Subforum for Award Booking Help?

MarcusBWI

Level 2 Member
Hey folks,

I like the thread that is set up for getting help on award bookings, but reading through it, it seems to get very cluttered with responses from various requests all mixed in with each other.

I think it would help to have a separate subforum set up where all the individual requests can be posted. And if I can take it a step farther, maybe set up some guidelines on how to post to make it easier to answer requests. Right now, some of the requests read "I would like to go from xxx to xxx and I have some United miles, can you help?

How about a setup like this: each person makes a request with the following information:

1. What route are you looking for?
2. What dates do you want to travel (mention how flexible you are)?
3. Do you want to fly first, business, or coach? (maybe also "are you willing to fly coach for a positioning flight")
4. How many passengers?
5. How many points do you have, in which programs?
6. What points-earning CCs do you have?
7. Are you willing to sign up for new credit?

I think that should cover all the basic info needed to answer any request, and it will save the helpers time if we don't have to go back and ask OP for the information.

Any thoughts on this?
 

pdxtraveltips

Level 2 Member
Ok, so here is a potential puzzle for the group. I helped someone book an award from SFO to JNB. Routing looks like this:

SFO-HKG-JNB
JNB-DOH-DFW-SFO

Booked with US Airways. Award was booked with confirmations showing both on Qatar and Cathay. US Airways then voided the award. Award was rebooked and then voided out again. Looks like it is now booked and holding steady. Thoughts?
 

SanDiego1K

Level 2 Member
Ok, so here is a potential puzzle for the group. I helped someone book an award from SFO to JNB. Routing looks like this:

SFO-HKG-JNB
JNB-DOH-DFW-SFO

Booked with US Airways. Award was booked with confirmations showing both on Qatar and Cathay. US Airways then voided the award. Award was rebooked and then voided out again. Looks like it is now booked and holding steady. Thoughts?
I'd get the Qatar and Cathay PNRs, then call each and make sure they see it as ticketed.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
Ok, so here is a potential puzzle for the group. I helped someone book an award from SFO to JNB. Routing looks like this:

SFO-HKG-JNB
JNB-DOH-DFW-SFO

Booked with US Airways. Award was booked with confirmations showing both on Qatar and Cathay. US Airways then voided the award. Award was rebooked and then voided out again. Looks like it is now booked and holding steady. Thoughts?
Ok, how did you know it was voided? I booked a trip on US in J around the world for 90 k and lived in fear it would be voided. It stood for 6 months no issues and worked like a charm. But that was before the full integration.
 

pdxtraveltips

Level 2 Member
It showed voided on US Air's website. But calling and rebooking was not a problem, they even apologized the last time. Sounds like it is holding steady now. I'm just wondering why it was voided. I did notice that on the US Airways website it showed the itinerary as follows:
SFO-HKG
HKG-JNB
JNB-SFO

I was wondering if it was voided because system failed to show segments between JNB and SFO so to computer it looked like a direct flight.
 

LauraPDX

New Member
Hi, I have lots of miles in aa, usairways, ua, as and avios (>150K in each), and can easily navigate their websites for available flights. My problem is remembering what partners don't appear on the sites and how to go about looking for award tickets on them. Also I know there are routes from cities that have better products to fly business class on than others, but again forgot which ones.
Having said all that, we are looking for 2 business (or first) class tickets to London sometime in June (or as late as July 5th) and separate return tickets. One leaving from somewhere in Europe (we haven't planned what we are doing yet) 2 weeks, or so, after we depart, and the other 3 weeks later back from London. I have a flight for 2 on hold to LHR on June 24th on aa.com.
We live in PDX. We don't mind positioning flights, but time is more important to us as we work fulltime. ( No ridiculous flights through 10 cities please).
Thanks for your ideas.
 

SanDiego1K

Level 2 Member
Welcome, Laura. I've just spent some minutes poking around with no success. I've always been of the philosophy that the more time I spend, the more I find, and hopefully that will be true for you. Also, once I've done enough research to pinpoint the award miles I want to use, I'll check 2 or 3 times a day to see if something becomes available.

So, having said that, you can eliminate US from your search. US requires that RT tickets be booked. You've already said you are looking for one way tickets and in fact, have found something that might suit for the outbound.

I've already looked at united.com and found only the occasional coach award between PDX and LHR in June. I checked several airports for the return in July and again found nothing. Make a list of UA and LH's gateway cities and check availability from each of them: FRA, MUC, AMS, CDG, BRU, to name just a few.

