Best way to use UA FF miles SFO to SYD?

Apr 7th, 2012, 05:22 PM
  #21  
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That's interesting, simpsonc510, as a plain 'ole no-statis flyer, I can see the inventory through March 10.
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Apr 7th, 2012, 07:24 PM
  #22  
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status, not statis
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Apr 7th, 2012, 07:48 PM
  #23  
 
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I thought the additional award availability for 1K (and now Platinum) only applied to domestic awards.

I think Betsy meant March, not April. On the non-stop, all cabins are available March 5-8, but only standard F awards for March 9-10.

March 8 is yellow, meaning economy saver awards, which is true, but saver biz and F seats are also available. I would wager that March 8 will turn green tomorrow.

Yes, it is a good trend. Hope it continues for you.
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Apr 7th, 2012, 09:15 PM
  #24  
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Betsy definitely meant March. Seems like I was probably holding my breath too long! I'm watching those little splotches turn green as the days go by. Thank you again for your effort to educate me on the process and your support in doing so.

Happy Easter, Passover, or any other event you may be celebrating.
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Apr 14th, 2012, 10:06 AM
  #25  
 
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It doesn't look like the trend is continuing. I just checked March 10-17 and didn't see any business class saver awards on the UA nonstop. A few dates had 1 first class saver award available. But availability for those dates may change.

If you end up having to take the long-long-haul via Seoul on Asiana then you would want to look for flights with their new Quadra Smartium seats in business class. There is saver award availability for two.

Here is a December 2010 flyertalk post:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asian...solidated.html

There is biz availability on several dates on Asiana (don't know if they have the QS seats), so you don't have to jump on those if the UA nonstops are not immediately available on the date(s) you want. I also saw an Air Canada connection via Vancouver that was available on one day of that week.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #26  
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Sigh...you're correct, mrwunrufl. Availability on the non-stop in business class for 67.5K has, unfortunately, evaporated. I've been checking every day and will need to think about booking soon. Hoping the offers will be more generous next week. Air Canada through Vancouver is available in the inventory for economy for March 21. Twenty-seven hour trip with a 7+ hour layover in Vancouver vs 14+ hours with no layover (obviously) for the nonstop. We may bite the bullet and book a first class award. We're also looking at Qantas using AA FF miles, but AA partner flights are not available to peruse on line.

However, we did score four free nights at the Sydney Park Hyatt using an award available by getting the Hyatt Visa. Super deal. DH and I both got the card and we each got two free nights after first purchase.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 01:21 PM
  #27  
 
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We may bite the bullet and book a first class award. We're also looking at Qantas using AA FF miles, but AA partner flights are not available to peruse on line.

Au contraire, mates, they're fully viewable online if you join Qantas' FF program, then look for mileage seats through Qantas' own site. I've never encountered a case where flights shown as available to Qantas FFers weren't available for AA mileage redemption.

There are two problems with using AA miles on Qantas. First is that Qantas opens the redemption window for its own members a month before AA does for its, so AA early birds get few worms.

The second is that getting premium cabin seats on Qantas nonstops across the Pacific is notoriously tough, whether you're a QFF member, Aadvantage member, or any other partner FFP member. Just tough. That's NOT to say they're nonexistent - there are numerous victory stories out there, but they're far from the easiest tickets to score. Perservere.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #28  
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Brilliant, Gardyloo! We're already Qantas FF members. I have an appointment in a few minutes but will be all over that website a little later today. Thank you SO much!
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Apr 25th, 2012, 09:05 AM
  #29  
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I checked the Qantas site for availability and found the only flights offered connected in Asia and, on most flights, the longer legs would have been in economy, so I abandoned that strategy (this early bird definitely found no worms) and continued to check UA daily for availability in business class for 67.5K each. I was discouraged because nothing had shown for many, many days. Checked first thing yesterday morning (PDT) and voila! the perfect award had popped in--67.5K miles each on the nonstop from SFO to SYD on the date we wanted. Booked it quickly and rejoiced the rest of the day. I'm still looking for first class on the same flight for 80K each, but if it doesn't become available, I'll still be a happy camper.

One further question: When I was going through the booking process, I was offered the chance to book seats. I chose the seats we wanted in the bubble, but when I completed the reservation, the seat assignments disappeared with the message that we would receive seats at the airport or when we check in. Is there any way we can be assigned seats now rather than having to wait?

Thanks so much to all of you who so generously shared your knowledge about how to maneuver through this process. With a little experience, I found the UA website very easy to navigate. Your input was priceless.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 10:25 AM
  #30  
 
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I found out (the hard way) that my seat selections didn't 'take' until I pressed "continue" at the bottom of the page. You might try that. Go back into your booking and see if you can try to select your seats. Good luck!
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Apr 25th, 2012, 10:58 AM
  #31  
 
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Congrats on getting your seats!
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Apr 25th, 2012, 01:43 PM
  #32  
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I brought up our booking, and there are no seats on the reservation. Tried to put them in with no luck. Will phone UA tonight when the wait time should be less. One time during the booking process when I phoned, I was lucky enough to get Lisa, who explained she works the Premier desk (we're not Premier). She was knowledgeable and gracious. Hoping she picks up my call tonight.
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Apr 25th, 2012, 09:51 PM
  #33  
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Aaak! Not only did I not get Lisa when I phoned, I spoke to an agent who kept repeating, as if reading from a script, the information that we can only get seat assignments when we check in (24 hours in advance of the flight?) or at the airport. When I went through the online booking process, I did put in the seats we want--the website allowed that--but when I continued (yes, I pressed "continue") the request did not show up on the purchase summary. Subsequent attempts to add the seats to the reservation on line have not been successful.

Oh you wise UA FFers, is there any way we can possibly get seat assignments added to our reservation before 24 hours prior to the flight? Why would the website show seats during bookng and allow me to put them into the reservation, apparently successfully, then not honor the request?
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Apr 29th, 2012, 07:28 PM
  #34  
 
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Betsy, have you been able to get a seat assignment yet? Just curious....
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Apr 30th, 2012, 01:04 PM
  #35  
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Not yet, Jane. I've talked with two reps who continued to tell me I can get seats at the airport. I have worked out a strategy for my next phone call. Will update you, so stay tuned.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 01:09 PM
  #36  
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Would love to have information from a UA FFer about someone at UA I could contact to ask the same question that I posed in the second paragraph of my April 25 post at 9:51. Phone reps have no clue.
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Apr 30th, 2012, 09:03 PM
  #37  
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We have seats! I went back to the reservation and to the "view or change your seat" option. Put in our request (again) and voila! The seat fairy granted my wish. We're in the bubble of the 747 in seats approved by seatguru.com. Have no idea why the request wasn't granted originally nor why it was granted five days later. So if anyone else runs into the inability to choose seats, give it a few days and try again.
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May 1st, 2012, 08:17 AM
  #38  
 
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Great! Now all you have to do is go back into your account every month or two and check to see if you still have the same seat assignments.
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May 1st, 2012, 03:57 PM
  #39  
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Will do, mrw. Probably weekly.
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May 5th, 2012, 05:00 PM
  #40  
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Whoo-hoo! Found a Saver Award today for first class and changed our reservation. 80K FF miles each for first instead of 67.5K for business (plus 11 cents each additional for taxes). Immediate seat assignments this time. It's great to be actually looking forward to a flight on this trip instead of merely enduring it. You are great teachers; as a result, I learned to navigate the UA website and optimize our arangements. Fodorites rock!
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