Award Travel

Discussion in 'Beta Feedback [Archive]' started by Punki, Feb 12, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    We have recently switched from being primarily mile earners to being primarily mile spenders--the infamous FL IRA is now being tapped. Of course as long as we own our company, we will be adding company credit card purchases to our stash, but we will only be flying on revenue tickets when the flights are so inexpensive that using miles would be a waste.

    Our miles are pretty evenly split between Star Alliance and One World and being newbie mile spenders, we are a bit out of our element.

    Will there be an area devoted to award travel on MP?

    The one thing I have noticed in my short tenure as a spender is that the cost (in miles) of Alaska flight vacillates wildly from hour to hour. For instance a one-way ticket SEA/PVR can vary in cost anywhere from 17,250 miles to 32,500 miles in a very short period of time. What's up with that?

    Anyway, just asking.
     
  2. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    Award rules of each FFP are quite different, so discussion about awards in respect of routing/stopovers/etc are generally in the forum of the airline hosting the FFP. Discussions about products in the air and on the ground make more sense in the operating airline forum or alliance forum as applicable.
     
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  3. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    That would make a lot of sense, kiwi, if we had any idea what airline we wanted to fly. I just think it would be very helpful to us to have a Star Alliance award travel forum and a One World award travel forum.

    Of course, we have close friends who are real experts in both programs but it would still be nice to get outside input from time to time.
     
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  4. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I agree with the Kiwi as it is so airline and alliance specific.
     
  5. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    There are already alliance fora, no? (If not, there should be). And I don't think it would be unreasonable for, i.e., if you were using UA miles but with lots of *A airline components, for the post to be linked to both fora.

    Now, with AS, we have an unusual creature. But we usually take care of each other over there. Or throw Bored Room Pancakes at each other. Or soup du jour. :D
     
  6. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    If you want advice on where to go then either a general travel (if have no idea where to go) or regional destination (if have basic idea) or the alliance forum would be good places to start.
     
  7. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    There are alliance forums for Star Alliance, Oneworld and SkyTeam.
     
  8. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    Oh, kiwi, I don't think we will ever need advice on where to go. The real question is where to go first. Our concerns will be more along the line of how to best utilize our miles to get to the places we want to go.

    This will be more complicated when we get to the point where we are taking long cruises and need to do open jaws or one ways.

    Of course, there are always easy ways to find the information, like even calling good friends or even the airlines (how radical is that) but it would be helpful to us to have an award forum.
     
  9. kiwi
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    kiwi Gold Member

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    To me that sounds like a routing/award maximisation question, and best placed in the forum of your FFP.
     
  10. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    The first question is "where do you want to travel?" That will narrow down your choice of airlines considerably.
     
  11. aitchly
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    aitchly Silver Member

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    It would be amazing if m. allowed threads to be cross posted on different fora.

    Your question on a city could appear in three different airlines, the alliance, the credit card you signed up with to get the miles (or the actual airline [​IMG]) and travel fora.
     
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  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    I created a pretty comprehensive post outlining how Star Alliance mileage redemption works with US Airways Dividend Miles in the US Airways forum.

    The Points Guy started a comprehensive thread for Delta, in which I've made some extensive contributions.

    Yesterday I started a thread on United's new award routing rules.

    Every program in an alliance is different -- different number of points required for a destination, different stopover rules, different ways of requesting seats. The rules differ, the procedures differ.

    So if it's questions about redeeming United miles, the place to go is the United Mileage Plus forum. I've been meaning to develop a comprehensive post for United the way I did for US Airways, but I haven't gotten there yet. Perhaps someone will beat me to the punch! Or perhaps I'll get to it on my Monday ORD-NRT-SIN segments if the lovely FAs on NH and SQ don't pamper me too much. :) Oh yes, on an award redemption. ;)

    Or... got a question? Just fire way! [​IMG]
     
  13. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    We have lots of miles on Alaska, Delta, American and United. If we decide to work for another 5 or 6 years we might actually decide to acquire enough American miles to get status without actually flying them.

    We are pretty much set with first-class award travel through the summer, with trips to, Zurich, Puerto Rico, and Split, but will probably be looking at more cruise travel once we pick our next long cruise. For coastals and Puget Sound cruises, which we dearly love, we can usually figure out a way to get first class travel (when available) inexpensively enough that it doesn't pay to use miles.

    This is a new adventure for us, just as learning to earn miles was a new adventure for us a dozen years ago. I am hoping it will be almost as much fun. ;)
     
  14. opushomes
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    opushomes Silver Member

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    This is one area where I agree with the OP and disagree with some of the responses. As someone who has been spending miles for trips, the intricacies of where to most efficiently spend one's miles is more than merely an award chart. Determining which program delivers the most bang for the buck at a given time can be most daunting. When one starts adding fuel surcharges, combining multiple airlines within and outside an alliance, it becomes important to understand the implications and therefore a separate forum from the airlines or alliances makes sense.

    One, as I understand it, and will soon attempt, can do a single airline award with BA miles without having to pay the additional fees that BA charges. This however requires travel to a gateway for that carrier unless all travel is on American. These tidbits and examples of such things as MH surcharges reduce the complexity of decision making. Much of this important minutiae is lost within the broader forums.
     
  15. Punki
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    Punki Silver Member

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    There are so many deals and award work-arounds that I would love to see them all in one place.

    Here is my favorite. Years ago, on advice from Ozstamps, we traded 100,000 Starwood points in on a double + bonus promotion for 250,000 Qantas miles. We were the able to used those 250,000 Qantas miles to book two Concorde tickets, right before they took the Concordes out of service. At the time Concorde tickets were going for $12,000.00 each, so this was truly a smoking deal for us.

    There is no way that we would have found this deal if it had been buried in a AMEX, Qantas, or BA forum as we would never have had reason to visit those fora. There is a remote possility that we might have found it in a Starwood thread as we did visit that forum from time to time, but that is iffy. If it were in an award thread, we would have found it.

    In any event, that was a fabulous opportunity for us that we will remember forever, and we will be eternally grateful to Ozstamps for that information.
     

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