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AAdvantage Award Flights

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simongr

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Hi all
Just thinking about next year's trips and whether mrssimongr can come along on a RTW flight with me. The trip will be in roughly late september/early october and likely travel will be: SYD-JFK-LHR-LCA-LHR-SYD. I am not too bothered about the routing in between - although we would like to avoid too complex a route as mrssimongr doesnt really enjoy flying. I will be flying on DONE4 in J so the award will need to be in J for her. I just did a very quick scan of the AA website for an award SYD-LAX in late september and nothing was showing. Is it really likely that there is no award availability nearly 10 months out on that route? I am not going to be able to book until next January in all likelihhod and am concerned that there will be no way to make this work. I know that AA only calculate points required(or distance flown) based on the point-to-point distance. I have a horrible feeling that throwing in the LCA trip might put us into the bracket of needing an extra 40K points (a 190K point award).
When it comes to booking - I am best to call the platinum desk at AA and get them to arrange it for me? is there a points penalty for this?
Also - given the lack of stability of my business my DONE4 could get canned at the last minute. If I cancel the booking late in 2007 is there a points penalty for cancellations? I am not too worried about that. Up to about a 25K loss would be acceptable to me - if I could book it early and let it fall out if not needed i wouldnt mind burning 25K points (if the trip doesnt go ahead then by Dec 2007 I will have 350K points)
I know this has been asked a lot (and I should have searched again) but is there is an easy way to track award availability rather than calling AA daily? Is frequent flyer friend useful?

Cheers
S

Edit

Ok just checked on expertflyer and it seems that U is the business award class. A cursory review based on that class has zero availability SYD-LAX but there is some SYD-BNE-LAX.

Just thinking out loud but I guess I could keep the miles down by paying for a J seat for LHR-LCA-LHR for mrssimongr and using my DONE4 for me - or trying for an award seat for part of that segment for her. Maybe once I have more points I could cancel the paid ticket if there is award availability...
 
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Dave Noble

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Hi

For partner awards, you do need to call AA and check since they cannot be booked ( or checked for ) online. For QF travel, you can use Expert Flyer to find availability on the SYD-US flight ( std Z for 1st , U for business and Z for economy )

For AA sectors, using EF, look for T for economy , Z for 1st or U for business

For BA availability, you need to phone and ask

AA indeed only charges the point to point distance between stopovers. If you plan to stopover in London twice, then the mileage will be about 28000 miles and so need 190k points. If you have no stopover in LHR after LCA it drops to about 24,400 miles , so nicely within the 25k miles allowed for a 150k point OW award

If you cancel an award, there is a $100 fee to redeposit the miles

Dave
 

simongr

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Dave Noble said:
Hi
AA indeed only charges the point to point distance between stopovers. If you plan to stopover in London twice, then the mileage will be about 28000 miles and so need 190k points. If you have no stopover in LHR after LCA it drops to about 24,400 miles , so nicely within the 25k miles allowed for a 150k point OW award

Dave
Thanks for that. Hadnt thought about that at all. Mind you it will depend what mrsimongr wants to do. Most likely we will need to stopover in UK to visit friends/family there. But re-reading your comment I guess we could stopover in LHR on way to LCA? Something like:

4 days in NY
4 Days london
3 days LCA then direct to SYD (via lhr)?

I see how that works - its basically 4 flights:

syd-jfk - 9961miles
jfk-lhr - 3445 miles
lhr-lca - 2039 miles
lca-syd - 8947 miles

Sneaky - guess I wont be earning many award miles on that trip then ;)
 

Dave Noble

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That will work nicely. Since LCA-SYD is nice n short, even though you go via London, it makes no odds to the award flight cost. Just do your visit to UK on the way to LCA and avoid stopping over on the way back and you are laughing

You can still earn more miles if you want to ; SYD-HNL-ORD-DFW-MIA-JFK ( for example )is the same distance as far as the award miles calculation as SYD-JFK

You can still stopover in Asia if you wish. Going LCA-(LHR)-HKG-SYD (for example) would still fit inside the miles as long as no stopover in London

Dave
 

simongr

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Based on this trip I think I wont be trying for excess miles as mrssimongr will just want to get there ;)

No biggie for me if I can stretch my earlier in the year DONE4 out to 40K miles. That will be mrssimongr's last trip for a while so I can start saving points.

Just wondering though if I can put any segments into First for her... If we are flying QF BNE-LAX (that looked like the only flight with availability in U) then I could try and upgrade using my QF points and if I could guarantee her a seat in F somehow it would be good. if my F seat didnt come through she would probably sit with me in J - mind you by then my EXP status could be confirmed so likelihood could be better.

