150K AA need to book for Paris/Italy

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by moneyplays, Jun 7, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. moneyplays

    moneyplays New Member

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    So I am so new to this. 20 years of earning points. 153,000 points looking to fly 2 people to Paris and home from Rome. Travel is September 2016. When do I book? Want to go business class. Want a seat that actually lies flat. When can I book and what do I need to know to increase my chances for a better flight from LAX?
     
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  2. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Welcome to MilePoint, moneyplays.

    We need a bit more information in order to give you our best advice. For instance, what sort of "points" are these? Are they airline program miles, or hotel points, or marketing points (like "Thank You Points")? Are they all the same, or scattered in different types of points? Are they all in the same account?
     
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  3. moneyplays

    moneyplays New Member

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    Sorry, 153,000 points on American Airlines most accrued with credit card purchases. Also have 17,000 points with B of A Elite Rewards credit card but they are going to expire within a matter of weeks.
     
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  4. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    1) You don't have enough points for 2 round trip business class seats to Europe on AA(or their partners) that requires a total of 200 k miles.
    perhaps you could fly coach one-way and business the other.

    2) AA does not release awards earlier than 320 days out (actually 322 if you phone in)
    so you will not be able to start looking until around Nov 2015.
    Note there is no guarantee seats will be released exactly on day 320... sometimes
    they are actually put into the system up to 2 weeks later.
    Does give you some time to charge up on the cards to earn more miles by then.:)

    3) Your destination cities are the two most desired ( read hard to get) on AA so you
    might want to look about connecting in LHR (flying AA or BA) or MAD ( flying AA or
    Iberia) both options especially the former are likely to incur higher charges even if
    you manage to avoid the rapacious BA YQ charges.

    Good luck :)
     
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Or Aer Lingus through DUB :) eventually...
     
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  6. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    3 months, is a little tight for a real lay flat flight....

    150,000 miles, just 3 credit cards, not a problem...

    After 20 years of doing this, I know how one must feel....

    I would book economy, and try to upgrade...
     
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  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    15M OP stated 9/2016 :)

    OP has plenty of time to get more miles... (3M or so) and then book something if it comes up.
     
  8. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Actually the has two other airline options which I didn't bother to mention and which may add a number of segments depending on he starting point:
    AY (Finnair) through JFK to Helsinki or AB (Air Berlin) through MIA/JFK (and ORD??) through Dusseldorf.
     
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  9. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    AB also has LAX - DUB seasonally ... :)
     
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  10. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I don't want to pimp a random blog on this topic but Travel Codex has a current series on this topic that might be helpful.
    http://travelcodex.com/2015/06/avoi...utm_campaign=Feed:+travelcodex+(Travel+Codex)

    I personally think you should try to pump up your miles some by trying to get another credit card sign up bonus with AA to hit the 200,000 mile mark. That will make finding low level lie flat seats possible.

    The main key things in my personal opinion and experience are:
    1. Look at booking 2 one way tickets like LAX-CDG and then return FCO-LAX instead of search for an open jaw round trip. I just think it will be easier and maybe less in taxes.
    2. Try to avoid connections in London because of taxes
    3. Avoid any British Airways flights because of massive fuel surcharges (YQ).
    4. Try to book as far out as you can (320 days) and be flexible with your dates and days of the week.
    5. You will likely find better AA vs BA availability on better aircraft (with better seats) on midweek flights usually in my experience
    6. When you do find a flight that works for your schedule research the aircraft using seatguru or another source to make sure the "lay flat" seats arent really "angled flat" which aren't nearly as nice.
    7. Make sure your passports are in order and won't expire within 6 months of your travel date
    8. You may need to pay for a positioning flight to say PHX of SFO to have more selection although I would think LAX would have many good options.
    9. If you avoid London and BA your still looking at taxes in the couple hundred dollar range I would think.
    10. I couldn't think of a 10 but I guess maybe make sure you have your travel between Paris and Rome factored in. There are many options such as low cost air carriers and trains.
     
