Complex Award Tix

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Efilon87, Dec 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Efilon87

    Efilon87 Silver Member

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    Happy Friday!
    I was wondering where is the best place to book complex award travel? I want to fly LAX-LIS-WAW-BEY-OTP-LAX (or something of that nature) but am running into booking issues. I have the most miles with Cont/United. Is it better to call the reservations center and have them book for me? Thanks for the help!!

    NickM_LA
     
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  2. Lufthansa Flyer
    Original Member

    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    You not be able to book such a complex trip on an online FF booking engine because not every carrier's inventory is available online. (for example for UA, if you want to fly turkish, etc you have to call in)

    There's 2 ways to do this....One is what you are saying, call the Customer Service center. But you are playing Frequent Flyer Roulette because the rep on the other side may or may not be an effect rep who knows how to navigate the booking system or understand rules that govern stop overs, open jaws, etc etc.

    The other option is to do your homework ahead of time. list all the flights that you want, right down to the date and flight numbers and specifically as them to check for availability for each flight and in essence you are building the itinerary, they're simply booking it. You can use tools like expert flyer or the ANA tool (http://www.ana.co.jp/wws/us/e/wws_common/amc/). for the ANA tool I believe you'll have to enroll in their FF program to see their trip planner. The ANA tool is usually the most transparent tool to see award availability on *A carriers.

    Send me a PM if you want with specifics and I can try to point you in the right direction.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In addition to the problems with the agents (and it is almost certain that for a partner award itinerary of the nature you're describing an agent will be involved) you are also subject to the award rules. Depending on the carrier you're redeeming from the rules may or may not permit the routing you desire.

    Which of those destinations do you plan to spend more than 24 hours in? That will make a difference in many programs.
     
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  4. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    I believe you can also use continentalairlines.com will also show most *A awards.

    Since it is a complex booking, you should probably search by leg and then, once you have found an itinerary that is acceptable, call CO to actually book. As others have said, if you just call to book, you stand a very high probability of getting an agent that does not want to put in the time to do a total search for you.
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I think you need points in your ANA account to search there.
     
  6. Halothane
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    Halothane Silver Member

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    No, there is a quick easy way around that!
     
  7. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    One other option. For a complicated itinerary - sure, you can do the leg by leg research and many of us actually enjoy the process - I usually tell people I compare it to solving the NY Times Sunday Crossword! But it CAN be time-consuming and difficult.

    On the other hand, you can engage a pro who knows all the ins and outs and can do it all for you. With your name and passwords, they can even book the tickets for you. The cost is about $250 for up to two people - a relatively small sum for a very expensive itinerary, especially if it is in First, Business or a mix of the two. The person I most highly recommend is Gary Leff whose blog, www.viewfromthewing.com is must reading for most of us. His website is www.bookyouraward.com. Even tho I'm pretty decent at this game, if I hit a wall, I would call him in a heartbeat! And if he doesn't feel he can do it, he won't take your money.

    Either way, good luck!
     

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