Need help using my awards for an Anniversary

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by peteyboy100, Feb 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. peteyboy100
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    peteyboy100 Silver Member

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    I would like to go to Hawaii this summer with my wife for our anniversary. We have quite a few points in various FF programs. I don't have a problem booking it on my own, but I feel like when I've done it in the past, I have a hard time getting the best value for my points. For example, I spent 50,000 on a roundtrip coach ticket from MKE to SFO. I was happy because the trip was free, but in my reading I understand that my points could have been better used elsewhere. It might have been better to pay the $250 per ticket price.

    Anyway... I'm wondering if you could suggest services that I could use to get the best value for my points and miles. I know about Lucky's service, Point Pros. Are their other services like this that folks on milepoint would/could recommend? I think this will be the best way for us to get the most out of our travel. I did try to search the forums here and on flyertalk, but I can't find anything. Maybe I'm not using the right keywords.

    EDIT: As requested below. We'd ideally like to travel mid-summer (most ideal would be over July 4)... but we are flexible and could travel anytime June - August. Our home airport is MKE, but ORD isn't bad for us either. We are okay with layovers and have family near San Francisco (SFO) or San Jose (SJC)... so if there were good deals from those airports, we could do a long layover if needed.

    My points.
    OnePass: 30,000
    US Airways: 47,000
    AA: 46,000

    Club Carlson: 55,530
    Starwood: 8,228

    Wife's points:
    OnePass: 75,000
    AA: 61,000

    Plus we have $200 in American Airline travel vouchers... soon to add another $200 (from AMEX platinum).
     
  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    You may also want to list a couple of the airline programs you have FF miles in, some approx. travel dates, and see what the MP community can come up with. You would be departing from MKE?
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Are you looking for someone to help you pick a destination, in addition to helping you book the flights? I certainly have no shame about recommending myself as someone who also helps people find award seats and I'm even willing to make recommendations on destinations if you have no particular preferences there. But, as sobore, posted above, if you share a few more details about what you've got and what you want then crowdsourcing it might be a lot easier.
     
  4. tondoleo
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    tondoleo Gold Member

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    You may be able to get help right here based upon your question. We need more information from you. What programs do you have miles accrued? How many miles? Do you have points to transfer from Starwood, MR or UR if necessary? What hotel programs have you joined? Is your home airport MKE? What dates are you considering for your travel? What flights have you looked at for your travel?

    This info will help. Thanks.
     
  5. peteyboy100
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    peteyboy100 Silver Member

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    Thanks all... I have updated the original post to reflect the basic questions I should have answered outright.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Is there anything you particularly want to see or do on your trip? Are you more into cities or beaches, hiking or lounging?

    Would you rather a shorter trip in a premium cabin or a longer/farther trip in coach? You've got enough points for a coach trip to Europe, for example, but only F on closer destinations.
     
  7. peteyboy100
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    peteyboy100 Silver Member

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    We are more into beaches and lounging, but also like some hiking... especially if the hiking provides beautiful vistas. We also love trying new/local foods! My wife hasn't flown first class, and I haven't ever flown out of the 48 states. So, we'd like to fly first class if it is going to be a longer flight.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Based on your interests and the miles you have I'd suggest Central America or the Caribbean. You should have enough points (or are close enough that topping off shouldn't be hard) to get the awards you need and the options for both active and relaxation should work.

    Hawaii also provides many of the same benefits if you don't want to deal with passports. Just don't only visit Waikiki.
     
  9. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Booking now for over the July 4 holiday is somewhat late, especially for Hawaii. That being said, there are saver awards on UACO for 2 from ORD to HNL flying out on the 4th and back on the 9th or 10th. Also some saver availability to KOA on the 4th. Not the best to be flying on the 4th.

    When you look for award flights, make sure you use the "flexible date" option. That way you can easily see various dates that are available.

    Good luck.
     
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  10. peteyboy100
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    peteyboy100 Silver Member

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    I feel like my question was misunderstood. I'm looking for a service to do the booking for me and make personal suggestions. All the suggestions here were great, but I'm not good at booking as I stated above and need one on one help with that. Are there places that do that?
     
  11. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Yes. They generally cost about $100-200 per person. The two you suggested at the top are fine. However, you should probably book these tickets yourself. The routing isn't particularly complicated, so AA and CO's booking engines should be easy enough to figure out. I don't really think it's worth paying $200+ to have someone else do it for you. I found saver options on United's site on the first try.

    As for first class, I'm not sure that's going to work out. For example, it requires 20K CO miles each way in coach or 40K each way in first. And there are fees for transferring miles, so if you used your CO miles, it might make sense to try to earn another 10K in your account and then book each person's ticket separately. If you really want first class, you could purchase revenue tickets for $885 each on CO/UA and use miles to upgrade.
     
  12. Cholula
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    Cholula Milepoint Guide

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    Hi peteyboy100. And welcome to Milepoint!

    As a matter of fact, there is at least one individual who does exactly what you need for some sort of fee. And he happens to be one of the Co-Founders of this website.

    His handle is gleff. Click on it and then select the tab named Information. At the bottom click on Start a Conversation. This will initiate a private conversation with him and you guys can discuss details. He might want to switch the discussion over to e-mail but that's his choice.

    I haven't used his services as I'm pretty knowledgeable myself but gleff is in a league almost by himself with his knowledge as to how to effectively book award tickets.

    Happy Travels.
     

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