“Frugal Premium Cabin Flying” Discussion

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MEL_Traveller

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Where do we provide feedback on some of the content?

For example I was having a look at the USDM section... in red it is highlighted you can fly to Japan for $500 (with a side trip to GUM).

This is actually against the rules, which do not permit a stopover for an intra-zone award. While some people manage to achieve that, it can sometimes be the result of many calls in order to find an agent who is unfamiliar with the rules.

The risk? Multiple calls with the express intention to break the rules might not afford protection if USDM cancels the ticket because it is deemed outside the rules. That risk might be very small, but a greater risk might be someone demanding they be given a stopover because 'others have been given one' or because 'AFF has said so'. This could lead to an investigation by USDM and a clamp-down on the rules.

Edited: the other thing with AA redemptions is that a published fare must exist for a redemption, and there are a whole bunch of exclusions on allowed routings. For example, Australia to Europe is not allowed with a stop over or transit to a different flight number in the middle east. This means QR redemptions ex Australia to Europe are not possible on a single award. QF direct services to LHR are allowed (provided there is no change of flight number in DXB).
 
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JessicaTam

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It is disappointing to see such an obvious spelling error. In part 2, AAdvantage section, the table has Dubai spelled Duabi. :-|

Edit: *raises hand slowly to offer to proof read*
 

travelislife

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Where do we provide feedback on some of the content?

For example I was having a look at the USDM section... in red it is highlighted you can fly to Japan for $500 (with a side trip to GUM).

This is actually against the rules, which do not permit a stopover for an intra-zone award. While some people manage to achieve that, it can sometimes be the result of many calls in order to find an agent who is unfamiliar with the rules.

The risk? Multiple calls with the express intention to break the rules might not afford protection if USDM cancels the ticket because it is deemed outside the rules. That risk might be very small, but a greater risk might be someone demanding they be given a stopover because 'others have been given one' or because 'AFF has said so'. This could lead to an investigation by USDM and a clamp-down on the rules.

Edited: the other thing with AA redemptions is that a published fare must exist for a redemption, and there are a whole bunch of exclusions on allowed routings. For example, Australia to Europe is not allowed with a stop over or transit to a different flight number in the middle east. This means QR redemptions ex Australia to Europe are not possible on a single award. QF direct services to LHR are allowed (provided there is no change of flight number in DXB).

I 100% agree with this sentiment, it is a great resource but I don't think it should be promoting things which are explicitly against the rules even if they have been done. It also makes it sound way too easy and that if a newby called up they should expect to get a free stopover in Japan on the way to/from Guam which is not the case.
 

boomy

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I 100% agree with this sentiment, it is a great resource but I don't think it should be promoting things which are explicitly against the rules even if they have been done. It also makes it sound way too easy and that if a newby called up they should expect to get a free stopover in Japan on the way to/from Guam which is not the case.

I have to disagree.
I don't know how it works now with OW but when US was a *A partner it was very easy to book a GUM trip with stopover in Asia. It took me only 2 Skype calls to do that.
The GUM "trick" was already published all over the place and if US really wanted to close this loophole they would have done it long time ago.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I have to disagree.
I don't know how it works now with OW but when US was a *A partner it was very easy to book a GUM trip with stopover in Asia. It took me only 2 Skype calls to do that.
The GUM "trick" was already published all over the place and if US really wanted to close this loophole they would have done it long time ago.

But the issue is, how does 'past performance' help someone who goes out and buys a bunch of miles and then finds they can't stopover in Tokyo because the rules, as printed, don't allow it?

If the agent says 'no' what do they do? Demand they be allowed a stopover? They have no grounds. And possibly you don't want a novice to refer explicitly to this website as the source of their demand.

It's fine to say it might be possible (caveats etc), but I don't think it's appropriate to create an expectation for which there is no right.
 

serfty

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Anecdotes since US went to oneworld have indicated that an effort has been made with the operators to ensure those rules are being enforced.

Of course it does not always occur.

On another topic let's looks at simpler routes and how DM can save.

Qantas charge 72,000 +++ for a business class return between East Coast Oz and NZ. For MEL-AKL, the +++ is currently ~AU$142.

