Is this doable and legal

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Miss Staunton, Sep 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Miss Staunton

    Miss Staunton Silver Member

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    I have booked a flight from IAD-SYD-AKL-IAD. Have now thought that I might like to spend a few days in Bangkok. Wondering if I could keep my same outbound flight to Sydney and then book AKL to BKK and then a few days later fly BKK to Narita to IAD? This is all through Star Alliance airlines.

    This newbie thanks you for your time and assistance.

    Jane
     
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  2. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Officially its against the rules to throw away return segments. It's rare that people get caught, but if everything is on the same alliance it is possible.

    Also, one way tix get expensive and lead to more customs/immigration scrutiny, so it is probably better to pay the change fees to modify your initial itinerary.
     
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  3. guberif

    guberif Silver Member

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    Congrats on your first post! I'm assuming you are actually talking about changing your tic?
     
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  4. Miss Staunton

    Miss Staunton Silver Member

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    Yes, I am thinking about changing my ticket - I only have so many miles for free flights that I can't waste them. Do you know if what I am proposing can be done on an open jaw roundtrip flight with the stopover in Bangkok? If I have used the incorrect terminology, I apologize. I've been lurking for a few months, reading blogs that I can find and am trying to educate myself but am sure that this is all a learning curve and I will make mistakes.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It can be done but you may have pay a change fee + a fare difference fee between the new and original itinerary. I have just done it twice. I had booked JFK-IAD-ORD-HKG- (do a bunch of award travel in N & SE Asia)-then-HKG-NRT-SFO-JFK. I decided to extend my stay to do a bunch more stuff in the area, and this required that I rebook the return segments (HKG-NRT-SFO-JFK). There were flights for me to keep the same itinerary BUT the fare was cheaper by $350! So, they rebooked me for later date and gave me a voucher for $350, BUT they also charged me a change fee of $250, which I had to pay even though they owed me $350.

    My second change may be closer to what you wish to do but the procedure was the same. I decided to change the outbound itinerary because I saw no point in doing JFK-IAD-ORD, when there are direct LGA-ORD flights every hour. I asked if they could change this for me, i.e., to do LGA-ORD rather JFK-IAD-ORD. There were plenty of flights but they said that they would have to issue me another ticket for the entire trip! At this point I flipped because upgrades for most of the long-haul segments had already cleared and issuing me another ticket to just change this small segment would jeopardize the upgrades. So, I said thanks but NO THANKS! The agent then said that she would speak with the supervisor to see if they could just change the segment I wanted changed without changing anything else. She came back and said that they could do it, but that it would cost me $150 for change fee and some additional money for fare difference, costing me nearly $400 more. I said that I was not interested to spend that kind of money and that I would just stick with the original itinerary (JFK-IAD-ORD). Then she said, well, because as 1K you are a loyal customer, we will waive the fare difference fee and you can just pay the change fee. I accepted so I paid $150.

    A long way to say that you can do as you wish, but it will cost you. Find out how much and see if it is worth it. They might give you a deal because this was the second time that I had a fare difference waived when I decided that the cost for changing an itinerary was more than I wanted to pay. It is to their advantage to take more of your money on top of what you already paid so they will waive the fare difference, and just take the change fee.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The rules depend on the program you've redeemed miles from. That's the key detail missing.

    If from UA then adding the stopover in BKK will not require any additional miles though you may have to pay a change fee depending on your elite status level. If the points are from a different program then the rules might be different.

    Not likely to be a "fare difference" on an award trip. And the change fees vary from carrier to carrier and from fare to fare.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I was not sure whether this was an award or paid travel. If the OP has miles to burn, the easiest thing then would be to change nothing except the return date and take an AKL-BKK trip on the side. That is essentially what I do every year. I would have an IN and OUT and between the two I can do anything I want just using miles.
     
  8. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

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    If you do throw away your return, make sure you don't double book for simultaneous flights on the same carrier (or within the same alliance).
     
  9. VeryGoodPoints

    VeryGoodPoints Silver Member

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    Why don't you just book a paid tix or seperate tix from SYD to AKL and then change your original tick so that you do IAD-SYD-BKK-IAD. Depending on when you're there, you can find deals for SYD to AKL
     
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  10. Miss Staunton

    Miss Staunton Silver Member

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    OK, following your advice, I will pay for a ticket from Auckland to Sydney but is it within the parameters to go home SYD-BKK-IAD or is it too many miles deviation from my original IAD-SYD route? Remember, this is an award ticket. Thank you for all your assistance in helping this newbie :)
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Please do NOT buy the ticket yet.

    Which program are you redeeming the points from? That makes a HUGE difference in what you can or cannot do with the award routings. If you are using UA points you can do IAD-AKL, SYD-BKK, BKK-IAD as a single award. Other programs might not permit that.
     
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  12. Miss Staunton

    Miss Staunton Silver Member

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    Seth,
    I booked the award ticket lat April but am now looking at changing only the return ticket home. I booked it through UA using my MileagePlus points. I'm now thinking about doing a change for the return home. I just wasn't sure if it was too many miles on the return and wouldn't qualify as a stopover. My initial ticket is for IAD-SFO-Seoul (is it inc or icn?)-SYD with a return of AKL-LAX-IAD. Outbound is Business Class and inbound is economy as there wasn't anything eft at that time. I do keep checking though. Since I was already across the Pacific I thought I could go somewhere else. Someone here suggested I buy a ticket from AKL to SYD and then fly from SYD to BKK.

    Thanks for your help,
    Jane
     
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  13. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You should be able to change the return to AKL-BKK then BKK-IAD only paying the basic change fee ($75 for non-elite, I believe). Obviously add connections as needed to get home. You should not need to buy a ticket back to Sydney to make it work.
     

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