Getting Value from a RTW business class fare

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Ozzy-Don, Mar 1, 2006.

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  1. Ozzy-Don

    Ozzy-Don Newbie

    Mar 1, 2006
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    Hello folks!

    Most of my flying has been simple return flights but we're planning a "big trip" using a RTW fare and it’s much more complicated than what I am used to and I want to maximise the value I receive from the business class fare.

    I think I could use some advice from the many knowledgeable posters on this site.

    We will be flying out in mid May.

    We intend to go with One World partners through MEL-LAX-MSY-SEA-YYZ-LHR-ARN-HEL-LED-SIN-MEL. We will be going business class. Most flights seem to be with Qantas, AA, BA and Finnair. The trip is for about 8 weeks in length.

    Our current Q FF status is negligible (bronze) and we don't have QC memberships.
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    1. We have a few AA domestic flights and they don't appear to have business class. Do we get any concessions for the higher fare or do just get treated equally with economy?

    2. Do we get any lounge access privileges in OZ or in other countries?

    3. Is there anything I can do to maximise FF points from this trip? I note that the points you get vary with a range of factors.

    4. Any general advice for maximising value from the business class fares!

    Hope you have a few minutes to help me out - Thanks!
     
  2. aus_flyer

    aus_flyer Established Member

    Feb 15, 2005
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    1/ AA domestic flights rarely have business class. With this ticket, you get to book in First.

    2/ As business travellers, you get to access Oneworld business class lounges

    3/ Try and fly as many miles as possible! Also, if you are travelling on an airline other than QF,AA or BA (you note Finnair) - see if the flight is also offered as a codeshare - book on QF,AA or BA codeshare (for status bonus, which you will get once you are silver, gold or platinum)

    4/ If you have any left over sectors, book these as domestic sectors for use here in Aus - you can do this by not returning back to departure city straight away - rather, fly to a nearby city and book a red edeal. Then later, fly back to the previous city and then continue - but you only get one more stopover
     
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  4. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Not quite true. When travelling within North America on AA, lounge access is not offered unless travelling internationally that calendar day. In other places, the business class ticket should afford lounge access

    If you have no status currently and you wish to maximise the mileage earning value , then I would suggest opening an AA AAdvantage account signing up for a Platinum Challenge ( see thread on Your Tips about the challenge ) and credit miles for the flight to this account. Your mileage earning will be higher than if credited to QF and the points required for an award are lower. Your 1st flight (MEL-LAX) will complete the challenge on its own.

    If you are using the One World Explorer fare, do consider adding a domestic trip within Australia before starting; you are allowed upt to 4 sectors in Australia and 2 stopovers; if you do the trip before you go to LAX, then you could do MEL-?-MEL with a stopover in ? and another in MEL. If you want to do a trip later in the year, buy a MEL-SYD cheapie ticket and start the ATW from SYD. This will mean that you have 4 sectors and 1 stopover to get to SYD from MEL.

    Dave
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    No need to route via another city. With OneWorld Explorer, you can return through the departure city and continue on to take your full complement of 4 flights and 2 stopovers in the continent of origin. However, you cannot come back to Australia and then go to NZ with your 4 sectors/2 stopovers since there is another rules which states only one international departure and one international arrival in the country of origin.

    The rule about the itinerary ending when you return to the starting point was withdrawn from the OneWorld Explorer rules about November 2004. Its a great way to keep a spare domestic trip up your sleeve for up to a year.
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    But no good for those starting and ending in NZ :( (unless you are on a LONEx any domestic legs at start/end are a waste, and even on LONEx are not good value).
     
  7. NM

    NM
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    You do have a choice :lol:
    But the extra sectors are "free" (so long as you don't exceed the toal limit of 20 for the ticket), so the only cost is the fuel fines, so all the more reason to book through the AA RTW desk if you get that option (sadly I do not have that option). So it can still be good value, even for NZ domestic, in that its something for almost nothing.
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Not really. The *A RTW specifically excludes NZ domestic flights when originating in NZ (even transfers to international) :(

    But I get far more value out of using the sectors internationally, and paying separately for NZ domestic.
     
