Trying to find award travel during worst time of year (Christmas-New Years)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Chase, Feb 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Chase
    Original Member

    Chase Silver Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status Points:
    115
    Hi all, thanks for the great resource.

    I'm newer to the FF game, and have been accumulating miles for a few months now.

    Here's my story. My girlfriend's work PTO is pretty measly right now, since she just started her job. We're trying to find a vacation for the Christmas/New Years time period to get out of the cold and into somewhere we've never been before. I'm trying to do it all on miles/points if possible.

    The problem is, it's hard to find good award travel for this time of year. I thought about going to Puerto Rico, but I can't find any availability for less than 70k miles/RT. The same is true for pretty much all of Central America.

    Does anybody have any tips for award travel during this time of year? I have ~100k on both AA and CO, and am going to start accumulating hotel awards points. I'm hoping I can find 2 award tix for about 100k miles, so I can use the other 100k miles for another trip to Europe. We'd prefer to go to Caribbean/Central America/South America.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Westsox
    Original Member

    Westsox Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,561
    Likes Received:
    3,001
    Status Points:
    1,970
    I have found the best availability with AA on Christmas Day with a return on New Year's Eve. Seems fewer people want to travel on those days. Since my children are older, they do not mind travelling on Christmas day if it means they get to go skiing.
     
  3. Pat89339
    Original Member

    Pat89339 Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,946
    Likes Received:
    45,325
    Status Points:
    20,020
    For future reference since you are new to the game, award seats are released 330 days in advance of the date of travel for most US airlines (UA & AA for example). I booked both my Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday 2011 trips the day the space was released. During the year other seats may be released into inventory, so you have two options:
    1. Check regularly to see if new seats were released.
    2. Book for dates there are seats open and waitlist for the dates you want.
    Welcome to the fold!
     
    Kaanapali likes this.
  4. kiwi
    Original Member

    kiwi Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,851
    Likes Received:
    27,973
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The date at which award seats are released varies by airline. Thus the earliest you can book awards depends on both the airline(s) you want to fly on and the home airline of your frequent flyer program. For instance Qantas releases award seats about 360 days in advance, but American can only ticket up to 330 days ahead - in those 30 days some of the best award seats have gone.
     
    Chase likes this.
  5. Pat89339
    Original Member

    Pat89339 Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,946
    Likes Received:
    45,325
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Thanks for that correction kiwi, I will edit my post.
     
  6. NYC_Gal
    Original Member

    NYC_Gal Silver Member

    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    215
    Status Points:
    375
    Book early, like now, for XMas & NYE. Also, don't limit yourself. Sometimes I find it easier to book long haul to SE Asia than to some favorite western destination (and hotel will be much cheaper there too).
     
  7. Chase
    Original Member

    Chase Silver Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status Points:
    115
    Yeah, I'm finding that the availability has shrunk even in the last two days. Is there an "award ticket" watcher in case airlines release more seats?
     
  8. Chase
    Original Member

    Chase Silver Member

    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status Points:
    115
    Thanks for this info, I will keep that in mind in the future when looking for AA awards.
     

Share This Page