Crazy award ticket idea

Discussion in 'JAL | Mileage Bank' started by whkento, Aug 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    I gotta crazy question...

    How likely is it that I could get 4 award tickets for the Winter holidays (dec 28 to Jan 4)? My wife wants to go to Honolulu, but may settle for Guam or Sydney... I'm aware of the blackout dates, btw.

    What do you think is the best strategy for taking my wife, two kids and myself somewhereecheap (and warm) for the holidays? I'm open to ideas including award tix, cheap tix, upgradeable tix, whatever.

    Oh, I'm open to OKA, as well. Not sure if my wife is...
     
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  2. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    um...why didn't you just spend part of your OKA budget on this trip and incorporate it as part of your MR :rolleyes: Too late now :p

    Well you get priority waiting list from Oct 1 but I am not sure how much that would help. If you are willing to wait till the last minute to book your hotel, then there are still chances...How about HKG and do another MR after new year :p

    Another suggestion I have is Hokkaido or go to Niseko to visit Simmo. He can hook you up with some nice resort :p

    Or you can try to redeem partner award to increase your chances
     
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  3. fumitani
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    fumitani Gold Member

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    Okay JALPak is just talking all junk (relative, but not content)

    First of all
    1. What do you estimate the amount of miles you will have
    2. Any where in paritcular you want to go other than your listed HNL, SYD, GUM, OKA
    (are you willing to go out of your way to get visas)?
    (must be direct from NGO or are you willing to connect?)
    3. Rough budget please
    4. etccc
     
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  4. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    Thanks for the reply. I have been looking at availability and think there's not much available out there.

    The Niseko idea is intriguing, but While I really love the snow and cold weather, my wife is not a big fan...
     
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  5. JALPak
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    JALPak Gold Member

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    Try partner award. Availability should be a bit better and you probably pay less in YQ too. but are you sure you want to redeem awards though..
     
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  6. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    Alright, Right now we have about 160,000 miles, are piling 'em up all the time.

    A rough total budget would be (I can't really pin down a number from my wife...) maybe 40 man.

    Seriously, we're relatively open about the destination, as long as it's SAFE and warm.

    I'll look at any ideas you have, but think maybe it's just a stupid idea.
     
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  7. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    We accumulate miles pretty quickly through our credit cards. At least 20,000 a month...
     
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  8. JALPak
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    great to live in Japan :(
     
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  9. fumitani
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    fumitani Gold Member

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    rough search right now, but I will say it's going to be VERY tough to find something (even for one person) using award
     
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  10. JALPak
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    I did that too...got nothing either
     
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  11. NYBanker
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    Delta and American have non-capacity controlled awards available (even to non-elites). On aa, they are double the miles of low awards. Dl has a more complex price scheme

    If you have your points at Amex, SPG, diners or another hotel program, you may be able to move them to one of these programs and book your awards on one of these carriers. While it stinks to have to "pay" double the miles, it's nice to get exactly the flight you want.

    You might also look at flights from HND to the States. Those services seem to be operating with pretty low loads...you could probably get to southern California pretty easily on AA with JL points.
     
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  12. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    DL award tickets wouldn't be a good idea. They have surcharges for award trips originating outside of USA and their three-tier allows high pricing that is much more than double. However, they do tend to open more award inventory at the last minute, so if you're willing to gamble on hotel availability, you could get lucky. In principle--unfortunately for me--the additional award inventory for DL elites is only on domestic coach flights.
     
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  13. whkento
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone. I appreciate it.

    I may try to look at the SoCal thing...
     
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  14. JALPak
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    yea it's perfect time of the year to visit SoCal cuz I won't be there :p
     
  15. NYBanker
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    All true. It may be better than nothing, however, if the OP can get points from a hotel program or Amex over to DL.
     
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  16. joejones
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    joejones Silver Member

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    Generally speaking, if you want awards out of Japan during holiday periods, you have to go to or through places that Japanese people will not be looking at. If you try looking for nonstops to HNL, LAX, JFK etc. you will fail, because there will absolutely be no inventory.

    For instance, I got a last-minute award through UA to go to Hong Kong for New Year's a few years ago -- 12/28 to 1/3 or thereabouts. I flew into CAN in ANA business class, spent a night there, and took the train from Guangzhou to Kowloon the next morning. If I wanted to go to, say, Southeast Asia, I could have probably found a flight from CAN to BKK or SIN, since Chinese don't fly as much around the Western new year.

    I usually fly from Japan to the US for the holidays. My typical pattern is to leave the week before Christmas and come back either on or just before New Year's Eve. Fares are usually decent and loads are not that bad on those days. I have never looked for awards on those flights, but I imagine they would be slightly more plausible than outbound awards for 12/28-1/4 which is when everyone else generally chooses to travel.
     
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  17. joejones
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    AA was only operating HND-JFK to begin with, and has suspended that service for the time being.
     
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  18. NYBanker
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    Fair point. The non-existence of the route may limit availability. ;)
     
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  19. whkento
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    Yeah, unfortunately my wife gets the same days off as everyone else. ;)
     
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  20. Simon
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    Simon Milepoint Guide

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    Jesus. You must be rolling in it. I can barely accumulate 3-4 k miles a month by putting all my gf's purchases through (a mere attempt to maximise miles) so unless you're putting through company expenses or have a huge family, you are living the dream as what you spend in one month equals nearly my entire year!
     
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  21. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    I may have slightly over-estimated, but it's pretty close. We put just about everything on our cards, including some company expenses. Not a huge family, just 2 kids. (Which is plenty.) ;)
     
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  22. slice19
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    slice19 Silver Member

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    If flights are really so full around the holidays, would you consider finding a cheap flight to a popular destination and trying your best to get bumped? I know it's risky but if you get bumped to the next day, you'll likely get back most of what you paid for the fare. We got bumped around Christmas on FRA-BOS and then again BOS-FRA after the new year. Our tickets were more than covered by the compensation. We have not been able to get a bump outside of holiday time but it may be worth a try to go warm near public holidays if you can get some good prices on the flights.
     
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  23. whkento
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    whkento Gold Member

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    That's an intriguing idea, Slice19. Our kids are almost 5 and 4 yo, so not quite ready for that sort of 'adventure'. That could be cool if flying as a couple, though.
     
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  24. JALPak
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    How about Air Asia's latest KIX flight? Is that cheap enough? :p
     
  25. slice19
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    Yeah, we were flying as a couple and it's really not much of a hassle if you are not on a tight schedule. I can see how 4 and 5 year olds would nt enjoy spending time at the airport and not getting on a plane only to do it all again the next day.
     

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