BA tends to have better availability to SEA and YVR. You can check a month at a time. I looked at LHR-SEA and LHR-YVR and found nothing in the month of July. You're going to find that British Airways charges very high fuel surcharges. All carriers are required to charge UK taxes for UK departures. France requires a luxury tax be imposed for business and first class tickets.

Consider spending some money for awardnexus. You can set up the city pairs of interest and have it check any alliances of interest. You can get a daily check of your city pairs.

For now, if I were you, I wouldn't concern myself with who offers the best business class seat. You'll be lucky to find anything, given that you want to travel at peak times. I flew a rather subpar TAP product in January. But it wasn't coach. My overriding goal is to keep out of coach.

Just to check, do I understand that you need the following:

PDX-LHR for 2, C or F, June thru July 5

Europe - PDX, C or F, 2 weeks after outbound

LHR-PDX, C or F, 3 weeks after outbound
 

SanDiego1K

Level 2 Member
One F seat is available on July 14 from LHR via ORD on BA to PDX on AA. It costs 90K Avios plus $584. A similar award is available on July 17, albeit with a longer layover in Chicago.
 
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LauraPDX

New Member
Hi Elaine and thanks SanDiego1K (will you be at the FTU in SD next month?)
I can't bring myself to spend that many avios plus cash for an F seat. (In fact, although I want the front of the plane, I often settle for the the back of the bus for that very reason). I just thought I would ask on this forum to see if anyone had more ideas than me. June is always a tough month to fly to and from Europe/UK, but it is often the one we end up travelling during for a variety of reasons. I will probably purchase our outbound as two seats together is harder to find than one seat and the schedule isn't too bad. (AA pdx-dfw-lhr)
 

LauraPDX

New Member

Mountain Trader

Level 2 Member
While US awards are RT only, AA miles can be used for flights on US, and AA awards are all OW. So check all those US flights if you have not done so already.

In theory, the same trick should work using BA awards. I don't know if you can book US flights using a BA award-does anyone know? And even if you can, if it is TATL, BA will impose big YQ as it dies for flights on BA metal.
 

Joseph

Level 2 Member
Can you guys help me with this? I am new to burning miles, and I have been reading a lot about UA stopovers, Avios routes, etc. There is a lot of information out there, and I would greatly appreciate suggestions about using the least amount of miles and low fuel/tax charges to get from Dallas to Europe.

1. What route are you looking for?
Dallas (DFW) - Edinburgh (EDI)
I am visiting a friend in Edinburgh, so I can stopover anywhere to tour a few days before arriving EDI.

2. What dates do you want to travel (mention how flexible you are)?
Fri 4/17 - Sun 4/26; Flexible +3 days

3. Do you want to fly first, business, or coach? (maybe also "are you willing to fly coach for a positioning flight")
Coach

4. How many passengers?
One Passenger

5. How many points do you have, in which programs?
150k BA; 150k UA; 150k US/AA; 50k Virgin Atlantic
 
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SanDiego1K

Level 2 Member
United.com is quite easy to use for redeeming UA miles. There is a coach ticket available on any of April 17/18/19, flying DFW-FRA-EDI for 30K points plus $37.50. The same routing is available on the return on April 26, albeit with an overnight at FRA. There are several airport hotels. I'll leave it to you to look further at availability on the return. Perhaps there is something that doesn't require the FRA overnight. The return is also 30K but with $189 in taxes and fees.

AA.com is also easy to use. There is a coach ticket available on April 17, 3 segments rather than the 2 segment one with UA miles. This one costs 20K miles plus $115.30. There is a 2 segment return for 20K miles plus $398.

I've been booking one way tickets since UA and AA made them available. I've just checked and UA still has the possibility of a RT ticket with a stopover. You can check variations online. When I checked DFW-EDI-FRA-DFW, it appeared that the nonstop EDI-FRA flight was not available as a standalone. Apparently it is sold as a married segment. I could book EDI via DUB-FRA on April 25. Play with any European city that appeals to see what you can build. With DFW-EDI-FRA-DFW, I could book for 60K plus $185.20. DFW-EDI-DUB-DFW is 60K plus $165.

It's fortunate that you are looking now as many programs charge a close in ticketing fee within 3 weeks of travel.
 
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Matt S NYC

Level 2 Member
Hi there. Can you guys help me?

I'm looking to book my parents (2 pax) a RT award between EWR or JFK and Dubrovnik (DBV), Podgorica (TGD) or Tivat (TIV). In the past I've used Star Alliance carriers with United/Chase points to do this route, but we've run dry on those. We do have a more than 400k MR points which I hope can be used on ANA post 4/12, although I'm having a difficult time finding availability on the ANA site and the new award chart is confusing me. When I use the United search engine I can piece together awards by searching the individual segments (going through FRA and VIE), but I can't replicate it on ANA, which has me concerned. That coupled with the award changes on ANA have me loathe to transfer points into ANA without running it by you guys first.

