-be' were strongly insisting that a woman couldn't teach Egyptian men. Well, it COULD be done, but that's another story!)

This story is about the business-class ticket we were given upon departure. On that one ticket I flew from San Francisco-Frankfurt-Cairo in business class which was a first for me and a wonderful treat. However, after 5 months of a great deal of work and an incredible adventure, and with the help of an expert travel consultant at Lufthansa, I downgraded the ticket. I shipped all my luggage directly to San Francisco and flew economy Cairo-Verona, laid over a week, Verona-Toulouse, laid over a week, Toulouse-Paris-Minneapolis, laid over two weeks, Mpls-S.F., managing a whole month of sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives. And that one business class ticket - downgraded to economy - covered it all.

All this to say, does anyone know a genius travel consultant who can and will take the time to help me do it again? My Lufthansa agent was in Cairo. I'm in San Francisco! I have access to a business class ticket on Olympic Airways from N.Y. or Boston to Athens, good for 365 days. I'd like to work it into my planned 8 month trip to Italy and Spain to learn Italian in Bologna for 6 months, and to travel and meet my son's in-laws in Spain in the months of July and August next year.

I start school Jan. 8th, the perfect time for a milder climate like Greece and an interesting trip from there to Bologna. I can leave here anytime after Christmas.

All ideas appreciated!

Barbara Maestri-McCarthy San Francisco Bay Area USA