DM charge 30,000 miles +++ for any return business class journey within the "South Pacific". For MEL-AKL, the +++ is currently ~US$185 (~AU$205).

For a business class return solely within Oz&NZ, AAdvantage charge 35,000 miles +++. For MEL/AKL the +++ is ~US$125 (~AU $

140).

Note the above costs represent the cheapest way to book them that I could come across - DM is telephone and QF / AA are online only.
 
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MEL_Traveller

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DM charge 30,000 miles +++ for any return business class journey within the "South Pacific". For MEL-AKL, the +++ is currently ~US$185 (~AU$205).

that's expensive! I paid the same for my round-trip to the USA! There shouldn't be any fuel surcharges for MEL-AKL on QF.
 

serfty

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that's expensive! I paid the same for my round-trip to the USA! There shouldn't be any fuel surcharges for MEL-AKL on QF.

I booked it last week over the phone - it includes a US$50 DM fee for telephone bookings. Other than that, just taxes including KK and AU.

I checked the fare construction for YQ - there is none.
 
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admin

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A "deliberate mistake" to check if people are reading the material ;)

Thanks for bring this to my attention - the error has been corrected. And you have got the job!
It is disappointing to see such an obvious spelling error. In part 2, AAdvantage section, the table has Dubai spelled Duabi. :-|

Edit: *raises hand slowly to offer to proof read*
 
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boomy

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But the issue is, how does 'past performance' help someone who goes out and buys a bunch of miles and then finds they can't stopover in Tokyo because the rules, as printed, don't allow it?

If the agent says 'no' what do they do? Demand they be allowed a stopover? They have no grounds. And possibly you don't want a novice to refer explicitly to this website as the source of their demand.

It's fine to say it might be possible (caveats etc), but I don't think it's appropriate to create an expectation for which there is no right.

Every problem has a solution. Teach people about the HUACA method and the option to make the booking first, put on hold and buy miles later.
I had to HUACA more times for less complex (legal routings) bookings then GUM because the agents didn't know their own company rules.
It can be very frustrating, especially for people who never believed in the buying miles system in the first place.
Having said that, going through the relevant USDM forums on AFF, I read only grateful comments from members.
I strongly believe that all the relevant information available out there should be published on AFF (especially if it was already published on other similar sites) and let the members decide what to do with it.
 

Jeffrey O'Neill

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I wish I'd known abut USDM and LM many moons ago. Only started using them around 18 months but they've let me travel up the pointy end for a price I'm happy to pay.

Only prob is when I do the odd on the spur trip back in economy it's hard to accept the long queue to check in, hard to not head straight for the lounge, hard to turn right and face the sea of seats and teaming masses.

LM is allowing me to cross off a international F flight on my bucket list, USDM let me go back to Europe in J for less than PE. It's all good here :D
 

Anthony

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I'd like to add my thanks for the invaluable info gained from this site and referred links. I'm still very much a newbie but thanks to advice here have managed to score two first class QF/AA to MIA via LAX and First Class with BA LHR - HKG then J with QF to MEL all done with points especially via AA.
I am no longer a corporate traveller but in the late '80's and through the '90s spent way too much time in the air. I very quickly became QF Gold, the highest then, and similar with just about every other major airline including Varig. QF million miles came quickly and was rewarded with a much appreciated original edition of the NY Times of my birth date. My mother loved it! I gathered superb B&O gifts from QF which I preferred rather than miles/free travel as I preferred to stay at home for holidays but have a different view point now. For the QF devotees, and I am one, I have an anecdote I enjoy but not so much at the time. Travelling with colleagues QF P from BNE to ESB via FRA. Our flight was delayed, the connection unlikely. The flight services director on board assured me Lufthansa were advised and new flights booked. They weren't. The frustrated woman at the LH lounge who spent a lot of effort on fixing the problem, handed the tickets back to me and said "You know, there is something about Qantas that really pisses me off"! Priceless. SQ on the other hand never failed; I have had a few mad dashes in speeding cars across tarmacs and never missed a connection thanks to their efficiency. So local Melbourne tradies who can't manage to turn up from the next suburb really piss me off.
Anyway, pardon my indulgence. To thank you contributors let me tell anyone who is interested that I am holding two QF P reservations LHR-MEL via AAdvantage for June 17, 2015 which I reluctantly will release tomorrow. It was my preference to go QF but meant a week early return so am checking out the BA product instead. Hope it has improved since my last visit. But at least I get to sample the new HKG lounge; shame QF dropped first. I still haven't figured out Cathay but working on it for the year after for the missus' birthday trip.

