Advice: waiting for last minute award

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by fcgoal, Aug 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. fcgoal

    fcgoal Active Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    65
    Looking for some advice from experienced award ticket fliers. My husband and I would like to leave the kids with my parents and fly to Europe in October. We are not that fussy about which city we go to (although we do have preferences: Vienna, Berlin, Paris). Our main criterion is that we want to avoid hefty surcharges. We have a decent amount of UR, MR, and BA points, and a few Lufthansa.
    So, I am thinking of picking the dates for my parents to come down, and then waiting until 2-3 weeks beforehand and decide where we go based on what's available in that semi-last minute window. This is as a result of finding very little business class availability to anywhere in Europe during that time frame at the moment.
    Am I right thinking that surely some flights will become available for somewhere nice to visit in Europe (without paying more than a couple hundred dollars in surcharges per ticket)?
     
  2. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    If you're willing to pay "a couple of hundred in surcharges" that pretty much opens all carriers to you.
     
  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Be mindful that there is no set of rules as to when/why award seats become open. You should keep your eye open regularly.
     
  4. fcgoal

    fcgoal Active Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    65
    Thanks for your responses, I will be sure to keep checking regularly just in case.
    :) As to a couple hundred dollars opening just about every airline up to us, it rules out BA (where we've got the most miles), and just about any Miles&More airline. I had no luck finding anything on Iberia or AirBerlin, and we are going to be flying to the UK via Ireland at Christmas, so didn't bother looking for Aer Lingus space. But you're right, there are quite a few options.
    I guess I didn't say that we are leaving from ORD, and want to fly somewhere nonstop, since it's only going to be a trip of a few days. So, that also narrows down the choices.
     
  5. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,749
    Likes Received:
    2,117
    Status Points:
    1,270
    You didn't mention if you are elite - in which case that airline will let you make changes without fees. United, for one, tends to open a lot of inventory for saver business at the last minute (1-3 days prior to travel) and I have made reservations on UA, but changed to LH at the last minute when seats became available a few days before departure. If you aren't elite it may still be worth the change fee (eg book ord-dul-cdg and if there is an ord-cdg that doesn't have availability now it could open up, but you have to be prepared to take what you've booked if it doesn't)
     
  6. fcgoal

    fcgoal Active Member

    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    65
    I have no elite status, but good point that it may be smarter to book a plan B and hope to be able to change it to something more attractive later. Thanks.
     
  7. Sfmom

    Sfmom Silver Member

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    33
    Status Points:
    150
    I am very, very new at this, but I'm looking to travel with my family to Europe next summer (peak), likely on stingy-til-the-last-minute United. I initially booked anything I could find - wrong date, bad routing - and just moved it - much better date, worse routing. My plan is to eventually crawl to the day I want, then probably a few days before hopefully the route I want. We're planning to apply for the United Club card in the meantime, which I believe waives any fee for changing bookings on the days before the flight (we also think the 1.5 miles to the dollar will be beneficial for us). Getting multiple seats on the same flight is so much harder. I did pay for the premium membership with ExpertFlyer - it will notify me if my goal flights come open and it found the new routing for me. Good luck!
     

Share This Page