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Is there a website that shows where AA freq. flyer seats are available?

Is there a website that shows where AA freq. flyer seats are available?

Mar 30th, 2009, 03:57 PM
  #1  
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Is there a website that shows where AA freq. flyer seats are available?

I am trying to book freq. flyer tickets for 2 on American to . . . almost anywhere, I'm flexible. Their website used to let us view a variety of international destinations, now it only lists where they fly directly. I have to call them and be put on hold forever before I get to an agent and then all my destinations seem to be unavailable.

Surely there is a better way . . . any international destinations that are not very popular but maybe we would like? Any site that lists available seats? I have lots of miles on all the major airlines.

Thanks in advance,
Sandy (in Denton)
sandy_b is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 04:56 PM
  #2  
 
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Award availability can be checked on www.aa.com for anywhere AA metal goes.

If you want to use any one of their partners then you will have to call, no matter what, but you can get a pretty good idea of availability if you have a FF account with QF or BA. It's not 100% but at the very least it gives you an idea. Both web sites do show award availability but you need to have FF account.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 04:59 PM
  #3  
 
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Sandy,

It depends on how soon you're going, where you are going from and where you are going to.

The sooner you are going the more difficult it is to book.

The first thing I would do is to download AA's One World timetable. This is a very helpful tool.

Always remember that seats open and close almost daily, particularly in coach. Business / First class is much more difficult to change as there are fewer seats per flight.

Example: You may want to go to Paris, say, from Des Moines. Look it up on the various combinations of exit paths from the states. As of now you can't fly BA on FF miles across the pond from the US, but you can if you fly through Canada.

One thing you can do is to fake "book" parts of your trip by seeing what's available. in each segment of your flight. That is accomplished by using the frequent flyer option on their main page.

I just used AA FF miles to Argentina. I started out going from SJC-DFW-Fort Myers-MIA-EZE. By keeping an eye on openings daily, I eventually changed my ticketing to SFO-JFK-EZE.

I kept fake booking my trip in different variations until I found the right combination that worked for me.

Once you find the right combination that is open THAT DAY, then call AA and book directly with them.

Flying FF miles takes patience and a little luck, so good luck!
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 30th, 2009, 05:52 PM
  #4  
 
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The sooner you are going the more difficult it is to book.

not true in many cases....


Once you find the right combination that is open THAT DAY, then call AA and book directly with them.

and why would the OP want to do that? It's free to book any AA metal award for free on line but if you call then there is a small charge unless you are EX Plat.
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Mar 30th, 2009, 06:02 PM
  #5  
yk
 
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I don't think it's that difficult to book economy award tickets on AA to Europe right now. Last week I called AA about FF ticket from Boston to Vienna, and Budapest to Boston for departure one month from now. I got the exact flight schedules (saw on AA.com schedule) on the exact dates I wanted. This is AA/BA combo.

I also looked on AA.com for Biz award BOS-LHR and pretty much all month in April there are 100k awards available every day.

In any case, the off-peak Europe award for 40k miles is a great deal, IMO.
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Mar 31st, 2009, 04:49 AM
  #6  
 
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AAFrequentFlyer,

I've been booking AA FF international trips every 1 1/2 years, or so, on Business class, for the past 15+ years.

Even you would have to admit that the seat availability generally declines as you approach the date of the trip. This is particularly true if you book Business class.

In my case, as I mentioned, I made a change that required a call to AA, as per their policy. The nice part about dealing with an agent as a lifetime premium holder, is that they generally will not charge you a fee if the starting and end points are the same, or similar, such as the SF Bay Area.

Please note that Sandy hasn't commented on where he/she wants to go and depart from. There are several Dentons in the U.S., so it's hard to guess which Denton.

One can go online, or call AA. It sounded like Sandy was frustrated. I generally find what I want online, and then call AA. As you said, the charge is very small.
Rastaguytoday is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 05:04 AM
  #7  
 
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Well, I once booked an award ticket about 4-5 hours before the trip, so I will not agree with your assessment. Most of my AA OneWorld award tickets (complicated, 16 segments, using multiple OW partners) were booked 2-3 months before the initial flight, so once again, I will respectfully disagree.

It all depends on your starting/ending points. Obviously if "your" airport(s) have 1-2 flights a day and it's with AE, with very limited seating, it does get more difficult, but if there are 10+ flights a day on mainline from your starting point and your destination is a major airport as in ORD, LAX, or LHR then it's usually not a big problem to find a last minute award ticket. That has been my experience.
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Mar 31st, 2009, 06:07 AM
  #8  
yk
 
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I'm pretty sure that Sandy lives in Denton just north of DFW, so she will have decent choice of flights flying out of DFW.

However, for people who don't have a specific destination in mind, it can be frustrating to keep calling AA to see if award tickets are available to X and Y.

BTW, do EXPs have a larger pool of award seats to choose from than the rest of us?
yk is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 08:36 AM
  #9  
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Yes, I'm in Denton, TX, very near DFW and yes, I'm frustrated. I have talked to AA for hours on end as they have tried to find different combos that will get me from DFW to Bangkok (going to Laos) or to Croatia or to Morocco. The agents have been really nice and they have tried, just can't get there and back.

I have fairly flexible dates, July 25-Aug 16. I am used to making all my own arrangements and I guess that's why I'm so frustrated trying to do this. I'm open to other destinations and suggestions.

Thanks,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Mar 31st, 2009, 08:54 AM
  #10  
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I was going to add to the above but forgot . . . the agents have worked really hard trying to find routing for me.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Mar 31st, 2009, 10:06 AM
  #11  
 
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Their website used to let us view a variety of international destinations, now it only lists where they fly directly.

