Comparing FF Ticket and Fare Ticket

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May 28th, 2004, 05:17 AM
  #1
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Comparing FF Ticket and Fare Ticket

Which is the better deal: using 80,000 FF miles to fly from Atlanta to Lusaka roundtrip in September (Delta/South African) or paying $1252 (British Airways via London)? Can anyone recall the formula for evaluating FF miles? ZZ
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May 28th, 2004, 05:33 AM
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I gather if you're quoting the BA fare, it's lower than the Delta or SAA fare!

The formula many use is that each FF mile is valued at $.02 (though others sometimes use a lesser number $.015). If you divide the $1,252 by 80000, you get exactly $.02 - even.

If the Delta or SAA (both often have different fares for the same routing, same day) isn't that much higher than the BA fare, have you considered using the miles to upgrade to Business?

 
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May 28th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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Thank you, Sandi, for that information. I don't have a fare quotation for Delta/SAA---it's FF miles that I would be using. The Delta agent on the travel award desk told me yesterday that SAA gives Delta only one seat on each SAA flight from Atlanta for FF business class (which is what I was trying to get, originally) and none is available through September. After reading another posting this morning about SAA's Airbus and knowing how long that ride is to Johannesburg, I'm tending toward the British Airways deal, thus saving FF miles for later (a risk, I know). ZZ
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May 28th, 2004, 08:04 AM
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We flew BA earlier this month to/from Cape Town via London. We stayed over in London one night on the way using Marriott points and that worked out well, but we flew home and lived with the 5/6 hour layover at Heathrow. We had a smaller, older (and it turned out, roomier) plane on the last leg from London to Baltimore, where we were on a 2-side of a compartment with 2-3-2 seating, but the rest of the flights were on 747s. If your BA seat is in World Traveler PLUS, you'll be way more comfortable...otherwise try to get exit row or bulkhead seats as the pitch between the straight tourist class seats is very tight (and I'm a pretty little person.) Otherwise our flights weren't too bad. (Except for that rugby team on the London-Cape Town leg. They were a bit too social too long into the flight.)
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May 28th, 2004, 10:21 AM
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Zambezi,
it's really a personal evaluation and depends on lots of factors...how much travelling you do, how many miles you have etc.

I like to get at least 2 cents per mile...and I tend to cash in my miles on unusual (open jaw) or expensive routes.

Recently I've been using them for business class tickets because I'm getting tickets I just couldn't afford to buy. It's also posssible to combine tickets and miles...for example I'm flying coach on United from San Francisco to London and then using 60,000 AA miles to fly London Delhi return in business on BA.

The BA flight to Lusaka seems very reasonable at $1252 and BA is a good airline even in economy...however I don't think you'll be able to get miles on the transatlantic potion of your trip on an inexpensive ticket.

If it were me I'd save the miles however I can see cashing in miles for less than 2 cents if it's a miles or nothing situation...but that doesn't seem to be your situation.

Check seatguru.com before you make your seat reservations...if you have more frequent flyer questions flyertalk.com is the best site. Overall I agree with saving the miles.
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May 30th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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Message to welltraveledbrit: those look like two excellent Web sites that you mentioned. Thank you. Can you tell me more about how you use FF miles on open jaws tickets? I have two major trips planned early in 2005, both open jaws, and one of my considerations for using the FF miles now is the belief that I would not be able to use them for open jaws. ZZ
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May 31st, 2004, 05:18 AM
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We used FF miles on Delta in 2002 for open jaw tickets within the US - they treated the trip like a round trip ticket in terms of the number of miles required. I'd be interested in hearing if this differs for international flights.
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May 31st, 2004, 11:58 AM
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Zambezi,

I'm glad you liked the websites I've found the people at flyertalk to be incredibly helpful.

I'm not familiar with the rules for Delta's miles as I'm mainly plugged into American and United. The best thing is to call the airline's award travel desk...my policy with United is to call until I find someone who will work well with me...some of the agents are just, "well I know we won't have anything available" while others will really work the itinerary to try to find you something reasonable.

As I understand it, with United and American you can have either a stopover OR an open jaw on award travel but not both...There are also rules about the open jaw...I think the unflown part has to be shorter than the flow part...ask them to explain it to you.

In my experience award tickets are very flexible and I try to take advantage of this when cashing them in but often that flexibility disappears when booking with a partner airline for example...after the trip begins on a partner there can be no changes.

