Booking a free extra leg on an AA flight...what am I doing wrong?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by modernhaus, Dec 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    Hey everyone! I've been reading lots of posts on the subject of building in a free leg on an AA roundtrip (international) ticket. I've done my research but can't find much about how to go about booking this.

    I'd like to book LAX-LIM-LAX (stop for four months or so)-LIH. So, a free one-way to Kauai a few months after the South American trip.

    I was told to just use the AA multi-destination option and put in each leg. When I do this, it prices each leg separately. So, LAX-LIM 17,500/ LIM-LAX 17,500/ LAX-LIH 17,500

    But LIM-LIH is only 17,500 with a stopover in LAX.

    How do I book this at 35,000 miles instead of 52,000? Does an extended stop at an AA hub require calling a booking agent?
     
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  2. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Yes, you have to call for this. Reason I say that is because stopovers are only allowed at the North American gateway city in which you enter, so you will have to have LAX as your "gateway city," which means you must be on the LAN flight from LIM to LAX. Because you have to book a partner for that leg, you must call. Well worth the $25 fee.

    If you fly AA from LIM, you can only go to MIA and have the stopover there.

    I currently have a LIM-JFK-LAX o/w in LAN J / AA J on hold since that routing is just under the MPM+25% rule. 30K miles, not bad when it's 25K o/w for JFK-LAX in J. I'm only stopping in JFK for 12 hours, but still worth it to grab lunch/early dinner with a friend for nothing.
     
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  3. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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  4. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    The problem with getting the LIH-LAX-LIM flight to start off the itinerary is that OP is required to go to LIH to start the itinerary. That means that they need to book a ticket LAX-LIH to go there no matter what, before the start of the South America trip.

    If you do not go to LIH to start off the itinerary, the rest will be canceled. No way to just "get on" at LAX.

    If OP books only LIM-LAX-LIH to end the trip, then LAX-LIH can be thrown away if it is not possible to go to Hawai'i. There shouldn't be any problem not showing up for that flight.

    So putting the stopover at the beginning of the itinerary means you must book a one-way to LIH and fly the LIH-LAX segment.
    Putting the stopover at the end means you may book a one-way back from LIH and fly the LAX-LIH segment only if you want to.

    Also, since I've been looking at LAN availability for different months recently, the LIM-LAX nonstop on LAN is, IMHO, the toughest to get of the 3 main U.S. nonstops from LIM. Seems that MIA is the easiest, followed by JFK, then LAX (with SFO way behind but that's only 4x weekly). Search hard with the BA award availability engine, but you'll have to be flexible if you really want that LIH add-on.
     
  5. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    Daemon, you have no idea how helpful both of your replies have been! I was under the impression from wording of some blog posts that you could have an extended stopover at ANY AA hub city on your route. Now I understand it's only the gateway city, and on AA metal that's not LAX.

    I appreciate Emos-closet advice on building in two free one ways to LIH but seems that would require that I be planning two legitimate future trips (one for each free LIH leg), and the logistics are scrambling my brain. Half a free trip from a trip I planned to take anyways is good enough for me at this point, and 12,500 miles LIH return trip with BA redemption not bad.

    Thanks so much for the heads up on LAN route availability. I'm pretty flexible, but hoping to make that trip in July or August 2012. I assume I search BA for LAN award availability, then write down the flight dates and numbers I find before calling AA?
     
  6. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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  7. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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    The points guy has a great post re: stopovers on American international awards . Here is the link:

    http://thepointsguy.com/2011/06/max...en-jaw-ticketing-on-american-airlines-awards/

    He also has great info on booking trips to south America via the Lan/ BA search engines which can be used to determine award before calling American.

    If you have any BA avios points (starwood and membership rewards transfer to BA), You may want to redeem those for inter-Peru flights as that can get pricey. BA has a distance based award chart now , so LIma to Cuzco or Arequipa should be a pretty good value.

    On another note, you have inspired me to build in Hawaii before and after my fall trip to Eastern Europe. Thanks!
     
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  8. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    No prob! Yeah, if you see that BA shows availability for LAN, it's good enough for AA. Call them and they will see that award space. There are 2 LAN flights -- 600 and 2604. Don't forget the Qantas award engine, too, since they have a calendar view. You'll have to plug in a dummy first leg on the multi-city, but I see great availability on 2604 for your dates, about 50% of the days in Jul and Aug.

    As for finding the LAX-LIH segment on AA, that would be searched better with the AA site.
     
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  9. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    Chase UR too. I booked a R/T Lima-Cuzco in Y for 9000 Avios + $13 in taxes, so a great deal.
     
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  10. modernhaus

    modernhaus Active Member

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    Totally using Avios for Lima-Cuzco! What else would I do with them :)
    Thanks, guys. Love to hear about your Lima trip and Emos-closet...been to Kauai's North Shore? It's a good spot
     
  11. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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    Nope, I have not been to Kauai yet but want to go so I can compare it to Maui. Funny thing, I live in California and have only been to Hawaii once. I always thought I wouldn't like it but I totally fell in love!
     
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  12. Emos-closet
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    Emos-closet Silver Member

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    Re:peru tips: I did not love Lima very much but Cuzco was awesome! The train ride up to Machu Picchu was a real highlight,dontmiss it! Make sure and be on the earliest bus to Machu, otherwise it gets very crowded. I was able to take some good pics with the sun rising and because it wassoearly,we look like we have the entire place to ourselves! Don't eat anything at the concessions at MP,my sister got really ill.
     
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