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

vetrade

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........ The time it might differ is when married segments are involved... so you'd see availability for two flights together, but can't break them up (for example TPE-HKG-LAX might be available, but you can't book the HKG-LAX by itself).........
There is an extensive discussion of Married Segment Control on Flyer Talk and it seems what MSC entails is as 'fluid" (and confusing) as some people's idea of what gender is. Firstly, there is the perception that MSC only applies to award fares when airlines do also regularly use them for revenue fares as a form of maximising profits. The classic married segment situation for award availability (i.e. the one which is easiest to understand) is when you can only book 2 segments as a pair i.e. you can't book one or both of the segments individually but they are readily available if you book both together.

The converse of that is exemplified by how CX applies MSC to awards on their flights through their hub of HKG. In this situation CX will, in many instances (particularly Aus - HKG - Europe), not allow you to transit HKG on two CX award flights. The "go-round" for this is to either stay more than 24 hrs in HKG or replace one leg with another carrier. If, say, you wanted MEL - HKG - JNB, CX won't ticket it if both flights are with them but if you book QF from MEL - HKG and then CX from HKG you won't have any problems at all (assuming there's availability on both flights, of course).

Edit: If putting together a OWA itinerary online and you see CX J availability for connecting flights such as the example above, you will almost certainly be able to "book" them as part of a multi-city itinerary and receive an Itinerary Receipt from QF (without an eTicket number), but in fact this itinerary hasn't been properly ticketed at all at that stage. Sometime over the next 24hrs those two CX flights will just vanish from your booking because CX won't ratify them.
 
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vetrade

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Just an observation about phantom availability:
People sometimes see classic rewards availability online for particular flights but then find they aren't actually bookable. The conventional wisdom is that the availability shown was a mistake and those award seats didn't actually exist.

I had a recent experience that suggests at least some supposed phantom availability is really a block used by QF to selectively discriminate against people booking OW Award itineraries. In my case of a 318k award, the last flight I wanted to book was QF SYD - MEL at the end of a PMI - LHR - HND - SYD stint home from Europe. That SYD -MEL route has flights departing nearly every half hour and, as you would expect for a domestic flight 340 - 353 days out, nearly all flights were showing J availability.

Our HND - SYD flight will arrive at 06.10. so I wanted a connecting SYD flight departing at 08.30 (but up to 09.30) to keep our transit time to approx. 2 - 3 hrs. Each time I tried to book, the agents told me the earliest availability was 11.00am. Before I tried for the fourth time I went online and made a separate booking for 2 x J on the 9.00 SYD - MEL flight and had no trouble getting it ticketed, confirming that what the agents were telling me was BS.

Next day the same flight, and all the other morning flights, were still showing J availability but, again, the agent said the earliest available was 11.00. I asked her to check further because, with respect, what she was telling me was clearly not correct and she could check my other booking made the day before to confirm that. She then conceded that, yes, there was availability but she "couldn't" book us on them - but declined to explain why. After I said I wanted the 08.30 flight to avoid a long delay in SYD at the end of a 35hr trip from Europe, she said she understood and consulted a supervisor. She soon came back with the news she had got the OK to book me on the 08.30. Problem solved, but it was a problem that shouldn't have existed because I should have been entitled to book those seats from the get go. I suspect QF just didn't want to give J award seats during prime business commuter hours to passengers who are obviously tourists.

That got me thinking whether some other cases of "my system's not showing me availability on that flight, sir" are actually a deliberate construct by QF to restrict access to award seats for people booking OWAs.
 
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Mr H

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If you ring the call centre before about 5pm you should be offered the option of a call back which saves you waitng on hold. After 5 - 6pm QF often doesn't give you the option of a call back so you just have to wait and hope you get through.
Thought for the day: a chocolate teapot actually sounds like a nice thing, whereas a callback from Qantas at 2.53am - 13 hours after joining the queue - is equally useless but doesn't sound as nice.
 