  9. NM

    NM
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    Even on DONE4s I have struggled to use my quota of 20 sectors without adding some local domestic flights. I generally use my 6 USA segments and 4 Europe segments, but rarely all my Asia segmengts.
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    6 NA
    4 EU
    1 SWP-NA
    1 NA-EU
    1 EU-Asia
    1 Asia-SWP
    = plenty spare for SWP.

    But ex-NZ can only use 2 between Oz-NZ (due to restriction on leaving country of origin for 2nd time).

    6 NA
    4 EU
    1 SWP-NA
    1 NA-EU
    1 EU-Asia
    2 or 4 Asia
    1 Asia-SWP
    2 SWP (NZ-Oz)
    = 0 or 2 Oz domestic
     
  11. NM

    NM
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    but you have a choice!
     
  12. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Pay more for ex-Oz? No thanks.
     
  13. Ozzy-Don

    Ozzy-Don Newbie

    Mar 1, 2006
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    Thanks for all that info folks - at least 2 or 3 real "gems" and probably some additional benefit from AA Advantage - once I work out what it is!

    It's really nice to have some inside knowledge and so that you can get the maximum value for the money invested.

    Your time taken to assist a fellow traveller is much appreciated.

    We're a bit too far down the track to use the lead from d00t:

    http://www.frequentflyer.com.au/discus/viewtopic.php?t=1945

    but it's a great offer.

    Thanks again
     
  14. QF WP

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    Jun 20, 2002
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    Ozzy-Don, you got the gems and then unfortunately had to work your way past some noise from NM and Kiwi Flyer (again)...me thinks these two have too much time on their hands and need to learn to use PM for their side chats :wink: ...

    In all honesty (coming from a top tier QF flyer), the AA FF program will have better short term benefits for you. You're flying out mid-May and as Dave Noble has pointed out, get AA Platinum status (equivalent to QF Gold and is Oneworld Sapphire) from your first long haul flight. You do say we, so that's means two (or more) will be able to access these benefits.

    If you credited these flights to your existing QF FF membership, you'd achieve QF Gold status during the trip, but probably have ended the trip before you reached QF Platinum (I haven't added up the SC's you earn). You'd only get access to the airline's respective Business Class lounges once you finally reached Gold - probably after LHR (as you advised you aren't QF Club members).

    Now, the only problem will be you need your AA Plat cards and there's no use them being sent to you here in Australia when you're overseas and need them (because we all know what the BA Lounge Dragons are like). There are two alternatives as I see it - either:

    * getting a letter from one of the local AA offices in the cities you will be in advising you have reached Plat status, or
    * if you are in LAX, MSY or SEA for a while and have an address you could use, I'd be joining AA with that address (just print out your temporary card when you join on-line). I'd plump for SEA or further into your journey - that way, by the time you reach (say) SEA (hopefully a couple of weeks into your journey), the Plat cards may be waiting for you or arrive whilst you are still there.

    So, to bring together some of the other posters ideas:

    At the beginning of your journey, don't you have somewhere that you have to fly beforehand (visit relatives, friends, work and take your partner)?? Simply add this journey to your ticket (that uses 2 sectors of your allowed 4), but you get to fly that trip in QF Business Class (but included in the cost of your RTW ticket - what a deal!!)...so think of flying MEL/???/MEL/LAX etc...

    At the end of your journey (arriving back into Australia)...don't fly back into MEL, instead route to SYD or BNE and buy a one-way cheap flight to MEL. Then to re-commence your RTW trip, buy another two one-way tickets back to SYD or BNE and that gives you the opportunity to use the remaining two sectors to fly to ADL, PER, CNS, AYQ, or AKL (just to name a few)...so it's like another holiday but in business class, yet still included in the price of the original ticket (you just have to trump up with the cheap round-trip fares to BNE or MEL - you can credit these to your existing QF account).

    Sounds like it shouldn't be possible, but it is!!! And you still haven't even used the points you've earned in AA (for more trips with your spouse)...and you've had lounge access in all of these cities (including the side trips in Australia before and after the overseas part).

