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Bronze QFF - stick to Qantas or join AA?

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bighdad

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Just an update:

Now understand AA challenge thanks to posts (bit tough for a noob to find, eventually searched for 'sticky'), and the drive for Platinum, although it would be a temporary thing for me, as there's no way I'd fly the miles again soon (this might give me the travel bug though).

Still no idea about KUP and how Serfty got that price - care to enlighten me step by step? I hit the route and dates as below, then order by fares, 50 per page, 2 passengers, first restricted, and get $2700 USD each as cheapest.

Just for Fun, you could try "First/Premium" with Restrictions and get a KUP fare for approx USD3550 for two. Barring any issues You would travel at the front of the aircraft in First Class and score over 15000 Qpoints each on AA or 500 SC's on QFF.
Took 43 mins on phone to india, where 9/3 HNL - SFO - NYC, 19/3 WAS MIA, 21/3 MIA - LAX - HNL multicity was priced per person in USD as follows:

H $1972
K $1314
M $1269
L $1224
W $1068
V $n/a

This compares to $712 for Q, N, Q, Q, O. Scrooge on my shoulder says why bother? Anyone care to talk him down?

In retrospect, should have checked forum earlier, as would have gone QF or AA to Hawaii, got the AA platinum and not worried about QF silver. Oh well:( .

Thanks for all your help

Andrew
 

Dave Noble

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bighdad said:
Just an update:

Now understand AA challenge thanks to posts (bit tough for a noob to find, eventually searched for 'sticky'), and the drive for Platinum, although it would be a temporary thing for me, as there's no way I'd fly the miles again soon (this might give me the travel bug though).

Still no idea about KUP and how Serfty got that price - care to enlighten me step by step? I hit the route and dates as below, then order by fares, 50 per page, 2 passengers, first restricted, and get $2700 USD each as cheapest.



Took 43 mins on phone to india, where 9/3 HNL - SFO - NYC, 19/3 WAS MIA, 21/3 MIA - LAX - HNL multicity was priced per person in USD as follows:

H $1972
K $1314
M $1269
L $1224
W $1068
V $n/a

This compares to $712 for Q, N, Q, Q, O. Scrooge on my shoulder says why bother? Anyone care to talk him down?

In retrospect, should have checked forum earlier, as would have gone QF or AA to Hawaii, got the AA platinum and not worried about QF silver. Oh well:( .

Thanks for all your help

Andrew
Well, for $1068 rather than $712 ( extra $356 ) , you will be able to complete the Platinum Challenge and so have Lounge access for any travels you do whilst Platinum and then maintain elite status the next year such that you would have business class check in rights when travelling. Also, you will get 100% mileage bonus on all flights whilst platinum

If the 2 of you are likely only to be travelling together, if you just upgrade one of your tickets to W class, then the Platinum member will be able to take the non status member into the lounges as a guest.,

Dave
 

serfty

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bighdad said:
... Still no idea about KUP and how Serfty got that price - care to enlighten me step by step? I hit the route and dates as below, then order by fares, 50 per page, 2 passengers, first restricted, and get $2700 USD each as cheapest. ...
Availabilty varies depending on the date(s) of travel and P class needs to be available.

What dates are you looking at?
 

bighdad

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Thanks Dave for the above - brilliant - you're obviously used to whingeing misers! We might just both get the plat, and have our two daughters as guests? Although the QP abbreviation has me concerned regarding suitability for children. I wasn't aware of the 100% bonus - that'll certainly help, and I remember someone on this site mentioning credit cards to get - we've ordered Earth for first year free, anyway.

We're off on 8 or 9th March 2007 HNL-NYC, 18, 19 or 20th WAS-MIA, 21-23rd MIA-HNL, Serfty.

Not experienced with forums, but this is awesome ....

Andrew
 

Dave Noble

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bighdad said:
Thanks Dave for the above - brilliant - you're obviously used to whingeing misers! We might just both get the plat, and have our two daughters as guests? Although the QP abbreviation has me concerned regarding suitability for children. I wasn't aware of the 100% bonus - that'll certainly help, and I remember someone on this site mentioning credit cards to get - we've ordered Earth for first year free, anyway.

We're off on 8 or 9th March 2007 HNL-NYC, 18, 19 or 20th WAS-MIA, 21-23rd MIA-HNL, Serfty.

Not experienced with forums, but this is awesome ....

Andrew
Glad that you found it useful. Getting 2 Platinum members will enable all 4 of you can get into the lounges. They are suitable for children to visit.

