Family trip/Split bookings - worth it?

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amaroo

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About to book QFF award seats FRA-HKG-BNE. I can see availability for 2 x F & 2 x J for FRA-HKG ... HKG-BNE will be 4 x J. QFF advise that booking# (PNR) will only be issued for passengers in the same class. The HKG-BNE will be a connecting flight with >5hours transit - all flights will be CX. Youngest child will be >12 so no issues with unaccompanied minor requirements - the kids are happy to travel in another cabin away from us :rolleyes: the wife is not so keen :confused:

I can also book 4 X J FRA-HKG, however, I've never travelled CX F and I'm tempted not to let this opportunity pass by.


  • Will a linked booking with notes be adequate for CX to see we are travelling as a family? ... concerned about one party of 2 being bumped.


  • Should I book the connecting flight separate so that we are all on one booking#, or is a 5+ hour transit with the same carrier a sufficient safety net?

This is a first for the amaroos, and now the kids have reached a decent age - I'm keen for the wife/I to move up a cabin when travelling in a family pack:p
 
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MEL_Traveller

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As it's all on CX I would have [absolutely] no worries with separate and/or split bookings. CX doesn't have a reputation for bumping passengers (op-ups due to overbooking yes, but I'm not aware of premium downgrades/bumps due to overbooking). You can also OLCI very early.

5+ hours is a lot of time in HKG and the FRA-HKG may be early anyway.

As for seating - 77W - so you have a couple of options. Either 1A+2A in F and then perhaps 11A/D in business, or try the other side of the aisle with 2D/K and 11G/K. You couldn't get much closer in terms of supervision and safety. you would need to call CX in HKG to release the 2A/K seats, which they will do on the understanding that a bassinet pax will replace you if required (I haven't had it happen yet!)
 

ozbeachbabe

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If you were to book separate pnrs then wouldn't you have to pay sector fares FRA/HKG then HKG/BNE which may be more than a through award FRA/xHKG/BNE. Actually given that the first sector is F & the subsequent leg in J I don't know if there's any other way to book the award.

I'd go ahead & book you & Mrs Amaroo FRA/HKG in F then HKG/BNE in J on the one pnr then book the kids in their own pnr FRA/xHKG/BNE all in J & ask CX to TCP both pnrs. CX now use Altea for checkin so if whoever is doing the pre-flight editing notices the TCP they can then link both bookings in the checkin system so when you checkin at FRA you'll be displayed as a party of 4 albeit travelling in different cabins.
 

amaroo

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As it's all on CX I would have [absolutely] no worries with separate and/or split bookings. CX doesn't have a reputation for bumping passengers (op-ups due to overbooking yes, but I'm not aware of premium downgrades/bumps due to overbooking). You can also OLCI very early.

5+ hours is a lot of time in HKG and the FRA-HKG may be early anyway.

As for seating - 77W - so you have a couple of options. Either 1A+2A in F and then perhaps 11A/D in business, or try the other side of the aisle with 2D/K and 11G/K. You couldn't get much closer in terms of supervision and safety. you would need to call CX in HKG to release the 2A/K seats, which they will do on the understanding that a bassinet pax will replace you if required (I haven't had it happen yet!)

Cheers ... so close.

Screen shot 2015-01-11 at 8.43.38 AM.jpg



If you were to book separate pnrs then wouldn't you have to pay sector fares FRA/HKG then HKG/BNE which may be more than a through award FRA/xHKG/BNE. Actually given that the first sector is F & the subsequent leg in J I don't know if there's any other way to book the award.

The $ difference splitting the sectors is marginal - $20pp.

The real bonus is the point differential is only 36,000pp flying F over J ... FRA-HKG is a midday departure and 11hrs of F indulgence :D

I'd go ahead & book you & Mrs Amaroo FRA/HKG in F then HKG/BNE in J on the one pnr then book the kids in their own pnr FRA/xHKG/BNE all in J & ask CX to TCP both pnrs. CX now use Altea for checkin so if whoever is doing the pre-flight editing notices the TCP they can then link both bookings in the checkin system so when you checkin at FRA you'll be displayed as a party of 4 albeit travelling in different cabins.

Good advice - cheers.
 

amaroo

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It's booked!

Decided to enjoy some Escargot before heading home - so we're now CDG-HKG-BNE. Kids are on their own booking travelling J and we're doing F CDG-HKG, rejoining them in J for the final leg.

