Flying from SFO to CDG (Paris) with stopover in Aruba

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by joykid, Feb 21, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    My dilemma now is that I don’t have enough US Airways miles, I only have 35,000 miles so far now. But I have 110,000 AA miles and 110,000 Southwest miles (CP status). How can I get around this to book 3 people total to Aruba then to Paris from our hometown, San Francisco? Is it better to use US Airways or AA ? since both of them allow free stopover.
    Can you please write down some examples of better itinerary for SFO or any gateway city to CDG (Paris) which allow us to stop over in Aruba for free ? Any idea is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,608
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Status Points:
    1,270
    You will need a lot more US (and to a lesser extent AA miles) in order to book this ticket. Can you churn some US airways cards and/or buy some miles with a promotion? When do you need to fly this trip?
     
    joykid likes this.
  3. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    I plan to take the trip next year but would like to book as soon as possible since I am afraid that there will be devaluation after US Air and AA merged. I also think to buy US Air miles, currently they have a promotion of get 100% back when you buy miles. But I don’t know if it’s worth it since my trip is next year and also the devaluation after merger.
    Can you please give some ideas on the itinerary? Like SFO- MIAMI- ARUBA- MIAMI- PARIS? Hmm maybe it won’t work because it goes to the same airport twice?
     
  4. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,608
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Status Points:
    1,270
    If past mergers are a sign, I don't see a devaluation happening with AA miles for at least another year past once they start operating as a combined carrier in early 2015 (don't want to piss off passengers and have them jump ship) so I would say miles are safe. If you are looking to book now, are the flights within a year from now or past that (you can't book tickets more than a year out.)

    You could route something like SFO-MIA-AUA-CLT/PHL (US hubs) -CDG. US will allow you to book an award on cross metal (AA and US).
     
    joykid likes this.
  5. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Are you planing on flying economy or in a premium cabin? One way, or round trip? And what time of year?

    You don't have enough miles to transport three people round trip between the US and Europe in any airline, in any cabin, at any time of year. You are pretty close to the 120,000 AAdvantage miles you'd need for economy, round trip in their off-peak (winter) period and probably within striking distance of the 180,000 you'd need other times of the year for economy round-trip. You could fill that out with a single credit card application. If the expected ability to transfer miles between Dividend Miles and AAdvantage occurs soon enough, that would allow you to combine the miles and get you closer to the miles you need.

    One-way, obviously is easier (AAdvantage offers one-way for half the price of round-trip).

    As for a stop-over in Aruba, that will be complicated and I'll have to leave it to more knowledgeable people than myself to figure out how to do it. I expect it would price out as at least three one-ways rather than two. Another alternative would be to use the AAdvantage miles for the US to Europe flight, take your stopover in an American gateway city serviced by AirTran, and use the Southwest miles for a round-trip to Aruba.
     
    joykid likes this.
  6. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Status Points:
    1,120
    I'm just guessing out loud here but my guess is that you would need to book the round trip SFO-CDG by itself regardless of Aruba using AA miles with a built in long stop over in the Eastern US or maybe DFW or ORD. Build in the needed time for the roundtrip from there to Aruba and back which will will book on SW plus you might have an airport change to get to the SW flight ie: Midway or Love Field. Midway might be a good choice since you should be able to find a local train / subway ride to Midway from ORD and back. You also might be able to book a US flight with AA and hub out of CLT or PHL, etc. So basically it's two separate trips coordinated together. Focus on the AA portion as SW availability should be easier to find to fit with that.
     
    joykid and Sean Colahan like this.
  7. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    Glad to hear that devaluation is not gonna happening anytime soon after the merger. By the way, I like your itinerary ideas, so start from SFO- MIA(this is connecting flight, right?)- AUA (stopover)- CLT/PHL(connecting flight again?) - CDG. Would it still cost 20,000 award miles for one way award off peak season to Europe with this itinerary?
     
