"oneworld" award (132.4K/249.6K/318K/455K) Planning - The Definitive Thread

vetrade

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But if it is all booked under the same PNR then you are protected and it’s the airline’s responsibility to re-accommodate you.
That's true, but it's little consolation if the delay is long enough to cause your forward plans to be messed up. If the airline can put you on another flight within a few hours the damage is probably minimal but if you lose a day it can be very inconvenient +/- costly. On long haul connections we always opt for the "peace of mind" approach and aim for about 3hr minimum transits but we might cut that back a little if we're passing through an efficient airport like HEL. A few hours passes easily if the bar's open in the lounge!

Imagine if the delay caused you to miss the departure of a week-long cruise or tour - the damage done to your trip would be far more than what the airline could possobly compensate you for for. To me the stress just isn't worth skimping on connection times unless it's a short route with lots of alternate flights like MEL - SYD etc.

Another point is that there may be a significant disconnect between what the airline thinks is adequate and what you expect; and if their attitude is "take it or leave it", what are you going to do, because ranting and demanding something else will just get you ejected from the terminal by security?
 

ozflier

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Can I ask a bit more about the Minimum Connection Time - they seem really long.. have special MCTs been brought in because of COVID? For example, I would have thought something like 60 mins would be more the norm for SIN or HND.

Re your question on MCTs ,I have delved a little more deeply as I suspect that many of us have not flown substantially for so long that what used to be common knowledge is now recessed in our deep memories. So apologies in advance for telling readers what they may already know.

Minimum connection time ( MCT) or legal connection time are the same . Airlines have calculated the minimum amount of time it will take for you to physically make it to the next gate and to get your checked bags to your connecting aircraft. Weirdly in the past , some airports were so efficient with baggage that they are loaded onto your connecting aircraft before you get to the departure gate ( Frankfurt FRA is a good example)

MCTs used to be reflect the requirements of

each airline

sometimes individual flights of the same airline

a combination of airlines in the case of an interline connection and of course,

the airport

MCTs are partly dependent on whether there was a domestic – international connection or some combination of those as well as things like

  • airport layout ( eg int to domestic at SYD needs an interterminal bus transfer) and
  • likelihood of using a bus gate especially in Europe– eg connection time increased between a long haul carrier arrival and a departure on a local carrier travelling a short distance .
  • Need in some cases of passing thru security
MCTs need to get final approval from IATA.

Things have changed and I think part of the issue also is that incoming international carriers are loath to take a chance with their incoming passengers misconnecting during the current pandemic uncertainty. For example, in London , BA has changed , sometimes on several occasions, whether their a/c use Heathrow or Gatwick – MCTs for certain long distance flights have been expanded to reflect future uncertainty eg in situations where the domestic to international flights departed and now a land transit is needed to get between LHR and LGM or vv ( up to 3 hours minimum)

In some cases, there are different timings in connections between the same airline connecting vs different carriers being involved– this appears to happen at Singapore eg a pax on a Qantas a/c connecting at SIN to use Qatar to continue onto DOH must expect a MCT of over 5 hours.

The transit process is also now much more complicated even if it all takes place airside – so MCTs have been lengthened because of that .

Some airports close late at night thru early morning so if you arrive on the last flight prior to closure , you will have to wait til the next day.

MCTs will hopefully go back to the old ways in 2022 because long connections at airports are not particularly popular particularly if you don’t have access to a premium lounge.

I hope that helps.
 

MEL_Traveller

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The QF multi city tool will only return results with legal connecting times. In cases where you are manually forcing connections it won't let you book two sectors where MCT is breached.

MCT is completely different to 'sensible connecting time'. The latter is determined by the passenger taking into account their mobility, familiarity with the airport, knowledge of the airlines involved and how helpful they will be if you miss a MCT, and flight frequency and and how important the original flight timing is (if you need a flight to make a tour, catching the next one might not be suitable).

QF allowed something like an hour or so for domestic to international connections at SYD. MCT 'yes', but 'sensible'? Hardly. Yet in reverse, INT->DOM it didn't really matter because they'd just put you on the next available flight, which were often hourly.
 

