Booking on VA using points help please

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AmeriAus

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I have flown VA many times BNE-LAX paying for flights. We were gifted many pts by a relative and now have 600,000 to use to fly BNE-BOS for Christmas (2 adults, 1 unborn infant). Our dates are Dec 5- Jan 14. The online booking is showing no reward seats available and the points are totalling over 600,000 for 'any seat'. We will have an infant by december so need a bassinet row (and need to book soon to secure one). Someone suggested to me to book just BNE-LAX then internals, but we need all flights to be on the same itinerary to keep baggage allowances and in case bad weather in Boston winter makes us miss or be delayed heading home to Aus.

Does anyone have any insight they could share? Am I best to wait a bit as the 'any seats' are very high. Should I call Velocity hoping to get a better deal. Should I book separate tickets BNE-LAX, LAX-BOS on pts? We want to pay NOTHING since we have so many pts.

Thanks in advance for your wisdom. :D
 

moa999

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Welcome to AFF.

Most airlines (including VA) have a limited number of award seats. The 'any seats' are much higher in prices and reflect a cash fare.
Availability over Christmas is probably hardest to get and generally needs to be booked 12 months out.

I would call VA up, occasionally they can come up with different routings (eg. via SIN on SQ for example) that may not be avalable online but you are trying to book over a relatively peak period.
 

AmeriAus

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Welcome to AFF.

Most airlines (including VA) have a limited number of award seats. The 'any seats' are much higher in prices and reflect a cash fare.
Availability over Christmas is probably hardest to get and generally needs to be booked 12 months out.

I would call VA up, occasionally they can come up with different routings (eg. via SIN on SQ for example) that may not be avalable online but you are trying to book over a relatively peak period.

Thanks for your reply. I did see reward seats in premium BNE-LAX. Are there bassinets in Premium econ? Routing through asia is NOT an option for us since we'll be traveling with an infant. We have done BNE-NRT-ORD-BOS return one year and it was AWFUL. My husband as also done BNE-ICN-LAX once and that was also terrible.

So basically should I just continue to watch points/ticket prices and book when we see something reasonable (less than 600,000)?
 

777

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So basically should I just continue to watch points/ticket prices and book when we see something reasonable (less than 600,000)?

No, you should call them up RIGHT NOW and ask what your options are. It is most likely that he points + pay seats will only get dearer given the peak season.
 

Homer

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You might have to be a bit flexible to make this happen. 600,000 points might seem like a lot to play with but, as has been pointed out, you are wanting to fly at a pretty busy time of year and you're going a long distance. The points cost will reflect this. In my experience, really young infants are fairly easy to travel with as they mostly only want to eat and sleep. It's later, when they can walk and talk and have an opinion about everything from the IFE to the food, that it gets a bit difficult ;).

Also just be aware that you may not get a bassinet position. There aren't many and most families travel in economy so there is stiff competition for these. I've even managed to not get a bassinet for a couple of flights in business - even though we were the only ones in the cabin with a baby - because somebody else with higher status booked the seats at the front of the cabin before I could. And that's as it should be.

If you see something that might work I'd book it. Airline ticket prices, including those on points, rarely go down as you get closer to the date of travel.
 

AmeriAus

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THANK YOU for the fast responses.

Does PE have baby bassinets?

When I did a search for separate tickets BNE-LAX, LAX-BOS return - this was giving me premium for 479,200 total 2 adults and 124,400 total 2 adults (603k total for itinerary). Since we want it all on the same would they be able to make it all one itinerary on the phone? Do they charge more for using phone booking? Baby isnt born yet, so I assume we'll have to add him to booking at a later date?
 

AsterisK

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When you use the VA system, it only shows you two columns by default also. If you look at top right, there's a "show other options" link (wording may be different). Try this out!

