New to plan one world award

Discussion in 'oneworld' started by travelmi, Nov 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. travelmi

    travelmi Silver Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status Points:
    120
    1. So coming off Chicago Seminar, I learned a lot of things. Thanks for organizing the event! It is fun and informative.

    I am anxious to try something from what I have learned. I am looking at an Itinerary as following:
    mke-nrt-icn-hkg-ord-mad-bcn-ord

    This will be a trip broke down to two parts. I am hoping to do March, 2013 for the mke-nrt-icn-hkg-ord and July,2013 for ord-mad-bcn-ord, all in business class for three people.

    Here are the newbie questions:
    Great Circle Map shows the route as 25003 mile and Mileage Monkey shows 24,978 miles. Which one is correct? Normally 25 miles does not matter, but this time it does.

    When should I book the trip? For simpler trips, I would book 330 days out as EXP status allows me to redeposit the mile as needed. But now I have to consider book it and complete the trip in 365 days. So the earliest I can book is Aug, 2012, will I get any availability for 3 people on the Asia trip that late?

    What's the most efficient way to check the flight availabilities?

    Any thought and suggestions? Thanks!

    (sorry, noticed the typo in tiltle, Plan is spelled wrong, do not know how to correct it)
     
  2. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Welcome to MP, looks like you have a fun trip in mind.

    To quickly answer your questions:

    1. GCMAP shows me the route is, at a minimum, 26145 miles. That's because you're missing segments in your plan. For example, you cannot fly from MKE-NRT. You need to connect in another city. So you need to input the route as MKE-ORD-NRT or MKE-DFW-NRT to get an accurate reading. The OW trip will count ALL flight miles, not the distance between your origin and destination as a direct route. You have similar issues when you try to go from BCN directly to ORD. No flight available. This is a more accurate look at what you'd need to map: MKE-DFW-NRT-ICN-HKG-ORD-MAD-BCN-MAD-ORD.

    Keep in mind that your award is all based on the availability of space, too. To make this award work, particularly when looking for 3 business class seats on the same flights, you're going to need to be flexible with your flights. I'm willing to bet you will not get all the flights you want for the most direct route possible, you might have to veer off course to get flights with space (like fly ORD-LHR-MAD-BCN or MKE-DFW-LAX-HKG-NRT for example). Award space can be hard to get in premium cabins for 1 person let alone 3 on the same flight. Flexibility will be key.

    2. Award space availability is a guessing game. It's hard enough when you look at just one airline like AA, but your trip will potentially have award space needs on AA, CX, JL, BA (watch out for those fuel surcharges!), and IB (and perhaps even AY and MA). No one can accurately give you odds on whether space will be available. You'll probably find space, but as mentioned above, you might have to route through some odd places. Your flights to BCN might be tough since you're looking to go at the height of travel to Europe. Space dries up quicker in those months.

    3. You can use free websites like BA.com or qantas.com to check award space availablity, though there are kinks to each site. You can also try pay services like AwardNexus or KVS to verify award space. I have used AwardNexus and haven't had any issues. It helped me get F class seats on the Qantas A380 twice.

    Again, welcome to MP and best of luck planning. Check in here with your questions and progress, someone is always willing to help. :)
     
    Gardyloo likes this.
  3. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Because of the long gap between the two loops (Asia and Europe) and the fact that the second one is in July, as well as the actual mileage you may be forced to fly, I might suggest you think about partner awards rather than a Oneworld award.

    While the total mileage "cost" might be higher that way, my feeling is that you might benefit by being able to book the Asia trip sooner, thereby increasing the odds of getting your desired dates (vs. waiting for Europe to "open" and missing seats that come available sooner.)

    In addition, partner awards are considerably more flexible than Oneworld awards - not just in the carriers you could use, but in changing carriers as well as route adjustments. With Oneworld awards you can't change the route or the carrier on any segment once booked, just the dates - but even the same flights have to be used; to make any changes beyond dates you need to scrap the whole magilla and start anew. With complicated and long-term trips, that can be a serious PITA.

    You should also review the transit/stopover limitations - 2 transits and one stopover max in any one city - looks like you'd be maxed out at ORD and may have to return to MKE via DFW (also impacting the mileage.)

    The all-partners approach could also allow you to book some one-way revenue flights to work around availability issues (especially with CX) and not have to worry about the two-carrier or one-open-jaw rules with the Oneworld awards. For example, you could fly MKE AA ORD AA NRT (and connect on JL to ICN if not stopping over) then if CX isn't available, pay for a cheap one-way ticket from ICN to HKG, then HKG JL NRT AA ORD AA MKE on the return, rather than hoping for 3 seats on the HKG-ORD CX flight (which to me is the longest stretch of all.)

    You have plenty of time to profile the alternatives - I wouldn't automatically assume the Oneworld option works best for you, nor would I assume it wouldn't. Regardless, getting 3 J seats together on all segments is going to be a real challenge.
     
    iolaire and DestinationDavid like this.
  4. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    Welcome to MP! I hope you enjoy the planning of the itinerary! It makes it more exciting unless you find zero availability in everything! :)
     
  5. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    I probably should have explained why I offered the routes I did, good catch!
     
  6. travelmi

    travelmi Silver Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status Points:
    120
    Just trying my hand on this. It seems that the chance of the trip be successfully booked is not so good.

    Try to understand why I maxed out ORD with MKE-DFW-NRT-ICN-HKG-ORD-MAD-BCN-MAD-ORD. Even if I do MKE-ORD-NRT-ICN-HKG-ORD-BCN-MAD-ORD it is still within two transits and one stop over. I may drop HKG if the mileage increases with the routing and HKG-ORD is getting too hard to get.


    I may as well hold an all partner reward for Asia at the 330 days mark. If I can get the trip mapped out, just cancel the Asia one.
     
    Gardyloo likes this.
  7. travelmi

    travelmi Silver Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status Points:
    120
    One reason I want to do an one world award is that it allows me to stop at multiple cities. All partner reward only allows one NA gateway stopover

    If I booked two one way award, will I get one stopover on each leg? Can I do ORD-HNL-NRT with HNL stop over?
     
    Gardyloo likes this.
  8. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Pretty sure you can't stop over or connect through your final destination city (ORD.) If you transit ORD and make MKE your final destination, then you'd have to fly MKE-DFW to start, followed by one ORD stopover and one ORD connection. MKE-DFW... would bump you into the next mileage tier IIRC.

    Yes, ability to book multiple stopovers is indeed the main benefit of the Oneworld awards.

    I suspect that HNL would be okay as an outbound gateway; a call to the EXP desk would get you a cheap and reliable final word.
     
  9. jixx

    jixx Silver Member

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    60
    Status Points:
    295
    I have a question that kind of gets into the strategy for booking oneworld awards in general. Since you are allowed to freely change the date/flight number on oneworld award flights, would it be possible for travelmi to book the Asia and Europe legs together in Aug 2012 with random dates for the Europe leg (any with award availability), then change the dates/flights of the Europe leg in Dec/Jan when those reward flights are open for booking? As long as travelmi completes the flights before 365 days from booking, wouldn't that work? This assumes a valid routing for under 25,000 miles is found.
     
  10. travelmi

    travelmi Silver Member

    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    38
    Status Points:
    120
    Thanks for the suggestion. I think it will work. I am just nervous about the inventory to Asia. I am used to booking 330 days out. Especially since it comes out EXP account, it can be cancelled for free.
     

Share This Page