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Is Award seating This aggressive?

Pom-DownUnder

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Hi Guys,

I am going to be booking flights (hopefully in J lol) to and from EU next June. Been trialing routes etc and with alot of help from this forum seems the best option is to get my **** to singapore and then do SIN -> AMS or similar and sort my way to / from the UK outside of that.

Been looking to see when the seats are released, I see most of them seem to be around the 330 day mark, so i'm looking around that mark from here ie. 21/4/20 at the time of writing. Ideally i'd like to go via emirates as I know I have enough points to get there and back in J and really like their A380 J. but i'm seeing only F or Y for anything around 330 days from now.

3 questions after my rambling:
1. Is it really this aggressive or are EK just not releasing seats to QFF? or to my tier?
2. Is the release of seats all at the start and thats it, or might a flight that shows only Y now end up showing J later on? to the odds that I should bother waiting?
3. For the return leg i'm not that bothered about the date, is it worth waiting until i'm over there and booking last minute to return or is that just stupid if i'm looking to travel J ?

Cheers all
 

mflyer100

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1. 330 days from mid June means you should start looking in mid July this year.
2. Generally reward seats can be released at any time, from my personal history (don't quote me on it) there are generally also a decent amount of reward seats that show up on EK metal around 1 week to 1 month out.
3. This is up to you, it's possible they'll release seats early and then not at all or vice versa so there is risk involved.. maybe someone who travels a bit more can give you more detailed information on this point :)
 

Mattg

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Normally award seats in J/F to Europe can be difficult to find, although booking 330 days out normally gives maximum options. That said, I think the usual rules are pretty much thrown out the window at the moment.

Personally, I wouldn't be worried about booking 11 months' out at the moment, as I suspect availability will remain very good for some time once borders re-open and airlines try desperately to fill what will inevitably be lots of empty seats.

I would actually prefer to wait at the moment until there is more certainty surrounding travel restrictions. We simply don't know what flights will still be running next year or what countries have open borders, and by booking something now you risk the flight being cancelled and then having to play the refund merry-go-round game with the airline.

Yes, some airlines do release more seats closer to departure, especially if the flight is not full. When I was looking at coming back to Australia from Europe in March, back when Emirates flights were still running, I could easily get Y, J or F seating on pretty much any EK flight I wanted - even 1-2 days before departure.
 

jb747

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Personally, I wouldn't be worried about booking 11 months' out at the moment, as I suspect availability will remain very good for some time once borders re-open and airlines try desperately to fill what will inevitably be lots of empty seats.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how that pans out. I doubt that the airlines are going to ramp up quickly, nor will they ultimately end up with anywhere near the same number of aircraft or flights. They will be doing anything they can to avoid flying empty seats, and they won’t be flying award seats that they can avoid.
 

Pom-DownUnder

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It’s going to be very interesting to see how that pans out. I doubt that the airlines are going to ramp up quickly, nor will they ultimately end up with anywhere near the same number of aircraft or flights. They will be doing anything they can to avoid flying empty seats, and they won’t be flying award seats that they can avoid.
Surely going for no empty seats and going for minimal award seats contradict each other to some degree ?

in regard to Mattg; what is messing with me is that the awards at the bleeding edge of seats coming out dont seem to have any J, only F and Y
 

moa999

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I suspect many airlines simply aren't releasing FF seats at the moment with so many staff on leave/furlough etc
 

MEL_Traveller

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They will be doing anything they can to avoid flying empty seats, and they won’t be flying award seats that they can avoid.
Agree. As a general rule, award seats should only be those seats an airline doesn't think they're gong to be able to sell for revenue prices anyway (which is why not all flights have award seats available). But even when they do, the airline is getting paid for them. Airlines are selling points to banks and other institutions for about 1c each.

If we look at a QF return fare SYD-LHR it will cost passengers 438000 points - that's $4380 to Qantas in revenue for the empty seat, plus carrier charges of another $1000 or so. Not bad income for providing a couple of meals and bottle or two of champagne.
 
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p--and--t

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Just postulating a theory, are many airlines currently only running flights because of government bailouts etc and their costs of flying empty seats being largely covered and so strategically are keeping the points (and $ that back them) locked up in the frequent flyer schemes to make their balance sheets less crap than they actually are?
 