Remember you can subsidise your flight with points or $$$. I recently flew BNE->ADL on saver one way, business return, for a total of $61 and 30000points, but you can change it to be like $200 and 15000 points. If you move on to the next few pages of the booking you will get this option :)
 

AmeriAus

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When you use the VA system, it only shows you two columns by default also. If you look at top right, there's a "show other options" link (wording may be different). Try this out!

Remember you can subsidise your flight with points or $$$. I recently flew BNE->ADL on saver one way, business return, for a total of $61 and 30000points, but you can change it to be like $200 and 15000 points. If you move on to the next few pages of the booking you will get this option :)

Thanks, I will try that, but I don't see "show other options" I'm looking specifically at the VA Velocity site booking using points?? I see a sort by field, but this does nothing aside from change how its sorted.

We do NOT want to pay for anything (well I would, but husband is refusing since we have so many points).
 
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juliusg

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Two things - there are bassinets in PE, seats either side of Row 10 have these.

Points + Pay is the way to do this, tell hubby the difference between pay nothing and use points, and paying a bit, is the difference between going or staying home!
 

AmeriAus

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I called Velocity who gave me the same options I could see myself on the Velocity website. I tried to book a PE Reward (BNE-LAX) on same itinerary as Any Seat (LAX-BOS) but was told this is not possible and it would be two reservations and I would have to pay for bags on Delta. So we are waiting for flights to come down a little for the Any Seat category for economy on the one itinerary all the way. We'd have loved to sit in PE, but the hassle of paying for our luggage (and not the luxury of possiblly checking 6 bags free) and the worry if a connection is delayed or cancelled is not worth it to us. Especially when we'll have an infant.

Thanks everyone for your help!
 

leemin

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we are waiting for flights to come down a little for the Any Seat category for economy on the one itinerary...
But you're not paying attention to what people here are trying to tell you. The ASA 'price' won't come down. If you wait, you will be paying more later, not less.

The bottom line is that you are risking not going at all at this rate; the cheapest option you have is to buy your flights right now. Later, it will only be more expensive.
 

AmeriAus

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But you're not paying attention to what people here are trying to tell you. The ASA 'price' won't come down. If you wait, you will be paying more later, not less.

The bottom line is that you are risking not going at all at this rate; the cheapest option you have is to buy your flights right now. Later, it will only be more expensive.

But I thought Any Seat was directly related to cash price for tickets... in which case the dates we want there are no econ v promo, v deal or v saver fares available for cash purchase. I did see the amount of points fluctuate day to day last week greatly and I'm kicking mself for not booking tuesday last week as I have not seen them fluctuate as much this week.

Won't 'prices' cash or points be higher at the end of the week always anyway??

The diff in points I'm talking about is approx 50,000 552,000 vs 605,000 is what I'm comparing for the itinerary.
 
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AmeriAus

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Thanks everyone who gave advice. I gave in to husband's demands and booked it today for 605k pts as painful as that was. And I warned him to be prepared for whinging when I see it cheaper. At least I dont have to think about it again.
 

Fruitcake

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Thanks everyone who gave advice. I gave in to husband's demands and booked it today for 605k pts as painful as that was. And I warned him to be prepared for whinging when I see it cheaper. At least I dont have to think about it again.

The first rule of booking long haul flights is to never, ever check current prices for your flights once the transaction is done. It will only ever end in buyer's remorse :p.

But when flying at Christmas, the only reason you'll see a price drop in the next six months is if VA moves to 4x daily on BNE-LAX!
 
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D

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Thanks everyone who gave advice. I gave in to husband's demands and booked it today for 605k pts as painful as that was. And I warned him to be prepared for whinging when I see it cheaper. At least I dont have to think about it again.

People who intently watch the ASX ticker tape start off young and handsome but quickly become young, grey wrinkled and shaking (but occasionally wealthy).

I'm not an experienced int flyer, but I think you chose well regardless of the price fluctuations (if any of meaning) over the next 6 months.

With bub on the way, you'll have other things on your mind.....................
 
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