How far is too far?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by michael21, May 14, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    A few days ago, the fine folks at MP helped me figure out which airlines to take to Israel...Now the question is how far out can I book the trip. Availability is great in February of 2013 but how do people book things so far in advance...and I just had to change something on my Rome trip in August and they charged me $150/ticket so I don't think I can just cancel it, can I?

    Any thoughts? Book or wait?
     
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  2. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    Booking ~330 days in advance is not that unheard of... remember, award seats are limited and the longer you wait the higher the chances seats will be gone.

    But with that said, there are airlines out there which are notorious for not releasing award seats until the very last minute, so depending on what you want to do you might actually be forced to wait.

    As far as the change fees go, they are often waived based on your status.
     
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  3. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    As far as status, I'm married...ha ha...no Status here...I actually see flights (SWISS that I want)...so one vote for book?
     
  4. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    If you can afford to take a hit ($150) then do it. Swiss is a tough one to find in F from LAX/SFO so if its from either airport go for it.
     
  5. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    If you want specifics re: cancel/change fees, we need to know which carrier's currency you're using.

    General advice around here would be to go ahead and book it. On the other hand, I have status on the carrier where I have (and use) the most miles, so I tend to ignore the fees.
     
  6. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    No kidding. I have a forced overnight in BOS in June as a result.
     
  7. Steven Schwartz
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    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Planning ahead is a mandatory part of the frequent flier game - except for those who can chuck it all and do last minute trips. And part of the game of planning ahead is knowing that occasionally, you will have to change your reservations.

    Sometimes things come up. If I'm planning 11 months ahead and a few months later I find out one of our kids will be having a baby, well that one's obvious. But to me, I grab what I can that will work and keep looking for what I really want. For an expensive ticket, it's part of the price I pay for paying nothing!
     
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  8. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The questions you're asking depend on the airline you're trying to book and the airline of the miles you're using.
     
  9. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I'll be using United miles to book the flight there (using AA to get back) and looking to fly SWISS.
     
  10. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    I would keep checking until the deal is sweet enough
     
  11. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    agreed !!!!
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Only sortof.

    Not all award seats are released when the schedule opens so the true key is to keep checking, not to pick one random release date and hope the seats are there. With the proliferation of tools for easily checking award availability (including email alerts from some like mine) it is getting easier to have a chance at getting those coveted awards. That said, I'd absolutely book a "backup" award that I'm willing to fly and tweak it later, especially when looking at the better F products. Yeah, you'll be hit with a change fee if not elite, but better that than having nothing when your desired departure date rolls around.
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Book it. Don't change your plans.
     
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  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    ....or fly a domestic carrier and use a higher miles award....
     
  15. philatravelgirl

    philatravelgirl Silver Member

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    I rarely plan out two months ahead due to work issues however when redeeming miles for premium tickets I will book out when I find any part of the ticket and I'm booking for one person. The cancel/redeposit fees are no different than travel insurance to me, paying to essentially hold my $5k+ ticket.
    I vote to book it
     
  16. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    The general advice is book it when it is available is correct. If you cannot be flexible on your travel dates especially so (the more flexibility on time you have, the longer you can wait).

    That said, for Israel, I always find good availability (not perfect though) even 4-6 months out from the East coast on *A network as there are many options to get there. AA/BA on the other hand is much more limited, especially if you are aiming to go on BA and not on IB.

    Remember that if you go business class only LH, BA and swiss offer a real business class as opposed to the European business class that is offered on other airlines.
     
  17. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    What do you mean about the "real" business class?
     
  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Most carriers flying in to TLV put aircraft configured with their EuroBiz product on the route. That's basically coach with a blocked middle seat. A few carriers use their long-haul configured planes so you get the "real" business class seat.
     
  19. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I think I saw Iberia had a nice business class something like business plus or something like that?
     
  20. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    As far as I know IB uses narrow bodies to the flight to TLV and therefore it is the European style business class.

    I was only referring to the flight from the hub to TLV - but this could be 4-5 hours flight.
     
  21. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'm sure their long-haul product is fine. But into TLV that's only available on one flight a week:
    Export from Wandering Aramean Travel Tools
    Code:
    Flight Timetable -- MAD-TLV for date: 20120816 at 00:00 on Iberia
    Carrier|Flight|From |To   |Dep. Time|Arr. Time|Schedule|Equipment|Duration|Exceptions|
    IB     |3754  |MAD  |TLV  |10:00    |15:40    |1------ |346      |4:40    |          |
    IB     |3754  |MAD  |TLV  |10:10    |15:50    |-234567 |319      |4:40    |          |
    IB     |3748  |MAD  |TLV  |16:05    |21:45    |-23--6- |319      |4:40    |          |
    IB     |3752  |MAD  |TLV  |23:15    |05:05+1  |1234567 |319      |4:50    |          |
    
    Powered by The Wandering Aramean Travel Tools. Click for your free account!

    If you're not on that flight it is just a regular economy seat with the middle blocked.
     
  22. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I'm about to book EL AL to Madrid and then Iberia to ORD...any problems there?
     
  23. sheilaaellis44

    sheilaaellis44 Member

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    Well the details in your sentence will enough to you to flight going into Israel. You have a lot of days and months to trip. I suggest do not cancel it. Have a nice and good trip.
     

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