Limits to Stopovers on Award Tickets?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by MovingMaven, Feb 21, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MovingMaven

    MovingMaven Active Member

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    Dear all,

    My partner & I are planning and saving for award travel from London to Melbourne in December 2012. I have "enough" miles in American, and he has enough in Qantas, so we were hoping to build an itinerary that we could request from our respective programs.

    Given that we have to stop in Asia each way, we were hoping to take advantage of free stopovers, ideally Tokyo or Bangkok on the outbound and Hong Kong on the return. Using the OW planning tool, there are many routing options (encouraging!), but we're not sure if there are limits to the number of stopovers when applying mileage redemption. Is there an easy way to determine this?

    Also, I know that many FF-ers favor using miles for premium cabins. We'd love to do that, but our concern is that tickets to Australia in their summer will run £1700+ each, which should be much below the applicable taxes and fees. Is this a fair analysis?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. monster
    Original Member

    monster Silver Member

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    When AA introduced one-way All Partner awards, they took away the ability to have any stopovers except at the North American gateway on inter-region awards that start or end in North America.

    Oneworld awards (using AA miles) let you have a stopover pretty much anywhere you want as long as you comply with the rules. The most important rule is that you have to use at least 2 different oneworld carriers, but not counting AA. Since there are multiple oneworld carriers flying between LHR and MEL, this shouldn't be an issue for you. The mileage cost for oneworld awards is based on the distance flown, and although I haven't checked, will probably cost you more miles than a Europe-Australia All Partner award.

    As for the rules for Qantas awards, you might want to ask over in the Qantas forum.
     
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  3. magic111
    Original Member

    magic111 Silver Member

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    Ultimately it is going to be less expensive to incorporate all on aadvantage with a oneworld award as it would be possible to have up to 14 stopovers + your return within the allowable 16 segments.

    If you are worried about costs you might also be concerned about the fuel surcharges that will be imposed for BA flights using aadvantage miles. It is possible to compute here

    There is no way to get the award under 20k total mileage flown so you might even plan another couple side flights from MEL in OZ to use up the 25k miles. The cost for a oneworld award with what you want will be 120 for coach 150 for business and 230 for first. The obvious sweet spot is business.
     
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  4. MovingMaven

    MovingMaven Active Member

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    Thanks for the calculator! My primary concern was whether all of the fees & taxes would make it so expensive that we would do better to pay for the tickets on QF (with the free stopovers) and earn miles, rather than attempt to spend them on such a complicated itinerary. Would you ever recommend this?
     
  5. MovingMaven

    MovingMaven Active Member

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    Thanks for such a thorough reply. Yes, I had wondered whether my AA miles could get me a QF Asia pass, or indeed whether any of the OW passes would be more appropriate. Unfortunately, we're too short of an around-the-world ticket for that to be useful. I'm mostly confused as to why the stopover (say, a weekend) would be more difficult and more costly when redeeming miles than when buying the same itinerary with QF (stops/changes are de rigeur on QF, and turning it into a weekend stay is free).
     
  6. magic111
    Original Member

    magic111 Silver Member

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    Certainly there are times that the price makes it more reasonable to spend the money. The figure is even more attractive if one is also receiving bonus RDMs. There are multiple ways to determine whether the miles or money are worth more to you at the moment. And if you are like me it is a moving target.

    Even if the 1700+ fare is in business I would be hard pressed not to burn the miles. But I travel a lot and can purchase fares to other places that are not as dear. Have you figured out what the taxes are going to be on the 1700 fare? It is my belief that the taxes and fees will be less at least for an aadvantage award. Don't know how QF does their calculations.
     
  7. MLW20
    Original Member

    MLW20 Gold Member

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    When you fly with AA miles from what I understand you must catch your connecting flight within 24 hours as no stopovers are allowed for international flights booked with miles. I was just on the phone last night with an AA rep last night regarding this. It seems like they are pretty strict with this too.
     
  8. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    There are actually a few ways to get a stop over when using AA miles.

    For awards on AA or All-Partner awards, stop overs are allowed at the North American gateway from what I understand. So if you're flying MIA-ORD-DEL on AA miles, you can stop over at ORD. If your flight departs the US directly, like ORD-LHR-JNB, then no stop over is permitted since there is no North American gateway.

    Also as mentioned many times above, using AA miles to book a Oneworld award actually allows you up to 14 stop overs. I recently booked an OW award that has 5 stops myself.
     
  9. anng3
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    anng3 Silver Member

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    I recently booked an OW award that has 5 stops myself.[/quote]

    I'm pretty new to American. How many points did the OW award take?
     
  10. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    OW Awards are based on class of service and distance. You can see the award redemption chart here.

    They're great value for miles used IMHO, and are my personal favorite.
     

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