Using My Frequent Flier Miles!!

Mar 9th, 2007, 08:22 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 39
Using My Frequent Flier Miles!!

Hello Fodorites,
Reading Jenskar's post on Bali makes me already want to plan my next big trip (I just got back from Indochina on Monday.)
My husband and I have a ton of FF miles on American, from several big trips, including China and India. Issue is always booking them well in advance. This always scares me because I am afraid that in almost a year my life will have changed in some way - if I booked business class using miles - can you cancel? change? What are penalties? How could I even get to Bali on American Airline points? Thanks so much!!
Cookiepuss is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,892
I assume you intend to book business class outright and not upgrade - the cost is 110,000 miles per person to fly roundtrip to Bali (or anywhere in SE Asia) on a One World partner such as Cathay Pacific (via Hong Kong). Generally, if you cancel, the miles are just redeposited in your account. There may be a fee to cancel or change your reservation.
Craig is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 39
Hi Craig,
We have enough miles to book business class outright. Is there a difference in booking if we buy a regular coach ticket and use miles to upgrade? I also didn't realize we could use our FF miles to get all the way to Bali, I thought they maybe could only get us to Tokyo or Hong Kong. Thanks for your help!
I am enjoying your Burma trip report by the way - I feel like I know you and your wife quite well. When I went to India last year, I printed out your Rajastan trip report and it came with us!!
Cookiepuss is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,892
It probably wouldn't hurt to give American Airlines a call to see what their policies are. I don't believe you can upgrade from coach on flights other than those on American but that may have changed to compete with the United Star Alliance where you can upgrade on any airline in the Alliance. Usually upgradeable fares have less restrictions (but they also cost more than the cheapest ones).

I'm flattered that you took my trip report with you to India.
Craig is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 549
Do you status on AA?
With all those flights you should of at least taken one of their challenges to get some kind of status.
You might want to check out and go to miles and points then american advantage. Those guys are the cream of the crop whenit comes to using miles. The board is very active and you shld get a good response in minutes.
travelduo is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 07:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 202
We used FF miles last year to Osaka/BKK. We bought coach tickets, but were only able to upgrade with miles as far as Osaka. SInce AA doesn't fly to BKK, we were on JAL, on which we could NOT use FF miles to upgrade.
cmenoni is offline  
Mar 9th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 28,943
A/A has a very good chart on their site for the use of miles, including booking with reduced miles at certains times of the year....the "season" in bali is at the same time as our summer here in usa...
hotels need to be booked now...

the reduced rates are not for a trip like yours because it has to be to a place A/A flies itself....

for full mileage they will book you on any of their flights plus the partners....they are very nice, i was just talking to them today and they were very helpful...
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,591
I used my AA miles to go to Bali with a stopover in Japan. Flew first class on Japan Airlines between New York and Tokyo and then business class between Tokyo and Bali. The business class flight from Tokyo to Denpasar, Bali is one of my most favorite flights ever.

I flew to Tokyo and spent two weeks in Japan before going to Bali for a week. I used an AA award for an open-jaw ticket for domestic Japan travel on JAL (from Tokyo to Sapporo to Hiroshima).

I booked the tickets in March for travel that May (2004, I think).

IIRC you would be able to change dates of the award travel without a penalty. Probably a fee of $100 to change the routing or to redeposit the miles.

No reason to guess:
Go to
select AAdvantage-> Redeem Miles
click on Award Details
see the links for
Changing Award Tickets | Reinstating Awards | Award Ticket Fees
mrwunrfl is offline  
Mar 11th, 2007, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,076
I just used FF on American to book business class from DC to Bali for late June to early Jluy. We're going DCA to DFW to Tokyo to Bali, so we change twice (which you have to do no matter what from DC). The first two legs are on AA, then last on JAL. We had no trouble getting the dates we wanted with only 4 months in advance but we are travelling mid week, so I think the demand is not as high. I became a bit concerned after last week's crash in Java, however, but as I said to my husband, three people have been killed in DC by metrobuses since the beginning of the year...
FromDC is offline  
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