Don't book R/T award tickets, book 2 one ways instead (if possible)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by mileagejunqe, Jan 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. mileagejunqe

    mileagejunqe Silver Member

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    I recently needed to both change the departure date of a UAL reward ticket as well as book a second trip for a different month. Both flights were nonstops. I was unable to get the same routing on my (first) outbound, There was only a one-stop available so I wanted to book a one way nonstop award on AA for the first trip. The second trip which I needed to book I could get the non stop UAL going out but it would have had to be a connection coming back. The nonstop was seasonal and no longer offered. I asked if I could either use the nonstop outbound for my second trip or switch the entire first trip to the later date. Both answers were no - at least not without a $75/ticket change fee. After asking for a supervisor and holding for close to 10 minutes, the CSR got back to me that they would permit to change the dates and waive the fee on the alternate routing. Terrific. I then booked 2 one-way flights to make up my first trip. Would have been so much easier had I booked 2 one way reward tickets instead. I could have easily changed the outbound date and kept the original routing, no problem. That's going to be my new way of doing things. Obviously, one way awards work for some carriers like UAL and AA but do not work for others like DAL and US Air.
     
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  2. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    It was known that booking O/W awards were the way to go if you have the option to do so.
     
  3. dkelly1110
    Original Member

    dkelly1110 Silver Member

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    Keep in mind that you may have to pay 2 x Change/Redeposit fees if you have to change both legs for whatever reason.
     
  4. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    And if you have a BA 2-4-1 Companion Pass, that's not an option. But other than that, I totally agree with your premise.
     
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  5. TheTravelAbstract

    TheTravelAbstract Silver Member

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    I always go for o/w awards when I can. I really love this option with the BA Avios points+cash payment options. It really is a great value. You really can stretch your money and stay super flexible with your reservations.

    Even though you are technically "buying" miles for the cash amount; still cheaper than the direct buying price or having to pay fees for changes at a later date.
     
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  6. infamousdx

    infamousdx Silver Member

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    Another problem with doing 2 o/w's instead of an RT is that for UA/CO specifically, you can only have a stopover on a round trip ticket. That could definitely be a huge loss.
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Not always. There are also situations where it is less preferred.

    All the fees are per ticket so phone charges for issuing or change fees would be double in this case. Not an issue if you're top tier elite in most programs, but the OP suggests they're paying fees for changes anyways so that isn't the case with them.

    Also, stopover and routing rules can vary depending on one-way versus return on the booking. Getting a "free" extra trip as part of the award sure is nice when it works as part of the schedule.

    There is no single "always do X" answer for this sort of thing; the specifics of the person and the trip are quite important to make the correct decision.
     
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  8. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    A situation where it's less than preferred...with DL Skymiles. ;) That whole o/w for the price of a r/t makes it pointless...:eek:
     
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  9. spaced2
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    spaced2 Silver Member

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    not always. I booked travel NYC-LAX-SYD, MEL-HKG-NYC in J and F respectively using american miles and asked the agent whether i could book separate one-ways to take advantage of 330-day award availability / what impact that would have on the redeposit fee. She said instead of paying 150 twice, i could pay 200 once.

    When i went to cancel (i'm about to rebook the trip for new years 2012) they tried to charge me 300, but when i explained what had been promised i was allowed to pay 200 after a pretty short hold. Not sure if this is an exception to the rule, but i'd recommend asking when booking your first leg and have the agent note their response in your reservation if it's favorable.
     
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  10. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    While on the topic of O/W vs. R/T in a non-award sense. If the return date of your trip is not known / flexible you may want to resist the urge to purchase two one way tickets. Buying a round trip ticket and paying a change fee when the return date becomes known is most often cheaper than the two O/W tickets. A recent discussion found that ORD - LHR one way was in the $600 - $700 range, while the round trip ticket with the far out return date was in the $800 - $900 range. Makes sense to buy the round trip and pay the change fee when ready to fly, you would still be saving $$.
     
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  11. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    you still are out $50 more than if you had booked a RT.
     
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  12. spaced2
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    spaced2 Silver Member

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    Yes, that is in fact the difference between 200 and 150, but if you've ever attempted to secure award travel from the U.S. to Australia during high season, you would understand that that is a price worth paying for the option to fly in a premium cabin 330 days in advance...

    I'm not advocating this as a practice in general, I'm just saying that you won't necessarily get charged $300 (in the case of American) and that there are use cases if you're willing to be on the hook for an additional $50 in exchange for flexibility / better award inventory. Everything in MileScience is case by case to some extent, no?
     

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