Using AA ff miles for Asia

Jan 14th, 2015, 05:16 AM
  #1  
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Using AA ff miles for Asia

We live in Houston and would like to use AA ff miles for economy tickets to Asia but the choices are very limited and when on the AA site they do not display many partner awards.
Should I be calling them to get more options to more cities?
BillT is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:12 AM
  #2  
 
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Where in Asia and when?
Gardyloo is offline  
Jan 14th, 2015, 06:15 AM
  #3  
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May, and am looking at Jakarta, Manila, or Bangkok.
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Jan 14th, 2015, 07:43 AM
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All are in "Asia 2" and you'd likely need to change planes in either Tokyo or Hong Kong.

AA doesn't show either Japan Airlines or Cathay Pacific availability on its website, so what I'd do (a bit counter-intuitive, granted) is sign up for British Airway's frequent flyer program. BA DOES show both JAL and Cathay availability, so once you're enrolled in the BA Executive Club, look there for open flights. You'll then have to phone AA to make the actual booking. It's very rarely the case that flights shown as available by BA aren't available with AA miles, and knowing precise details when you phone AA is always the best policy.

"Sorry, nothing available to Bangkok."

"What about Cathay Pacific flight XXX on the 15th?"

"Oh, right, sorry. Yes, that's available."

I've had this conversation numerous times.
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Jan 14th, 2015, 03:37 PM
  #5  
P_M
 
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Gardy, I've had that same conversation with AA more times than I can count. It's amazing how often people who work for AA don't know to check their own partners.
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Jan 15th, 2015, 02:50 AM
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Gardy,

I regularly call AA to find award tickets that are not shown on the web site. If I find an unhelpful agent,I call back and usually find someone who will make an effort to help.Come to think of it, I never had to make more than a second call.

E.g., about a year ago, I wanted to make award bookings to Africa in order to take an AMA Waterways riverboat and tour. I wanted to fly from France to Capetown and back from Nairobi. There was nothing remotely helpful on the BA or AA websites. I called AA and the agent told me that it was often the case that a person looking for two seats would not find something on the web, but that multiple one seat bookings are available. She got us two separate bookings, and linked them together so that our seat assignments would coordinate, and I was able to some of the large amount of AA miles we had accumulated on business trips from DFW, near which we lived for 18 years.

That is a very long winded way of saying, it's worth the small extra fee for booking by phone. Good Luck!
Jeff801 is offline  
Jan 15th, 2015, 02:54 AM
  #7  
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The problem with using BA flights is that almost always go thru Lomdon and that generates outrageous fuel surcharges making award travel too expensive.
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Jan 15th, 2015, 05:03 AM
  #8  
 
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That happened to me with UAL on award traveler to Hong Kong. I had to ask about partner carriers and viola! We got it.
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Jan 15th, 2015, 06:40 AM
  #9  
 
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The problem with using BA flights is that almost always go thru Lomdon and that generates outrageous fuel surcharges making award travel too expensive.

I wasn't suggesting the OP use BA; AA's rules won't allow passing through Europe on the way to Asia II anyway. Use BA's website to see award inventory not shown on AA's, then use AA miles to book the flights.
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Jan 16th, 2015, 02:21 AM
  #10  
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OK let's try this again. I hold the Chase United credit card, but I am not a 1K flyer or above in status. now will United allow me 2 free checked bags on economy and/or award flights to Asia?
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Jan 16th, 2015, 02:37 AM
  #11  
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The United website does not state what is the checked bag allowance is without using their baggage calculator and. To use that one has to have a flight confirmation number. Now at present I do not have a reservation so how is one to use the calculator without first having a reservation? AllI want to know is did United change its policy with respect to economy or award tickets for someone who does not have status other than having the Chase United credit card.
On our last trip it was limited to one checked piece, has that changed?
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Jan 16th, 2015, 09:17 AM
  #12  
 
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The UA baggage calculator will provide the information without a PNR if you click on the Any Flights tab. Works pretty well actually.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 05:40 AM
  #13  
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yes thanks I see that now.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 02:03 PM
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I must be missing something here... Why are you asking about checked bag allowance on United if you want to use AA miles, according to your post heading?

I checked the BA site for random dates in May, Houston-Bangkok and Houston-Hong Kong, and there is One World reward availability in Economy.
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Jan 17th, 2015, 02:24 PM
  #15  
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My mistake, I meant to post on my other thread regarding baggage.
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