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"Ask Matt" thread - ask your questions here

AFF Editor

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G'day, it's Matt here. I hope you've been enjoying our new AFF on Air podcast! It's free to tune in, and a new episode will be released each fortnight.

Are you looking for some expert advice, or do you have a travel-related question that you would like me to answer on the podcast? This is the place to ask!

At the end of each episode, in the "Ask Matt" segment, I'll be answering questions from this thread.

Topics that will be covered in the podcast include frequent flyer programs, earning and redeeming points, airline status, credit cards, hotel loyalty programs, travel destinations, and pretty much anything else covered on AFF. You can ask me anything you like (well, almost anything) as long as it is somehow related to travel! :)

I invite you to ask away...
 

frequent passport user

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Apr 30, 2005
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Hi Matt. Firstly, you do a great job. Awesome!

Do you have any tips on utilising the Singapore round the world business fare award successfully?

I normally do point to point not multi destination bookings and have had some amazing trips using airline points over the years.

However, I think with the round the world star alliance award you have to fill in a form and submit it to SQ Kris flyer? Could be hard getting travel to or from back via South America to Australia etc., that way though without knowing any availability.... is it better to call them with various flexible options?
 

NZflygirl

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Hurrah!

I missed the SQ webinar and wasn't registered. :(
Will you be covering the same material in a podcast?

Having tech issues at the moment so haven't downloaded the podcast:oops:
 

AFF Editor

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Hi Matt. Firstly, you do a great job. Awesome!

Do you have any tips on utilising the Singapore round the world business fare award successfully?

I normally do point to point not multi destination bookings and have had some amazing trips using airline points over the years.

However, I think with the round the world star alliance award you have to fill in a form and submit it to SQ Kris flyer? Could be hard getting travel to or from back via South America to Australia etc., that way though without knowing any availability.... is it better to call them with various flexible options?
Excellent question, thank you. I will answer this in the next episode!
 

AFF Editor

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Hurrah!

I missed the SQ webinar and wasn't registered. :(
Will you be covering the same material in a podcast?
The podcasts will be quite different to the webinars. They probably won't cover topics in quite as much depth as the webinars (which, after all, go for an hour and are accompanied by presentation slides). But I do plan to cover lots of different things in the podcasts, including perhaps some stuff on KrisFlyer. If you have any specific questions or anything that you'd like me to talk about in the podcast, please let me know here.

Having tech issues at the moment so haven't downloaded the podcast:oops:
If you're having trouble downloading the latest podcast episode from this page, you could also try searching for "AFF on Air" on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android or Spotify.
 

NZflygirl

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The podcasts will be quite different to the webinars. They probably won't cover topics in quite as much depth as the webinars (which, after all, go for an hour and are accompanied by presentation slides). But I do plan to cover lots of different things in the podcasts, including perhaps some stuff on KrisFlyer. If you have any specific questions or anything that you'd like me to talk about in the podcast, please let me know here.


If you're having trouble downloading the latest podcast episode from this page, you could also try searching for "AFF on Air" on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android or Spotify.
Subscribed! :D

I haven't received a response to this elsewhere but can you split the status and accrual on a Qantas or any other one world flight? The Finnair? website seems to change both status and mileage accrual rather than splitting the 2. Happy/resigned myself to having QF accrual for status.

Qantas is unkind with partner flights. I can handle the measly status credit earn as it helps towards LTS, but I don't like crappy mileage accrual and would rather credit that part to AA than QF for partner flights and possibly QF flights. Using QF status in partner bookings helps with seat select etc.
 

jkbaus

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I have been enjoying reading and learning fron the forum since I retired.

The podcasts are an excellent extra.

Thank you!
 

frequent passport user

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Hi Matt. Youre a legend thanks sooo much. I’m actually writing this to you in Dubai. Hotel points stay and an amazing experience offer to thank for that. No FF seats available though!

I have another Ff availability question for you to consider...

I try to stay positive, but it’s disappointing when airlines such as Qantas, Air NZ & these days even Virgin Australia get away with plugging their frequent flyer programs but reward you by NEVER releasing any ‘classic’ business class seats on some routes. Ive been lucky sometimes to snag just 1 seat on popular routes I suppose... You mentioned that NZ dont release seats from oz to EZE and PPT and QF rarely, until very recently to HNL, are there any other routes it’s generally a waste of time looking? When Qatar first joined oneworld i recall seeing some qantas availability, now only China Eastern seems to appear.

I used to think that US based FF snagged most of VIrgin Australia business class seats to LAX using Expert Flyer or some other program. However, i think that they probably just release hardly any seats and when they do, its just a couple of weeks out on probably undersold flights?