If you want to earn miles to the AA account, then an AMEX card is the debt card to go for. For debt cards for QF miles earning there are more choices in Australia

Dave
 

serfty

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bighdad said:
... We're off on 8 or 9th March 2007 HNL-NYC, 18, 19 or 20th WAS-MIA, 21-23rd MIA-HNL, Serfty. ...
Ok, On those dates I get YUP fares from USD2170 pp for YUP fares for HNL-NYC and MIA-HNL and a KUP WAS-MIA.

Take the KUP WAS-MIA segment out and do the YUP's HNL-NYC & MIA-HNL and that's from USD1770 pp.

Add a discount WAS-MIA fare from USD120 pp (Q Class) and you cold have oneWORLD sapphire in one of two ways - either QF SG or AA Plat-(via Challenge)

I guess it's now getting a bit high, but there are many other opportunities out there, it simply takes some patient searching.
 

justinbrett

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I remember reading something about lounge access with AA - that AA members can't access their lounges when travelling within North America (except long haul international) unless they pay extra - however oneworld equivilents (like Qantas FF) can access without restriction.

Someone else probably knows a whole lot more about it.
 

justinbrett

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Lounge access benefits: When travelling internationally* on any of the oneworld member airlines, regardless of the class of service, an Emerald equivalent member and one guest will be welcome in any of the oneworld airline pre-flight lounges, including First Class, Business Class and Frequent Flyer lounges.
* Solely North American itineraries within or between the U.S., Canada, Mexico (except Mexico City), the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Caribbean are not considered international destinations. This exception applies to AAdvantage members only and not to any other oneworld Frequent Flyer programme members.
For a minute I thought this mean you couldn't even access the Qantas Club on domestic flights - but this only applies to the AA clubs.
 

bighdad

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Almost ready to pay the big bucks ....

Have found multi-city fare of $1485 USD for 2 HNL-NYC-WAS-MIA-HNL.

Did find W fare for $2124, but lost the held booking some 4 hours before I expected to - strange interpretation of HST by AA? - by my calculation, 20 hours behind AEST.

Anyway, after many phone calls to India, then re-reading this thread, I called the US reservation line (thanks Dave ;) ), and they confirmed that they "were not able to book in V, W, or L" on my dates/flights.

Saw a mention of expertflyer.com, have subscribed, and there you have 7 V seats showing as available on not only my flights, but others the same day.

In meantime, have found a YUPP HNL-WAS return for $2666 USD for 2 (10002 flight miles - heh heh), and am tempted to go for that, and do NYC by road, and WAS-MIA with a nice $118 pp return in economy. That should well and truly take us both over the line for Platinum Challenge, but unfortunately will revert to Gold Feb 08 from my reading here. 2 luxuriant couches on long haul, 11 months of lounges and double points ain't too bad for 2k AUD difference I suppose.

Anyhow, my questions:
1. How much better is first class than economy on AA - the pics on aa.com are somewhat underwhelming; would the seat justify the 2 grand even if V class is available?
2. Can I tell if the YUPP has been successful before I fork out the dollars (and therefore change to a flight that will be definitely first class for the $)?
3. Can expert flyer help me cheat the call centre and get 1 Qpoint per mile on V class - why the disparity between flight availability and reservations phone line?
4. Are 50 minute connections a worry, say in DFW?
5. Next step = accommodation program - is there a similar fast-track for hotel programs? Staying in HNL, NYC, WAS.

Apologies for manic post - synapse overload from too many reservation attempts and crashes.

Andrew
 

Dave Noble

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bighdad said:
Anyhow, my questions:
1. How much better is first class than economy on AA - the pics on aa.com are somewhat underwhelming; would the seat justify the 2 grand even if V class is available?
If you can get on a 763, it is v pleasant and a *lot* better than economy. The seat pitch on the 763s is 62" with a seat width of 18.5" and. See if you can get booked on HNL-ORD-Washington / HNL-DFW-Washington since that will get you most of the way in a 763 . This is more spacious than QF dreamtime seating (50" pitch)

bighdad said:
2. Can I tell if the YUPP has been successful before I fork out the dollars (and therefore change to a flight that will be definitely first class for the $)?
If booking online, you can select seats before paying and so you will see that you are in 1st class. Also, to book online , select "1st class with restrictions"

bighdad said:
3. Can expert flyer help me cheat the call centre and get 1 Qpoint per mile on V class - why the disparity between flight availability and reservations phone line?
I would suggest phoning back ; do check on expert flyer that there is a V class fare on the routing you are doing though

bighdad said:
4. Are 50 minute connections a worry, say in DFW?
Not as a rule


Dave
 

Kiwi Flyer

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bighdad said:
Did find W fare for $2124, but lost the held booking some 4 hours before I expected to - strange interpretation of HST by AA? - by my calculation, 20 hours behind AEST.
Nope. AA uses time in Dallas (where their hq is) hence you being 4 hours out ;)
 

