Basic Miles Redemption question

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by waterhazard, Feb 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. waterhazard

    waterhazard Active Member

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    So I'm trying to book a reward flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Dublin, Ireland using reward miles. I looked at the US airways reward chart and it says North America-Europe Low Economy is 60,000 round trip. So when I go to book it using the website reward travel tool the site tells me that it's 62,500 EACH WAY and the total is 125,000 miles. So I think "Oh, I misunderstood that it was one-way and not round trip". Then I go to continental, check their reward chart from NA-Europe and it says 60,000 ROUND TRIP. So when I go to book it just to check, again they charge me 55,000 EACH way and not round trip like the chart suggests. Am I doing something wrong, or do I have a fundamental misunderstanding of how these reward charts work?

    Thanks for any help anyone can give me. I've been lurking on these sites for a while trying to pick up as much as I could, and I thought I had a handle on it but clearly not.
     
  2. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    You may be trying dates on which the lowest redemption amounts either don't apply or are no longer available.

    What are your dates, and how many tickets are you trying to book?
     
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  3. JohnDeere19
    Original Member

    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    You'll find far more options searching star alliance partners and you won't have to deal with all the low/med/hi award level stuff. Here's the *A award travel chart. You won't be able to search *A availability on USairways.com, but research awardnexus, ANA, Aeroplan, Expertflyer, etc. and you should be well on your way.
     
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  4. chrislacey
    Original Member

    chrislacey Milepoint Guide

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    Welcome to MilePoint, waterhazard! Do you have specific dates or a range of dates? I'm sure that someone will be able to assist you in searching for *A award space.
     
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  5. Extra Pack of Peanuts

    Extra Pack of Peanuts Silver Member

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    waterhazard,

    The 60,000 roundtrip is for their lowest fare, the milesaver fare. If these are not available for your dates, it bumps up to 55k for continental for standard econ or 62.5k for usairways. Use continental's award search engine to look for availability. It will show you if there is milesaver availability or not. You can easily switch your dates if you choose and check them.

    I just did a post on my blog that has a 5 minute video tutorial on the exact step by step you need to follow to use continental to search for star alliance members. It also has a 5 minute video tutorial on how to use ANA to search for star alliance members. I think it could help you, if you are so inclined.
     
  6. waterhazard

    waterhazard Active Member

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    Thanks for the offers of assistance. I am trying to leave April 5th and come back on April 14th. Just to be clear, is my assumption correct that it should be 60,000 ROUND TRIP total and not each way, as the USAIR/Continental websites show?
     
  7. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    There are different levels of redemptions. Only the very lowest are 60K roundtrip. The very lowest are date and capacity controlled. You are probably searching dates on which there are no seats left at the lowest level. If the lowest rates are not available for the dates you enter, you will be offered seats at the higher rates.
     
  8. In relation to this, I'm still trying to understand partner award booking, in particular how certain airline's "discount" redemption offers work with the partners airlines - if at all!

    So using this example by waterhazard, if I have 60,000 US Airways miles, and I'm looking to book during the US Airways off-peak season (Jan 15 - Feb 28), can I book that business class flight on a Star Alliance partner to Europe for those same 60,000 miles? Or are these mileage discounts only good for traveling on US Airways metal?

    And is the answer to this scenario the same for the other programs that offer discounted/off-peak awards? Do these special redemption values only apply to flying on that airline's metal?

    Thanks in advance for any tips and information!
     
  9. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    US airways off-peak are own metal only. Other promotions will vary. There is no constant in this case.

    Think of the low award chart as showing what's possible - it's up to you to find the dates to do that if you want to obtain maximum value.
     
  10. Thanks for your feedback!

    I guess for me, the only other program I'm curious about is AA. Does anybody know if their "MilesAAver" awards for coach and business/first apply to flights on other One World partners? Or are those saver awards only good for AA metal?

    Thanks again all.
     
  11. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Welcome to MilePoint.