Definately look into the open jaw option...there are all sorts of restrictions to take into consideration that may be alliance specific. Also if you have miles on more than one alliance make sure you compare their availability and miles needed to redeem the ticket...for example as I mentioned before I'm hoping to visit India in November

"I'm flying coach on United from San Francisco to London and then using 60,000 AA miles to fly London Delhi return in business on BA."

I was considered doing this with United miles (Star Alliance) but they want 60,000 for London to India in Economy not business! Needless to say that, and the possibility of BA business class means I'm holding a One World Alliance award reservation (American miles).

I hope all of this is of some help...
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May 31st, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Delta's rules for open jaw and stopovers are the same as those for American and United --- you are permitted to have either one or the other on any ticketing. For instance, my scheduled travel to South Africa in August is via a Delta FF ticket on its partner, SAA. My ticketing is open jaw, from ATL to JNB, returning CPT to ATL. Same mileage requirements as any R/T ticket (i.e., 80,000 miles required per economy class ticket).
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Jun 1st, 2004, 10:31 AM
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Zambezi-

I've been looking into this issue recently and had a question for you. When I called Delta regarding FF tickets to Kenya I was told that it counts at two tickets, one to SA for 80K and a second from SA to Kenya for another 40K miles. Have you or anyone heard about this? Is Lusaka close enough to SA to count as one ticket?

I am disappointed to hear that there's only one business class ticket available for the ATL-JNB flight. My wife and I were hoping to accrue enought miles to both fly business for a Aug '05 trip, but I guess we don't need to worry about that if there's only one ticket available. Please let us know what you decide, as we are also flying to Africa out of Atlanta.

-Matt
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Jun 1st, 2004, 11:47 AM
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Matt: Following the apparent consensus of those good travellers who responded to my original question, I have decided, just this afternoon, to purchase the tickets on British Airways for $1252 through Dolphin Trade & Travel in Hollywood, FL. The agent is Eydie Paterson ([email protected]).
Rococco, who has contributed a lot of information to this Fodor site, first alerted me to the ability to fly to Lusaka on FF miles at no additional cost from Johannesburg. I know nothing specifically about Delta's policy re: Nairobi, but the two cities are thousands of miles apart, so I'm not surprised that Delta wants another 40,000 miles. I have accepted the word of one Delta agent about just one business class seat allotted by SAA per Delta passenger per flight. You might check again on this point. Good luck! ZZ

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Jun 1st, 2004, 12:09 PM
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99mkw
You are not alone in that scenario.
We tried booking FF miles last year on the same ATL-JNB-NBO legs.

We too were told it was an additional 40,000 miles for the JNB to NBO leg on top of the 80,000.

As far as seat allocation for FF use, I was told by an agent that it is less than 10% on the flight in biz or first class. So if biz class has 60 seats, rest assured they probably only allocate 6 or less seats for FF use.

We tried to book our seats in February for a July safari out of ATL to JNB with several different dates in mind for FF use and the seats were already gone. That's how early it books up. We got the JNB to NBO leg but that was all that was available.

With the alliance with SAA and Delta ending soon, looks like the Delta FF miles won't be of any use for much longer when traveling to Africa.

I was told though, if you book before the alliance splits, they will honor the ticket. I don't know how much faith I put in that one.
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Jun 2nd, 2004, 10:35 AM
  #13
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FYI: My husband and I just flew 2 months ago to JNB on SAA business class using Delta miles -- but it was from JFK -- not Atlanta. We booked far in advance, but it was no problem getting 2 seats. We couldn't get seats out of Atlanta. In the end, I was glad we flew out of JFK. We were on the 747 -- which I much prefer to the Airbuses.
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Oct 8th, 2004, 04:52 PM
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For anyone looking to use Delta miles to travel to Kenya, it's now possible to redeem one single award from the US since KLM joined Skyteam last month. That's exactly what I'm doing for my trip in February. It's 80,000 miles for coach or 120,000 miles for business class. The business class seats on KLM are not easy to come by. I checked a span of 3 months and there was only 1 day where 2 business seats were available returning from NBO to AMS. Coach seats were more plentiful, and ultimately I had to settle for coach on the AMS-NBO leg. I still think it's worth 120,000 miles each and all of my other legs on Air France and Delta to/from LAX are in business class. I'm also stopping over for a week in France first. It's a better option than the South Africa Airways partner award for those heading to East Africa, and it allows you to break up the trip by stopping over in an European city.
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