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Outbound Departure Date: 7/14 (evening) or preferably 7/15
Return Departure Date: 8/4 +/- 1 day
Departure City: EWR/JFK
Destination City: DBV/TGD/TIV
PAX: 2
Points Currency: 400K+ MR
 

KennyBSAT

Moderator
Staff member
@Matt S NYC call ANA USA, they are friendly and helpful and can tell you what you can do. Of course there's no guarantee that their rules won't change, so I'd call again 4/13 and price it out under the new chart before transferring.
 

Vins68

Level 2 Member
Hello,

Any ideas pl.

JFK -HYD round trip in November 2015.

Lots of avios and AA miles.

How to look for Qatar availability?

For 2 tickets, preferable business if not coach :(

Thanks for any ideas.
 

BuddyFunJet

Level 2 Member
While the ANA awa
Hello,

Any ideas pl.

JFK -HYD round trip in November 2015.

Lots of avios and AA miles.

How to look for Qatar availability?

For 2 tickets, preferable business if not coach :(

Thanks for any ideas.
You can search Qatar on BA . Maybe Qantas also.
 

SanDiego1K

Level 2 Member
..That coupled with the award changes on ANA have me loathe to transfer points into ANA ..
In my experience, Membership Rewards transfer near instantaneous online. You can call ANA, see if the award space is available, have the agent hold the space, and move the points while the two of you are on the phone. I have found ANA agents to be some of the nicest around and very helpful. It is a good experience working with them as they will often offer information that you don't think to ask.
 

FlyinCajun

Silver Member
1. What route are you looking for?
LAX to Beijing and Shanghai, could go to another city if needed depending on how miles/points works out.

2. What dates do you want to travel (mention how flexible you are)?
Late Summer, early autumn 2018 - flexible with dates but total of 10 or so days.

3. Do you want to fly first, business, or coach? (maybe also "are you willing to fly coach for a positioning flight")
Business class if fine, lay flat seat. We could do coach for positioning but would prefer non-stop. Will cover transferring between cities with discount airlines or maybe take advantage of allowed stop over.

4. How many passengers?
2 adults

5. How many points do you have, in which programs?
200k AS miles, 200k MR, 200k UR

6. What points-earning CCs do you have?
Those listed above.

7. Are you willing to sign up for new credit?
Not if I can help it
 

HariOm

Transcendent Level
LAX to Beijing and Shanghai
Late Summer, early autumn 2018
Business class
2 adults
5. How many points do you have, in which programs?
200k AS miles, 200k MR, 200k UR
For me, AwardNexus is an excellent tool. Just ran your parameters there using Sept. 8 outbound/Sept. 18 return with +/- 3 days on either end. Here's a quick sample of output. You can also schedule auto-searches to run daily. (I have no association with the company other than the annual subscription I pay, and the utility derived from the tool.)

[UA] LAX - PEK 2 x Business
SA-09-08
  • 12 hours | 11:30 AM - 3:10 PM | CA888
[UA] PEK - LAX 2 x Business
TU-09-18
  • 12 hours | 3:00 PM - 12:00 PM | CA987
  • 12 hours | 9:00 PM - 6:00 PM | CA983
  • 12 hours | 12:00 PM - 09:00 AM | CA887
[AS] LAX - PEK 2 x Business
SU-09-09
  • 15 hours | 09:55 AM - 4:35 PM | AS477 - SEA - HU496
  • 17 hours | 08:00 AM - 4:35 PM | AS531 - SEA - HU496
MO-09-10
  • 15 hours | 09:55 AM - 4:35 PM | AS477 - SEA - HU496
 

HariOm

Transcendent Level
LAX to Beijing and Shanghai,
5. How many points do you have, in which programs?
200k AS miles, 200k MR, 200k UR
Looks like UA/*A has the most availability for nonstops but caveat that many are on Air China and there is a reported glitch that when booking biz on that airline through United, the tickets commonly get cancelled for no reason. Documented on FT, I think.
 

FlyinCajun

Silver Member
For me, AwardNexus is an excellent tool. Just ran your parameters there using Sept. 8 outbound/Sept. 18 return with +/- 3 days on either end. Here's a quick sample of output. You can also schedule auto-searches to run daily. (I have no association with the company other than the annual subscription I pay, and the utility derived from the tool.)

