Award Travel to London April - May 2016

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by DJP_707, Sep 24, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Trying to find (2) first class awards from Bos to LHR to CGD. Or the last leg could be a separate purchase. When I search AA (have 300K miles) the only options I get are BA flights with 125K round trip plus $1200 in taxes and fees per person. When I search Delta, (have 400K Amex miles for transfer) I can find Virgin Atlantic flights for about the same miles 125K to LHR and 150K to continue to CDG. And the taxes are $315 each to LHR and with a continuation to CDG the taxes go down to only $248...

    So my questions are why are the taxes and fees different between BA and Virgin?
    Why would it be lower to continue on from LHR to CDG?
    I'm leaning towards Virgin flights any insight into Virgin upper class?
     
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  2. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    I would grab 2 Super Savers in J, and look for an upgrade just before departure 50k, would get you in the door one way per person., after that take the train. Do the return departure from CDG

    12,5 will move you up each way., 6 hour flight, not sways a big difference, but FC is always better..

    Enjoy
     
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  3. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    The UK charages a special luxury tax for business/first seats in London. The BA fees are just bull crap fees that started as fuel surcharges and have just lingered. How they get away with them or why anyone would pay them is beyond me.
     
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  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    The LHR ADP tax is based upon distance flown from U.K. If you just connect the same day they don't charge you, but if you do stay a while in London they'll charge you again.

    And yes BA's taxes & Fees incl the mentioned ADP tax + regular airport/duty tax in addition to BA's "Fuel Tax."

    I just spent $2000 for this "fuel tax" and it will probably be my first & only. I had the BA Companion Pass from the BA Visa that we used to fly from SEA->LHR & AMS - Back for 134k Avios + $2000....
     
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  5. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Why not fly to BOS DUB, first...visit a few day and go on...I am consertive, but just happy to visit another place on the bucket list...

    The world is full of taxes, Avios are easy to come by, the $ are not...
     
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  6. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Mainly because we have limited time. My daughter is studying abroad in London and her friend in Paris. So we wanted to spend like 4 days in London and then 4-5 days in Paris.

    We've never been to Europe and just hoped to make good use of the time we have. But the taxes on an award ticket surprised me a lot, how they can differ so much. As well as hotel prices in London which seem to be very high too. I have a lot of IHG points and few nights worth of Hilton points.
     
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  7. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I would suggest the following:
    • Eurostar from London to Paris. Typically about ~$65 per person.
    • Fly home from Paris to avoid the ADP tax out of London if possible.
     
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  8. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    London is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and yes BA will tax you to death there, they pass it on....

    Edekba...has a great idea..and many use it..

    Think Cambridge, how do those kids afford it, Glad it is over..


    Avois are great for AA Short distance runs in the states,
     
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  9. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Right now is still a pretty busy travel period. Hotel prices and award availability often reflect the market at the time when you look, rather than the time you want to travel. So don't be anxious -- you have plenty of time, and you're looking at a very competitive route.
     
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  10. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I disagree.... the OP wants to travel April/May 2016 in First class. ( Neither DL or Virgin has F to LHR or CDG) his options are either BA through BOS or AA and BA through JFK
    Or even possibly AF on a DL award through CDG although I believe DL no longer allows F awards, I could be wrong.
    If he plans to fly business these awards are even harder to secure, but there seems to be decent availability on AA JFK/LHR for his desired period.
    However the awards for that period would have been available for some months now so I strongly suggest that he make a decision as soon as possible or he might find them difficult to secure.

    As far as hotels... award inventory in major cities such as London or Paris is never released closer to the booking dates so I would also lock in some rooms that may work and possibly modify later. April/May is not high season but they are quite far from being low.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
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  11. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Maybe it's a good subject to revisit in January. Sometimes it's hard to resist the herd instinct even in long established and predictable fluctuations like seasonal travel patterns or real estate in FL.
     
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  12. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    upload_2015-9-25_7-21-9.png
    This appears to be my best option I found so far. I really don"t want to pay BA the additional $2000 is taxes/fees.
     
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  13. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Not sure what dates you are looking for but I see a lot of availability on DL BOS/LHR in late April/early May (the period I looked) for 62500 miles and $5.60 taxes one way per person.
    Is there any particular reason you don't want to fly DL?
    Their business class product is quite decent and is not much different from VS.
     
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  14. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    not sure if I agree with that statement. My trip to London/Amsterdam/Paris that I mentioned upthread, I've booked all my hotel months ago & my travel period is late March/Early April. In my experience hotel award inventory is usually released pretty well in advance (12 to 9M out). Cash prices however are usually extremely high as they'll load their default/rack rate...

    I would book hotel award nights when you have your dates set. At least the first few nights and the last few. Once you figure out how many days you want to stay etc. then you get the rest... or whatever you choose.
    That's Business not First. Also it looks like your flight home from CDG is connecting in LHR again. Try searching for 2 one ways? AA & DL and see what's available. Mix/Match as needed... or maybe even use Aeroplan/ANA to fly Star Alliance back since those are Amex Transfer as well... just a thought.

    And see if the flight from LHR - CDG is worth the miles/taxes (See if BA Avios is cheaper than DL & vice versus) or maybe you should look into taking EuroStar. I'll be taking it for the first time on my trip ... and the convenience of leaving from London (not Heathrow and wasting time/money to get to LHR) to arrive in Paris (not CDG which again time/money) is worth it. You can "check-in" to EuroStar 30min prior to departure so you actually have more time in the cities....
     
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  15. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Err isn't your comments agreeing pretty much with the part of my post you quoted? No? :)

    As to your about hotels rates I must strongly disagree with this "Cash prices however are usually extremely high as they'll load their default/rack rate..." that is not at all my experience by any stretch of the imagination.
    Three fairly recent examples: I booked the Hilton Palermo 15 months in advance for 60 Euro/night and the rate within 8 months of our stay it never went below 100 euro.
    I currently have a booking for the DT in Charleston made 9 months ago for Oct 17th rate $125...when I last looked about 3 weeks ago it was $299. I found a similar situation relative to our stay at the Hilton in Savannah for 3 days later..
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
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  16. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    ha-ha whoops too early for me
     
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  17. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Not sure how you see this, all I can find for flights on Delta are more miles and money then using a partner. And I only see one direct flight daily, all the others go to JFK or Detroit (I could drive and fly from JFK)
    upload_2015-9-25_13-34-12.png
     
  18. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the ideas, I will start looking at one ways too. And euro star does seem like a really good option. Business will have to do, since most of the flights I found only have two cabins.
     
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  19. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I selected April 30 on delta.com as my (random) travel date and I found two options for BOS/LHR In business ...DL 63 710pm/705 am and VS 12 950pm/910am both with 2 seats at 62.5K miles and $5.60
    Also I note there seems to be availability for a number of days both before and after at the 63.5 k mile option.
    I hope you are checking one-ways only .. its a much better way to search on DL.com... once you find an outbound and a return that will work, then you can cobble them together.
     
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  20. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Thanks.
     
  21. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Also ... I would avoid the price premium LHR-CDG in business would inccur as its a short flight and business on intra-EU is pretty much economy but w/o a middle seat...
     
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  22. DJP_707
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    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    So I still have not booked this flight, but I need to make a decision soon.
    From the screen shot below would you choose DL58 or VS12?
    these seem to my best options. I'm only booking one way with delta,
    and my return will be on BA since my daughter is already booked on that flight.
    Also on VS which seats would be good for 2 people traveling together?

    upload_2016-2-9_14-8-23.png upload_2016-2-9_14-11-1.png
     

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