Buy a one way now and wait?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by loungelizard, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. loungelizard

    loungelizard Active Member

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    I am really new and have a question about buying an award ticket. We are looking to go to South Africa next Sept or Oct and I am searching for 2 business class award tickets from IAD to JBN. I did find a great flight on Oct 1 but the return flights aren't open yet. Do I get the first two tickets without knowing return availability? I'm a bit apprehensive to do that but also realize these award tickets are heard to come by.

    Also, we definitely want to start or end our trip in Cape Town but have found almost no award availability to or from there. Should I buy or use miles separately for those flights?

    Oh, this would be through United...

    Thanks for any advice/thoughts...
  2. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    Some things to keep in mind:

    1. You can book two one-way awards (or four in total). However, doing so means that you're going to lose the ability to make a stopover for more than 24 hours in Africa or Europe, which is only possible when making a roundtrip award booking.

    If you book two one-ways, you can do IAD-JNB, CPT-IAD, but agents can't "stitch together" one-ways into a roundtrip to give you an extra leg for IAD-JNB, JNB-CPT, CPT-IAD. (I'm a little less than 95% sure about that; someone can correct me.)

    2. Nobody knows whether more or less award space is going to be available between now and your trip. For flights in September and October, I would place money on flights back from CPT opening up between now and then. But not too much money. Also, there's no hurry to buy tickets right now; the prices won't skyrocket from their level 11 months out.

    Best of luck. If you think it's worth it not to have to worry about award tickets and checking the United and ANA websites daily for availability, I recommend Seth's tool, Expert Flyer, or delegating the task to an award booking service.
  3. thefitworldtraveler
    Original Member

    thefitworldtraveler Silver Member

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    Are you talking about Oct 2013 of next year?

    You could book a one way now and pay the change fee later to add the return segments, at which point you can add a stop over.

    Make sure you exhaust all possibilities of finding your route back. Search segment by segment to your destination. Did you look into Ethiopian from IAD to JNB via ADD.
  4. mo26

    mo26 Silver Member

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    Just came back from SA in August. Lot's of carrier's between JNB/CPT. Around $80USD for a 1-way ticket.

  5. Dad to GO

    Dad to GO Silver Member

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    It can be tough to find award tickets to destinations like that. I had a flight booked to Europe with a less than ideal return date from Italy... I literally looked every day for the last month on BA hoping that a better option would show up and it FINALLY did today. We jumped on it and should be perfect now! While it appears that everything worked out in the end for us to get a better flight we would've been fine with what we had. It's all about risk vs. reward. If you can book something that might not be ideal for you but know you can keep looking to change it to what you DO want... then go for it!

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