RDU - IST

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by sunspotzsz, Jun 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sunspotzsz
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    sunspotzsz Silver Member

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    Hi there,

    I am new to collecting miles and even newer to redeeming the miles.

    My wife is flying from RDU to IST for a trip from Sep 2 to Sep 12. I would like to use miles for that.
    We have 250k AA miles, 100k CO miles and 150k BA miles, maybe 80k delta miles as well.

    I tried AA and it says I need to call. For, delta, it needs a lot of miles.

    I am wondering if I just need to call AA, and what are the things I should do to prepare?

    thanks!
     
  2. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    As we mentioned to the other member that was doing RDU to China, your best bet might be a positioning flight elsewhere, where there might be more availability from AA or partner airlines.

    I'm sure someone with significantly better ideas will show up soon and give you some really good options :)
     
  3. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    What is the flexibility on the dates? As has been said often, flexibility is the key to using rewards; 1-day may make the difference!
     
  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    For American you need to call because American's website does not show availability on its partners, and American itself doesn't serve Istanbul.

    Don't worry about starting from another city yet. Just start with the award you're looking for. Give American a call and see what they say, since they are going to be able to see availability on their partners which isn't something that is possible on their website.

    Similarly, the Delta website's functionality is very limited. It doesn't include all of their partners, and it also makes 'mistakes' in pricing awards quite frequently. So give them a call as well, don't assume that the best you can do is what you see on their site.

    Continental's website is MUCH much better. It is NOT 100% complete. But it shows many more partners than other websites do.

    With American miles, the most likely carrier to find space on may well be British Airways. When American books awards on BA, you get charged for fuel surcharges not just for taxes. And on an economy award than can mean paying a good chunk of what you would otherwise pay to travel. Personally I don't mind the fuel surcharges so much on a business or first class award, I see it as a value (ok, I do HATE the fuel surcharges, but the value proposition may still be worthwhile to me, and BA's availability especially in first class tends to be quite good).

    You don't mention the class of service you are looking to travel, but bear in mind that an airline may tell you that economy is a whole lot of miles (because regular awards aren't available or at least cannot be found). But there might well be business or first class awards available for the same or fewer miles!

    Do give the airlines a call and ask. And if you're still not getting what you're looking for, come back here. We can give you a tutorial on finding the award seats that the agents on the phone aren't seeing :)
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Your DL miles would only be enough for a coach RT if low is available or you might be able to use them for a domestic positioning flight if needed, but using different tickets and different alliances is a big risk if something goes wrong. If you do this, be sure to allow lots of time, ideally overnight, but spending money on hotel rooms defeats somewhat the idea of a free ticket.

    For DL, your best bet might well be a partner with a connection in Europe.Try AF especially out of IAD (new A380 service, so an increased number of seats) with a connection in CDG or KLM through AMS (or AZ through FCO/MXP). If SkyTeam partner flights are available for DL miles (and TATL they seem to be better than DL-operated flights in terms of getting reasonable award tickets), they are necessarily at low miles. You must call DL to get these award tickets.
     
  6. sunspotzsz
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    sunspotzsz Silver Member

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    Thanks a lot, guys.

    Her schedule is not very flexible, so I ended up booking with Delta instead. But, it was a good learning experience.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    You got a low award ticket on DL to IST for the dates you wanted? Wow! What are the details and how did you do it?
     
  8. sunspotzsz
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    sunspotzsz Silver Member

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    No, sorry, I meant to say I ended up buying the ticket with cash from Delta.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    You gave up fast on the idea of an award ticket. You should double-check, but normally DL tickets purchased through DL in the USA can be cancelled up to midnight of the next day with no penalty, so you could continue to look for an award ticket during the next thirty hours or so without losing anything. It seems a shame not to use your miles.
     

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