Matt_01

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I have no special '"oneworld" award"' itinerary to mention in terms of miles or carriers but have started booking the latest. In March-May this year I booked a trip well several of the same via different routes for Apr 22 school holidays, then these started to cancel so I gave up and cancelled all. Today I started again for Sep 22 school holidays and paired back a little i.e. US is out of the mix. Just looking to fly to the UK via green zones or potential green zones and back direct into SA via the middle east or Asia, some interesting routes are being presented. In previous years I focused on mileage, stopovers and transit points now my focus seems to be where can I get a Covid test and staying airside for to get there and back. Somehow 72 hours has become the new 24-28 hours ;) :p
 

Inuniform

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I‘m in the middle of booking a J award ticket. Trying to get from YVR to FCO. I did manage to book YVR-NRT-DOH-FCO but it has chewed up a big chunk of miles. This would still be ok if I could book CDG-HND then HND-SYD directly but J availability is scarce and anything other than these direct routes puts me over the miles limit. Any suggestions departing YVR to Europe around Aug 30 next year?
 

motef

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I‘m in the middle of booking a J award ticket. Trying to get from YVR to FCO. I did manage to book YVR-NRT-DOH-FCO but it has chewed up a big chunk of miles. This would still be ok if I could book CDG-HND then HND-SYD directly but J availability is scarce and anything other than these direct routes puts me over the miles limit. Any suggestions departing YVR to Europe around Aug 30 next year?
Have you looked at CDG-HKG and HKG-SYD on CX?

I have found wide availability on this route
 

Inuniform

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Does anyone know what time JL seats are released on the QF booking site? Also, because I would have to ring QF to add flights to a booking, is there anything wrong with booking flights on a different ticket and then cancelling them while you’re talking to QF in order to hold the seats and add them to an itinerary?
 

MEL_Traveller

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I did look at this route but there was no availability around the 30th August to early September.

There is availability on 30 August in BA J from ORD to LHR. This can be combined with a YVR-ORD on AA for example. The flight leaves YVR at 1324, arrives into ORD at 1940 and connects with the BA flight at 2105. Connections from LHR to FCO seem easy enough so I didn't check those for connecting onwards. While the BA flight is bookable now, the connection from YVR seems outside the current calendar.
Post automatically merged:

Does anyone know what time JL seats are released on the QF booking site? Also, because I would have to ring QF to add flights to a booking, is there anything wrong with booking flights on a different ticket and then cancelling them while you’re talking to QF in order to hold the seats and add them to an itinerary?

There is no guarantee that cancelling a flight will return the seats to the award inventory pool. This can happen with airlines where there are waitlists (as soon as you cancel the seat goes to the next person on the list), or it could be that yield management has determined they can now sell the seats so won't re-offer them as awards. Finally, if booking the award seats through another partner program, they might never be made available to QF (ie, they were special seats only available to members of the operating airline's FF program).
 

vetrade

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Does anyone know what time JL seats are released on the QF booking site? Also, because I would have to ring QF to add flights to a booking, is there anything wrong with booking flights on a different ticket and then cancelling them while you’re talking to QF in order to hold the seats and add them to an itinerary?
My recent experience is that release dates are very inconsistent ATM across multiple airlines. I've nearly completed a 318k booking and the route map is now almost unrecognisable from what was originally planned. Maybe a lot of people have recently started snapping up a lot of J availability for the second half of next year, but my impression is that the variable supply has been caused by the airlines themselves shutting the supply off abruptly and even cancelling already released awards.

Since you asked about JL, I'll start with them. Only weeks ago JL had plenty of availability from about 360 - 330 days out for both JL48 (HEL-HND) and JL51 (HND-SYD) but recently nearly all the JL48 availability disappeared virtually overnight. At the same time, JL51 seats were still available. I When I looked at LHR - HND there was reasonable availability for JL42 (which has a long transit in HND) but only sporadic availability for JL44. As luck would have it, I just got the JL44 / JL51 combo just 2 days ago at 359 days out.

Case 2: QF had been showing a steady stream of J availability on the SYD - JNB route from start of June next year to such a degree that I had no concerns about getting them for the end of July 2022, despite the fact that I have no status and couldn't get them till 293 - 297 days out. Then, poof, they all vanished and despite checking every day religiously, no new availability showed up and there's still none today (for NBs, at least). Luckily I had booked MEL - HKG - JNB at 360 days with CX as insurance, but it did chew up several thousand extra kms.

Case 3: QR - researching a variety of QR routes, it was difficult to put together combos of JNB - DOH with onward flights to many European cities. QR had good availability JNB - DOH at 330 - 360 days out (with the possible exception of QR1478) but DOH to ARN/NCE/CPH/HEL/ZRH etc had no availability for connecting flights until about 2 months after most of the JNB - DOH availability would have been gone. That makes planning a trip a nightmare.

