Will Airline Match Price

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by merice107, Sep 19, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    I apologize if this is stupid....


    My wife and I are looking at flying out of ORD to PVD on Dec. 23 and then back on Dec. 26. I have the US Air Barclays MasterCard. I looked on US Air Dividend Miles and found a fare for $348 per person. I searched on Kayak and found flights for $283 per person. If I book with US Air over the phone will they match that price? Or would they charge me a booking fee which would (depending on the amount) possibly be counter productive?
     
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  2. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    They might match the price if you find someone intelligent enough to find the space available, but they will charge you for booking on the phone unless you are a Chairman Preferred. If you can book through an online site, there is really no reason to call US.
     
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  3. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Since the fees are $30, that is still $313 (283+30) and is still cheaper than the $348. And then by booking it through US Air I get 2 points per dollar on my US Air MasterCard. So I'll probably call and pay the fee. Or is the fee not worth it?

    If they don't match the price, is paying the extra ~$65 dollars worth the extra 300 miles (2 points per dollar)? I'm assuming not? I don't understanding how to calculate cents per mile (if that even applies to this situation).
     
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  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Maximum value of those points is 2.5 cents per point and that is generous. You get one point per dollar for using the card no matter who you use, so 300 miles is worth a maximum of $7.50.
     
  5. SOLTATIO

    SOLTATIO Silver Member

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    While the right option was nicely explained by marcwint, I don't think you have to apologize for asking a question that might sound stupid to you. Just the fact that you went through the trouble to post on here to ensure that you get the most miles for you buck is definitely the type of attitude welcomed by the MP community! ;) Enjoy your trip!


     
  6. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the help and thank you SOLTATIO.

    Out of curiosity, how do you determine that they are 2.5 cents per mile? Does that vary from airline to airline?
     
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  7. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    +1 There are no stupid questions on MP, only people traveling better because they are asking questions. :)
     
  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Yes.

    Usually people value the point value of points (wow reading that makes me confused, point/value used so often) differently depending upon how they see it.
    • Some people use the actual MSRP of the flight and divide that by # of points needed.
    • Other people use what they're MAX is on paying for a flight & divide by that.
    There was quite a few posts/discusion between Gary/Lucky about HHonor points a few weeks ago that talked about this.
    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewf...honors-points-are-not-worth-0-8-cents-apiece/
     
  9. javacodeguy

    javacodeguy Gold Member

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    Out of curiosity, what ended up happening? Did you call and try to price match?

    If you haven't, you should just call and try. You only get charged if you book, not if you just call and ask how much it would cost.

    Matrix shows $336 RT fares for 2 people as UA codeshares, so those should definitely be available on USAirways.com. In fact I went to double check and they are. And about the Kayak ones, are you actually able to book them? Sometimes the aggregators are out of date and then refresh the price when you actually go to purchase. I don't see anything below $317 today.
     
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  10. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    thanks for stating what I obviously forgot to.
     
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  11. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    I checked on USAir just now and found non-stop flights on your days for $273 (non-refundable coach tickets, including taxes and fees)
    So, go check again.
     
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  12. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    Last night I got the tickets on US Air.com for $283. The tickets were gone off of Kayak but I found the same prince on US Air. No need to call. That also fixed my issue and got double miles using my US Air Mastercard. Nothing that big, but every mile counts!

    If the prices continue to go down (more than $10) do they refund the difference to the cheaper ticket? Doesn't Southwest do something like this? I don't know if it worth the hassle of $20 but maybe more towards $25 a ticket?
     
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  13. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Southwest you can cancel & it get put in your Travel Fund ... but you don't actually get your money back. You just have flight credit I believe
     
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  14. merice107

    merice107 Silver Member

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    I know I am changing the topic here, but for my flights that my in-laws so graciously got my wife and I to go to Hawaii after Christmas, I do not know which airline membership number to use.

    I went to United.com to enter our United # (the reservations are through United). However, I saw that you have the option of putting in your US Air Dividend Miles (or other Star Alliance airlines') number instead of your United #.

    I've seen from lurking on other threads that there are split opinions as to whether or not you put all your eggs in one basket or to diversify your miles. I've also seen that decisions like these depend on your goals.

    So here's a basic summary. My wife and I are planning a trip to Thailand (and hopefully Tokyo/hong Kong along the way) in the summer of 2014. We would then like to go to the Maldives in the summer of 2015. We fly once a year to Providence for Christmas and occasionally get taken to Hawaii with my in laws. So we don't fly that much (at least compared to many of the other members). I just recently got in to miles collecting and have done some credit card sign up bonuses. We have miles with BA, AA, and now US Air. I want Star Alliance miles because I would eventually like to try out some of their airlines. I know United is more flexible with their reward redemptions but US Air generally has lower amounts for reward tickets (but you have to book round trip). The next cards we are going to do are the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the United Mileage Plus= United miles.

    So my question is: do I put in our United or US Air number to get the miles? Will one be better since we are flying United metal 3 of the 4 flights? Or am I over analyzing this?
     
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  15. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I would put in UA ... since CSP/UMP is also UA miles.
     
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  16. Hattie105

    Hattie105 Member

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    I am not seeing my post, but I also wonder if the airlines will return money from a prepaid one if a cheaper flight comes up on Airtran?
     
  17. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    No. If Airtran is cheaper you can either book a new flight with them and cancel with whomever you initially booked. Each airline has different rules for example,

    Southwest will allow you to make changes with fees but you get a credit for future travel on Southwest.

    AA charges $150 to cancel and you get the remainder as a credit for future travel valid for one year.
     
  18. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    Another basis for this is when the airlines run promos on mileage purchases, for example US Air just did a promo for 100% bonus on mileage purchases. This came out to be 100K miles for ~$1,880 coming to a cool 1.8 CPM.
     
  19. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    I think Wei's comment on the link that edekba shared is really how I feel about the scenario. There's really 2 different point valuations. What you'd be willing to pay to acquire the points, and what you're willing to pay in points to acquire the product (hotel/flight/etc).

    At least from my initial uses of the points I've gathered at this point, acquisition at under 1 cpm is pretty much necessary in order to gain a significant value out of them at redemption, pretty much regardless of the program, unless you can get a redemption (my theory is retail price versus point cost to acquire same) of over 2 cpm. I like to ideally have a 1 cpm margin at least from buying to using, so if you can get 2.5 cpm from a redemption, then acquiring at 1.5 cpm is okay.

    For example, for my USAir trip tomorrow MCO-CLT-LAS and return next Saturday LAS-PHX-MCO, the tickets were going for $835 (my wife booked hers with cash since she's on a business trip) and I booked the same ticket for 35k points + $110 (under 21 day booking fee plus standard award fee and Gov't charge). I acquired those 35k points via the credit card signup with Barclays that offered 40k points at first spend, so basically, 0 cpm (unless you place a value on a hard pull on credit). The redemption $ value was $725 (cost of ticket minus what i paid out of pocket) = redemption mile value of 2.07 cpm, and I acquired another 220 points with the purchase using the USAir MC, which wouldn't sweeten much, but doesn't hurt the bottom line for sure.

    For points/miles acquired with Vanilla reloads or other prepaid money, the cost to buy is around 0.8 cpm unless you hit a category bonus. A redemption value of under 1.2 cpm for those miles seems like it would be tough to justify, which is why people try to hit those category bonuses hard. In my case, I could have bought my US Air miles with Vanilla cards at 1x miles and still would have had a 1 cpm margin.
     
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