    Sean Colahan likes this.
  8. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    Planning to fly in economy and round trip but maybe it's better to book as one way so it would be two one way award for 3 people.
    That's exactly what I am worried about, to find award seats for 3 people, is it possible most of the time?
     
  9. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    Thanks for the help! how about SFO- MIA(this is connecting flight, right?)- AUA (stopover)- CLT/PHL(connecting flight again?) - CDG.
     
  10. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,608
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Status Points:
    1,270
    and yes...the MIA and CLT/PHL are connections.

    Off-peak round trip with US Airways miles is 35,000 (30,000 if you hold the us airways master card). You also can't do 1-ways. In terms of being able to book the Aruba stopover on your way to Paris I am un-sure about. I think you should be able to do it (hell, I'm stopping over in Europe on my way to Asia this summer)
     
    Newscience and joykid like this.
  11. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Yeah I think you can do SFO-MIA-CDG but fitting in the AUA stopover may be a problem as it's in the Caribbean. I just think it's easier to plan it as a separate SW flight during your AA stopover elsewhere. I'm sure someone better than I could do it. CLT/PHL are valid options via US Air as well. You might consider using an award booking service. For $75 to $150 a person I bet they could do it all on AA. My method is that I would just price it all out and see where I could do it. A lot of it will have to do with the time of year. If you could hit a sweet spot like a year out where it's Winter'ish in Europe and Hurricane season in the Caribbean the demand will be much less, it will be off peak (MilesAAver), etc. Summer and holiday season weeks will most likely be a no go or WAY too many miles. Also as you price it out in Economy don't forget to check the prices in Business or First as sometimes it's actually cheaper. I was looking at some flights this Summer to Europe last night and found Some Business availability better and as cheap as economy. Being flexible will be your friend in all this.
     
    joykid likes this.
  12. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    Thanks. But why US Airways? it cost 30,000 by US Airways but it only cost 20,000 if using AA flight. As far as I know, only use US Air if you want a free stopover outside of US. AA allows you to have free stopover inside the US hub, and they count Caribbean as part of North American gateway city so that's why I think I could stopover for free there on my way to Paris. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    Do you have to call US Airways when making an open jaw booking for a free stopover in Europe on your trip to Asia?
     
  13. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    30K US Airways = round-trip.
    20K American = one-way.

     
    joykid and Sean Colahan like this.
  14. Sean Colahan
    Original Member

    Sean Colahan Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,608
    Likes Received:
    2,021
    Status Points:
    1,270
    What LarryInNYC said.
     
  15. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    The 5000 miles discount using your US Air Mastercard is valid if only you book ALL flights using US Airways metal, isn't it? Since US Air has pretty good off-peak award chart, I think I would go by US Air and sacrifice the stop over in Aruba (if it's not possible by US Air). Now I am thinking to go to SFO - PHL - FCO - FLR - LIN (Milan) - VCE - CDG.
    Is it possible if I use this itinerary, all are using US Airways metal:

    from SFO(home) - Philadelphia (connecting) - Rome (stopover) - Florence (stopover) - Milan (stopover) - Venice (destination) - Paris (open jaw) - Philadelphia (connecting) - SFO (back home).

    Is this itinerary even possible? I want to cover those cities in Europe, going from south to north.

    Does US Airways charge fuel and surcharge fees (usually $300-400/person) if I add a stopover in London Heathrow airport?

    Please let me know if you do have better idea on itinerary in maximizing stopovers and open jaw using US Airways to cover those cities, as far as I know US Airways allows 1 stopover or 1 openjaw but I read many people able to get the phone booking rep to do 2 stopovers and 1 openjaw.

    Thank you for your help and advice, I feel this community as warm as a family in here.
     
  16. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    I don't know US AIrways' exact rules, but you will not be able to have three stopovers and an open jaw on a single award ticket.

    But that doesn't really matter, as no one really flies between Rome, Florence, Milan, and Venice which are all a few hours apart by train. So your ticket would be something like SFO-FCO (open jaw) VCE-CDG (stopover) SFO. If that's allowed on US Airways, I don't know -- and not sure if they have a partner that does VCE-CDG. Certainly not on US Airways.