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  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Taxes will only be bad on the way back ... not going to EU i think?
     
  12. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    If you need 50K points fast - apply for Citi MAstercard 30,000 AA bonus. Both you and wife that's 60,000 points to go with 150K.......which will give you the 200,000 point total to fly business.
     
  13. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Correct the taxes if the OP is able to fly on AA outbound direct to CDG or MAD is $5.60 each.
    Returning from CDG its about $130.00 and MAD About $48.
    So if the OP is able to secure awards on AA as per his stated itinerary above his total taxes for the two pax would be just over $100.00
    Insert an IB leg in the above then he will have a YQ charge but nothing like BA.
     
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  14. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    USA to Europe tax on FF economy coach tickets is $5.00 into Europe.

    Return is a bit more complex as each country charges a different fares to exit:

    France - $81
    Germany- $96


    SO it rounds out to $101.00 in taxes in coach....not sure if taxes are higher in business.
     
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  15. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    STAY out of UK!!!! TAXES will kill you.

    AA has connecting flights to Paris visa JFK and even PHL I think.
     
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  16. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    The taxes I quoted above were for C class awards.:)
    In addition the taxes are not country specific ( but rather by airport) for example the taxes flying from DUS to the US can be $30.00 or more less than that from FRA.
     
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  17. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Not on AA.

    Specifically I told $81 in France and $96 in Germany when flying to USA.
     
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  18. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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  19. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I am not sure what you are talking about and where exactly you are getting that information.
    I not "guessing" or relating what I think "somebody told me":rolleyes: The information posted came directly from a test booking of currently available C class awards on April 8, 2016 on AA.com and in turn confirmed the tax breakdown on ita.com

    FYI I did test bookings for FRA and DUS/MIA on both AA (and AB) MAD/DFW and CDG/MIA on aa.com
     
  20. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Can you do a test from Seattle?

    That is where my AA tax information came from.
     
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  21. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I could not find an available award DUS/SEA to compare the taxes.

    But a quick check on paid C class tickets FRA/SEA connecting in DFW C on AA taxes about $134.00
    DUS/SEA connecting in MIA about $114... about $5 of the above charges are for the connecting airport (same in both cases)
    the taxes and other charges should be identical to that for awards.

    The taxes (and airport charges) for a coach ticket was the same as for a business class ticket
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
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  22. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Ok.

    What I found leaving seattle connecting in PHL to Europe was about $5 outbound.
    But return varied per country which also connected in PHL.

    Thanks
     
  23. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Here is a real world example of taxes. I just booked two business class award tickets from Kansas City (MCI) to Dublin Ireland (DUB) via LHR. So it's AA metal via DFW to LHR and then a BA connecting flight. The flight on the way per ticket is $107.10 in taxes and I believe some slight YQ from BA. The return is $146.10 per ticket. The YQ is included and I assume some departure taxes on the return to make it higher. My point is not to be specific but just an example of how it may cost a few hundred in taxes. I touched the third rail London/BA so it had a big impact but less so than BA across the Atlantic would have.
    In comparison I had two round trip business awards from Kansas City to Paris via PHL booked on US Air in February that had $156.10 in taxes for both tickets all in. I have two round trip award tickets on AA (First going and Business on return) from KC to Hong Kong via DFW that cost $88 for both tickets.
    Your taxes and fees will vary depending on the airlines and airports involved. Sometimes the country and visa on arrival or departure fees will come into play (yes I'm talking to you South America). It pays to do your homework if your going to sweat the fees and taxes. My rule of thumb is don't book Brazil, Russia or China since I don't have a visa for those. Stay off long haul BA flights and don't visit London if possible :)
    I don't have many miles outside Oneworld so I know there are other YQ airlines like BA though.
     
  24. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Correct taxes will vary especially if you go through the UK!!!! (DON't)!

    I am surprised the KC-->Paris via PHL taxes is $156.10. I was quoted only $86 SEA-PHL-PRAIS-PHL-Sea.
     
  25. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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