EDIT: I changed the sequence of our itinerary a bit and opted for JNB - LHR - KEF instead of JNB - DOH - ARN/CPH etc. and had no trouble getting J for both flights on BA. People may not like BA's taxes but when it comes to award availability they are often very good

Re, your other point about holding seats on another booking: it is a few years ago now but I had booked the last J seats on a QF SYD - LAX flight as part of a OW award. I subsequently cancelled them in favour of a different date, and out of interest I checked each hour to see how long it took for my released seats to show up back in inventory. It took 11 hours - so maybe your plan of waiting on line to re-book seats you have on another booking could be a long process.
 
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flapper

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Does anyone know if the "Frequent Flyer" system is back up? I added some flights to my OWA today and they couldn't reissue as the system was down. They couldn't even recalculate the taxes. They told me to call back later which I did but it was still down. I don't want to wait on hold for 4 or more hours if it isn't back up. I used the call back earlier and that took 4 hours despite saying 30 mins to 1 hour but I'm not being offered a call back atm.
 
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ozflier

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Does anyone know if the "Frequent Flyer" system is back up? I added some flights to my OWA today and they couldn't reissue as the system was down. They couldn't even recalculate the taxes. They told me to call back later which I did but it was still down. I don't want to wait on hold for 4 or more hours if it isn't back up. I used the call abck earlier and that took 4 hours despite saying 30 mins to 1 hour.
I've called twice in the last two weeks and both times the agents have noted the system is very slow - one also said that the booking system is being refurbished slowly so it may not cause too much trouble in the future.
 
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vetrade

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Does anyone know if the "Frequent Flyer" system is back up? I added some flights to my OWA today and they couldn't reissue as the system was down. They couldn't even recalculate the taxes. They told me to call back later which I did but it was still down. I don't want to wait on hold for 4 or more hours if it isn't back up. I used the call back earlier and that took 4 hours despite saying 30 mins to 1 hour but I'm not being offered a call back atm.
I've spoken to them about 5 times in the past 10 days to make changes and query ticketing which hadn't arrived. Two of the calls were with very capable Aussie agents who each mentioned that the QF system was playing up. A lot of bookings are apparently being diverted for manual ticketing which would normally be automatically processed in around 5 - 10 minutes. That's led to a backlog and I've been assured all my flights are confirmed and "safe" but the actual ticketing could take 48hrs because of the no. of flights and the re-calculation of taxes.

P.S. I did some changes with a lady at the CPT call centre and she was brilliant, but not so my experiences with the Asian agents. After 2-3hrs waiting for a callback, the 2 Manilla (?) agents I got seemed absolutely clueless as to what a OW Award was or how to add/change flights. One put me on hold and then the call dropped out after 15 minutes. The other pretended he couldn't hear me, saying there was static on the line (it was crystal clear to me), before hanging up on me. The give-away was the fact that he kept saying he couldn't hear me but he still waited for me to stop talking before he said it again.
 

flapper

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I've spoken to them about 5 times in the past 10 days to make changes and query ticketing which hadn't arrived. Two of the calls were with very capable Aussie agents who each mentioned that the QF system was playing up. A lot of bookings are apparently being diverted for manual ticketing which would normally be automatically processed in around 5 - 10 minutes. That's led to a backlog and I've been assured all my flights are confirmed and "safe" but the actual ticketing could take 48hrs because of the no. of flights and the re-calculation of taxes.

P.S. I did some changes with a lady at the CPT call centre and she was brilliant, but not so my experiences with the Asian agents. After 2-3hrs waiting for a callback, the 2 Manilla (?) agents I got seemed absolutely clueless as to what a OW Award was or how to add/change flights. One put me on hold and then the call dropped out after 15 minutes. The other pretended he couldn't hear me, saying there was static on the line (it was crystal clear to me), before hanging up on me. The give-away was the fact that he kept saying he couldn't hear me but he still waited for me to stop talking before he said it again.
I've had a number of calls "drop out" after being told I can't add a flight to an existing booking and this is after checking they have my number and requesting they call me back if the call drops out. The other day (AKL CC) I was told the points system wasn't working and it will take 2 days to reissue the ticket but at least that time they were able to recalculate the taxes. I called back and a Cape Town operator was able to reissue the ticket while I waited - it did take about 45 mins. I think most of that time was him waiting to get through to the ticketing line.
 
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