Advice on first award booking (SFO-Germany in J)

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by mangoMan, Jul 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. mangoMan

    mangoMan Silver Member

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    Hi. I'm getting ready to do my first ever UA/CO award booking. I hope to book 4 one-way business SFO to Germany (HAJ, FRA, TXL, HAM, or DUS) awards for sometime near the beginning of July 2012. I have no UA/CO status. We'll do the return using AA miles.

    I'm going to start looking at the 330-day window, but does J award inventory generally appear then, or is there a lag? On AA I've noticed a ~2 week lag in the past.

    For tools, I plan on using the CO website and I'll probably subscribe to EF. Any other recommended tools?

    For airlines, I figure LH is my best bet. From what I gather, getting LX isn't likely. And from poking around on COs website for dates in June, I've noticed UA has essentially nothing. Any other suggestions? I think Singapore flies JFK-FRA - any chances getting that for the TATL segment?

    Any other advice is appreciated! Thanks MP :)
     
  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    You won't get 4 premium cabin seats on SQ. ;)

    Lufthansa is indeed your best bet. 330 days out you may have luck LAX-FRA. But check all sorts of routes, DTW-FRA and ORD-DUS often have nice availability.

    Expertflyer won't help with Lufthansa.
     
  3. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Use KVS to do your search. As for availability on LX, you can find seats on SFO-ZRH and connect from there on LH, but the LX seats generally don't show up until the last minute. I know, I've been looking for them myself. Book something else and check back for LX starting a week before your departure, but then you'll have to pay change fees without status.
     
  4. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    If time permits, and space is available, take advantage of Air New Zealand's LAX-LHR flight. NZ offers a top-of-the-line service, and you should be able to get decent connections on both ends.
     
  5. bonnerbl
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    bonnerbl Gold Member

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    I just booked 2 coach award tickets LH SFO-FRA-CDG for 6/10/12 and it wasn't easy. You better start checking asap!!
     
  6. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Any opinion on NZ vs VS for LAX-LHR?
     
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  7. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    NZ, hands down. Even though the hard products are identical (NZ uses the VS J seat, and pays VS royalties to do so), NZ has a MUCH better soft product -- better catering, far more attentive cabin staff, etc.
     
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  8. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    NZ isn't easy to find award inventory on, though. Especially FOUR seats, during high season for travel to Europe. The odds are much better at finding 4 business class seats on LH.
     
  9. mangoMan

    mangoMan Silver Member

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    Will the Continental site show NZ inventory? Even still, I'm not sure I want to connect at LAX and then again at LHR. LH seems to be my best bet and right now I can see 4 J saver awards available in June on some dates. Hopefully the same will be true when my dates are loaded in the system.

    Regarding the 'high season' to Europe comment. I understand it is high season for vacationers, but I always thought it was low season for business travelers, hence the summer biz sales. So it seems reasonable to think that biz award inventory would be better in the summer than at other times, although this is probably not the case.
     
  10. mangoMan

    mangoMan Silver Member

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    Change fee is $75x4 in my case, so I don't think an extra $300 would be worth it just to fly LX and get fully flat seat vs. slanted lie-flat. Unless award inventory shows up 21 days prior - it looks like then the change fee is $0. Is that true even if changing carriers? On AA that triggers a fee.
     
  11. mangoMan

    mangoMan Silver Member

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    Well that was easy. Got 4 biz awards on continental.com on LH flying SFO-FRA-HAJ.

    Can anyone tell me how to select seats on LH - continental.com wouldn't let me do it. Thanks!
     
  12. Hartmann
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    Hartmann Gold Member

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    Call CO and ask for the LH record locator. You'll then be able to choose seats on Lufthansa.com
     

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