FF mile question

May 1st, 2006, 07:49 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 45
FF mile question

OK, I know that airlines release FF seats on flights 330 days in advance, but there is something I am confused about. Say I wanted to go on vacation April 2007, to a destination that is not impossible to get FF tickets to, but may be a little tricky. To make things easy let's say I'm going somewhere next April 29. Those seats will be relased for FF members about four weeks from now. My RETURN date would be, say, a week later (May 6 '07). Obviously THOSE tickets would be released for FF members a week later. Obviously when booking FF tickets you cannot book a departure date w/out a return date (unless you are going one way). But if I wait until the date that the return date tickets are released to book the entire trip, the ones for the departure date may well be gone. Is there some way around this or some sort of trick to all this? Does this even make SENSE? Thanks.
mimilou is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 08:07 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,125
It can vary by airline. On AA, for example, one can book an award "outbound" portion and have it held for - I think - up to 30 days, then book the return portion when that window opens. Only when both are confirmed do they deduct the miles from your account.

But I'm not sure if all airlines are so accommodating, so I would definitely phone the FFP in question and ask them. I'm sure they'll be glad to clarify their particular airlines' policies.
Gardyloo is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 11:06 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,132
Just remember that even if you try to get FF tickets one second past deadline, there may be none on that flight/that route - some flights never have any FF tickets at all, so flexibility is still king.
gail is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 01:15 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 45
Thanks for the responses. This flight would be on USAir. Ideally I would like to fly to LIR (from PVD). Earlier (before I had enough miles) I was checking availability on the FF flights to LIR for next Feb/March and they had plenty available at that time. Now that I have enough miles, none seem to be available. We may have to fly to SJO instead which won't be a huge deal, just a little less convenient...why complain if the flight is so inexpensive? Anyhow I will check w/the airline to see if they will hold the outbound flight until the return flight is available. I do have flexibility in mind as well.
mimilou is offline  
May 1st, 2006, 02:22 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,132
In general it has gotten slowly more difficult to redeem FF miles. Airlines need all the paying bodies they can get, lots of people have accumulated lots of miles, and many are nervous about losing the miles if airline disappears - so they are redeeming.
gail is offline  
May 2nd, 2006, 06:21 AM
  #6  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
Last year we used USAir FF points to go from Philly to Auckland. I called 330 (?331) days in advance, got the outbound flight seats reserved on USAir and AirNZ. I explained to them that I had to have return seats for 3 weeks later. They kept the reservation for 3 weeks, when I called, and fortunately return seats were available. At that point, I finalized the whole reservation and paid with my FF.
Jed is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 06:13 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 45
Jed, that's great to know, thanks for sharing your experience with me. I wonder if there is a way to hold the reservation by doing it online or not? Oh well, if I have to pay just $5 extra for doing it by phone, that's not bad at all. Did you need to call the internation frequent flyer reservations center? I did call there once and had a whole bunch of trouble with the reps there (I think it was a language barrier problem mostly) but maybe that was just a one-time experience.
mimilou is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 08:03 AM
  #8  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,546
As I remember, I called USAir international FF number. I always got someone who was helpful. Had no problem once the seats were available, which was 3 weeks later than what we really wanted. But it was within our available window.

May I suggest that if you have any problem with one clerk, call back in a few hours.

You have to call if any part of the trip is not on a USAir plane. I don't remember an extra charge.

http://linktrim.com/5ib

"To redeem miles for global award travel on Star Alliance and all other Dividend Miles partners, you must call US Airways Reservations."

Jed is offline  
May 3rd, 2006, 08:52 PM
  #9  
Cvechko
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I am sitting here right now waiting for our return flight date to open up so I can book a trip for next year. Have the flight down to the islands on hold for me - they said they would hold them for 3 days. I needed them held for 3 days plus 1 hour. Guy I spoke with today said they could not "renew" my hold. Called back 5 minutes later & another guy put a hold on them for an additional 3 days.

Wish me luck. This is the 4th time in the last 9 months that I have tried to use my FF miles & every other time no FF seats were available. Of course, for this trip I have to use Premuim miles. It is frustrating yet somewhat understandable - especially with the cost of gas now.
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:18 AM.