Need a lot of Miles for a large group

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by AKG4K, May 8, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. AKG4K

    AKG4K New Member

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    Hi All:
    I am getting married in November/December 2014. The wedding will be in India. The vast majority of my family currently resides in USA - east coast between DC and NY. I am trying to figure out a way to potentially collect a bunch a miles to distribute to my family to reduce the overall cost of flying 12 - 15 people to India. Help....
     
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  2. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    You can wait for a bonus promotion to purchase some miles at a lower rate. You can sign up for several credit cards to bank more points. But there is only so much you can do on your own, because that's a lot of people and you will need a lot of miles. If you can get a few people to help you out with also signing up for credit cards, that will really help you out too.
     
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  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    That's close to a million miles in a few months!
    I hear US Airways is selling miles like candy, ahead of making them worthless.
    ;)
     
  4. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Cannot help with your quest but certainly want to welcome you to MP and Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! :)
     
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  5. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    I don't think you can do it on your own without super human financial activity... I could see you earning enough points to pay for maybe 4 tickets. You might be able to setup a strategy that you write out and get some of your guests to follow so that they can make the trip - assuming when they earn the points there still is availability.

    Before you do much you should see if there is currently award inventory for the dates you need them.

    Otherwise you have to hope one of the carriers has a sale and your guests buy their tickets during that sale.
     
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  6. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    It will be hard to do this on your own (unless you spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each month that you can put on credit cards). However, if you have the cooperation of the relatives you want to fly to India and if many of them are adults (and are therefore eligible to apply for credit cards) you can probably work things out so many of the tickets are covered.

    To do this, you'll have each adult member of your family apply for something like two or three credit cards, each with a bonus of 40K to 100K miles once the minimum spend requirement is met. You'll then make sure each person plans and tracks their spending so that they complete the minimum spend and collect the miles. Then you will help them use the miles to book award tickets to India or someplace close enough that it's cheap to fly to India.

    You'd have to put some thought into what cards to advise people to get. You want to make sure that each person is concentrating on a single airline so their miles add together to make enough for the fairly mile-pricey ticket to India. But different people could get cards from different airlines so that you can spread the awards around (you'll have trouble finding 15 award tickets on the same day, on the same airline).

    In this way each person could "earn" their own ticket and, possibly, a second one.

    Without people's cooperation you'd be hard pressed to come up with more than a couple of tickets on your own.
     
  7. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    Million Miles Secret is your man from India and know the way...

    Check out his blog,

    He will speak your language...
     
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  8. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    As others have said, you might have a fighting chance if you get a few folks to sign up for credit cards along with you, maximizing sign-up bonuses with things like Bluebird and Serve.
     
  9. AKG4K

    AKG4K New Member

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    Thanks for all the comments. Do you have a sense of which cards would be better for me to recommend? And, some of you mentioned purchasing miles from airlines - how do I go about doing this? I am truly a newbie. I think that if I can get even a few tickets that would be better than none. :) I will also check out Million Miles Secret!
     
  10. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    It depends on which airlines you think you can get seats on. The logic would go something like:
    1. Which airlines have reliable award availability on these routes (since you're getting the miles before you can book tickets),
    2. Which program(s) offer good redemption values on the airlines in #1 (are one-way redemptions valuable/helpful?),
    3. How do you get those points?
    I haven't booked awards to India, so I get stuck at step #1. Once you have a good answer to #1, ask here again - I think we have more collective wisdom about steps #2 and #3. Note that you may not need points on the airlines with good availability - points on one of their partners might work just fine.
     
  11. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    The real problem with MS, it is not real spend,

    So you have the points, but you find yourself broke trying to get there.

    TheMillion Miles guy is from India, and travels there.

    My wife is from China but once we get there everyone thinks it is Christmas time, and we have 6 or 7 hotel room, buy the meals, so the airfare is just a small price, even the dog setter back home gets paid, as well as the Lemo driver..

    Still the miles game makes it happen, but it takes real spend and a real job or investments..and even retired their is not enough free time.
     
  12. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    More than that; the odds of getting coach (Y) tickets for 12-15 people on or around the same dates/flights resemble winning the lottery, especially around Thanksgiving/Christmastime (lots of people will be flying to visit family around then, so Y availability for awards will be limited). India tends to be one of the most expensive regions to fly to from the USA.

    Ironically, premium class availability (F/C) is better around that time of year, because nobody wants to be away from family working during the holidays...

    I would avoid American Airlines (AA) AA miles- AA has routing rules that require North America->India to across the Atlantic, which almost certainly means you get whacked with fuel surcharges (in other words, increased cash costs). The only possible way around that would be flying across the Pacific to Sri Lanka and paying for a cash flight to India from there, or possible Etihad or Qatar (but American's award routing rules are complicated, it's not clear to me if you can stop in the Gulf States on the way to India).

    British Airways (BA) miles/Avios will charge by distance/stop AND add fuel surcharges, so avoid them too.
     
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  13. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    This is the big problem you're facing, since a wedding is a fixed date trip. Trying to use frequent flyer miles to fly 12-15 people to a fixed date event is going to be an exercise in frustration. If some of those relatives travel regularly, that's one thing (as they could use the miles later for other trips if they can't get awards flights to/from India on the dates needed), but for the relatives who don't fly much, focusing on collecting miles for them is a big gamble.
     
  14. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    Prob be cheaper and easier to just have 2 weddings. One in the US for family/friends here and another in India for family/friends there.

    Sent using a small piece of fruit.
     

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