Questions about AA's one world reward.

Jul 22nd, 2009, 08:20 AM
  #1  
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Questions about AA's one world reward.

I have more than 400,000 AAdvantage miles. I live in Toronto and I would like to use some of these miles for a rtw first class ticket. I would like some comments/suggestions which cities I should work into my itinerary, I used to live in London and I would like to include London in the trip, also, I'd like to include Hong Kong, my only criteria for the other places I include are that there be places I haven't been to. I wouldn't mind using some miles to get to a destination that costs alot to fly to.

I've been to Australia and New Zealand, and don't want to include either country on this ticket.

In Latin America, I've been to all the Central American countries except Belize and El Salvador. In South America I've been to Brazil, Peru and Ecuador.

In Asia I've been to Hong Kong, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, SIngapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and India.

In Africa I've been to South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Botswana and Morocco.

In Europe I've been most Western European countries, Russia and all Scandinavian countries.

Granted, of the countries I have been to in some cases I haven't been to all areas, but on this trip I'd like to explore some new countries. What suggestions do fodorites have as to which cities/coutnries I should try to include on this trip?

Thanks in advance.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 10:02 AM
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What are your interests?
Patty is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 10:51 AM
  #3  
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Patty, I love to explore new places, different cultures, big cities, etc.

On this trip I'd like to travel well off the beaten track.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 01:46 PM
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Perhaps if you post the places you want to see, not the places you don't, some here may be able to help with itn to fit under certain mileage criteria.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:01 PM
  #5  
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AAFrequentFlyer, good suggestion.

I have looked at the networks for One World airlines. I know some of the countries I have listed aren't serviced by any One World Airlines and I'd have to purchase a side trip to these countries.

I'd like to visit...

Egypt (BA, RJ both fly here),
Jordan (RJ),
Syria (no One World flight that I am aware of),
Lebanon (RJ),
Chile (especially Easter Island), (LAN)
Argentina (LAN),
Nepal (KA), and
Brunei (KA).

I am certainly open to any suggestions. It isn't necessary to visit all the places mentioned above, but if I get to some of these places that would be nice.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:07 PM
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RJ flies to Damascus.

You have to watch your connection points and total number of segments with OW awards - too many cycles through AMM or LHR and it's no go; also 16 segments max can be limiting, especially if you're continent-hopping and going beyond the major continental hubs such as LHR, AMM, HKG etc.

You might also want to look at a business class award instead of first, since increasingly true FC isn't offered, especially on secondary routes.

YYZ-SCL-IPC-SCL-EZE-LHR-CAI-AMM-LHR-HKG-KTM-HKG-LAX-YYZ hits many of your targets (Brunei is served by a KA codeshare on Air Brunei thus ineligible) and comes in at around 41K flown miles, 220K AA miles in business, 330K in first. You'd only be in FC on EZE-LHR, LHR-CAI, LHR-HKG and HKG-LAX in this scenario, so a judgment call if the extra 110K miles is worth it for 4 upgrades.

You could handle the hopping around in the middle east by purchasing a Oneworld airpass that would make those segments really cheap because they're so short.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 09:15 PM
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Meant to add, you might also think about weather and seasonal issues and consider making this two trips over the space of a year. For example, combine S. America and Europe/Middle East, then come back to N. America for a spell, then later do the Asia itinerary as a separate trip, albeit funded with the same miles. As long as you don't transit your origin airport (YYZ) you could go, e.g., YYZ-SCL-IPC-SCL-EZE-LHR-CAI-AMM-ORD (then ORD-YYZ-ORD on your own) then ORD-JFK-HKG-KTM-HKG-LAX-YYZ later - for 48K flown miles but the same "price." Recuperate or wait for the weather in Asia to improve. You have 12 months.
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Jul 23rd, 2009, 08:14 AM
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Gardyloo,

beat me to it. Excellent advice, as always......
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 12:26 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

Gardyloo, thank you for your detailed response. A few things come to mindbr />
In scenario number 2 where I return to Toronto (via ORD) for sometime, can't I fly AMM - JFK JFK - HKG, this will allow me one additional flight.

Can't I return from HKG to YYZ and not connect through LAX? Again this would allow an extra flight somewhere.

Can Sri Lanka/Maldives/Mauritius (I know CX flies to Sri Lanka, I'm not sure which OW carriers if any fly to the other two) be incorporated somehow into the itinerary? Since I am allowed 16 flight segments and haven't used them all.

I think that it's better to book business class, given the additional mileage needed for First.

I know you are very knowledgeable in the dos and don'ts for redeeeming mileages, which of these sectors if any are next to immpossible to book?

Thanks.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 12:48 PM
  #10  
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Seychelles, too.

Just looking for ways to maximize the amont of travelling
I do on this reward.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:08 PM
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I don't think there's OW service to SEZ, is there?

MLE on BA from LGW and MRU on BA from LHR and JNB.

Any interested in Antarctica (depending on the time of year you were planning this, of course)? LA flies to USH but I think it's Y only service so perhaps not the best use of your mileage/segment allowance.
Patty is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Sorry, interest.
Patty is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 01:58 PM
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Patty, good point about LAN flights to USH. I wouldn't incorporate Antarctica in this trip. The gear needed for Antarctica would take all my luggage space for starters. In addition the season is so short so it would really restrict my travel dates.

I should add that I certainly don't mind paying for a flight here and there to get to some destinations.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 03:58 PM
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In scenario number 2 where I return to Toronto (via ORD) for sometime, can't I fly AMM - JFK JFK - HKG, this will allow me one additional flight.

Fair enough; my built in auto-rejection of any American Eagle flights kicked in, but you obviously wouldn't need to fly on Eagle if it's on your own Loony.