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Inuniform

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Just an observation about phantom availability:
People sometimes see classic rewards availability online for particular flights but then find they aren't actually bookable. The conventional wisdom is that the availability shown was a mistake and those award seats didn't actually exist.

I had a recent experience that suggests at least some supposed phantom availability is really a block used by QF to selectively discriminate against people booking OW Award itineraries. In my case of a 318k award, the last flight I wanted to book was QF SYD - MEL at the end of a PMI - LHR - HND - SYD stint home from Europe. That SYD -MEL route has flights departing nearly every half hour and, as you would expect for a domestic flight 340 - 353 days out, nearly all flights were showing J availability.

Our HND - SYD flight will arrive at 06.10. so I wanted a connecting SYD flight departing at 08.30 (but up to 09.30) to keep our transit time to approx. 2 - 3 hrs. Each time I tried to book, the agents told me the earliest availability was 11.00am. Before I tried for the fourth time I went online and made a separate booking for 2 x J on the 9.00 SYD - MEL flight and had no trouble getting it ticketed, confirming that what the agents were telling me was BS.

Next day the same flight, and all the other morning flights, were still showing J availability but, again, the agent said the earliest available was 11.00. I asked her to check further because, with respect, what she was telling me was clearly not correct and she could check my other booking made the day before to confirm that. She then conceded that, yes, there was availability but she "couldn't" book us on them - but declined to explain why. After I said I wanted the 08.30 flight to avoid a long delay in SYD at the end of a 35hr trip from Europe, she said she understood and consulted a supervisor. She soon came back with the news she had got the OK to book me on the 08.30. Problem solved, but it was a problem that shouldn't have existed.

That got me thinking whether some other cases of "my system's not showing me availability on that flight, sir" are actually a deliberate construct by QF to restrict access to award seats for people booking OWAs.
Similarly, I believe my issue, where taxes for flights are nearly doubled after being added to a OWA itinerary, is QF gouging customers who have had it too good for too long. Wasn’t the increase in points for Award bookings meant to be offset by reduced taxes?
 

Danger

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Similarly, I believe my issue, where taxes for flights are nearly doubled after being added to a OWA itinerary, is QF gouging customers who have had it too good for too long. Wasn’t the increase in points for Award bookings meant to be offset by reduced taxes?

What exactly is this "too good" and when was this "too long" period you speak of?
 

Captain Halliday

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Just an observation about phantom availability:
People sometimes see classic rewards availability online for particular flights but then find they aren't actually bookable. The conventional wisdom is that the availability shown was a mistake and those award seats didn't actually exist.

I had a recent experience that suggests at least some supposed phantom availability is really a block used by QF to selectively discriminate against people booking OW Award itineraries. In my case of a 318k award, the last flight I wanted to book was QF SYD - MEL at the end of a PMI - LHR - HND - SYD stint home from Europe. That SYD -MEL route has flights departing nearly every half hour and, as you would expect for a domestic flight 340 - 353 days out, nearly all flights were showing J availability.

Our HND - SYD flight will arrive at 06.10. so I wanted a connecting SYD flight departing at 08.30 (but up to 09.30) to keep our transit time to approx. 2 - 3 hrs. Each time I tried to book, the agents told me the earliest availability was 11.00am. Before I tried for the fourth time I went online and made a separate booking for 2 x J on the 9.00 SYD - MEL flight and had no trouble getting it ticketed, confirming that what the agents were telling me was BS.

Next day the same flight, and all the other morning flights, were still showing J availability but, again, the agent said the earliest available was 11.00. I asked her to check further because, with respect, what she was telling me was clearly not correct and she could check my other booking made the day before to confirm that. She then conceded that, yes, there was availability but she "couldn't" book us on them - but declined to explain why. After I said I wanted the 08.30 flight to avoid a long delay in SYD at the end of a 35hr trip from Europe, she said she understood and consulted a supervisor. She soon came back with the news she had got the OK to book me on the 08.30. Problem solved, but it was a problem that shouldn't have existed.