Just not sure how to combine a Bus/First oneworld award - might be a step to far ;)

Mind you again - I wonder if my points upgrade didnt come through whether I can bank on some sympathy for mrssimongr giving up her F seat to be with me and playing on that to get an op-up ;)
 

Dave Noble

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simongr said:
Just not sure how to combine a Bus/First oneworld award - might be a step to far ;)
You cannot upgrade an award flight. The business class award will give First class on 2 class AA flights.

Dave
 

simongr

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I realise that - I was just wondering if at booking whether some segments in three class planes can be booked in F. AGain - it might be a step too far and I wont have the points for it. As she has never flown in J I think it will be enough for her :)
 

NM

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BNE-LAX does not have First Class. QF175/176 is a two-class service only.
 

drron

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You really just have to ring AA.We have just finished J awards on AA.Really had no problems with the AAdvantage staff.Used expertflyer but turned out to be useless.Just because QF has award seats does not mean they are available to AA.We picked a day with award seats available BNE-LAX but AA could not access them.We eventually flew BNE-SYD-HKG-NRT-LAX.But as has been said you only have the direct BNE-LAX count in the award mileage.
So ring AA,see what you can get then get your DONE4.
We also got upgraded to F from NRT-LAX even though we have no status on AA.
 

Dave Noble

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If Expert Flyer has X/U/Z availability, then it is available to AA ( both are using Sabre for availability search) , however sometimes I find that the agents have an issue finding it ; I have yet to figure out what the issue they have is. Just point out the flight number and let them know what you can see as available ( e.g. Z2 ) and they will be able to pick it up. The only time this fails ime is if someone else nabs the last seat before you.

Dave
 

NM

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StevePER said:
What is the best number to ring? The US number?
I called the US to make my booking. But I am often up and working at the time that the Ft Worth call centre is open and I have an IP phone that just happens to have a US 817 (Ft Worth) phone number so its a local call for me.
 

Dave Noble

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I recommend using the US phone number since they are the best at handling these. Hold the reservation and you can then , within 14 days, just phone the AU number and pay the taxes in AUD

Dave
 

simongr

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Just a couple of questions on the taxes.

1 - Is there any way that I can calculate what these will be before I start planning? I dont want to get mrssimongr excited about here RTW trip only to find we have to pay $2grand in extras

2 - In relation to the recent planned change in duty through the UK on long haul flights. I assume that JFK-LHR isnt classed as long haul? So on our trip we migth avoid those charges?
 

serfty

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simongr said:
Just a couple of questions on the taxes. ...
You can a good idea by looking up the following web site: Taxes This provides information on taxes/surcharges/levys specific to countries and airlines.

As for the UK "AIR PASSENGER DUTY" it is for departures from UK Airports, so while not applying for JFK-LHR, it will apply for LHR-JFK however.

You don't depart if doing a "Transit". This is defined as a scheduled departure on a flight within 24 hours of scheduled arrival at an airport for International services and 6 hours for domestic services.
 
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simongr

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serfty said:
You can a good idea by looking up the following web site: Taxes This provide information on taxes/surcharges/levys specific to countries and airlines.

As for the UK "AIR PASSENGER DUTY" it is for departures from UK Airports, so not for JFK-LHR, it will apply for LHR-JFK however.
Thanks again - that's good news. I think I should be able to avoid it then on my trip as my flights out of London are short-haul (LHR-LCA) and a transit (LCA-LHR-HKG).

Lets hope there is award availability!
 

Kiwi Flyer

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simongr said:
Thanks again - that's good news. I think I should be able to avoid it then on my trip as my flights out of London are short-haul (LHR-LCA) and a transit (LCA-LHR-HKG).

Lets hope there is award availability!
Shorthaul still is taxed (if stopping over in London), just not as heavily as longhaul.

As a guide my last few RTWs have been several hundred dollars in taxes, not counting any fuel surcharges, per person.
 

simongr

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Hi again - just following on from this topic (thanks again for the link on taxes) - is there a site that lists fuel surcharges? I am just trying to work out the +++ element of my planned DONE4 if I do the various diversions.

S
 

StevePER

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simongr said:
Hi again - just following on from this topic (thanks again for the link on taxes) - is there a site that lists fuel surcharges? I am just trying to work out the +++ element of my planned DONE4 if I do the various diversions.
Try this site:
Taxes
 
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