Thanks again for all the help and trust I haven't posted in the wrong place. I guess the moderator will redirect if so?
 

smit0847

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Im a little confused as to the point of this thread - is it supposed to be an easy 'how to' for newbies for the most complicated loopholes the members of this site have uncovered?
 

JessicaTam

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Im a little confused as to the point of this thread - is it supposed to be an easy 'how to' for newbies for the most complicated loopholes the members of this site have uncovered?
It for discussion about the AFF knowledge centre article of the same name.
 

smit0847

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It for discussion about the AFF knowledge centre article of the same name.

Ahh thanks - I didn't know such a thing existed.

I've just read through the Dividend Miles and Lifemiles sections and have to ask - who wrote this?! Some of the article is missing very crucial information and some is just plain wrong. There are some extremely knowledgeable people on this site that could have provided a very thorough, balanced and accurate description of these programs - why weren't they consulted? For example, I know a lot about the GUM 'deal' and I can guarantee you right now that no-one who reads that article (with no other knowledge) is going to be able to do what the article says you can do.

I get very frustrated when AusBT run basic 'heres how to master a complicated foreign FF program in 2 minutes' articles, but this is even worse. At least AusBT is more realistic about the costs, rules and restrictions.

I suggest the DMs article be removed and rewritten properly by someone who fully understands the program. Happy to escalate this to mods if others agree.
 

admin

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As per the discussion which followed on from your other post, markis10 wrote the Guide.

The Guide was checked by many "extremely knowledgable people on this site" and the information was 100% correct at the time of publication.

Specifically, what "crucial information" has been omitted and what is "just plain wrong"?

In my view the Guide is an excellent introduction for those who are new to the concept of purchasing miles for premium class travel, and there was never any suggestion that it covers everything. My view was validated by the many, many messages I received from those who are grateful for this free content.



Ahh thanks - I didn't know such a thing existed.

I've just read through the Dividend Miles and Lifemiles sections and have to ask - who wrote this?! Some of the article is missing very crucial information and some is just plain wrong. There are some extremely knowledgeable people on this site that could have provided a very thorough, balanced and accurate description of these programs - why weren't they consulted? For example, I know a lot about the GUM 'deal' and I can guarantee you right now that no-one who reads that article (with no other knowledge) is going to be able to do what the article says you can do.

I get very frustrated when AusBT run basic 'heres how to master a complicated foreign FF program in 2 minutes' articles, but this is even worse. At least AusBT is more realistic about the costs, rules and restrictions.

I suggest the DMs article be removed and rewritten properly by someone who fully understands the program. Happy to escalate this to mods if others agree.
 
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MEL_Traveller

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As per the discussion which followed on from your other post, markis10 wrote the Guide.

The Guide was checked by many "extremely knowledgable people on this site" and the information was 100% correct at the time of publication.

Specifically, what "crucial information" has been omitted and what is "just plain wrong"?

In my view the Guide is an excellent introduction for those who are new to the concept of purchasing miles for premium class travel, and there was never any suggestion that it covers everything. My view was validated by the many, many messages I received from those who are grateful for this free content.

There were a couple of items which I raised in the opening post of this thread. For example that a Toyko stopover on the way to GUM is technically not allowed by the rules, and a suggestion that it is a legal itinerary could cause issues.

There was also the issue regarding AA redemptions, particularly the requirement in many cases for a carrier to have a published fare in order to ticket, as well a numerous other routing restrictions which for example do not allow travel from AU to Europe via DOH, or splitting flights on QF via DXB.
 
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