Best way to get to TLV using MR?

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by girlsmom, Feb 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. girlsmom
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    girlsmom Gold Member

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    Any tips on getting to TLV from WAS using MR? Transfer to which airline?
     
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  2. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    We were fortunate to get the 100,000 free British Airways miles a bit over a year ago by getting the BA Visa. When we hit the $30,000 spend, I got a certificate giving me two redemptions for the price of one. We will be flying from Newark to TLV in May on miles - a BA is a transfer partner for AMEX MR. The "costs" for coach-business-first are 65,000, 130,000 and 195,000.

    You could also transfer the miles to Air Canada and use them on any of their Star Alliance European partners like Swiss, Lufthansa or Turkish. Miles can be transferred to Alitalia on Skyteam.

    Kayak shows no non-stops from the Washington area. You need to let us know what class of travel you want, when you want to go and how many seats you want. Someone, I'm sure (like me!) will be happy to give you more info. Good luck.
     
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  3. girlsmom
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    girlsmom Gold Member

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    Thanks Steven!
    I have around 50k MR points and Mr girlsmom has around 50k BA miles. Can I transfer my MR into his BA account... or does it have to be the same name?
    Looking probably for 1 ticket in coach beginning of sept.
     
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  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Yes, actually, you can.

    Officially you can only transfer Membership Rewards points to frequent flyer accounts in the name of a cardholder on the Amex account. But online on the MembershipRewards.com website you can 'link' anyone's frequent flyer account. And once you've done that you can transfer points.

    Plus there's currently a 40% transfer bonus for moving points to British Airways.

    However, British Airways does add fuel surcharges to awards. So you may be surprised by how much that BA award costs you in cash. Less of an issue with business and first class awards, you feel a bit better about coming out of pocket several hundred dollars when you're at least getting a ticket that sells for several thousand dollars. But for coach its' pretty painful.

    In premium cabins I find excellent award availabiltiy for Frankfurt and Munich to Tel Aviv on Lufthansa. On the return though only the early morning flight to Frankfurt is really any good for connecting back to the US.

    Getting award seats on non-stops to Israel from the US can be tough.
     
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  5. benchik
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    benchik Silver Member

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    When you say "best", how do you define it? Best routing? Least miles? Least surcharges? Or better classes?

    Each one gets a different answer.
     
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  6. girlsmom
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    girlsmom Gold Member

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    Benchik -- you're right. "Best" can have a lot of meanings.
    I was thinking best in terms of award miles needed, shortest route (ie, not with 4 stopovers), and with least surcharges. I know that last bit sort of takes BA out of the running. But given that I already have 50k BA miles sitting there, I do have to take that into consideration.
     
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  7. rajuabju
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    rajuabju Gold Member

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    The surcharges you will incur /w BA makes that option a poor one; you will not only have the BA fuel surcharges, but also the LHR fees if you actually fly BA, since you'll have a stopover in london.

    You can use your BA miles on Iberia, with a stopover in Spain (cant remember if they stop in Barcelona or Madrid) to TLV, thus avoiding at least some of the costs, but still, the $ amount of fuel surcharges from BA makes it not such a great choice.

    Probably better to transfer your MR to a *A carrier and use a partner for redemption
     
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  8. Frenchie Flyer

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  9. rajuabju
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    rajuabju Gold Member

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    Definitely a good read. I believe the part about BA is a bit outdated, since they now do charge fuel surcharges even on most partner flights.

    But the remainder of the thread is definitely helpful for anyone looking to use MR points to go to TLV. As expected, *A definitely seems to be the best option.
     
  10. ctownflyer
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    ctownflyer Silver Member

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