Best way to book award tickets to France from Miami

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Remy, Sep 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    I everybody,

    First post on this forum. This is exciting :)

    My question is: how to go to France for the year's end vacations using the miles that I have?

    Myself:
    AA: 50k
    CO: 50k
    Air France: 60k

    Wife:
    AA: 85k
    Co: 50k

    Our travel dates are flexible but would ideally be: December 17 to January 7.

    So far, I've found that I could fly with AA 12/14 to 01/09 using 40k. I've done this one several times and I think it's an awesome deal.

    My wife can only travel within the dates mentioned above. AA has nothing between these dates. Air France has availability for 50k round trip but the fuel surcharge is 400 euros. Finally, I found some united flights at 110,000 miles with $90 of taxes. It seems like a lot of miles for a coach round trip.

    I was wondering if anybody had an idea on how I could minimize my use of miles for that trip. Any help or tip would be greatly appreciated!!

    Remy
     
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  2. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Do you have any Amex MR points or SPG points?
     
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  3. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Which airport are you flying out of?
     
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  4. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    No Amex or SPG points.

    Flying out of MIA preferably.
     
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  5. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Have you looked for any award availability on other Star Alliance carriers besides United? (I agree that 110,000 miles is a lot of points to expend for a coach class trip, but at least you know you CAN get there using miles if it comes to that; you'll just be spending more of them than you'd prefer.)

    I'd obsessively check the AA website as well; just because there are no MileSAAver coach flights available right now on date that work for you doesn't mean that some won't open up in the future.
     
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  6. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    Havent looked at other *A carriers. For some reasons, I thought that United would be the only one not charging the surcharges.

    I didn't know about AAsavers coming up later on. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

    Is there anyway to work around these AF surcharge fees? Maybe by flying through the French caribbean islands first?
     
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  7. mowogo
    Original Member

    mowogo Gold Member

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    CO Miles actually have a really good option. Leave on the 18th of December and you can get roundtrip for 60000 miles and $95 in taxes by flying on LH.
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If you're determined to avoid surcharges, look at routing through either Canada or Brazil, although this might raise the miles flown beyond the maximum allowed and create visa expenses and problems. How about flying into and out of Brussels and taking the train between there and Paris, pleasant and less than two hours. Brussels tends to have better availability but smaller planes and no French taxes.

    I would expect AA to have the most convenient choice of flights from MIA, but definitely look at partner airlines and nearby airports that you can use without huge additional expenses (FLL, MCO, etc.).

    I think it would certainly be worth about $500 (400 Euro - $90) to spend 50K AF miles rather than 110K UA miles.
     
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  9. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    Guys, you're awesome! I like both ideas. I'll check them out and let you know how it turns out.

    Thanks again!!
     
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  10. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    Don't know if this will help or not but I was able to get goalie-parents MIA-CDG with my miles on a *A award MIA-MUC-CDG (LH) & CDG-ZRH-MIA (LX). Now granted these were first class awards but still couldn't beat the "price" of 270,000 miles (135k per person) for $336.50 in taxes and fees all in for both of them. Now you say you both have 50k in CO miles and I'm not familiar with how CO does partner awards, but for UA, all partner awards are saver awards so less miles vs if the only awards available on CO were std awards
     
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  11. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    Can't figure it out. How can I see that availability and how should I book it? Should I look for lufthansa awards flights and assume that the cost in miles will be what it would be with CO?

    Thanks!
     
  12. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    On CO.com, put in the itenerary and select in class of service Reward Travel. This will list the selections for outbound, with a calendar of what availability levels are there for each day at the top of the page, and select which mileage you wish to pay for the ticket.
     
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  13. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    I ended up going Mowogo's way. This worked out PERFECT!! Thanks a lot. I had to transfer 4,000 miles from my wife's account because i only had 55,000 onepass miles on the account. I thought I could do it using Ultimate Rewards points as I read this online but it turns out that the Chase Freedom Ultimate Rewards point cannot be transferred while Chase Sapphire points can. Since I don't have the latter, I couldn't do anything. Although I know what account I'll be opening next for flexibility purposes.

    Thanks to you guys for your great advice.
     
  14. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Have a good trip:D
     
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  15. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Enjoy it!
     
  16. Remy

    Remy Silver Member

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    Always do! Thanks :)
     
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