Nov 7th, 2001, 08:40 AM
Ian G
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Yesterday, I called Bristish Air and for 50,000 could get 1) free RT from LA to London 2) $2,400 in Business Class by surrendering miles. Called this a.m. and got a different operator, different story, and different prices. "Nothing available...at all!" It doesn't seem I can ever do anything with these miles. I know I waited until 6 weeks before my departure, but news today is passengers down over 30% and this is the flexibility they give us? WHAT CAN DO WITH THESE MILES? Has anyone ever attempted using them at flight time for any purpose?
Nov 7th, 2001, 09:02 AM
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I can't speak to BA specifically, but I know when I wanted to use my FF miles for free tickets on Delta I booked a year in advance. Airline travel may be down, but those who booked the few "free" seats available on each flight may not be cancelling. The airlines, in times of trouble, are unlikely to open up more free seats when what they want is revenue. I wouldn't be surprised if
they actually make FF policies even stricter. Even a heavily discounted seat generates more revenue than one that isn't paid for. I agree that it's frustrating, but these bonus miles
are bonuses, not real purchases. Although the airlines certainly do try to lure us into getting involved in their FF programs, don't they?
Nov 7th, 2001, 09:22 AM
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We've used our BA frequent flyer miles several times (LA-London) and had no problems - of course we booked 11-10 months ahead of time tho.
Nov 7th, 2001, 09:33 AM
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I used BA miles once, DC-Heathrow. No problems at all. Did it about 3 months before departure. Doesn't the statement say you need to book well in advance?
Nov 7th, 2001, 09:48 AM
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Just reserved my free Business Class tickets for next summer with American. Also set up for two friends to travel over with us and return separately using their FF American miles to upgrade. We called 10 months in advance. We managed to get our flights over as planned, but had to take our third choice of date for return. This is the first time I haven't called the exact number of days ahead of when they start booking -- I believe that is 320 days? I know of no companies that you will have likelihood of getting your benefits only 6 weeks before going.
Nov 7th, 2001, 10:48 AM
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We're using BA frequent flyer miles to fly to Atlanta from London next week. Booked a few months ago and everything seems to have run smoothly. In fact about a month ago we swapped to Atlanta from New York. We're going on honeymoon and decided to visit the New Orleans area instead. Fiance's heavy business travel schedule means we're able to fly business class, which is really great. We've also flown to Duesseldorf from London with airmiles - again no problems

Nov 7th, 2001, 12:07 PM
Brian in Atlanta
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There is a point fairly close to the flight time that more ff seats are made available (if the flight's not heavily booked). I don't know when that is (maybe 30 days?), but the airlines will much prefer to reduce its ff liability (i.e. let you use miles) then let seats go empty.

Try again a couple weeks before the flight, but don't expect to get already sold out or highly desirable flights.

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