Booking reward flights

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by merice107, Aug 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    When booking a reward flight, can I book my ticket with my miles and then my wife's ticket with her miles on the same phone call? Would they need to speak to her? Or if I answer the security questions will I just be able to do it?

    If I can't book my ticket and my wife's ticket in the same call, what happens if I get one ticket but not the other? Do I start the process over?

    Also, if I have multiple flights and multiple tickets through different airlines (AA, UA, BA), what happens if the award flight you looked up online is not available (or the agent can't get you on that flight) and it has a chain reaction on the other flights.

    I have never booked a trip with reward tickets, but I just imagine booking three portions of a four portion trip, and then the fourth portion is unavailable making the first three have to change. I hate "what if" questions but I want to be prepared.
     
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  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    So every frequent flyer program is a little bit different in who they are willing to talk to. With United, American, Delta, and US Airways I pretty much never have a problem ringing up an airline and using someone else's miles, especially if I'm issuing a ticket in their name. And especially if I can confirm information about the account such as the full address on record. With Delta it's the PIN number.

    Some international programs are a bit trickier. British Airways won't speak to anyone but the accountholder unless there's a form on file giving permission to speak to someone else.

    But it should be no problem at all to make one phone call and book awards from two different accounts.

    What can also make things easy is with an airline like American that will allow putting an award on hold 5 for days before ticketing. You do one, hold it, and then do the second award.

    But the whole time you're looking for two seats. Do it on one call, tell the agent that you're going to be booking an award for two people but the miles will come out separately from each of your accounts. With most carriers they can set up both reservations separately and then issue tickets one at a time, no worries. And no problem that you're not your wife. (Though sometimes, with some airlines, and when doing things from my wife's account but that's not for her, I'll put the phone on speaker when she's around and tell the agent that it's my wife, she's in the room, and I have her say 'hi'.)
     
  3. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    It's of course easiest if you can book them online. Saves that concern. I'd also book them together if that's possible (unless you're booking from two different accounts).

    Or just book the other and then go back and revise the first. Best if you look for two seats first (using the tool of your choice) and plan several routings, then call.

    Deal with that problem once you need to. As the saying goes: don't borrow trouble.

    I totally understand this, but I've gotten a lot less uptight over the last few months after booking my round the world. Right now, I have partial trips booked for next year and I'm not worried about it. :)

    [​IMG]

    So thought I'd describe how I booked this:

    1) When SQ (Singapore) availability opened up, I booked NRT-BKK (overnight layover)-SIN, but didn't have enough miles to book the return at that point. Then SQ availability went away. Note that I started 5,000 miles from home (SFO).
    2) I firmed up the rest of the dates I needed, called in and booked SIN-SGN (stopover) - PEK - NRT, completing the purple segments, turning a one-way award with a layover into a round-trip award with a layover and a stopover.
    3) I then booked PNI-HNL as an award (I still haven't booked the HNL-SFO, but there's a reason for that), shown in blue. Last business class saver award seat. w00t!
    4) Then I booked the "inside straight" as a revenue ticket (shown in green). That was kinda hairy waiting for that, worrying that the price would go up, but the wait was to my benefit -- the fare that was in W was now in Y, so I got a Y-up on all but SFO-NRT. w00t!

    Pricing on business for PNI-HNL-SFO is good enough now that I'll probably switch that over to a revenue ticket and cancel the award so I can use the miles for something else. It's a bargain compared to a revenue ticket for HNL-SFO one-way, and I have an upcoming itin that's a better CPM redemption for those miles. In terms of value, it's better to buy the ticket.
     
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  4. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    On a side note, it that the Continental/United Island Hopper route?
     
  5. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    It is! I shall be hopping!
     
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