Award booking, did i miss any options?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Dangjr213, Mar 15, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I'm trying to plan out my award bookings for my 2013 vacations and plan to use UR points. SInce this is my first award booking (besides Rapid Rewards booking i made last week), I was hoping some of you experts can see if I missed anything.

    First trip - I'm taking a 5 day cruise out of Miami on 1/21/13-1/26/13. I like to arrive a day before because I worry about missing the ship, so i want to fly in on 1/20 (anytime) and depart on 1/26 (after 12pm). Because Carnival has a shuttle from FLL to the port of Miami, i can fly to either MIA or FLL. If i fly to FLL the increased shuttle cost is $64 for two people roudn trip. Here are what i think my options are:

    1. Book using UR Points SAT to MIA (55,054 UR points)
    2. Book using UR Points SAT to FLL + shuttle to port (68,494 UR points + $64)
    3. Transfer points to Southwest - book SAT to FLL + shuttle to port (44,162 points + $15 + $64)
    4. Transfer to United book SAT to MIA (75,0000 points no saver awards avialable +$20)
    5. Transfer to United book SAT to FLL + shuttle to port (75,000 points + $20 + $64)
    6. Transfer to British Airways book SAT to MIA (no award flights available)
    7. Transfer to British Airways book SAT to FLL + shuttle to port (no award flights avialable)

    So did I miss any other options using UR points? Should I try finding flihgts from another airport, say Ausint or Houston and drive there to fly out. I only have UR points so that is my only option. I couldn't find any awards on BA, but I'm also not 100% sure I knew how to look cause i also couldn't find award tickets to LAS.

    Second Trip - Cruise from San Juan, Puerto Rico in September 2013

    It's to early to see award availability, but here are what i think my options are

    1. Book using UR points
    2. Transfer to United
    3. Transfer to BA


    Thanks!
     
  2. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    That late return makes it tough, but if you could spend the night in Miami, you could buy a ticket for $334. I'd rather spend $334 than 55K UR points. But you could probably also book for fewer UR points if you come home on that Monday. So that's my vote.

    I haven't used BA points to book on AA under the new system at BA, but I suspect that could work well also.
     
  3. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    the late flight is why it would cost me so many United points, they have a super saver avialable but it leaves at 8am and we'll still be on the ship. My wife is all for staying an extra day, but I just don't have the vacation time. We have a 5 day cruise from MIA in January, a 7 day cruise from MIA in April, and a 7 day crusie from San Juan in September. I get three weeks vacation and i accounted for every single one. The whole reason i got into points/miles is because we've done all the ships that are within a days driving distance from San Antonio.
     
  4. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    How difficult would it be to fly in/out of Houston? AA has a direct IAH-MIA flight that could save a ton of points if you book via BA. But it could be a bit of a drive depending on where you are.

    You pay quite a premium for connecting options (SAT-DFW-MIA), so if you can get to DFW or IAH, you could save a ton of UR points.


    When you looked for using UA points, did you look at US Airways SAT-CLT-MIA/FLL? If US has saver award available, you can use UA miles to book that.
     
  5. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Again, I don't know how BA miles work on AA, but I did find this, for 25K AA miles (lowest level):

    SAT-DFW-MIA 6 AM to 11:30 AM

    MIA-PNS-DFW-SAT Leaves MIA at 3:35 PM and gets in at 9:45 PM

    Presumably, you could use BA miles to make that same itinerary happen.
     
  6. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    OK - I guess I'm just to curious - it's 24K Avios points and $10US, but that gets you on a flight leaving at 6:50 AM. I couldn't see the other flight on BA's website. But you might be able to get it with a phone call. They're decent on the phone - but I think they have a phone booking charge.
     
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  7. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    BA charges per segment, so having more connections raises the price. However, they are distance-based, so this itinerary is not too much more expensive since it's TX to FL and not something like CA to FL.

    SAT-DFW: 4500 Avios
    DFW-MIA: 7500 Avios

    MIA-PNS: 4500 Avios
    PNS-DFW: 4500 Avios
    DFW-SAT: 4500 Avios
    ----------
    Total: 25500 Avios

    OP, if you have AmEx Membership Rewards points, they just announed a 50% bonus to BA today until May 31. This itinerary would be only 17000 MR points.
     
