Understanding Flight Awards and Availability

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by rodeojones, Nov 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    178
    Status Points:
    350
    I am currently trying to book my first award ticket and finding nothing at this point for my destination of choice and airlines of choice. I am curious to know what is considered normal for award availibity not just for my time and destination but award travel in general.

    I am trying to take advantage of the value Avios offers if you travel from the west coast to Hawaii. From what I have learned, the value lies in non stop flights and if there are transfers, you don't really save much. I live in Seattle and it appears that the only airline that flys non stop to Hawaii is AS. AA advertises non stop flights but I have been unable to find any. Target dates for my wife and I are July 1 - August 31 and length of time would be one 5-7 days. Using the Expertflyer app, I have searched every date and have yet to find a direct flight with two seats available that has a return flight within a 5-7 day period. In that two month span, I may have only found 3-4 flights total with any available seats but none that I could put together for a trip. AS offers three direct flights daily to SEA-HNL and two (I think) from HNL-SEA.

    Is it normal for flights 7-8 months out to have to have no low level awards showing? Am I seeing little availabiltiy due to traveling to Hawaii during peak season or is this common and I can expect more seats to come available? I realize I am limiting myself by only non stop flights on AS and this is partly my problem.

    Bottom line, I am not sure if I should book via AA for approx 80,000 AA points now, or hold out for two direct flights on AS for a total of 50,000 Avios. I am trying to pay for the flights strictly with UR points except for the puddle jumper from HNL-LIH which I will pay cash for.

    What are your thoughts on my trip specifically but also low level award travel in general?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,224
    Likes Received:
    61,772
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Regarding AA non-stop from SEA to HNL, not sure where you're seeing that advertised but AA definitely doesn't operate that route.

    There is no "rule" for when the award seats show up; it can happen at any time. I've been reasonably successful around 6 months out but it really varies. Keep in mind that the airlines generally only release the seats they don't think they can sell, particularly at the lowest levels (AS has a 3-tier chart and only the lowest can be used by partners). Even with 2-3 daily flights the paying passenger loads likely are decent meaning that getting the non-stop flights on awards may be challenging.

    Can you be a tiny bit flexible? And are you looking for seats in coach or business? Assuming coach I see options like this:
    845 BLI 3:45 pm Fri, Jul 5 HNL 7:05 pm Fri, Jul 5 Coach
    860 HNL 9:40 pm Wed, Jul 10 SEA 6:20 am Thu, Jul 11 Coach

    Not ideal but it can work. There are a number of options from PDX which are better as well at least one direction and the train ride isn't so horrible.
     
  3. rodeojones

    rodeojones Silver Member

    Messages:
    149
    Likes Received:
    178
    Status Points:
    350
    Coach is correct. I never even thought about flying out of Bellingham or Portland. Great advice...I will start looking there as well.
     
    daemon14 and 8MiHi like this.
  4. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,224
    Likes Received:
    61,772
    Status Points:
    20,020
    July 23-29 is available from BLI. Have a great trip. :cool:
     
    8MiHi and rodeojones like this.
  5. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    AS offers three nonstops in each direction at present.
     

Share This Page