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Can I use FF miles to upgrade to first class?

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Dec 11th, 2004, 12:59 PM
  #1
cd
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Can I use FF miles to upgrade to first class?

Really stupid question but I've never done this so I know nothing about it. I have 60,000 FF miles. If I purchase tickets for Europe, can I upgrade to first class with my miles? If possible, how do I do it? Thank you!
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:04 PM
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I think before anyone can answer we'd first have to know what airline or system you have your miles with. And are you talking about upgrading a full fare coach ticket to First Class for 60,000? I don't think so? I can upgrade a coach fare to business Class on American for 90,000. And if it was a reduced fare I'd also have to pay an additional $250 to do that.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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Here's an idea. Check the website of your airline--the info is there somewhere. Each airline has a different requirement for this.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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<<how do I do it?>>

Call the airline and ask. You may be able to, or not. You may be able to if you pay a supplement on top of that, or not. Read the FF program information....and call the airline.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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cd
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Thanks Patrick, you've just answered my question. My FF is on my credit card and can be used with any airline.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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cd
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Also, thanks to StCirq and Betsy.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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It may well be that you have 60,000 "points" that can be converted to FF "miles" on (most) any airline (1:1 basis?) - - and once converted, you will be subject to the rules of the FF program of that airline.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Dec 11th, 2004, 01:27 PM
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cd
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That's how I see it Rex. Thanks.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 03:40 PM
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With US Airways, I was able to buy a regular tourist class ticket to Europe and upgrade by expending 60,000 frequent flier miles. I was not allowed to do the upgrade with a restricted ticket.

Obviously emptying the miles bank was a good idea.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 03:48 PM
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<My FF is on my credit card and can be used with any airline.>

I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that you have one of those reward cards where they actually purchase a ticket on any airline in exchange for x number of miles? If that's the case, then those miles cannot be used to upgrade. Or are you saying that you have something like Amex Membership Rewards where you can transfer your points to any participating ff program? If you let us know which specific card you have, we could provide better answers.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 05:51 PM
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Having done this before: to upgrade to F Class, you need to purchase a Buisness Class ticket and add your miles and depending on seat availability for upgrades, you can get bumped up. You can only go up 1 class by using miles as an upgrade. If I am wrong, please correct me. The miles supplement only works well during low season. Only so many seats are available using FF miles upgrades. However, it is the best way to use your miles.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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A question that has absolutely nothing to do with the original message. I always find really cheap fares "probably Q class" or something. How much more would it cost to go business class. I frequntly get cheap tickets to Europe from Seattle for $400-$450.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 11:14 PM
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After you do your research regarding rules for specific card, airline - even if you fall within rules so that you CAN upgrade, it does not mean there will be an upgrade available. Depending on your fare class, etc. - you will likely be at the end of the list of those eligible to upgrade and they may all be taken - so don't buy ticket planning that you can upgrade for certain.
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Dec 11th, 2004, 11:35 PM
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Aisleseat - A business class fare from the US to the Europe is usually around $4,000. One airline that has occassional sale is Continental, for about $2,000. But you'll have to connect at Houston or Newark.
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Dec 12th, 2004, 01:27 AM
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And the ins and outs of all this stuff can probably be found on flyertalk.com
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Dec 12th, 2004, 05:16 AM
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AisleSeat, one of the things I like best about American Airlines is that they will upgrade on any ticket, regardless of how cheap it was. Although they now add on a $250 upgrade fee, you can upgrade with the appropriate miles on any ticket. What's more you can call them when you are ready to book the cheap ticket and make sure that there is an upgrade seat available on that flight.
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Dec 12th, 2004, 06:15 AM
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United and USAirways will not upgrade in our experience in October.
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Dec 12th, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Hey AisleSeat, could you disclose your source(s) for those $400-$450 fares to Europe from Seattle? Would like to check your source(s) for fares from the SF Bay area to Europe.
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Dec 12th, 2004, 06:28 AM
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Patrick,

I believe you meant 50K miles plus $500 for a R/T?

Not 90K miles plus $250.
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Dec 12th, 2004, 07:15 AM
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Betsy, in case AisleSeat is sleeping in, here's a handy link for very quick fare searches:

http://dps1.travelocity.com/dreamMap...ce=TRAVELOCITY

For Seattle low fares to Europe, just plug SEA into the departure city box. The default map to appear will be the U.S., but you can just hit "Western Europe" from the selections above the map and set the maximum fare to whatever you want. (It doesn't really matter, since the lowest fares will come up anyway.) Click on the city/fare on the European map and you will be able to see who is offering the fare. Then hit "select" and a calendar will come up to pick departure and return dates.

Upside: You can get a high-level view of the lowest fares available quickly, although some may be very limited in availability, dates, routings, etc.

Downside: The fare you see on the map will not include some taxes & fees. Fares at these prices often sell out, so it's often a case of "the early bird". Since the site may not be updated as sales progress, you may see something that you just can't book within your parameters -- even though it may have looked like it should be there at first blush.

It's not a perfect system, but it's pretty good. I've sometimes seen fares pop up from airlines that clearly don't serve the market in question -- even through codeshares. It's just a glitch that sometimes happens.

Keep in mind that you can often use the tool to research and the same fares will be available through the airline's own website.

Just looking at SEA, for example, it appears there are some European destinations that you should be able to book for less than $500 with all taxes included. Have fun!
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