    Also, plenty of more interesting places to visit in Italy than Milan and, to some extent, Florence (in my opinion).
     
    joykid likes this.
  17. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    That's sounds nice....maybe I can do an open jaw in Amsterdam instead.....so I am thinking my itinerary around Europe would be like this:
    http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=fco-flr-mxp-vce-cdg-ams

    Now, I just need to find which one should be stopover, destination, and then open jaw. If following your advice, then I will book SFO- FCO then AMS- CDG- SFO.
    There is no US Air flight between cities in Europe?
     
  18. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    2,876
    Status Points:
    1,425
    I wouldn't waste miles flying from Italy to CDG. You can fly from Pisa to Orly on a EasyJet for $50 or so.
     
    jetsetboy and joykid like this.
  19. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    So travelling from Italy (most likely from Venice) to CDG by train would be better and cheaper? How about around Italy : FCO-FLR-MXP-VCE, is by train also cheaper and better? What kind of railpass should I buy to save.
    Can you please recommend a good website to buy a railpass to travel around Europe?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  20. jetsetboy

    jetsetboy Silver Member

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    246
    Status Points:
    360
    Venice to CDG on the train will be a long trip and probably not worth it. Better to find a cheap airfare and fly, e.g. example above from Pisa to ORY (south of Paris instead of CDG, which is north of Paris.) Definitely best to travel around Italy by train. When I did a tour of Italy in 2012, I found it cheaper to buy individual tickets from the Italian rail site (I think it's trenitalia.com), than to book a Eurail-type pass.

    Of course, it depends on how many cities you plan to visit and how long you'll be traveling. I was in Italy for 2 weeks and took the train to 4 different cities. Average ticket price was about $35, but I found that the earlier you book the tickets, the cheaper they are. Like airfares, the cheapest tickets go first, and get more expensive as the train fills up.

    You'll need to know the Italian spelling of the city though, if you book tickets on the website (Rome is Roma, Florence is Firenze, etc.) Also make sure you take a credit card with a chip in it, so that you can get tickets from kiosks at the train station, and won't have to stand in line. I found that to be the most convenient way to get the tickets.
     
    joykid and flyforawg like this.
  21. joykid

    joykid Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status Points:
    30
    Thanks so much jetsetboy! I will be travelling for 2 weeks and try to cover these cities:
    FCO-FLR-MXP-VCE-CDG-AMS

    This is the route map:
    http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=fco-flr-mxp-vce-cdg-ams

    Do you think it's enough to explore those cities for 2 weeks? Plan to stay 2 days in each city.
    I don't mind to take an airplane from Pisa to ORY....but does Pisa close to VCE....how long is it by train?
    Please let me know if you have better idea for the itinerary for Europe trip in 2 weeks. I never been to Europe in my life so I need your help. Thanks a lot!
     
  22. jetsetboy

    jetsetboy Silver Member

    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    246
    Status Points:
    360
    Although ambitious, 2 weeks is enough to visit all those cities, if you don't mind only spending a couple of days in each place, as you mentioned. If you decide to cut one out, MXP would be the one. The other cities have much more to see and do than MXP. Also probably better to take the high-speed train from Paris to Amsterdam. Check the prices and the convenience to your schedule to help make your decision.

    Pisa is not near Venice. It's about 200 miles, and there's not a direct train. You'll probably have to take a train from Florence to get to Pisa, and because of that connection, if you took the train between VCE and FLR, it would take about 3.5 hours. Based on your route map, if I were you I'd visit PSA while I was in FLR (maybe add an extra day in FLR), and then once you were ready to go to Paris, take a plane from VCE to either CDG or ORY (whichever one works out best for you.) It might be a little more expensive than flying from PSA, but worth it based on your itinerary.

    As for ideas about your itinerary, it all depends on what you want to see and do. For your first time to Europe, if you just want to see as many cities (that interest you) as you can, then I think you've nailed it, hitting all those cities in just 2 weeks.;)
     

Share This Page