SFO to ORK using MR or BA points?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by more2life, Apr 21, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Hi folks,

    I'm looking to get to Cork, Ireland this July using the below priorities (for one person):

    1. Best use of points/reduced taxes
    2. fastest (less stops/short layovers)

    In my searches, most flights are 16-20+ hours long with multiple stops. BA seems to be the best choice, though I haven't seen Air Berlin's award availability yet. I have both membership rewards, Avios, and UR points.

    Might someone enlighten me on this path?

    Thank you!
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Do you really need to fly into Cork or could you use ground transportation from Dublin or Shannon? Driving could be fun if you're at ease about driving on the wrong side of the road. Otherwise there must be good bus (coach in British English) service and maybe a train.
     
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  3. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Driving would not be an option. Although its a $20 Euro bus ride from Dublin to Cork, its 4+ hours, I'd much prefer to fly into ORK directly (or if there is a free 'layover @ DUB' booked into the ticket? ;).

    Would SFO-DUB be much easier to get?
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    SFO-DUB at least has the EI non-stop option. Or via BOS to save points, assuming you can find seats. SNN is closer and has flights from JFK and maybe BOS, too.

    With some AmEx and UR points I'd look at UA awards, too. Might be cheaper on the points/taxes. Or redeeming AmEx for Delta into SNN/DUB.

    Also consider the US flights PHL-SNN/DUB or CLT-DUB.
     
  5. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Well, to be fair, it's the 'other' side of the road!
     
  6. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Both sides of the road are good. ;)

    I am having trouble finding non-stop IE routes via BA's or AA's site - am I missing something?

    I guess my options are to find that non stop SFO-DUB or just connect somewhere to do SFO - ? - ORK. Any ideas on the latter portion?

    BA example below:

    Outbound
    San Francisco - Dublin
    There is no availability on British Airways for the displayed date range. Your options are:
    • Select an alternative date range
    Thanks all for your help!
     
  7. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    I also found SFO-PHL-SNN via US airways - but I can't seem to find award availability - any ideas if this is hidden and if a phone agent will work? Since US joined Oneworld, I'm guess I can use BA for that flight?
     
  8. AlanHCork

    AlanHCork New Member

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    Hi, I'm from Cork I don't know about points or taxes but would find the quickest way here from SFO is through London Heathrow.
    The flight from London to Cork is quick and painless, whereas flying into Ireland to Dublin or Shannon would involve further ground transportation.
     
  9. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Hi Alan, I agree that I'd like to fly into ORK ideally. In terms of award construction, do you know if I can use Avios to open jaw SFO-LHR (cash LHR - ORK - DUB) and then DUB - SFO?

    Alternative I can SFO - LHR R/T and just buy cash tix LHR - ORK R/T.
     
  10. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Avios price segment-by-segment so open-jaw trips are fine.

    But I'd compare availability and costs for BA versus UA on that award. The fees for the BA option might make it untenable. And UR->UA is an easy transfer.
     
  11. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Thank you Seth, I'm honored to have your direct feedback!

    Which carrier should I aim for with UA (UA metal?) and what should be the approximate R/T cost in points in Y?
     
  12. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Oh man, UA Award availability is crap for June - August. I can barely get there, but then there is no availability for a return until a month out! ITA shows availability, but I guess its being capacity controlled.

    See attached ss. Any ideas?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Awards are always different inventory from revenue tickets; that's not a surprise. And summer awards across the Atlantic are hard to come by. If you can get one-way lined up I'd hold it while working on the return.

    Can you do UA out and BA back, for example? Do you have specific dates in mind?
     
  14. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Ok, I'll try UA out (SFO-ORK) and BA back, though I don't see any UA availability for what I'm shooting for (6/28 to 7/5).

    I'm guessing Avios will only take me from LHR-SFO, so I'll need to find tix for ORK-LHR?
     
  15. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Wow BA availability seems non existent May-Sept for LHR-SFO (ss below). I feel like this is an impossible challenge!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Trying to get award seats at short notice for a specific route on specific dates during the summer travel peak is usually going to be tough.

    It looks like you could get from LHR to IAD on 4 July, and NYC is as reliable as ever.

    If you were to use Avios for the outbound, there's seats on AA from ORD to LHR on 24 and 25 June and a seat on BA on 29 June. Or there's seats on BA from IAH to LHR on 23 June. Or, of course, NYC.
     
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  17. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Thanks, Globaliser! I guess I'll have to book the SFO -> IAD / IAH separately?
     
  18. dotgirl

    dotgirl Silver Member

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    Not sure if you've connected at Heathrow before, but just a heads up that if you're flying on a US passport, you should allow at least 3 hours. It's a nightmare of a connection - there's always construction, and usually you'll land at a terminal that's a tram, two busses and a hot air balloon ride away from your connecting gate, and then you get to deal with customs into Ireland.

    (The hot air balloon was a joke. The rest was not. Seriously. I thought perhaps they'd just decided to *drive* us to Cork.)
     
  19. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    It depends on whether you can get award space for the connecting flights you need. If you can, then you might well be able to combine them all into one award ticket. Avios award tickets are almost universally priced sector-by-sector, so you just pay the extra for the additional flights.
     
  20. more2life

    more2life Silver Member

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    Ok, folks.

    The route with the least stops is SFO-LHR-ORK r/t, which I found on UA @ standard award. Its not a great CPM, but it'll get the job done for the dates I need.

    Given that other routes on BA/AA would have required me to book a separate flight to get to the gateways, I think I actually found the most optimal points value given my short notice for summer Europe travel.

    Lesson learned for me. Book early!

    Thanks everyone for your creativity and input!
     

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