That got me thinking whether some other cases of "my system's not showing me availability on that flight, sir" are actually a deliberate construct by QF to restrict access to award seats for people booking OWAs.
A similar and equally frustrating example to back this up.

I tried to book BNExSYD-ZQN.

A basic search for BNE-ZQN returned no QF results.

Searches for both BNE-SYD and SYD-ZQN displayed plenty of availability.

So I tried the multi-city, which allowed it right up to the booking page before throwing up an error.

Phoned and the agent also couldn’t make it work searching BNE-ZQN and said they system won’t allow a multi-city where the city pair is served by a direct service.

In the end she made it work. I’m unsure how.

A further point to note is that BNE-ZQN was showing JQ availability, so I wonder if that’s been coded in as a block too?
 

ozflier

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A similar and equally frustrating example to back this up.

I tried to book BNExSYD-ZQN.

A basic search for BNE-ZQN returned no QF results.

Searches for both BNE-SYD and SYD-ZQN displayed plenty of availability.

So I tried the multi-city, which allowed it right up to the booking page before throwing up an error.

Phoned and the agent also couldn’t make it work searching BNE-ZQN and said they system won’t allow a multi-city where the city pair is served by a direct service.

In the end she made it work. I’m unsure how.

A further point to note is that BNE-ZQN was showing JQ availability, so I wonder if that’s been coded in as a block too?
I am regularly amazed at how some agents are able to make things "work".
Very impressive.
 

Mr H

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Phoned and the agent also couldn’t make it work searching BNE-ZQN and said they system won’t allow a multi-city where the city pair is served by a direct service.
That is clearly a nonsense - any search for awards throws up multiple options for routes with stops, even where there is also an option of a direct flight. Why fly direct when you could connect?
 

Inuniform

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What exactly is this "too good" and when was this "too long" period you speak of?
A OWA is one of the best use of points for a QFF, would you not agree? It makes sense that QF would try to extract some of that value away from the customer in their time of need. Raise points required, raise taxes, take away availability. All of a sudden it becomes too hard and I’m buying a toaster from the QF gift shop.
 

Mr H

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A OWA is one of the best use of points for a QFF, would you not agree? It makes sense that QF would try to extract some of that value away from the customer in their time of need. Raise points required, raise taxes, take away availability. All of a sudden it becomes too hard and I’m buying a toaster from the QF gift shop.
I would argue that OWAs are a bloody good way to get people flying. If the planes were going to be flying anyway, and you want to increase demand, normalise flying, and reduce the stockpile of FF points, then OWAs is a good way to do it. Right now I can see wide availability like I have never seen it before.
 

MEL_Traveller

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That got me thinking whether some other cases of "my system's not showing me availability on that flight, sir" are actually a deliberate construct by QF to restrict access to award seats for people booking OWAs.

It's not just OWAs... looking at business class awards CVG (Cincinnati) to Heathrow throws up a dozen or so combinations... often via ORD or DFW, with the TATL in economy only. Yet use the multi-city tool with a forced connection in New York and you can fly business on both sectors. When you do get the flights via JFK, BA is featured prominently (huge fuel surcharges), AA almost hidden.
 

Captain Halliday

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That is clearly a nonsense - any search for awards throws up multiple options for routes with stops, even where there is also an option of a direct flight. Why fly direct when you could connect?
I agree entirely. There are plenty of examples. So what I was told could be nonsense.