Sorry for such a long question!
 

NZflygirl

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Hi Matt. Youre a legend thanks sooo much. I’m actually writing this to you in Dubai. Hotel points stay and an amazing experience offer to thank for that. No FF seats available though!

I have another Ff availability question for you to consider...

I try to stay positive, but it’s disappointing when airlines such as Qantas, Air NZ & these days even Virgin Australia get away with plugging their frequent flyer programs but reward you by NEVER releasing any ‘classic’ business class seats on some routes. Ive been lucky sometimes to snag just 1 seat on popular routes I suppose... You mentioned that NZ dont release seats from oz to EZE and PPT and QF rarely, until very recently to HNL, are there any other routes it’s generally a waste of time looking? When Qatar first joined oneworld i recall seeing some qantas availability, now only China Eastern seems to appear.

I used to think that US based FF snagged most of VIrgin Australia business class seats to LAX using Expert Flyer or some other program. However, i think that they probably just release hardly any seats and when they do, its just a couple of weeks out on probably undersold flights?

Sorry for such a long question!
Uh... I suspect etiquette might dictate I shouldn't comment in this thread but just wanted to add 2c?:oops:

For Air NZ, I know they released at least 2 dates from AKL-EZE and also return legs as I searched the whole year on lifemiles. I haven't done a thorough search again. They also released a tonne of seats transpacific last year over 3 months. The bloggers picked up on it after a few weeks. Once the Dreamliner issues came to light again it all sort of disappeared. I'm hoping once those issues are resolved they may open it up again. I think a lot of engines are affected and don't really know how it's progressing.

I haven't really searched trans Tasman business flights but had seen it available on NZ from time to time with lifemiles.

There is some availability out of NRT and TPE to AKL at least. Partnered with ANA and Air Canada on the UA site. Can't recall if they were available as individual segments though. This availability though is not always mirrored on the lifemiles website. Suspect the joint venture NZ has with UA helps.

Also see more China Eastern on QF awards, but QR is available. I'm personally using AA to search for QR now or BA as well for QR. I haven't correlated actual dates between the AA site and QF though. You don't need a login for AA to search. Make sure you use the nonstop option to search each segment.

Signing out.
 

AFF Editor

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Sorry for such a long question!
No problem. I'll have a crack at answering as best I can in a future episode, expanding on the info given by @NZflygirl.

Uh... I suspect etiquette might dictate I shouldn't comment in this thread but just wanted to add 2c?:oops:
I don't mind, but in future it might be best if we start a new thread so as not to send this one off-topic. ;)
 

coralda

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Jun 19, 2008
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Hi Matt,

Firstly, I'd like to say the podcasts are great. I've never really listened to podcasts before but it's a great improvement on scrolling through at a small screen on the way home!

My question is around some of the terms used by airlines when booking flights. I've recently booked some rewards flights with SQ and have phoned their call centre to get sectors put on hold while waiting for the next sector to be released. It all went well but I've realised that there are a few terms that have specific meanings in the flight booking world. Could you have a talk through some of the common terms and their meanings and especially the implications of them?

More specifically, terms like: Reserved, On Hold, Waitlist, Ticketed, Confirmed, etc and importantly, when does a request (e.g. on hold) become a firm commitment to buy (e.g. ticketed) and hence incur fees and charges to change or cancel.

Much appreciated,

Andy
 

goldenhorn

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Apr 11, 2011
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Hi Matt,

My question is what is your favourite tool for finding award availability?

I find the biggest challenge finding award seats and am on the fence if I should by a subscription to Expert Flyer to make this easier, or perhaps some other tool?

Would love to hear your inside tips for finding award seats.

Looking forward to hearing more episodes when they are released. :)

Thanks!
 

frequent passport user

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Apr 30, 2005
Messages
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Hi Matt (aka the guru :) Another question... It's sort of linked to that asked by @goldenhorn

Thanks for answering my earlier questions, by the way, it is appreciated.

Is Expert flyer (or another frequent flyer search application) worth the subscription? Also, are they intuitive and relatively easy to use? Is one better than another?

I use points a couple of times a year to try and get those hard to find long haul business class seats. I don't think I would honestly get the value, but it would save me time and a fair bit of frustration. I guess it would also rob me of the sense of achievement of finding some of those seats that with some airlines (not all though) are as rare as hen's teeth though....
 

MIke Barouche

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Nov 20, 2017
Messages
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Hi Matt.

Thank you for doing a great job on the AFF podcast.

Quick question, I'm flying on JQ025 from Melbourne to Cairns and note it departs the International Terminal. Do I need a passport, clear customs, etc.?

Thank you.

Mike
 

frequent passport user

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