NM

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bighdad said:
In meantime, have found a YUPP HNL-WAS return for $2666 USD for 2 (10002 flight miles - heh heh), and am tempted to go for that, and do NYC by road, and WAS-MIA with a nice $118 pp return in economy.
DC to NY is very easy by train. Check out the Amtrack options from various locations in and around DC. I would do that rather than drive. Its quite a long way up the I95 and will cost quite a bit in tolls along the way and then you have to do something with a card in New York. The train will take you right into Penn Station which is next to Madison Square Garden. I did this with my family (including 3 kids aged 6, 9 and 10) and it was an easy way to get to NY. We then just walked to our hotel less than 2 blocks away from Penn Station.
 

bighdad

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Thanks for the tips guys.

Kiwi FlyerQuote:
Originally Posted by bighdad
Did find W fare for $2124, but lost the held booking some 4 hours before I expected to - strange interpretation of HST by AA? - by my calculation, 20 hours behind AEST.


Nope. AA uses time in Dallas (where their hq is) hence you being 4 hours out ;)
A glitch on the website then .... stated HST.


Dave Noble wrote:
If you can get on a 763, it is v pleasant and a *lot* better than economy. The seat pitch on the 763s is 62" with a seat width of 18.5" and. See if you can get booked on HNL-ORD-Washington / HNL-DFW-Washington since that will get you most of the way in a 763 . This is more spacious than QF dreamtime seating (50" pitch)
Do you mean either ORD or DFW - DFW in and outbound possible. Dufus question now - what is seat pitch?

NM - any clue on cost for train, and is it much drama taking suitcases, laptops etc both in terms of space and security?

Andrew
 

Kiwi Flyer

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seat pitch is the distance between a point on one seat and the same point on the seat in front
 

Dave Noble

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bighdad said:
Do you mean either ORD or DFW - DFW in and outbound possible. Dufus question now - what is seat pitch?
either route is good. just make sure that you are booked on a 767-300 (763) aircraft and not something like a 757. When you go into the seat map you'll find that a 763 layout is 2-2-2 rather than 2-2 which the smaller aircraft have

Dave
 

NM

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bighdad said:
NM - any clue on cost for train, and is it much drama taking suitcases, laptops etc both in terms of space and security?
Check out www.amtrak.com for timetable and fares. Looks like fares range from US$67 to US$152 depending on if you take the slower regional train or the express Acela train. Back in June 2003 the cost was US$312 for 2 adults and 3 kids from BWI to NYP using an Acela service.

I booked on-line at the site above. Was given a booking reference number and when we arrived at BWI Amtrak station I typed the booking reference into the check-in machine and out popped the "boarding passes". We had reserved seats.

We had no problem with all our luggage (enough for a family on a 3 month ATW holiday). We just had to carry it onto the train and store at the end of the carriage in the luggage racks.

We saved more than 300 by returning the rental car at BWI and not driving on to New York and then to Niagra with it, as we would have had a huge one-way rental charge having collected the car at MCO and driven up from there. The car deal we had booked had no one-way surcharge if we dropped off at BWI. It also meant I didn;t have to drive into New York. So it was a good deal for us and I would do it again under the same circumstances.
 

NM

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justinbrett said:
It only costs around $65 USD to fly from NYC to WAS.
And that is also better option than driving. Of course if you then need to pay for a transfer to Manhattan, then the cost may be a little more.
 

drron

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Then again I always drive.Often Budget or Dollar have no drop off fee from Washington,Philly etc to NY.Catch is you usually have to drop it at JFK.But drop off family at hotel and catch the train back from JFK.
With a car gives you more options like some time in Philly or driving out to the Delaware coast for a bit of tax free shopping.It all depends on your desires and timeframe.
As to driving in Manhattan I have done it many times-More scared in sydney or Melbourne quite frankly.We spend 2-8 weeks in Manhattan each year.One thing that you dont want to do is to park a car there-thats when it costs big time.
 

bighdad

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Had dinner with two couples who have had awful service experiences on American in economy class, and Mrs Bighdad would not tolerate that on a tag-along business trip;) .

So, think I got the YUPPs on hold; we're in row 4, but I can't show this fare on Expert Flyer. Think I'm gonna need a lot more hours to expertly fly that database.

Does it indeed sound like we've done the deed?

Andrew
 
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