For those who say they can't use FF miles...

Jul 26th, 2004, 08:58 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
For those who say they can't use FF miles...

Here are the standard domestic awards (25K) that the 3 people in my household have been able to claim within the last 4 months:

1 r/t IAH-PHL (CO)
1 open-jaw IAH-PHL, EWR-IAH (CO)
1 open-jaw PHL-DFW, AUS-PHL (UA miles - flights on UA/US)
1 r/t DFW-LAX (CO)
1 open-jaw IAH-SFO, SJC-IAH (CO. Would have preferred SJC r/t)
2 r/t DFW-SFO (DL)

Again, all with 25K miles for each ticket, no double-miles used.

And we're likely to claim two IAH-HKG for 60K miles each on CO shortly, which is again standard awards.

So, from the accounts of 3 people, we are likely to able to spend close to 300K miles, all with standard award within half a year. There are basically two keys to it - flexibility with dates and airports; and know about partner awards. If you do some homework, FF miles can indeed be claimed.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 09:02 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Minor correction. The Dallas-LA trip was DAL-LAX on CO. Not DFW.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 09:06 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Two other things I forgot.

1. It certainly helps to be an "elite" member - at least on CO - to find 25K miles awards. Some of the seats were available for non-elites.

2. Do check availability again and again. For the DFW-SFO trip on DL, for many days it's shown that I would have to spend double miles for the Sunday return, or to use CO's connection via IAH at bad times. But later when I decided to book, 25K DL awards suddenly showed up. Therefore, it really helps to check and ask often.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 09:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,112

Good for you. But the problem is not one of getting an award to fly to L.A. in coach. The problem is in getting the business class round trip award to Rome. Or the first class ticket to SYD without having to book it 330 days in advance.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 10:08 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
Actually mrwunrfl, international business class is usually the easiest to get. At least that has been my experience. During the busiest times, I found I need about 2-3 weeks notice and so far I have not been disappointed. International coach, especially this summer is almost impossible to get for the plan ahead award.
This is based on my own experiences only. YMMV
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 10:12 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
As far as business/first is concerned, you should look at it this way. A C fare to Europe is usually about 4 times that of coach or more. If it's 50K miles to claim an economy award to Europe, then the 100K business award is actually being "too cheap", and are therefore always the first seats to go. And one shouldn't feel too bad about spending 200K miles on business to Europe if you remember that it's a $4,000 ticket.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 27th, 2004, 06:08 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,112

A lot of people finally make it to an award level only to find that all the seats are gone, just like rkkwan said. Naturally, they are going to be disappointed.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 04:56 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,112
Do either of you have an elite level status which has the benefit of more award seats available? Maybe that is part of the difference.

Yes, I would feel bad about spending 200K miles for FC on United to Europe when I thought it was going to cost me only 100K. (am thinking now about a long time ago when my GF, Tammy, told me "Bill, quit telling me I shouldn't feel that way because I DO feel that way!").

I was pretty happy, in February, booking a FC AAdvantage award to Japan and Bali for travel in May/June. Only 3 months in advance and I made changes until I got it ticketed in the beginning of March. But, I did have trouble getting JFK-NRT-JFK seats on the days I wanted. And the fact was that the reason I went there at that time was because I couldn't get FC award seats to Australia for after-Christmas travel (I called in Jan and Feb for travel this Dec-Jan and could get FC across the USA but coach trans-pacific (or some unnaceptable comnpromise like that, I forget exactly).

"Flexibility with dates and airports" can translate to not flying when you want to fly or to the place you want to fly to. I am very happy to hear that you are happy with getting those award tix and thanks for the tips on getting awards. Don't forget to have sushi in Hong Kong.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 05:46 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
The UA and DL awards were claimed without elite status. The CO ones are claimed from an elite account, but I also checked with a non-elite account. I believe of the 4 tickets claimed, two of them would not be possible at the 25K level without elite status.

