International flt info

Jun 19th, 2009, 12:16 PM
  #1  
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International flt info

Is anyone knowledgeable about how to get business class seats using frequent flier miles? Trying to plan a trip to Australia/New Zealand Sept. 2010-need help?? One World Alliance etc-very confusing??
Flgajaja is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 03:17 PM
  #2  
 
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I recently did a multi stop trip to Europe & the US using my (Qantas) Frequent Flyer points. I simply logged into my account on the QF website and put in the dates & stops I wanted. On each leg, I was offered a range of carriers, flight times and classes available. Building the trip this way was quick, efficient and I was able to get Business/First on all of the legs except one which only had economy. Airlines used were Qantas, Iberian & American.

Assuming your FF points are with One World, you could probably do the whole trip with Qantas as they fly into Auckland and Sydney from LA, with connections from other major US cities.

Start with your own airline's website and I think you'll find it's pretty simple. If you get stuck, you can always call them,but I find doing it on line the easiest.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Jun 19th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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I have had some luck with this so I'll be glad to share what I've learned. I am planning my second trip back to Oz and adding in NZ. I am traveling from MCO-LAX-AKL-DRW-SYD-LAX-MCO on AA and Qantas all in J and F. However, it is very complicated and I hope others will chime in.

Most award seats load 330/331 days out. There is some debate whether it is 330 or 331 days out. So you must have a date calculator similar to this one http://www.timeanddate.com/date/dateadd.html to tell you exactly when the tickets for your dates will be available. The real experts are on Flyertalk and you may want to peruse this thread http://tinyurl.com/9mu4hm for an overview.

Once you have your dates, join Qantas' FF program. (If you live outside Oz & NZ there is no charge to join.) If you are using AA FF miles, be advised their award travel is now one-way. You will reserve and book each segment at a time. So, on Qantas' FF web page, do a dummy "Qantas & Partner Classic Award" booking for your desired cities of origin and destination. Pick your desired travel date but be sure to choose "Flexible with dates". When the availability of dates for that month is shown, select "business" up at the top where it says "search travel class". Then you will "see" all seats in business for that time period. They are represented by purple icons rather than red. Go back to your date calculator and call AA (I am assuming?) on the 330th or 331st day before your desired departure. Many people feel that you should call at the stroke of midnight, just to give yourself the edge.

Hopefully you will get some other thoughts on this since it is both an art and a science to do this successfully. You may want to post this on the Air Travel Forum and also on Flyertalk.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 11:23 AM
  #4  
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thanks so much Vic for taking the time to explain things a little bit. We have FF miles on a few different US carriers- AA,United and Amex. Just trying to plan a 3 wk trip to Aust./New Zeal.is difficult enough besides trying to get Business class using miles-that is another challenge all in itself-especially since we really have never been able to use miles to travel abroad before. I truly just don't know where to start with all the class of services possible and how to combine everything. I have read several times that some people use miles for economy then upgrade but I don't want to take the chance for the 15hr ride to sit in coach-don't get me wrong, we have always sat in coach to go to Europe but for this long flt-not going to happen. Any other useful inof is greatly appreciated. Thanks again
Flgajaja is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 12:09 PM
  #5  
 
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Flgajaja, you are absolutely correct that the transpacific flight from the US to Oz warrants business class or better.

Play around with the ideas presented here. But, in the meantime, try to consolidate your miles with one airline. Qantas is great, so you may want to consider American as a Oneworld carrier with which to build mileage for your future trip.

There are many ways to accrue AA miles beyond flying. Do you have a Citi AA credit card? According to the Frugal Travel Guy http://www.frugaltravelguy.blogspot.com/ his top tip is "Churn Citi AA Credit Cards for 200,000 + AA miles per year using no-fee-for-the-first-year cards. Use these four cards for 120,000 AA miles: the Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard, the Citi Select® / AAdvantage® American Express® card, the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® MasterCard, and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Visa® Card (go to Citicards.com for application). After 6 months reapply again for the same cards and complete the same spend requirements to receive a second 120,000 AA miles bonus. Most have $250-$750 minimum spend requirements -- use them for items would buy anyway (groceries, gas, etc.)."

I only have one AA card, but everything goes on that card. I recently had a new roof put on my house and the entire cost went on my AA Citi card. Of course, you must pay off the entire balance each month.

I don't want to get too preachy here, but there are ways to build up your AAdvantage mileage total without flying all the time. Stick with it, and stay focused. Good luck!
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 02:50 PM
  #6  
 
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United isn't One World, AA is. I'd check on the AA website for their award availability -- it's how we flew to London and Tokyo (different trips) on sAAver awards (just 90K business class RT for Tokyo). The US-NZ flight on Qantas should have good service in business class but the Qantas food sucks.
BigRuss is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 03:20 PM
  #7  
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thanks again for the info-yes we hae an AA-citiadvantage card but unfortunately most of our miles are on Amex or United. Since they are on different programs it might be hard to consolidate. do you know anything about booking economy and the upgrading using miles to business?
Flgajaja is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 03:47 PM
  #8  
 
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"do you know anything about booking economy and the upgrading using miles to business?"

Nope. Sorry. However, you could probably find many points of view on this issue on Flyertalk.com Ask them!
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Jun 24th, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #9  
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ok thanks anyway
Flgajaja is offline  
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