[UA] LAX - PEK 2 x Business
SA-09-08
  • 12 hours | 11:30 AM - 3:10 PM | CA888
[UA] PEK - LAX 2 x Business
TU-09-18
  • 12 hours | 3:00 PM - 12:00 PM | CA987
  • 12 hours | 9:00 PM - 6:00 PM | CA983
  • 12 hours | 12:00 PM - 09:00 AM | CA887
[AS] LAX - PEK 2 x Business
SU-09-09
  • 15 hours | 09:55 AM - 4:35 PM | AS477 - SEA - HU496
  • 17 hours | 08:00 AM - 4:35 PM | AS531 - SEA - HU496
MO-09-10
  • 15 hours | 09:55 AM - 4:35 PM | AS477 - SEA - HU496
Thank you for taking the time to do this! I don't have an Award Nexus account, I do appreciate you doing that search.

CA - that's Air China, right? I'll have to research their business class product reviews. HU is Hainan and I haven't hear great things about their business class product. But a sleeping aid could make things better.
 

FlyinCajun

Silver Member
Looks like UA/*A has the most availability for nonstops but caveat that many are on Air China and there is a reported glitch that when booking biz on that airline through United, the tickets commonly get cancelled for no reason. Documented on FT, I think.
Oh - I'd hate to have that booking get cancelled! hmmmm. I'll check out FT and see how much chatter they give it. If it's frequency is too much that could be downer. - thank you!
 

xyxyxy

New Member
Hi All I need help with a tough booking for which came up due to unforeseen circumstances, appreciate your efforts.

1. What route are you looking for?
DFW/IAH-BOM
2. What dates do you want to travel (mention how flexible you are)?
RT 6/25/19 to 7/11/19. I can be a little flexible about 3 days+/-
3. Do you want to fly first, business, or coach? (maybe also "are you willing to fly coach for a positioning flight")
Business, Positioning can be coach.
4. How many passengers?
2 Adults, 2 Kids.
5. How many points do you have, in which programs?
Alaska: Account1: 290K, Account2: 286K.
AA: Account1: 400K+ Account2: 580K.
Chase URs: total 1M+ in 2 household accounts.
Amex MRs: total 1M+ in 2 household accounts.
Citi TYP: 120K.

6. What points-earning CCs do you have?
Many :)
7. Are you willing to sign up for new credit?
I am but I guess it is a little late for my dates.

I am willing to split family 2+2 if needed. Do you guys think I have any chance of getting anything decent?
 

HariOm

Transcendent Level
Yes, I think you have a chance at getting business class, and it might required splitting 2+2. Right now Alaska is showing availability on 6/24 on BA. Depending on the airline, there can be last-minute openings, and your flexibility is helpful. Not sure where you stand in the process, but some steps might be:
  1. Check routes and airlines at FlightConnections.com (free)
  2. Open frequent flier accounts at the airlines you might need to use, if not already a member
  3. Get on waitlists for the airlines that offer them
  4. Check loads and set alerts at ExpertFlyer
  5. Set automated searches at AwardNexus
Another thing to consider, if you absolutely have to travel on those dates, is to book a refundable ticket for the latest departure date, which sounds like it might be 6/28. So that's an insurance policy in case no award itineraries become available. Read the fine print for the cancellation fee to make sure it's feasible or makes sense. We've used this strategy on a few airlines like Air Canada, where the cancellation fee was $100 to $200 per passenger. Kayak is helpful for revenue tickets.
 

HariOm

Transcendent Level
3. Do you want to fly first, business, or coach? (maybe also "are you willing to fly coach for a positioning flight")
Business, Positioning can be coach.
Another thing to consider might be having your positioning flight in India. So you could search for flights from IAH/DFW to HYD, BLR or even MAA, which might open up more possibilities. Of course, keep in mind that you'd have to clear immigration upon landing in India, then claim luggage and go check in for the domestic flight.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
Not a trip request, just a quick reminder. When searching, if you have either/or/all MRs, URs or TYPs, familiarize yourself with the transfer partners for each of them. I spend over 170K DL miles for two busines class tickets from VCE to MSP, in the beginning of Sept, right before DL bumped the one way cost in business to over 100K @.

Unwilling to spend so much for the outbound, I searched using all our available miles, only to see overpriced availability through LHR and questionable through IST with transfers to TA. Changing the destination from VCE to BRI (we’re vacationing in Puglia before heading up to them Veneto), I saw business class availability on AF for under 75K each.

Transferred MRs, they posted on the AF site instantly, and booked the one ways.

The flight from MSP to CDG? It’s Delta One. The cost in DL miles for that flight? 150K. In coach. Per person.

It pays to look around.
 
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