But it's also possible that for seasonal and high-demand routes, QF is blocking indirect options and/or funnelling redemptions onto JQ to maximise revenue.
HNL springs to mind. Or in my case ZQN in both school holidays and peak ski season.
 

vetrade

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It's not just OWAs... looking at business class awards CVG (Cincinnati) to Heathrow throws up a dozen or so combinations... often via ORD or DFW, with the TATL in economy only. Yet use the multi-city tool with a forced connection in New York and you can fly business on both sectors. When you do get the flights via JFK, BA is featured prominently (huge fuel surcharges), AA almost hidden.
Yes, agree that sometimes you have to jump through hoops to find availability even for standard classic reward redemptions, although my example was to highlight that even when availability is readily visible online, QF might still attempt to deny you access to it.
 

Matt_01

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although my example was to highlight that even when availability is readily visible online, QF might still attempt to deny you access to it.
This may not be the case and to the best of my knowledge, QF domestic, QF International and QF rewards are all separate entities and there is most likely different availability and internal chargeback rates. If this is the case IMO this is no different from seeing availability across airlines but will accept it causes confusion as it is under the QF brand. In the past I have requested QF domestic seat release to connect to/ from QF and other OW carriers that have not been available via the international flights.
 

Danger

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A OWA is one of the best use of points for a QFF, would you not agree? It makes sense that QF would try to extract some of that value away from the customer in their time of need. Raise points required, raise taxes, take away availability. All of a sudden it becomes too hard and I’m buying a toaster from the QF gift shop.

I feel Qantas classic oneworld award can provide reasonable valid but (a) that's not how I read your post and (b) Qantas taxes are routinely extortionate, even on this product, which reduces the value.
 

Mr H

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JAL apparently only release the good seats to elites ahead of check in. I am not elite but wanted business class window seats. I had a brainwave - how about finding an elite FF number and adding it to the booking? So I searched Google Images until I found an emerald number and added it to my booking. I then opened the booking to see whether I had access to the forbidden seats. Unfortunately I didn't, and there was an error message saying my FF number was invalid. So now I know that trick doesn't work :(
 

GaryLG

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Just looking at booking flights including one that goes LHR-KUL-PER that QF offered in a search for LHR-PER. There is about 1 hour 40 minutes between the flights.

How easy will it be getting from one flight to the other? Anyone familiar with the airport?

It'll be a mum and bub doing it with hand luggage on their own.

Thanks
 

Mr H

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Just looking at booking flights including one that goes LHR-KUL-PER that QF offered in a search for LHR-PER. There is about 1 hour 40 minutes between the flights.

How easy will it be getting from one flight to the other? Anyone familiar with the airport?

It'll be a mum and bub doing it with hand luggage on their own.

Thanks
Intl to Intl - should be fine provided your arrival flight is on time. And so long as you are through ticketed, if you miss the connection due to late arrival you will be looked after. The ticketing only allows flights that comply with Minimum Connection Time.
 

GaryLG

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Intl to Intl - should be fine provided your arrival flight is on time. And so long as you are through ticketed, if you miss the connection due to late arrival you will be looked after. The ticketing only allows flights that comply with Minimum Connection Time.
Thanks. I was hoping that would be the case.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Just looking at booking flights including one that goes LHR-KUL-PER that QF offered in a search for LHR-PER. There is about 1 hour 40 minutes between the flights.

How easy will it be getting from one flight to the other? Anyone familiar with the airport?

It'll be a mum and bub doing it with hand luggage on their own.

Thanks

It's potentially a bit of a trade-off. As Mr H says, worst case scenario and the flight is missed they will reaccommodate you. But that could be next day. While 1hr40 was fine pre-covid, there could be delays ex LHR with covid screening, delays on arrival with covid screening, and transfer delays for checking onward documents (for example that you meet the eligibility requirements for Australia).

Will MH be flying to PER next year? They have taken a huge financial hit due to covid, have had cash injections from the State, and could look to restructure their route network.

The alternative would be longer - to take QF right through to MEL or SYD, and then connect from there to PER. Any problems with late flights and (a) there are regular flights MEL/SYD-PER rather than just one KUL-PER, (b) you are in Australia already and much easier to deal with any problems or delays.
 

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