I'm not sure what you mean. AFAIK aa.com has only ever shown award availability for AA metal.

Any site that lists available seats? I have lots of miles on all the major airlines.

I just redeemed 2 coach awards for friends to join us in Kenya this summer using Delta miles. The routing was over the Atlantic so had they wanted to go to Europe that wouldn't have been a problem either. I only had to shift their stay forward by one day and was able to get good flight times and connections (well, as good as you can get from SAN to NBO). Business class would've been more difficult though I could've gotten them a mixed business/coach award. I might invite another person and I have no doubt I'll be able to get her a ticket too. In my experience, award availability is better this year than I've seen in a long time (I've redeemed 7 tickets and over half a million miles this year so far). I use a combination of the Northwest (shows availability on many Skyteam carriers) and Delta websites. I find checking segment by segment works better as I have trouble with both sites displaying availability when the itinerary requires 3 or more segments. Then I piece together what I need (often this requires a phone call).

Good luck!
Patty is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 10:31 AM
  #12  
yk
 
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Just to reiterate:

For regular tickets (for purchase), you can check flights to any international destinations that AA and OW partners fly on the AA.com website. You just need to check the box that says AA, American Eagle, and OneWorld Partners.

However, for Award tickets, the website will only show flights that AA metal flies. (and as Patty has pointed out, that has been the way for years.)

So, in a sense, you can use the regular (ie, purchase) section of the website to look up flight schedules, then call AA to see if award seats area available on those legs.
yk is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 12:35 PM
  #13  
 
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Are you flying in coach or business class?
Gardyloo is offline  
Mar 31st, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Following up, I'm a bit puzzled. Using ExpertFlyer, I can see (economy) award seats from DFW to London virtually every day during your open dates, and from London back to DFW on most days, too, albeit sometimes needing to be routed through Boston, Chicago etc.

From London to Croatia or to Morocco requires some routing knowledge on the part of the AA agent, e.g. British Airways flies to Dubrovnik from Gatwick, not Heathrow, so there won't be any direct routing off of AA metal. However, BA on its award website shows limited coach space, and gobs of business class space, during your travel period, which ought to be accessible to any decent AA rep. You'd have to schlep across London for the connection (or you could stop over in London as a condition of the redemption.) Or else you could go from DFW through Frankfurt (again, plenty of space on AA from DFW) and connect on Malev through Budapest to Zagreb or Split - I've never seen any lack of AA-eligible award space on Malev.

For Morocco, I don't think any AA partner flies there anymore, since Iberia seems to have turned over all its flights to Air Maroc codeshares, and Air Maroc is not an AA partner. However, there's plenty of space from DFW to Madrid on AA, and a round trip ticket from Madrid to Marrakesh is about $140, so not a deal breaker IMO.

As for Bangkok, there's some AA space to Tokyo, but the AAgent would have to help with connections on JAL or Cathay Pacific to BKK. No way of knowing how tight/open that might be. But... Bangkok in August? Yow.

I'd definitely keep trying.
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Apr 1st, 2009, 03:28 PM
  #15  
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OK . . . I was on the phone again this a.m. to AA (that's where I have all my miles) . . . yes, I can get to several places, I just can't get back. The (un)lucky agent of the day whom I talked with tried every combo I came up with and even had several of her own . . . no go.

I'm going to give up for a while and revisit this in a week or two.

There are plenty of seats to Montevideo . . . anybody have an opinion?

Just for grins, if I decided to buy a ticket from DFW to Croatia, what would be a good price? I'm finding $1100 and up and don't know whether to grab it or wait.

Thanks to you all,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Apr 1st, 2009, 06:25 PM
  #16  
yk
 
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Is the problem return leg due to partner airlines' availability?

One less desirable option is to claim award ticket to London (or Paris or Germany), and then buy your own ticket onward to Croatia using budget airlines. While it won't be free, at least it'll be cheaper than buying the ticket all the way.
yk is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 02:45 AM
  #17  
 
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AA website shows availability for economy (60,000 miles) from DFW to Madrid within your timeframe.
JaneB is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 05:29 AM
  #18  
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Just went out to check DFW-Madrid . . . same problem, seats available outbound, no return seats.
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Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:13 AM
  #19  
yk
 
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sandy, since you have lots of miles, you can always spend more for the AAnytime AAward. That will let you choose whichever flight you want as long as it's not sold out.
yk is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:53 AM
  #20  
 
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You can't do it all online unless you use alternative websites to see availability on partners - AA's won't let you. ExpertFlyer, British Airways' and Qantas' websites let subscribers or FF plan members see partner availability, which in the great majority of cases is also available to AAdvantage partner redemption itineraries (except for BA between the UK and USA; other North American/Caribbean destinations are okay, then connect on AA.)

You also need to be flexible and maybe get creative unless all you're going to settle for are nonstop flights. There's only one nonstop MAD-DFW flight daily, but if you're willing to route through London, there's availability on AA over the pond on Aug. 11 (JFK), Aug. 12 (JFK), and Aug. 13 (JFK and RDU).

There's also space on British Airways to Vancouver (Aug. 12) and most days that week to Bermuda; in both cases you'd have to connect (overnight) to Dallas.

Finnair has plenty of open seats most days in your target period from Helsinki to JFK, connecting through to DFW. Again, you'd probably have to overnight at HEL to connect, but there are far worse places, believe me.

And so on.
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