Pom-DownUnder

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Just postulating a theory, are many airlines currently only running flights because of government bailouts etc and their costs of flying empty seats being largely covered and so strategically are keeping the points (and $ that back them) locked up in the frequent flyer schemes to make their balance sheets less crap than they actually are?
if they sell them on to banks showing them as an asset wouldnt move the needle in regard to points they hold as with points decreasing the bank balance would increase, both assets.

an argument to be made that you should show the obligation to members as a liability and chewing through them would decrease that liability ... all depends how they are allocated in their books.
Post automatically merged:

I suspect many airlines simply aren't releasing FF seats at the moment with so many staff on leave/furlough etc
Yea this is more what i'm wondering, initially I was thinking I need to be "johnny on the spot" soon as the flight opens up ... but seems like that is not working out as its only Y flights staring back at me and F flights that I dont have enough points to do the whole trip in
 

jpp42

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If we look at a QF return fare SYD-LHR it will cost passengers 43800 points - that's $4380 to Qantas in revenue for the empty seat, plus carrier charges of another $1000 or so. Not bad income for providing a couple of meals and bottle or two of champagne.
Err, check your math. Those points would only be worth $438 - not great money compared to normal LHR-SYD fares. Hence why Qantas has such high carrier charges.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Err, check your math. Those points would only be worth $438 - not great money compared to normal LHR-SYD fares. Hence why Qantas has such high carrier charges.
lol, sorry. of course it should have been 438000 points (extra zero on the end). $5380 for a seat that would otherwise be empty seems like they would likely make a profit off that seat. (i have fixed the typo in the original post)
 
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I am looking at the end of the schedule and am prepared to book and see what eventuates next year.

Currently, I see F on the 1st sector, J for the 2nd sector, and Y for the 3rd sector.

Does QF charge those at the cabin rate or all at F?
 

p--and--t

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I am looking at the end of the schedule and am prepared to book and see what eventuates next year.

Currently, I see F on the 1st sector, J for the 2nd sector, and Y for the 3rd sector.

Does QF charge those at the cabin rate or all at F?
If your trip involves LHR the taxes and charges imposed by the UK are not fixed and vary between Y and non-Y bookings depending on a few rules around transit or originating and distance travelled etc.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I am looking at the end of the schedule and am prepared to book and see what eventuates next year.

Currently, I see F on the 1st sector, J for the 2nd sector, and Y for the 3rd sector.

Does QF charge those at the cabin rate or all at F?
it should be the combination of the cheapest fare, whether that's the through fare, or sector by sector. Usually the through fare works out cheaper anyway, and gives you the protection of a single ticket.
 

cambriamarsh

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it should be the combination of the cheapest fare, whether that's the through fare, or sector by sector. Usually the through fare works out cheaper anyway, and gives you the protection of a single ticket.
I think you'll find that if it is all on one PNR it will all be charged at F. Might be better to break it up but worth checking.
Good luck
 
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Yep, looking at one PNR, I like to have the protection in case of changes. But, don’t want to pay for F all the way through. It’s a conundrum. Will check breaking it up.

QUOTE="cambriamarsh, post: 2121004, member: 41423"]
I t

I think you'll find that if it is all on one PNR it will all be charged at F. Might be better to break it up but worth checking.
Good luck
[/QUOTE]
 

p--and--t

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it should be the combination of the cheapest fare, whether that's the through fare, or sector by sector. Usually the through fare works out cheaper anyway, and gives you the protection of a single ticket.
Usually on an award tickets from QF, points at least are taken on the basis of the highest class sector. if F, J and Y on the same PNR, points taken for F for entire journey.

Edit: I'm thinking of the OW tickets when writing the above. If using a QF sector by sector classic award pricing - you are correct.

Taxes and charges calculations, I am not so sure on other than LHR.
 
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MEL_Traveller

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Getting conflicting ideas here...
And I don't know why! (there is conflicting information).

QF calculates the cheaper of the through fare OR sector by sector. Often, the through fare will be cheaper.

But just to provide that QF does charge sector by sector where that is cheaper, here are two examples:

MEL-KUL-BKK: Y -> J : 3918 + 754 miles for total trip of 4673 miles. If based on the highest class, business class, the cost should be 75K miles. But it prices out at 60200, being 30200 for economy on the first sector and 30000 for business on the second.​
MEL-SYD-LAX: J -> Y: 439 + 7488 miles for a total trip of 7929 miles. If pricing in J, the highest cabin, the cost would be 108400 points. But it instead prices at the cheaper segment level of 18400+41900 points for a total of 60300.​
In many cases, folk will want the longest sector in business class, and the cheapest will be the through fare.

But not always.

A example where this might be applicable would be for something like ADL-SYD-LAX-LAS. Las Vegas is a popular route and First class may not be available LAX-LAS.

ADL-SYD-LAX comes in at 8213 miles and 108400 points in business class. Adding LAS bumps the flight into the next zone, which would be 126500 all in business class, but if in economy for the last sector it prices at the sector price for a total of 116000 points. A saving of 10000 points for a short last flight.​

For the avoidance of doubt - all those prices i quoted are available as of a few minutes ago - so they are live examples. And they are all on the one PNR.
 
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