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  8. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Originally I thought flying out of IAH wouldn't be a problem, but after talking to my wife I'd have to save a lot of points. It would need to cover the tank of gas to get there and back plus parking at the airport. My mother in law lives 7 mins from the airport here in SAT so she always drops us off.
     
  9. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    How did you even get that flight to show up? The BA site tells me there are no partner awards available?
     
  10. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Is that per person? How did you get those flights to show up on BA.com? I guess I'm doing it wrong. Do I look up each segment separately? If that's the case how did you know which airports to connect in?

    At the moment all I have is UR points. I just started collecting points in January and started with the southwest, freedom, and sapphire preferred.
     
  11. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Then you're down to 15K Avios (each) so that's pretty good, but I can't see award availability through BA's website for a flight late enough for you.

    Confirmed on AA - latest flight with award seats is 10:35 AM.

    You could get up early and get back to IAH at 9:55 AM on Monday. How long is the drive from IAH to your office? Miss a half day?
     
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  12. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Not really sure - did you log in first? Seems to work fine for me. I don't think there's a secret to it. I just did it again for the last search in IAH.
     
  13. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Problem solver, I like it. IAH Is 3 hours away so half day works.
     
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  14. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Great - so you save a lot of points and get a fun night in Miami with your wife. Now you just need a hotel room . . .
     
  15. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Already have cash set aside for a room. Was planning on just using Priceline
     
  16. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    I was able to recreate all of the segments above. Once I put each segment in individually, it showed up on BA's site. But the numbers I got were twice as high. For instance SAT-DFW was 9000 for two people. So the total was 51000 points, looks like I'm still better off transferring to WN and flying to FLL.
     
  17. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    For the 15K option, I was doing IAH-MIA, which is a non-stop on AA, so one segment as far as pricing out in BA's structure.
     
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  18. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    Found it thanks. Looks like I could still come back on the 26th and save 1k points. Would get into IAH at midnight. Could stay the night, drive back and make it to work even earlier.

    Now hopefully the flights are still there in a few days. I should have enough points to book after my statement closes tmrw
     
  19. blase

    blase Silver Member

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    You know you can book two one-ways, right? So transfer some of your UR points into BA miles and then some elsewhere, depending on what works each way.

    Looking at BA.com, on 1/20 I see a very simple AA flight, SAT-DFW-MIA, leaving at 6 a.m. and arriving in MIA at 11:50. That would be 24000 BA miles (aka 24000 UR points) and $10 for the two of you. Then maybe wait for Southwest's schedule to open up (they only go out til November 2nd right now) and perhaps there will be a cheaper option for flying home on the 26th.

    It looks like you recently signed up for the Southwest card (you mention it above along with the Freedom and Sapphire). Did you get the 50,000 RR points for sign up? Did you already use them?
     
  20. Dangjr213

    Dangjr213 Gold Member

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    It never occurred to me to fly back on a different carrier. Sounds like its a good idea if I can get carnival's shuttle service to pick me up/drop me off at two different airports.

    I did get the 50k RR points for signing up. I used them two weeks ago to hold me two flights for my upcoming trip to Vegas. I'm hoping the price of the package comes down some so that I can book the backage and cancel the award tickets. I wanted to have a backup plan in case the prices didn't come down so I booked the award. Is that frowned apron here? Because I'm holding an award seat someone else could have booked?
     
  21. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    That's very conscientious of you, but no, I don't think anyone here would advice you to NOT hold that seat!
     
  22. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    That would lead to an interesting question - if one holds an award seat that one does not need anymore, but in order to avoid paying the redeposition fee, wait (and hope) for a schedule change in order to cancel without penalty - ethical or not? (just an hypothesis case folks!)
     
  23. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    I wouldn't do it just because I'd be too worried that I'd forget - but I guess there isn't always a penalty for that.

    But I'd just do it to be done - one less thing to think about.
     
  24. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I'm doing that exact thing with an unnecessary Delta/Air France business award. I can either pay $150 now, $150 later, or cancel for free later if there's a schedule change (so long as its 72 hours before). Rules are rules and I'm following them to try and save $$$$.
     
  25. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Make sure to set some calendar reminders at T-72 and earlier in case you forget! That would be a costly mistake for a terrible rule.
     
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