Liked the seating suggested by MEL_Traveller so went with 1A/2A (whole aisle to ourselves), with the kids ensconced in 11A/D. Had to call CX to release 2A as per M_T post - no hassle.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 11.13.56 am.jpg

OBB, given the recent changes to QFF, I could book (F)CDG-HKG-(J)BNE in one CDG-BNE booking - the correct amount of points were charged for a mixture of F and J - excellent stuff QFF!
 
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All of great interest to me as I am planning a similar trip (3pax) in 2016
 
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MelUser

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By the time the debate is up seats will be gone.

If I see award seats I grab and then debate!

you can always get a points refund.

on another note it seems to be a nightmare getting BA award
seats in business class.

does anyone know how to use expert flyer to look for these?
 

amaroo

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Good outcome. I would have done 11 D/G if the kids got on together fine and night flight

One wanted a window seat, one wanted an aisle - outcome agreed between themselves.

The CDG-HKG & HKG-BNE are midday departures:

CDG-HKG - no F seats released for the evening flight - probably wouldn't bother with F on a night flight.

BNE-HKG - the evening option involved stopping at CNS at 4am :shock:

By the time the debate is up seats will be gone.

If I see award seats I grab and then debate!

you can always get a points refund.

on another note it seems to be a nightmare getting BA award
seats in business class.

does anyone know how to use expert flyer to look for these?

Indeed. I found BA plentiful for LHR-HKG (A380 4 x F) however, the cupboard was bare for SYD-SIN vv. Our preference is CX due to superior hard/soft product, stopover location, destinations/timing and plentiful award seats for a family of 4. If it wasn't for CX - QFF would be a barren wasteland for premium award seats.
 

MEL_Traveller

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window/aisle preferences aside, I can't see much (if any) advantage of 11DG? it would leave one family member in a separate cabin (no way to cross between) and strangers on both sides at the windows.

what is conversation like between the two seats?
 

amaroo

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All of great interest to me as I am planning a similar trip (3pax) in 2106.

2106 - ambitious ;)

GPH some info that may assist with your trip. All flights were booked 361 days out.

Out - we're doing 4/J CX BNE-xHKG-FCO (is "x" the right icon for a stopover:confused:) QFF cost = 572,000p + $1,262.24. All passengers are adults (I.E. >12), pp = 143,000p + $315.56.

Back - we're doing CDG-HKG-BNE, QFF cost = 676,000p + €965.60, pp = (F/J) 199,000 (J/J) 139,000 + €241.40

All up = 1,248,000p + $2,642, pp = 312,000p + $661.

I could only find AM departing flights for 4xJ ex OZ, so decided we wouldn't bother heading to SYD for an Flounge breakfast. The AM BNE departure looks a whole lot better than the 00:50 - even if it does stops at CNS.

I could find bucket loads of F & J seats out of OZ, HKG and Europe. Take a look at this to see the destinations for CX F birds Cathay Pacific (CX) Fleet - FlyerGuide

It appears CX release 2 F seats .... not bad given there are only 6 seats in the cabin.

It appears CX release 8 J seats .... was told this by QFF, have tested the theory at it seems to be correct.

CDG - no F seats released for the evening flight.

Best of luck with your trip - happy to answer any questions you may have.
 

vitagen

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Good stuff did you empty out all your points?
 

bismarck

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Great redemption.

Have always wondered how people with families can manage to still secure redemptions.

How do you earn most of your points? How many years did it take to get to 1.25m?
 

amaroo

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Good stuff did you empty out all your points?

Not quite + we have some F/J ASA coming up that will generate ~ 180,000 :D

Great redemption.

always wondered how people with families can manage to still secure redemptions.

How do you earn most of your points? How many years did it take to get to 1.25m?

We're big redeemers, we've managed to take the kids OS (mostly on points) every year for the past 10. A few trips we have purchased outright as the sale fare/offer was too good to miss I.E. BA pay J fly F. I never use points for domestic (excl the odd JASA) or anything below J.

Everything goes on a CC (bless the ATO), I'd be lucky to carry >$10 in the wallet most days :rolleyes: Weekly commuting helped, as did weekly expenditure on airfares, hotels, rentals, restaurants with OPM - but thru my cards.

I've stayed the course with QFF and never split the earn between airlines. Now that I'm LTG I'm starting to lean toward being promiscuous ;)

All things being equal - we'll be in a position to make a similar booking at the end of the year.
 
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Mark3000

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Great report Amaroo, thanks so much for posting, that is so helpful. We're thinking about a similar trip for a family of 4 in 2016
 

amaroo

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Great report Amaroo, thanks so much for posting, that is so helpful. We're thinking about a similar trip for a family of 4 in 2016

Cheers. Keep an eye out for the TR....
 
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