Newbie needs help booking paid with ff seats

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by jocthedinosaur, Sep 16, 2005.

  1. jocthedinosaur

    jocthedinosaur Junior Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    16
    0
    Sydney
    I have only recently become part of this very interesting and informative site. I must say, I am amazed at how much most of you know about using ff points. The thread about the best way to get a seat upgrade was very interesting (I'm 6'5", always wear a collared shirt and good trousers and after some banter with the check in clerk, nearly always get an upgrade or at least an exit seat!!!).
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    I have a challenge for you to get your head around. I have about 200,000 QFF points (unfortunately only a bronze pleb). I am planning on taking my family (wife and 2 young sons) to europe next year september leaving preferrably on the Saturday 23rd.

    My preferred itinery would be(sorry I don't know all the acronyms for airports):-

    Syd to Singapore or Hong Kong, stay there for about 24 hours then to London for about 3 days and then to Amsterdam where we will base ourselves with family and travel around Europe. Myself and the boys need to be back about the weekend starting 14 October and my wife will fly onto NY for about 4 or 5 days then back to Syd.

    I am told you need to look at booking FF seats asap even 1 year in advance thus this request.

    What I hope you will be able to help me with is:

    How do I organise this with payed and ff seats the most inexpensive way maximising the use of my ff points?

    Be able to put all of this together without waiting around airports for connections with small kids?

    Oh and get the family upgraded to first class or, in a pinch, business!!!!!

    I know I can go to a travel agent for this but at least here I get unbiased info and from what I have seen, very good info.

    Thanks in anticipation,
    Joc

    P.S. Can one of you write a thread with all the abbreviations/acronyms you guys use!!!
     
  2. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Welcome to AFF, Joc.

    QF FF awards can be booked up to 355 days prior to travel. Since QF awards are now all one-way flights between stopovers, you could book the outbound and inbound journey's separate. But you risk not being able to find return seats as awards and having to purchase a one-way fare which will be very expensive.

    So I would recommend waiting until 355 days from your return date and try to find outbound and inbound award availability at that time. Make sure you look for all the options, including QF, BA and CX via places like Singapore (SIN), Bangkok (BKK), Hong Kong (HKG), Tokyo (NRT), Mumbai (BOM) etc.

    Once you find the award seats, purchase the paid seats on the same flights.

    Note that you cannot upgrade award seats, so if you "purchase" economy class, then expect to travel in that cabin. You may like to consider using BA's World Traveller Plus for the long flights, which provide an extra 7 inches of legroom and some extra width. Costs a few more points (25% premium I think) and the paid tickets will cost you more than the cheapest economy fares.

    You may like to try the FrequentFlyerFriend tool advertised on this site to help find the availability for you.
     
  3. jocthedinosaur

    jocthedinosaur Junior Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    16
    0
    Sydney
    Thanks for the quick reply NM.

    I will wait the 355 days from the NY return for my wife. I am still a bit perplexed regarding the paid seats. If I book the award seats so far out, wouldn't the purchased seats be at a premium price as they don't need to start discounting until closer to the date.

    Also, can I assume that CX is Cathay?

    Joc
     
  4. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Yes, CX is Cathay Pacific.

    Fares for paid seats do vary over time. In your case, you need to purchase seats on specific flights, to you need to accept the fact that you may end up paying more than if you wait until the next fare sales comes along. Some good fares are available 355 days out, but September is a prime travel time to Europe so the real cheapies may be harder to find this far out.

    If you do chose to delay purchasing the paid tickets, then be diligent in watching the availability on a regular basis to make sure you don't miss out.

    Also note that if you wanting paid fares for the adults and awards for this kids, then you may have problems getting the awards if the kids are considered unaccompanied minors. So you may need to think about one adult being on the award booking to overcome that one.
     
  5. jocthedinosaur

    jocthedinosaur Junior Member

    Sep 12, 2005
    16
    0
    Sydney
    Wouldn't I be better off buying the tickets for the kids as they are only 75% of the price or is that no longer the case???

    Joc
     
  6. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Again be careful about limitations if they are not linked to the flying adults as they could be seen as unaccompanied minors in the booking and that may affect the child pricing. Not all discount fares offer child discounts.

    It it was me, I would be paying for my own ticket so I earn the FF points and status credits towards my status requalification. As Mrs NM now has a shiny new Gold FF card, I would be tempted to pay for hers next to get the bonus FF points. But I would need to weigh that up against the cost difference for a child fare vs extra points earned.

    If I was looking for 2 adults and 2 kids, with 2 tickets being awards and 2 paid, I might even just go for or adult and one child as paid and one adult and one child as award just to ensure the child fares were always linked to an adult fare and hence not going to be separated or considered unaccompanied if the two bookings are not properly linked.

    Then again, with two paid adult tickets you would apply for upgrades and possibly sit in business class in which case the kids down the back would be unaccompanied :lol: .
     
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