FF ?

Old Mar 7th, 2003, 12:19 PM
  #1  
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FF ?

What airline is the MOST difficult to redeem FF miles on?

Continental seems next to impossible for me.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 12:33 PM
  #2  
Dan
 
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I rarely have a problem on Continental. I think it depends on where you want to go, when you want to go, how flexible you are and if you're willing to use the extra miles to get "standard" awards as opposed to the lower-mileage ones.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 12:49 PM
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All airlines have certain problems with that issue depending on the destination, the class of service you want, etc... It's very difficult to get an award ticket on AA to Hawaii, and I assume that's true for any other airline that flies there. LAX-LHR and JFK-LHR are difficult routes on AA to upgrade using miles, since they're such a heavy business routes. Trying to get first class ticket on Qantas from LAX to SYD or MEL is difficult. I can't speak for other domestic airlines as I fly AA exclusively, but I hardly ever have too many problems, because I take the time to do some research, pick the right flights and try to reserve as early as possible. Having an elite status with the airline helps as well.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 01:06 PM
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I think it's much easier for the airlines premier flyers..they get first crack.

I was able to get 2 first class tickets to Australia/New Zealand on United....but I had to book 11 mos out to get them.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:13 PM
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I've been having difficulty getting the restricted coach award seats on Northwest or Continental using NW miles this year regardless of my itinerary. And I'm usually VERY flexible with dates of travel. In some instances I've checked several weeks with not one single restricted award seat. It seemed like it was much easier in previous years. I'm considering not even accumulating NW mileage anymore. The only thing they seem to be good for are the 5000 mile interisland awards on Hawaiian.

Delta still works well for me.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:30 PM
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I had a favorable experience with Continental. Used miles to book a flight from Newark to Honolulu. They had quite a few dates available and was able to get exactly what I wanted (non-stop flight using the Standard award as opposed to EasyPass). Did it about 6 months beforehand, but I checked today and they still have seats availabe for the flight using miles.

This was my first time using miles.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 04:35 PM
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Oh, also wanted to say that IMO Continental's online page for reserving FF tickets is user friendly and easy to look for what's available.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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I have to agree with Patty regarding NW. I could not get anything going out of 4 origin cities in FL for the entire summer to anywhere. I've decided that I'm going to attempt to book for June 2004 in July 2003. We have to use our miles. We are also considering dropping the various mileage accumulating programs, ie credit cards, etc. Just not working out.
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Old Mar 7th, 2003, 07:40 PM
  #9  
 
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flyertalk.com has thousands of posts about frequent flyer programs. In my opinion, the concensus is Continental is difficult. People have also reported American and Delta are bad.

Continental does have seats but they want you to redeem it with double miles (unrestricted awards)
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 05:20 AM
  #10  
Dan
 
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One thing I'll add about Continental. The 25,000-mile domestic awards require a Saturday night stay, which isn't always possible. I was thinking about visiting a friend next week in NYC but can't stay over a Saturday, so I'll just buy a ticket instead.
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Old Mar 8th, 2003, 09:24 AM
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All the FF programs have restrictions. As time passes and marketing programs (bonus miles, etc.) attract more folks the airlines have to deal with increasing demand from a larger pool of flyers with more miles to spend. Net result is more competition for available seats. Especially as all airlines deal with the currently horrendous economic conditions, it may be tougher to get seats without lots of flexibility and advance planning. Also, sometimes FF seats are only released at the last minute, as airlines try to sell as many seats as they can.
CO's OnePass program is consistently rated very highly, wins lots of industry awards. Agree with puddy their online reward ticketing is great. They also seem to have the best trained phone service agents. I have given up on AA after service consistent only in its inconsistency, and Delta is fair at best. NWA partners with CO, and I've had good pretty good luck with them but go through CO to book the travel.
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 09:55 AM
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We redeemed miles last August on United for a trip to Bali this coming June. My wife's miles went toward a Business Class ticket from Hartford, CT. My miles went toward a Business Class upgrade from Hartford to Bangkok. The Bangkok - Bali leg is on Thai Airways, part of the Star Alliance. United won't upgrade on other airlines in the Star Alliance although you can get a free ticket. I am purchasing a business class ticket from Bangkok to Bali (not that expensive).

Even when purchasing 10 months in advance, we were not able to get our first choice of dates. For our second choice of dates, my wife has a Coach ticket from Hartford to Chicago because the free Business Class ticket was unavailable. However, she is waitlisted for Business Class. In the past these upgrades have freed up closer to the departure date. I could not purchase my upgraded ticket at the lowest fare and ended up spending about $400 more for an upgradable ticket. It will cost me about $2200 total to fly business class to Bali--still worth it IMO.

We accept that our only choice with ff miles is to work with whatever rules the "system" presents. We are not frequent fliers and rack up most of our points with our credit cards.

That all being said, if the Iraq war is a prolonged one, if violence and/or terrorism reappears in Bali or if United goes completely under we are SOL for this vacation anyway.
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Old Mar 10th, 2003, 10:01 AM
  #13  
rnc
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It's got to be different for each individual,but for me,Delta is the WORST. Most red tape and restrictions.

American has worked well for me,but as a previous poster said,depends on the route and time of travel that can differ.
 
Old Mar 10th, 2003, 11:16 AM
  #14  
 
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By FAR, the easiest to use FF program is Southwest! If there is an open seat on the flight you want, you are ON! Once you earn your 14 credits, they even mail you the voucher for your freebie. Amazing!

I've used AA for round-trip from DFW to Shannon, Ireland, and I had to literally book it 364 days in advance to get the flights I wanted between AA and Aer Lingus. When Aer Lingus changed their schedule and caused my connections to no longer work, AA rebooked me on whatever was available and I had to return through JFK instead of Boston as I had wanted. Hey, I got to Ireland and back for $75, so I shouldn't complain.
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