Best time to book international award travel?

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by mcpennca, Jul 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. mcpennca

    mcpennca Active Member

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    Hello - Have been searching the site but having problems finding an answer. Apologies if it's right in front of me. I would like to book Business or First on UA (or Star Alliance) from USA (SFO preferably) to Italy - any airport. Looking at Spring 2014 for travel. I'm finding the UA site very annoying functionally - some features don't seem to work - but maybe there is just no availability. I've always heard "look as far out as the site will let you" but that doesn't appear to be the rule now. Would love some pointers here. I have enough miles to buy a standard award, and at the rate I'm going, I'm considering just doing that, blowing all the miles I've got, and saying "Goodbye Star Alliance..." but before I do that I need to get smart on strategy. Thank you in advance.
     
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  2. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    There are no nonstop *A flights from SFO to Italy. You'll need to connect somewhere (or possibly two times) to get there.

    Getting intra-Europe awards is generally easy, so start by seeing if there are ways across the Atlantic from SFO. There are flights from SFO to FRA, I'd start by searching just for those. There are probably a few other *A routes across the Atlantic from SFO, but I don't know them off hand.

    If none of those turn up with capacity, then look for flights from Italy to various US and Canadian gateways.

    If you're looking for just one or two seats, and are flexible as to travel, I'm sure you'll find something.
     
  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I picked a random date in the spring, and indeed immediately started finding options.

    SFOTravel.JPG
     
  4. mcpennca

    mcpennca Active Member

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    Thanks NYB. I'm pretty familiar with most of the international routes out of SFO, so yes you are right about the no-nonstop piece. I'm expecting to make at least one connection - would hope for no more than two. But there are a couple daily SA nonstops to FRA, one to MUC, CDG, etc. So it seems to me that getting across the pond shouldn't look so difficult. The UA website has been pretty abysmal at helping me. Almost nothing except coach (saver/standard) and only standard awards for F/B. I've recently heard that 4-5 months prior to travel is when the most award seats get released. Wondering if anyone else has heard that.... (I always thought it was 337 days or whatever that number is.)
     
  5. Jenny & Curt
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    Jenny & Curt Gold Member

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  6. SeaRaptor
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    SeaRaptor Silver Member

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    Give us some dates and maybe we can help out.

    I found a couple of J seats EWR-MXP on 19 March 2014, for example. You'd have to get to EWR in coach it looks like, but the overnight would at least have flatbed seating. BusinessFirst in the sCO 764s is quite nice.
     

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