Newbie here....need help on how to book family trip

Discussion in 'US Airways | Dividend Miles' started by cjarjoura, Feb 2, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. cjarjoura

    cjarjoura Member

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    I am planning a trip for my family of 4 to go to Ireland, England, Germany and Italy this summer.

    Below Summarizes my mileage:

    Miles needed 240000
    US Airways Point Reduction -10000
    Actual points needed 230000
    My UA Miles 116768
    AmEx points (soon to be Aeroplan miles) 97772
    Husband UA Miles 17700
    Total miles 232240



    We both have a UA credit card which has the 5000 point reduction (so a total of 10,000 miles – am I making a correction assumption?)


    After a lot of searching, I found tickets on Air Canada ORD to DUB and then MIL to ORD return. Total miles needed 240,000. I want to pull the trigger asap, since economy tickets requiring only 30000 miles each way are very hard to find.


    I have never booked a trip using miles. I am little confused about the process. I know I can book two tickets with my miles. But, how do I go about booking the two additional seats with my husband’s miles and the planned transfer of AmEx miles to Aeroplan? Does he have enough mile to book the trip through US Airways? Or do I need to book the trip with Air Canada and then lose out on the 5000 points? Does Air Canada allow the combination of to programs miles for a trip?


    If I am totally off base with my plans, please let me know the best way to accomplish family vacation.
     
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  2. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    OK, there was a lot of information in this post. I want to understand that you only have these miles:

    UA (Yours) - 116,000
    UA (Husband) - 17,700
    AMEX - 97,772

    Is this correct?

    If so, you do not have enough points to book tickets on Air Canada. You would need 120,000 United and 120,000 Air Canada miles.

    This is what I would do:

    - Find flights on Aer Lingus from ORD - DUB. This would be 20,000 Avios one way. Transfer AMEX to British Airways AVIOS and book that way (about $150 per person in booking fees & fuel surcharges). If you cannot find flights from ORD, look at going out of BOS. They usually have tons of availability. You will need to buy enough points to get your account up to 100,000 Avios. (Use Expert Flyer to find seats or the United website)
    - Buy/Transfer enough points to get you United account up to 120,000 points and then book one way from MXP-ORD, this can be done on the United website.

    I am sorry, I do not know of a 5,000 point discount when using United miles. I though that was only US Airways.

    If you are having trouble finding Aer Lingus flights, let me know and I will try to help you search.
     
    cjarjoura likes this.
  3. cjarjoura

    cjarjoura Member

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    Thank you for your response. I'm sorry, I may have used the incorrect code when posting (I am really new to all of this! :). I have minimal United Airlines miles. My miles are Us Airways miles. Would my plan work for US Airways?

    Thanks for the advice about British AirwaysI I found 4 seats on a BOS - DUB flight using Expert Flyer. How do I get the flights without the large fee's? I can handle $150 per ticket, but it was well over $1000 in fee's.
     
  4. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    OK - US Airways (US) miles are different from United (UA) miles.

    US Airways allows 1 open jaw (which you have) and does not allow one way tickets. You have enough points for two tickets using US Airways miles. You would also need 120,000 Aeroplan miles for 2 tickets, but there are also fuel surcharges - and you would have to buy the tickets.

    Here is the plan that I would use, but there are a few pitfalls:

    - Transfer AMEX to BA Avios and use 25K per person roundtrip BOS-DUB. The fuel surcharges when using Avios on Aer Lingus is about $150. It is not $1,000 - but you do have to call to make these reservations

    - Use your US miles for rt ORD-BOS, but you must leave sufficient time to make your BOS-DUB connection. Either take an early morning flight, or go into Boston the night before (preferable). When we did this, taking an early morning flight meant that we were awake almost 18 hours when we landed.

    - I would probably reverse the trip so that you can buy a cheap flight on Aer Lingus to Milan. The agents in BOS can print your boarding pass and interline your baggage, since it is the same airline. If you want to keep the same itinerary that you are working on, then make sure that you arrive in DUB the night before you leave.

    Where are you going in Ireland, England, Germany & Italy?
     
    cjarjoura likes this.
  5. cjarjoura

    cjarjoura Member

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    I booked our one way BOS to DUB on Aer Lingus ($234 for all 4 tickets!) before I saw your post. We are planning on traveling throughout Ireland, to see my grandparents homeland. Then onto London for a few days, then to Frankfurt, Germany with our final stop being Lake Lugano in Italy. So, I am looking to fly home from either Milan or Zurich or anywhere else I can find tickets!

    Are you saying that Air Canada doesn't allow one way tickets? I thought it was just US Airways that had that policy. My plan to get home was on Air Canada using my US points. Do I need to keep looking?
     
  6. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Air Canada allows one way tickets, but you will need 120,000 miles for 4 people.

    What other points do you have?
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  7. cjarjoura

    cjarjoura Member

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    If I book a trip using my US Airways card, I get a 5000 mile deduction or I could transfer miles from my husbands account to mine if they won't grant me the 5000 miles. But, I just checked Air Canada and they are charging me almost $1400 in taxes and fee's! I found flights on Lufthansa, but I can't find out how much it is going to cost me.
     
  8. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Ok, how many points do you have now in all the different programs?

    The 5,000 point reduction is on US Airways flown award flights only - not all awards booked with US Airways.

    The surcharges that you are seeing are for redeeming Aeroplan points on Air Canada, not using US Airways miles on Air Canada.

    You cannot use US Airways miles one way.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014
  9. cjarjoura

    cjarjoura Member

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    The bulk of my points are on US Airways -116,768 (my husband has 18,199 miles).
    AmEx is down to $47,772
    I have minimal miles in AA, UA, and Delta (not enough for any award).

    Do you know if Lufthansa has high taxes and fee's when using miles?
     
  10. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Here is you problem - you need 240,000 miles on US Airways as you cannot book one way tickets.

    You could book DUB to BOS with the rest of the AMEX points.

    You should be able to us the US Airways miles to get to BOS.
     
  11. cjarjoura

    cjarjoura Member

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    Shoot...well I really screwed up! US Airways doesn't have any economy availability for the limited dates I have available (June 21st - July 10th). I'll see what is available on Aer Lingus.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to help me!!!!
     
  12. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Yes, you have to be flexible on award bookings. Also, Aer Lingus flys from SNN to BOS as well as to JFK and ORD from DUB, the latter 2 will require 20,000 points each.

    However, you will get it figured out and you will have a great trip!
     

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