Mile Redemption Guidance

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Traveling Momma, Apr 29, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Hi all -

    I'm trying to fly my family of three from Chicago to Bangkok over the dates of March 19/20th - March 30th, 2014 in C Class or better (I'm targeting Cathay but open to anything that gets us there) and wondered if anyone can provide some guidance or opinions on the plan below?


    I believe we have almost enough miles with two AA accounts that have 146k and 84k. And then two SPG accounts that have 31k and 1k. If the redemption is 55K each way, then we're very close.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Should I book one way tickets now from ORD to BKK for all three C class because they're available and hope that when the dates of March 30th for my return open up, (not 330 days yet) that I'll be able to get us back on March 30th?
    2. Should I wait for my next A-O-Rama scheduled for May 17th to add the needed miles for 3 C class return tickets? The miles will post at the end of June as I can typically make all required spends in one month. I'm worried about lack of availability for 3 First or Business (lay flat) seats.
    3. What North American gateway city combinations should I be considering to add a free stopover sometime in December? I want to take advantage of this option for another nice one way trip at no extra cost for us all but am confused how I would do this if only booking one ways now and then adding one ways for the return portion 30 or so days from now.

    Any direction or guidance would be very helpful.
     
  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    * If the trip is firm book what's available now.

    * For a stopover, well, that'll be dictated by availability... Getting 3 business class award tickets is a win, so whatever is there you should be pleased with stopover or no :)

    * But you're still short miles for the return even after you transfer SPG -> AA (which doesn't happen instantly, so you may want to be proactive).
     
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  3. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    I would book whatever you can now. There is no guarantee that they will be there even tomorrow. CX in C, at least from my observations, don't last very long (from NYC). Worry about the return flight later. As for the free one-way, I'll let the others share their input.
     
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  4. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Keep in mind that each of the three tickets needs to be paid entirely from ONE account each. So let’s say you are booking the outbound it will go like this:
    110k points for two tickets from large account, leaving 36k
    55k points for one ticket from small account, leaving 29k

    That’s going to make it more of a challenge to get the return since you will need 74k added to the large account and 26k to the small account.
     
  5. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Yes, I see your point. This then bring me to another way to figure this out. Should I go ahead and book and confirm the 3 outbound C class tickets, do my next AoRama, have the miles post by the end of June and then book the return tickets (and hope we can get 3 C class). It won't be the end of the world if only one of two of the return seats are C class. One or two of us can sit in economy. I'm more concerned with actually securing at least one part of this award on business class.

    And, now how do I add the free one way on to this award if I just book them all as a series of one way tickets?
     
  6. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    In my book yes - its best to get what you want now.

    I'm not the person to answer this, but I will say I'd value a 14 hour C flight over Economy MUCH higher than a free domestic flight.
     
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  7. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    I completely agree with you. Huge value in C class for 3 tks. However, I want to add a one way add on to this award for Hawaii. There is HUGE value in that too and if I can add it on for no additional miles, why not.

    Thanks for the input. Much appreciated!
     
  8. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    For clarity I'm looking to add a free one way from HNL to ORD in December (before the main award), but can also add it after the main award from ORD to HNL in December 2014.
     
  9. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    I assume you are on top of the rules for stopovers? Ie there are published fares from BKK to Hawaii on CX, and that that routing is not over 25% of the allowed mileage for the route?

    Both rules pulled from:
    http://milevalue.com/the-five-cardinal-rules-of-american-airlines-awards/
     
  10. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    If I hold the outbound tickets and get creative it looks like I can do this for the return flights:

    I have

    Move 26K of my SPG points to the AA account with 29K to get to the 55K needed for the C class return
    Move the remaining 6K SPG points to the other AA account of 36K to get to 41K (still short 14K for the return)
    Buy 14,000 AA points online for $385.00.

    Then I'm only short one return flight. For one C Class return I can simply wait to book this at the end of June when I will have accrued another 150K AA points in my new A-O-R.

    Given that I'm realizing from the comments above, and my searches of this site, that its pretty rare to get 3 C class together and that they won't last. Is my thinking correct?
     
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  11. Traveling Momma

    Traveling Momma Silver Member

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    Right. Thanks for the reminder on the rules too. I might look up flights on JAL too vs just Cathay as I like the stopover options better here.
     
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  12. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    you get 25k miles for 20k starpoints so u only need to transfer 21k starpoints to get 26k AA miles
     
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