Optimizing Award Flights (*A)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by cotter77, Apr 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. cotter77
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    cotter77 Silver Member

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    so i learned the ANA tool, aeroplan search, CO search limitations, Award Nexus tool
    I have the trip booked YYZ-CDG-BKK-DPS dec 28,
    DPS-BKK stopover jan 11, BKK-LAX-YYZ jan 13
    all in F or C award from CO (190k miles/pas for 2 pas) on mostly TG and AC

    i love YYZ for international travel since i am in BUF
    new F opened up YYZ-IAD-LHR-BKK-DPS on a later date that could be nice (jan 1) since the current itinerary is a bit long and i would like to shorten it a bit (so as to miss less work).
    there is hardly any availability on return awards from Asia to US which is super annoying...
    The YYZ-IAD seems almost silly to take...I could easily do direct BUF-IAD which would either make it open jaw (allowed one per CO award i believe), and therefore reticketing and rchange fees ~$300.
    can't skip the first leg of the itinerary on an award right?
    any advice to avoid the change fees?
    has anyone had luck with their travel insurance or Chase CO Onepass plus trip coverage covering these things like this?
     
  2. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Unfortunately, unless there has been a "significant" schedule change on your original routing, you are probably out of luck in getting a free routing and date change. There is no way you will get travel insurance of Chase Onepass trip coverage to pay for a change like this. You are requesting a change because, in their mind, you changed your mind on what you wanted. The airline did nothing to cause the change.

    About skipping the first leg, or any leg for that matter, if you do, they will probably cancel the rest of your itinerary so it is not a good idea. On the other hand, I have heard of a few people who skipped a leg and if the following legs were on different airlines, the tickets were not cancelled (probably miscommunication between the airlines). But I would not chance it.

    I know this is not the answer you were looking for but if you really want the change then you will have to pay the change fee.
     
  3. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    If you stay with the YYZ origination (not the BUF origination) and the DPS destination they may swap itineraries, the biggest hurdle probably isn't the routing but chaing of carriers as your new itinerary probably introduces UA, which wasn't a carrier on your original itinerary.

    If you find an agent willing to make the swap there may be different airport/routing taxes.
     
  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Continental change fees are only $75 per person, not $150, so the change cost is half what you expect..

    Also curious about the 190k per person as that award should be 145k per person.

    I am intrigued that CO allowed you to transit the Atlantic one direction, Pacific the other, I had thought that CO required you to transit the same ocean both ways for North America/Asia.
     
  5. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I had the same questions Gleff raised, specifically how you were able to transit both the Atlantic and Pacific on a NAmerica to Asia Award. As for the 190k miles, I don't believe there is any CO *A F award from 1 sector to another that costs 190k miles.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Officially this is true. They also officially do not permit transiting Europe on the way to Australia. But things have been known to slip between the cracks from time to time. I wouldn't bet on it working, but I've had them ticketed before and probably could again if I tried hard enough.
    This is not an issue at all with an award issued by CO.
     
  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    The thing about CO for better or for worse is "if the computer will price it" then you're golden. CO agents don't question the computer. Sometimes the computer is wrong though and it takes moving heaven and earth to do anything about it. But if you benefit from a computer pricing or routing error, you're golden, no pushback from agents usually. :)
     
  8. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Quick question - does CO charge change fees for top tier awards? and changes to those awards?
     
  9. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    CO Plats get free changes i think
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No change fees for CO Platinums. The only fee you'd pay is if you ticket an award inside 14 (or 21??) days.
    The cases I know of where it worked actually generally involved manually pricing the ticket because it was too complex or confusing to the computers.
     
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  11. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Nice, not an easy thing to get CO agents to do, I've only managed it a few times (and I've held awards that I had to get Scott O'Leary to go in and reprice :D ).
     
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  12. phonehome
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    phonehome Active Member

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    I recently booked ORD-AMS(stopover)-FRA-ICN(destination)--SFO(<24hr stopover)-ORD. When I called, I had prepared a list of return flights for ICN-ORD via Europe, but the agent herself offered that I go via SFO instead. I didn't even have to ask her.

    And if I recall correctly, I initially called with a different itinerary to Asia in mind, and a different agent also suggested that I fly back directly via the Pacific. So this wasn't just a single agent being generous or making a mistake.
     
  13. cotter77
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    cotter77 Silver Member

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    SUBTOPIC here: OPTIMIZING AWARD CHANGES/CANCELLATIONS
    this is not about airline changes/schedule changes/weather etc....
    I am interested in hearing peoples tips and tricks to adjusting awards when you just cant go anymore and one is not an elite and faced with 150$+ in change fees or redeposit fees and losses.
    to make matters worse, actually the outbound is OW award via AA on CX and the return is *A via CO miles on TG/LH/UA

    my best thoughts for minimizing my cost is to pick a different trip (probably shorter) on the calendar and reticket, pay the fees, and capture the difference in miles.
    I have considered using the trip insurance to cover all the costs, but i think thats really pushing the rules of the policy. they really only cover serious medical problems/death and def not pregnancy.
    any advice?
     
  14. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    I seem to recall seeing a pregnancy clause in my basic trip insurance policies before...It's worth checking into unless you know that it is specifically excluded.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    With CO miles you can change the date for free so long as the O/D pair remains the same. That let's you push the trip out a ways if you want but otherwise you're stuck with the redeposit fee. Changing to different city pairs will also require the fee.
     

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