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Arranging flight from different starting points?

Arranging flight from different starting points?

May 6th, 2005, 10:13 AM
  #1  
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Arranging flight from different starting points?

I'm planning a trip with my daughter to Bangkok (and some other places) in January or February and am trying to figure out the best way to make flight arrangements. I'm in Baltimore and she's in Berkeley. We obviousl want to fly together for the long leg across the Pacific - what's the best way to arrange this? Should I enlist a travel agent to help? I looked at Travelocity and had trouble finding flights that went from Baltimore to BKK via San Francisco or Oakland, although I did find a couple - but flights already seem to be filling up. Do I need to make reservations this far in advance? Also, I have enough frequent flier miles to upgrade to business on the Star Alliance Network, so I'd prefer to go with one of those carriers. Any suggestions on the best way to arrange this?
tks,
Karen
althom1122 is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 10:28 AM
  #2  
 
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Call United. You can only upgrade by calling their international reservation number. They can also arrange for you and your daughter to be on the same flight. In my experience the airlines themselves have better prices (and offer better service) than Travelocity or Expedia (or especially, Orbitz).
Kathie is online now  
May 6th, 2005, 10:31 AM
  #3  
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Thanks, Kathie! That probably is the best bet. How far in advance do I need to reserve?
althom1122 is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 10:36 AM
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United has a flight from San Francisco to Tokyo to Bangkok. It departs at 1:45 PM. To meet up with your daughter you can fly United from BWI via Denver or Chicago arriving around 10 - 10:30 AM. There may also be a direct flight but I think that may be seasonal. The return flight gets into San Francisco at 9:30 AM. If there is a direct flight back, it will leave around 11:30 AM - you will need time to go through customs. If the direct flight is not available, you could take the red-eye or look for another airline. I picked this information off the United website. If you are redeeming frequent flyer miles, you really do need to do it way in advance unless you have special "status" with the airline. If you are using United miles to upgrade, you can not upgrade on Star Alliance partner airlines by the way. Also, if you are redeeming miles, you are best off dealing with the airline directly rather than going through a travel agent in my opinion. I generally avoid travel agents altogether as most of the information you are looking for is readily available on the internet.
Craig is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 11:05 AM
  #5  
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Wow, thanks so much, Craig! Looks like it's certainly doable.
althom1122 is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 02:32 PM
  #6  
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One more thing on this - when you say "way in advance" could you give me an estimate? I know you mean as early as possible, but my job situation is in flux right now and I'm not sure about my daughter's situation either.
So would, say, October be soon enough to book a trip for January or February? Or do I need to do it over the summer? And I'm assuming the other stuff - hotels, drivers, tour guides, etc. - can be booked later than the flight - sometime late fall, is that right?
Thanks!
Karen
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May 6th, 2005, 02:54 PM
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For miles redemptions as well as normal ticket purchases 330 days is the farthest in advance that you can do. The longer you wait the less your chances of getting the upgrades on all of the legs of your trip. We have been waitlisted for certain legs and it has always worked out but with United's financial situation now I think that would be less certain. I think this summer at the latest for plane reservations but you will have to be really flexible on dates. As for hotels, you can wait for a while. For popular drivers like Ratt, mentioned frequently on this forum you might want to make tentative arrangements well in advance. Tour guides can be arranged when you get there if you feel you need them.
Craig is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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If your miles are on United then I am pretty sure that you can use for an upgrade only on United flights. You can use your United miles for a free ticket on *A carriers in econ, business and first class. I hope I am wrong and somebody will correct me but I don't think that there are Star Alliance upgrade awards.

You can also consider using Washington Dulles since it is a United hub and they have nonstops to SFO.

Here are some other options that don't meet your specs, but I'll offer them up anyway:
1) Meet in Tokyo. You can take the ANA nonstop from Dulles to Tokyo. She flies nonstop from SFO to Tokyo. You both fly from there.
2) Both of you fly from Dulles on the ANA nonstop to Tokyo. She could return to Dulles for a second part of her visit back east. Or, she could fly back to SFO while you come back here.

If you have enough miles to upgrade both of you both ways, that would be 120,000 miles. That's two free coach tickets that you could book now.
mrwunrfl is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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another alternative would be northwest which would make you stop in detroit or minneapolis and then SF and then toyko....

rhkkmk is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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i would do my flights now as things fill up quickly, FF or not...flights between toyko and bkk are always somewhat difficult to get...
rhkkmk is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 05:25 PM
  #11  
 
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It is true that you can use your United miles for upgrades only on United, not on other Star Alliance carriers. United has easy connections for both you and your daughter. The suggestion to fly non-stop from Dulles to SFO to meet your daughter is a good option, though I've often found that flying in/out of BWI is cheaper. I agree you should make your reservations as soon as possible. (Now would be a good time...)
Kathie is online now  
May 6th, 2005, 06:37 PM
  #12  
 
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Royal thai is a member of star so maybe you can get a non stop from SFO too bkk...
orgy7 is offline  

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