My IMPRESSION, is that UA miles are easier to claim then CO/DL without elite. And the UA/US tickets are better coordinated, so one can check online on the UA site all the UA/US flights available to claim. On the other hand, CO/DL/NW are all seperate. On co.com, you won't see DL/NW/KL's flight listed for awards. You must call them, and you must know what to tell the agent to do.

I guess the "Frequent Flyer" programs are exactly that - for frequent flyers. And it helps if one's flexible with their travel dates. If one's flying a couple of domestic roundtrips a year, and hope that SOME DAY they'll have enough to go to Hawaii, then they're going to be highly disappointed. The FF programs really have little value to those who don't fly often, as the airlines really don't care for those business.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 05:56 AM
  #10  
z
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 417
Is it worthy to claim TWO first class tickets to Honolulu, HI for total of 225,000 miles from Augusta, Georgia on Continental? We are thinking about December and there are seats available.
z is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 02:00 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,763
One of the best deals I ever got with FF miles was 2 first class tix from DC to Autralia/New Zealand.

UAL was "charging" 120,000 for one ticket or 2 tickets for 180,000 miles.

IT was a steal! I got almost $20,000 worth of tix for 180,000 miles

Unfortunatley, they no longer offer the specaial "twofers".
Dick is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 02:10 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
z - Everybody sees the value of his/her miles differently, so only you can decide if it's worth it. But just for the record, the "standard" award to Hawaii in BF is 37,500 miles each way, and the "Easypass" award is 75,000 each way. So, you are using one of each. Keep in mind that you can mix and match types of rewards and class flown with continental, so if you think 75K miles for BF is too much, you can try get a economy seat for 17,500 each way.

Another possibility is to fly DL or NW in First or WorldBusiness (respectively) for that other leg. NW's World Business Class is a pretty good product to Hawaii, while DL's domestic first class is NOT.

So, just like what I said in my previous posts, you have lots of options. And make sure you know all about them - including flying NW or DL. Study carefully, and determine which is best for you.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 04:56 PM
  #13  
z
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 417
rkkwan, thank you. We decided, it is worthy to us. We want to use all our miles before Continental decides to charge more. You never know.
z is offline  
Jul 30th, 2004, 10:15 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,839
Don't know if this has already been mentioned, but here's an interesting article on award redemption - perception vs. reality:

http://www.insideflyer.com/articles/...e.php?key=1853
Patty is offline  
Jul 31st, 2004, 12:55 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
An update:

Will be claiming -

2 r/t IAH-HKG (CO)
1 r/t IAH-EWR (CO)

So, the 6-month total will be 10 r/t, 320,000 miles claimed from 3 people's account, all at the minimum "standard" level.

Again, on CO, it's crucial to have elite status. Without that neither of these 3 tickets can be claimed on the dates/times desired.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 31st, 2004, 12:56 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
I should have said "none of the 3 tickets". Bad grammar.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 1st, 2004, 05:39 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
I put the following three tickets on hold today. In coach, regular milage requirments

12/19 TYS to CDG
12/25 CDG to TYS

12/23 TYS to CDG
12/29 CDG to TYS

12/19 BNA to CDG
12/25 CDG to BNA

I did have to put a business on hold from 12/23 from Nashville to Paris.

We will make a final decision tomorrow and release two seats.
CarolA is offline  
Aug 1st, 2004, 05:56 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,885
CarolA</b.,

It's a very nice gesture, but unfortunately it doesn't work this way. Just because you release award seats, they don't automatially go back to award inventory. Depending on how many seats were sold between now and the release time, your seats could go to as high as full fare.

If it did work the way you think, imagine the possibilities.......

People putting seats on hold and auctioning to the highest bidder on e-Bay.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2004, 03:12 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,420
AAFrequentFlyer.
I realize this, but I didn't want to get yelled at for "hogging seats" I figured what the airlines do with them after I release them is not really my concern.

CarolA is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2004, 05:08 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 5,869
Both of my sons are "Lifetime Platinum" AA FFs so they get perks unavailable to most of us.
In the (unusual) event they don't get comp upgrades, they use FF miles for international upgrades only.
M
mikemo is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:16 PM.