    You might also want to look here for some help in planning bookings:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/newbie-guide-award-booking-without-elite-status.4124/

    With both the AA alliance and *A you can only use "saver" awards on their partners metal. They do not have the ability to open up "last seat available" awards on their partners. Another thing to remember that C and F saver awards are typically difficult to obtain and, in most cases, need to be booked as far in advance as possible. With the reconfiguration of many aircraft, it has reduced the number of F and C seats available and therefore the airlines have cut way back in the number of F and C saver awards that they make available.

    A few suggestions that might help. When you are looking for award availability, look segment by segment. Use creative routings. Booking engines look at very few routings and therefore give a low probability of success. If you can find a routing that is reasonable, you can call the airline and have them make the booking. Also, by looking segment by segment, you will find out where the problem really is. For example, *A has very few flights into Dublin. If you look at each segment, you might find award space to London and then you could buy a ticket from London to Dublin.

    From checking the CO site, it does appear that the flight into Dublin is the issue. You can get economy saver tickets on your days flying from PHX to LHR. You can get a RT from LHR to DUB on BMI for about $140.

    Hope this helps and good luck getting your flights.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Assuming your dates are absolutely fixed I'm not seeing anything that will get you the 60K award, but I can do it for 80K, and it comes with the added bonus of flying in business class on the eastbound flight. The return also has an overnight in LAX, but you get the lower rate award there.

    The routing is PHX-IAD-FRA/LHR-DUB on the outbound and DUB-LHR-LAX-PHX on the return.


    If you search PHX-LHR on the 4th and then LHR-DUB on the 5th I can see saver coach inventory the whole way through. Try the multi-city option on the website for booking or pay the $25 phone fee to book it. There are actually a bunch of options via EWR, IAH, LAX, SFO and YVR. For the return, the only award seat back to LHR is on a flight that arrives at 3pm which means the only onward connection that works is that LAX one with the overnight in California.
     
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  13. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I was wondering about this recently myself. My thought is that if there's a *A carrier codeshare, they tend to price it as though it's UA/CO metal at the higher UA/CO price. This is one reason why I booked my DXB-ZRH and ZRH-SFO (via BOS) segments separately.

    I was very lucky to get saver awards on both.
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nope...it must be "home" metal for the rule-buster award inventory to be possible.
     
  15. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Ahh, okay. Maybe it just seemed like the deck was stacked in the wrong direction. Well, I'm booked now, I have miles left over, and I paid less than $400 in taxes to go around the world, so it's all good. Now I just need to save up for the hotel bills. :)
     
  16. I'm not sure there is an answer with Continental; I booked a round trip fair Orlando to Rio and Santiago, Chile to Orlando for two cost 75,000 points total for both parties. I had to make 5 calls to the reward desk before I found someone with a deal I couldn't turn down. I'm told that's the secret; just keep calling until you get what you want or need. Good Luck
     
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  17. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    The rule of thumb for alliances is that if you are booking not on the airline that you have the miles in (i.e., if you book the trip with CO miles you are not flying on CO only [combination of CO and other airline is ok]), the booking will be at the "saver" rate - the lowest possible. Of course if you are trying to book at the "saver" rate, there will be much less seats available.

    When you use the miles on the same airlines the miles are from, you might get the option to get a seat on miles of course, but if the "saver" seats are gone, you'll get the chance to use more miles and get the seats. Some will allow you to use the miles to "buy" the last seat available (for much more miles of course).

    The problem is, that not all airline award search is sophisticated enough to show you all the options. Some will only show the options on their own metal. To see the full alliance options you'll have to call in and figure it out.

    If you want to use miles at the "saver" rate you'll need to book early (or very late), have plenty of flexibility, and knowledge of all the possible routes that will get you there. Look at all the connection hubs possible for that alliance to get a starting point.
     
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  18. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    There are two possible explantion for that:
    1. Poor agents (likely).
    2. Reward availability changed between calls - which can happen a lot.

    You need to be proactive and monitor the available seats and grab what you want as soon as they are open.
     
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