Award Booking Question

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by mooeyjc, Jul 18, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. mooeyjc

    mooeyjc Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status Points:
    80
    If this is the wrong place for the thread, Moderator please move the post.

    I am considering a trip Houston - Munich - Prague - Barcelona- Houston in the mid-2015. I think now might be a good time start looking at the schedule and try to picture out the airline routes and hotel booking.

    I checked United, AA and BA. What would make the most sense as far as using which airline to travel to Europe? People frequently talk about using Avios to fly on BA or using AA miles. I did a preliminary search and I could easily find some award space in AA or United from IAH-Munich and from BCN-IAH (not direct flight), but I am not sure if it is the best value. If points from United, MR or AA is not an issue, which airline would you go for?

    Another problem is I am not entirely sure how do I go from Munich to Prague, maybe by train. This is a relative minor issue, but would certainly appreciate if anyone have done that to shard some light. Then how do I put together the flight from Prague to Barcelona? Would this short haul be able to included into my international leg in one award?

    Hotel wise, Any recommendations for the three cities? I am thinking about doing SPG in Munich and Prague, and probably IHG in Barcelona? I noticed there aren't many hotel chain choices in Barcelona.

    I am sorry that I have so many noob questions. I have been collecting points for a while but all I did as far as booking wise just round-trip tickets. I have never tried the complicated routes. Would really appreciate if pros on the forum could help me with some tips.

    TIA!
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,232
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    If you can get the awards at the saver level and you have the points then book it and count it a victory.

    If it is a United award then you can add a stopover and open jaw so fly Houston-Munich then Prague-Barcelona and then Barcelona-Houston as a single award. If you go with Avios then you pay per segment flown. If you go with AA it is per one-way trip (any time you stop more than 24 hours you pay anew).
     
    mooeyjc and edekba like this.
  3. mooeyjc

    mooeyjc Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status Points:
    80
    Thank you Aramean! So using United makes the most sense as far as total points needed?
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,232
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    For the itinerary you've described I believe so. But it also depends on which cabin you want to travel in and where you can find open seats.
     
    mooeyjc and edekba like this.
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    I was going to say for something like this UA seems good. From MUC to PRG you could train or maybe use Avios for airBerlin flights ... but train would be a better value I think.

    Then again AA offpeak EU is also a pretty good deal. 40k RT + train MUC-PRG & maybe Vueling PRG-BCN (not sure if this is bookable via Avios) vs UA 60k RT ...

    depends on what your balance is I guess.

    In terms of hotels ... ClubCarlson (w/the CreditCard) is pretty good everywhere in Europe. MUC, PRG & BCN all have CC properties.
     
    mooeyjc likes this.
  6. mooeyjc

    mooeyjc Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status Points:
    80
    Thank you edekba! Yes I have the ClubCarlson card, will definitely look into that!

    Would around May 2015 considered offpeak for EU? 40RT including Houston to Munich and Barcelona back to Houston? So it is one open jaw for AA as well?
    I think me and wife will probably take the train.
     
  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
    Europe: October 15 - May 15 // http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/free-ticket-award-chart.jsp

    AA doesn't have stopovers or openjaws anymore. Basically youll be booking 2 OneWays. USA-MUC & BCN to USA.

    Stay in 2 night increments ... and if you & your wife both have the card is BOGO as long as you have enough points.
     
  8. mooeyjc

    mooeyjc Active Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    14
    Status Points:
    80
    Thank you! That award chart is very helpful!
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,232
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Even at two night stays and BOGO the rates can be high, especially in the big cities.
     
    edekba likes this.
  10. Boraxo

    Boraxo Silver Member

    Messages:
    145
    Likes Received:
    139
    Status Points:
    420
    You can also join IC ambassador club for $200 and get a bogo cert. Sometimes the rates are steep but the Prague hotel is great and takes good care of ambassadors. Or get a Chase IC card for $49 a year which comes with a renewal free night at any IC plus 80k points I think. For Munich you could use priceline - many good hotels - we got her marriott for $60/nt though that was a few years ago.

    There is no good way to get from Prague to Munich other than by train.. No discount airlines, horrendous connections etc. the train is only 6 hours and quite tolerable though the Prague station is not a great place to wait.
     
  11. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,526
    Likes Received:
    8,765
    Status Points:
    7,270
    SPG has some very nice properties in BCN.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,232
    Likes Received:
    61,782
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I'm not a fan of the location of either the W or the Le Meridian.
     
  13. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,526
    Likes Received:
    8,765
    Status Points:
    7,270
    I haven't stayed at the W but my wife and I liked the feel and location of LM. Our room didn't face Las Ramblas so no noise issues.
     
  14. drsteve

    drsteve Active Member

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    4
    Status Points:
    90
    We stayed at The Grand Derby in Barcelona.They are part of small luxury hotels of the world.Excellent hotel and location.All the rooms are suites and beautifully done.There are 2 so make sure you get the all suite one.
     

Share This Page