    Does it get any better than this???
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Suitably chastised by Lindsay Wilson :oops: - hope I can help some specific queries also.

    Look out for AA 2-class domestic flights. On these you get first class on a DONEx business RTW, subject to availability of course (but that's usually no problem).

    Watch out for 1-class American Eagle flights (uses AA code). On these only economy, but at least it is full economy (code "Y") instead of discount economy (code "L") that is used for economy RTW.

    If you decide to go for AA's Platinum Challenge then I'll leave optimising to more knowledgeable AFFers. But dont take BA for the trans-atlantic!

    If you decide to stick with QF then look for as many flights as possible on QF, AA and BA (for status bonuses once you have earned status); and also look for flights over threshold for status credit earning (600 miles, 1200 miles etc). With up to 6 flights in north america and the location of AA's DFW hub in particular, there is plenty of scope to rack up large numbers of status credits in usa.

    Assuming time isnt an issue, and the destinations listed are all places you need to go, then a better routing may be (plus the extra intra-australia flights mentioned by the others)

    SYD-JFK-DFW-SEA-DFW-YYZ-DFW-LAX-LHR-ARN-HEL-LED-HEL-HKG-xxx-HKG-SYD
    with DFW-MSY-DFW as a side trip
    and room for 4 australian sectors start/end.
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Suitably chastised by Lindsay Wilson :oops: - hope I can help some specific queries also.

    One way to optimise FF points/miles/SCs is to choose the inter-continental flights carefully. Leave one continent and arrive in the next continent at the opposite sides of those continents. For example, don't fly New York to London when you can Los Angeles to London or Dallas to Frankfurt.

    So heading eastward, enter the USA via their east coast, and depart USA to Europe from the west coast.

    Use QF107 SYD-JFK as a single sector. That does not use up your one USA trans-continental sector so long as you don't stopover on LAX.

    You can maximize earning by transiting Asia between South West Pacific and North America. But if you stop more than 24 hours at the transit point (HKG is best for earning) then this will count as your Asia continent and your route back from Europe to SWP will need to be transit without stopover. For example maximum mileage is AKL-HKG-JFK, but uses CX all the way so no status bonus for earning QF FF points, but best for earning QF status credits.
     
  17. NM

    NM
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    There is no need to do this. If departing inter-continental from MEL (e.g. MEL-LAX), and arriving back intercontinental into MEL (e.g. SIN-MEL), you still have 4 SWP sectors to use. The fact that you have come back to MEL does NOT end the OneWorld Explorer ticket. That was removed from the rules around November 2004 (still exists as limitation for Global Explorer).

    So arrive back into MEL and settle down. That is the first or two available stopovers in the continent of origin. You still have 4 more sectors (providing within the max 20 total sectors) and one stopover. So could do MEL-PER-ADL-BNE-MEL with a stopover in PER and score a mini MR/SR on the return. This can be take any time during the ticket validity, which is 12 months from the first international departure.

    I have done this myself on a DONE4, being BNE-SYD-LAX-USA-Europe-Asia-HKG-BNE-MEL-SYD. I had a stopover in BNE on my return, then another in MEL, finishing the OWE in SYD. My return to BNE was a paid K fare.
     
  18. QF WP

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    NM, not being a ticket guru like you :cry: , do we know what type of ticket he is on (DGLOBx or DONEx)?? Not sufficient information from his posts for me to understand which one he's on...I'm only a novice when it comes to this kinda stuff :shock:
     
  19. NM

    NM
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    Either would fit he routing. However, if wanting to maximise benefits the OneWorld Explorer is a better fit. In business class, the DGLOB34 and DONE4 come in at the same price. The only reason I would ever use a DGLOB34 is if I needed to take the non-OneWorld codeshares that are available in the Pacific. Otherwise the DONE4 is more flexible and better value for maximising benefits - one of which is to continue in the continent of origin after returning to the start point.
     
  20. Mahtoh

    Mahtoh Junior Member

    Feb 22, 2006
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    ...I don't mean to be a smart alek but what does this mean...in English? :D
     
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