Can't I return from HKG to YYZ and not connect through LAX? Again this would allow an extra flight somewhere.

Yes - brain cramp.

Can Sri Lanka/Maldives/Mauritius (I know CX flies to Sri Lanka, I'm not sure which OW carriers if any fly to the other two) be incorporated somehow into the itinerary? Since I am allowed 16 flight segments and haven't used them all.

Patty has given you the straight dope - CMB, MRU, MLE all are served. A couple of caveats though. One is that you're allowed a maximum of two transits and one stopover (i.e. 3 cycles) through any given airport. CMB is served from HKG via Bangkok, so that might help reduce HKG transits, but you'd still have to get to BKK. MLE is served from Gatwick, and the cross-London connection (assuming you're arriving at LHR) would cost you a segment coming and going.

LHR-MRU is reportedly a hard award seat to obtain; LHR-JNB-MRU would be easier, but again at the expense of more segments and London passages.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 04:48 PM
  #15  
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Thank you Patty, AA Frequent Flyer and Gardyloo.

Ouch, re: MLE, since this flight is only from LGW, I don't think it will be feasible.

Wouldn't want to fly LHR - JNB - MRU given that it adds more sectors. Definitely don't care to return to JNB. Given that LHR - MRU is a difficult award to get, I'll ditch this idea.

Still looking for ideas for another possible add ons. Here are few I've thought of...

Tahiti from Easter Island

Vietnam from HKG, open jaw into HCM returning from HAN (these flights from HKG to HCM aren't too expensive so this may not be a good use of miles)

Guam from HKG via NRT on JL, but this will use four flight segments, three if I can fly from NRT across the pacific, although I'd prefer CX for the long haul flight.

Is there a maximum number of miles I can fly on this award?

Gardyloo, I couldn;t find any information about the one world air pass, where should I look for this?
SWillams is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Tahiti from Easter Island

Yes but you need to return to IPC/SCL - no onward Oneworld connections possible.

Vietnam from HKG, open jaw into HCM returning from HAN (these flights from HKG to HCM aren't too expensive so this may not be a good use of miles)

I'm pretty sure you can't include HAN in any itinerary ticketed by AA or using AA miles, so may be moot. You're allowed one and only one open-jaw (i.e. surface segment) in the entire itinerary.

Guam from HKG via NRT on JL, but this will use four flight segments, three if I can fly from NRT across the pacific, although I'd prefer CX for the long haul flight.

I know there are some restrictions on travel to Guam on JL - best to phone AA for the nitty gritty.

Is there a maximum number of miles I can fly on this award?

I believe 50,000 is the MPM.

Gardyloo, I couldn;t find any information about the one world air pass, where should I look for this?

http://www.oneworld.com/ow/air-trave...ontinent-fares
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Oops. Looking at the Visit Europe airpass option I note it includes Israel but not Egypt, Jordan, Syria or Lebanon. I guess I thought it did, so that option for the middle east may not work. Most of those flights are pretty cheap though, and extremely short.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 23rd, 2009, 06:20 PM
  #18  
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Thanks, Gardyloo, I too had looked at the visit Europe pass, but it really doesn't suit my needs.

Okay, so of the above suggestion, PPT is probably the only feasible option.

I'll scrap the Vietnam add on, flights HKG - HCM are competitively priced since quite a few airlines fly this route (VN, CX, UA to name a few).

Thanks for the heads up re: Guam, I'll call AA and inquire, and will post back with the details.

I still open to suggestions.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Gardyloo, I spoke to AA to inquire about Guam. I can fly on a ff points to Guam, but (yes, there is a but), I need to fly AA for the transpacific flights and JL from NRT. I cannot fly another carrier on the transpacific flights. I'll have to scrap that idea.

How far in advance should I book this? I know I can book 330 days in advance. My concern is that I am hoping for CX flight across the Pacific, these can be difficult, especially HKG - YYZ. I fly any other carrier, that will involve at least one additional segment (JL/CX, HKG - NRT, JL NRT - YYZ) if not more (JL/CX, HKG - NRT, JL/AA NRT - a US Gateway, AA US Gateway - YYZ).

Whats the trick for booking these long haul flights? Most of the mileage awards I've redeemed have been for domestic flights or intra Europe flights (before prices wars and discount carriers brought prices down), so I have very little experience with booking award seats.

Is there a website where I can check availabitly of FF seats? If I am to travel to so many different places I do need dates to be coordinated.

Thanks.
SWillams is offline  
Jul 24th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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There have been scattered reports that getting CX premium award seats has gotten easier, but it's always a case of your flights on your days v. their availability. Because HKG-YYZ is a "long thin" route it may be more difficult than my previous suggestion, HKG-LAX, because they have more frequency and much higher capacity on that route.

Generally, both the Qantas and British Airways mileage plan's websites (both free to join) offer excellent coverage of OW award availability - needs some fiddling around, but ultimately useful. Unfortunately neither site contains much at all in the way of CX availability. CX's own website has such a tool, but it really only works for using CX miles; the inventory released to OW partners is different (presumably less.) So all you can do for CX availability is to ask AA to find it for you.

I also expect you won't find getting to PPT will be that easy, but certainly worth a shot. EZE-LHR might also be hard depending on time of year. For that matter, the whole thing might be easy or hard depending on specific dates.

Be mindful that once a OW itinerary is booked and ticketed, it's set in cement. Date changes are okay, but no routing changes, or conversions of transits to stopovers etc. are allowed once you're ticketed. AA also can't hold an itinerary for a couple of weeks like they used to, so you need to be able to commit badda-bing as they say in Joisey.
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