Noob seeking advice on booking award travel

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by lakedaemon, Nov 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. lakedaemon

    lakedaemon Active Member

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    I hope this is the right place to ask. I've searched the forum and searched the Internet and can't seem to find the places I sure I saw teach people how to finagle the best way to redeem travel points.

    I have:
    70,000 united miles
    80,000 Chase sapphire points
    40.300 US Airways miles
    48,000 Delta miles (I think this is not part of the star alliance, yes?)

    I would rather use fewer points and get to the destination in economy than be in first class, tho if the difference is like 10,000, I would probably go for the upgrade.

    I'm looking to travel in March 2013 from SLC to HNL. Dates have to be pretty specific (16-31) but have a few days of wiggle room. I have looked at United's Award availability and found for 20,000 points economy one-way to HNL, and 50,000 points coming back for mixed cabin, in first to the mainland and economy back to SLC. There were no super saver economy seats or else I'd take that coming back. Economy was 40,000, so I figure using an extra 10,000 to get first part of the way was a good way to go. Is this a good use of points or am I doing this all wrong? And is now a good time to book or should I wait?

    I'm also planning a trip in Sept 2013 to England. Should I book now? I want to fly into LGW or LHR sometime around the 17th and fly back around 2 1/2 weeks later. I am planning on meeting a friend and traveling (car or plane, dunno) to Scotland or Ireland. Can I use some sort of open jaw or layover to get to Scotland/Ireland with my friend, or is it best to book that separately? Is the best way to find award availability to go through each individual airline I have miles with? Am I asking the right questions? This is my first time even looking at award travel with points and I'm not quite sure how I best maximize my points.
     
  2. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint

    If award seats are available, I would book as soon as possible. 10,000 miles difference to fly in first for 5 hours is a no brainer, take the first class seats.

    You should look into some of the mileage offers on credit cards, as you will need more miles than you have in any one carrier. I am not personally familiar with how the Chase sapphire points transfer, but they may give you enough for the trip.

    There are several postings about Chase on the website. If you look them up, you should have an answer for that.

    Generally speaking you have a better shot at the lower mileage seats if you book as early as possible.

    Good luck in your travels.
     
    edekba likes this.
  3. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    with UA you should be able to do a SLC - LHR - (SomewhereInScotOrIreland) - SLC no problem. Find out w/your friend if you'll be going via car or plane ... If via car you can do SLC -> LHR; (SWISOI) - SLC as well.
     
  4. YULtide

    YULtide Gold Member

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    Don't think car to Scotland. Think train. I took a train from London to Edinburgh last year and the service was great. After a 4 hour trip the service director made an announcement apologizing for the late arrival. We were 2 minutes late.
     
  5. lakedaemon

    lakedaemon Active Member

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    Thanks everyone for your tips and suggestions! It's helped me finalize some plans. I'll definitely look into taking a train that's not something I thought about.
     
  6. lakedaemon

    lakedaemon Active Member

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    Another noob question... I just spent the last two hours searching the net and only confused myself. Can I use any of the above balances in any way to get from LGW/LHR to INV?
     
  7. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    I'd drive a car if it was a DB5.
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The only carrier serving that route is flyBE. You're not going to get that on *A points. Not sure if Avios can be redeemed on it or not, but I'm betting not.
    Now that bmi is gone there is no regional service within the British Isles as part of *A so getting from LHR up into SWISOI isn't going to work very well.
     
  9. lakedaemon

    lakedaemon Active Member

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    Thank you Wandering Aramean! That saves me a bunch of time researching.
     

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