1st Time Frequent Flier Travel Blues...

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Dec 24th, 2003, 08:57 AM
  #1
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1st Time Frequent Flier Travel Blues...

After many attempts with Continental/KLM to procure seats to Tanzania, I have so far been unsuccessful. The best I have been able to do so far is to get over to Kiliminjaro within one day of my requested date, but then have not been able to return even within ten days from the date requested.

Am I pretty much SOL or is there still hope. The agent told me that there is always the possibility that seats have not yet been released and may be done so in the future.

Any tricks I should know about? Any companies out there that I can hire to try and find me a seat, rather than personally being on the phone for 30+ minutes each time I check???

If I have to I will buy my own (economy) seats, but I hate to just have 300,000 frequent flier miles sitting around.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Roccco is offline  
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Dec 24th, 2003, 10:00 AM
  #2
 
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Rocco..

Not sure where you are going in Tanzania but I think South Africa Airways flies to Dar es Salaam with a connection in JoBurg. You can use AMEX points which transfers to Delta which transfers to SAA. 120,000 pts per seat for business class I think.

P.S. 12 Apostles was AWESOME. Hands down the classiest hotel I have ever stayed at. The location was fine with me. We loved it!
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Dec 24th, 2003, 10:24 AM
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Hi Rocco,
Are you a member of KLM frequent flyer Flying Dutchman program? Get a PIN #, and you can check flight availability and book tickets on line. Very easy and takes 5 minutes.

I have done this twice. I checked the KLM website every morning, and eventually the flight I wanted opened up.

Also, you could fly AMS-Nairobi and use Kenya Air to JRO (KLM partner). There is a Nairobi flite that lands in the morning, so this could be done in one day - it would be a hell of a day, but if you are determined to use miles, you stand a better chance AMS-NBO versus AMS-JRO.
Just a thought...
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Dec 24th, 2003, 11:15 AM
  #4
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Roccco -

Kind of agree with Queenie - try for AMS/NBO via KLM, and waitlist yourself for a flight AMS/JRO - both directions. And at the same time check availability on the flight from NBO/JRO via Kenya Air.

Are you checking with Continental or KLM or both - I've personally found KLM to be more cooperative. But if you're trying to get frequent flyer seats, then it's not unusual for the airlines to make you sweat it out.

And what seats in particular have "not been released" - paid seats or FF seats? If paid seats, not unusual as major tour operators block seats, but FF, the airline should know what's available.

And if you have to purchase Economy, are there seats available to upgrade to Business? You've got to try all options. Are you by chance a Premium member with either air carrier? That sometimes helps.
 
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Dec 24th, 2003, 07:31 PM
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Roccco

Hey buddy. Point your browser over to:
http://www.flyertalk.com/milesfr.shtml. Post your problem there or do a search. These guys are the experts on getting tickets. Hope this helps. It is with alot of ppl's advice from there that wife and I got business class tickets to J'berg next May. Good luck and Merry Xmas.
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Dec 25th, 2003, 05:52 AM
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There is a charge for the service, but these people are VERY good at what they do. They don't have access to any 'extra' award seats but the vast knowledge of all the programs and all the partners within a program gives them an edge at procurring a seat for you with an award ticket. Here is the web address:

http://www.awardplanner.com/
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Dec 25th, 2003, 08:08 AM
  #7
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Wow! Thanks for all the info...kind of thought I was wasting my time by even asking and typing out the post, but as they say, the only stupid question is the one that is not asked.

I will definitely try www.awardplanner.com and search personally on KLM's website.

I had been under the previous assumption, however, that I would not be able to transfer my miles from American Express to KLM and instead had to do so through Continental Airlines, a KLM partner. But, even so, at least I would be able to spend as much time necessary personally searching on KLM's website rather than being at the mercy of a Continental Airlines representative. I must say, however, that these airline agents seem incredibly patient and I do understand when they set limits for the amounts of dates searched, etc.

KEWilliam...I am so glad that you loved the Twelve Apostles! Personally, I would have a hard time staying anywhere else on future visits to Cape Town. Where else do you have the ocean right in front of the hotel and mountain trails that begin right behind the hotel??? It didn't bother me one bit about the 5 minute transfer to Camps Bay or the 15 minute transfer to the Waterfront.

The weather must have been perfect for enjoying your breakfast in the outdoor dining area with the awesome view of the crashing waves and sea almost right beneath you. And, as you probably discovered, through Luxury Link, you likely paid half price.

Would love to see a trip report once you have a chance after the holidays.
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