Planning in advance-2007 Platinum challenge

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Dave Noble

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Tiki said:
BOOKED!! Driect with AA ATW office in the USA! I got all the flights I wanted in L class except the JFK-LHR one. She couldn't put us on the 0830 one, she waitlisted us there and confirmed us on the red-eye at 1815 one. If the waitlist doesn't clear, not a major tragedy, we still have a full day in London to see some highlights, plus 5 hours in Helsinki between flights to peek around (will be daylight until 10 pm!)

More questions!!

How long do we have to wait for the price including taxes to come back? Do I have to call or will it show up under our PNR#?

She put it on hold until 9 Oct. How many times can I postpone the ticketing? I prefer to stall it until Jan-Feb next year.

She was a bit concerned we have too many stops in South America. We really just have IPC, PEM, CUZ, LIM, GRU. The rest are transits, though some are overnight in LIM.


If you can't get the daytime flight ex JFK, consider going via BOS if that is available. The daytime flight is so much more civilised.

It normally takes about a day for pricing to come back, though being the weekend , it might take till tuesday morning for Dublin to price it

A LxGLOB4 ex Australia, has to be ticketed at least 7 days prior to departure iirc. If you get a nice agent , he/she may hold it all the way till then otherwise just call back before the hold expires and just extend it. The details will not show on your PNR on AA.com

You might want to get some seat assignements done now that you have a reservation and then, once you get Platinum status, change the AA ones to nab the exit rows if available

I am not sure of rules regarding flights/stopovers for the Global Explorer, though was not aware of any continent restrictions of number of flights ( unlike the OWE which would have a limit of 4 )

Dave
 

Tiki

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I was hoping to avoid actually entering the US. I'm a dual citizen-US/OZ, I don't want to carry both passports. If the morning flight doesn't clear, we might venture into NY, I have some friends in NJ too. I wonder if I would be OK just using the Australian passport. My husband is dual NZ/OZ so he has to go through the foriengers line, just another PITA. I think the flight should clear, there's heaps of time.

So it gets priced in Dublin? Not in DFW or wherever AA HQ is? That's a surprise.

I posted this on FT, I think I am OK since you get 4 stopovers in a region and they don't count transits less than 24 hours.

BNE-SYD-PPT (stopover SWP)

1st stopover IPC (after arriving from PPT)
2nd stopover PEM (via SCL & LIM, less than 24 hours layover)
3rd stopover CUZ
4th stopover GRU (via LIM, less than 24 hours layover)

GIG-JFK takes me out of South America.

LOL, I didn't even think of seat assignments! We will board the GIG-JFK segment as Platinums, we might even get one of those space available upgrades? (Yeah, just dreaming!) In the PNR, I can only book the AA seats, I suppose I have to ring the other airlines?
 

Tiki

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Global Explorer Routings (since most of you do the continent one)
  • Flights must be via both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans (travelling around the world in an eastbound or westbound direction). You may only cross each ocean once.
  • Your flights from one continent to another must be in a continuous eastward or westward direction. Once within a continent you are free to backtrack or roam locally at will provided you do not return to the point where your journey originated.
  • You may choose to travel by surface transport instead of flying, under the following conditions:
    1. Within the country of origin
    2. Between the USA and Canada
    3. Between Hong Kong and another point in the People's Republic of China
    4. Within South America
    5. Within Africa
    6. Between Bangladesh and Bangkok or Singapore
    7. Between Malaysia and Singapore
If you choose to travel by surface transport, the most direct flown distance between the origin and destination point of the surface sector will be counted towards your total flown mileage.
  • You may use the following airlines: Aer Lingus, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, LAN Peru, Qantas, Air Pacific, Australian Airlines, Gulf Air, JALways, Japan Airlines, Japan Asia Airways and Malév Hungarian Airlines. (LAN Argentina and LAN Ecuador are not members of oneworld and are not included).
  • Travel on a service marketed under the airline code of one of the above airlines (known as a codeshare), and operated by another of the above airlines is permitted. Also permitted are QF codeshare services operated by PX (Air Niugini), TN (Air Tahiti Nui), VN (Air Vietnam), SA (South African Airways), NF (Air Vanuatu) and SB (Aircalin) - the Qantas flight number must appear on the reservation and ticket.
  • An unlimited number of online direct transfers (a direct connection) is permitted within the Tier mileage allowed by your fare.
  • You may fly up to 20 flight segments on your trip. Travel between two points by surface transportation will count as one flight segment.
Flights and stopovers
  • There are limits on the number of stopovers you may take:
Fare Tier
Stopovers permitted
Tier 1
Minimum of 3, maximum of 5 stopovers, with no more than 2 within any region.
Tier 2
Minimum of 3, maximum of 10 stopovers, with no more than 3 within any region.
Tier 3 and Tier 4
Minimum of 3, maximum of 15 stopovers, with no more than 4 within any region
All tiers
A maximum of two stopovers is permitted in your region of origin. These are included in the above maximum stopover limits
Global Explorer regions are defined as:
  • Europe and Middle East, including Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan
  • Africa (excluding countries named above)
  • Asia, including the Indian subcontinent
  • Australia, New Zealand and South West Pacific
  • North America, including Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and Panama
  • South America (excluding countries named above)
 

Mal

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Tiki said:
I was hoping to avoid actually entering the US.

I don't think you get that choice. Even if transitting through the U.S, you are still required to go through immigration and connect to your next flight. So either way, you'll still be required to queue and wait etc.
 

Dave Noble

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To avoid the USA, then taking GIG-LHR would do the trick, though being on BA the mileage earning would drop quite a lot if that matters unless you elect to fly in WT+; if you fly through the USA , you will have to clear immigration, collect bags and clear customs before depositing the luggage for the onward flight

I do not think that you can use your upgrade credits on the GIG-JFK flight since GIG is in South America and they can only be used from Economy Class ticket on American Airlines within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean and between the U.S. and Central America.

To upgrade GIG-JFK-LHR , then obtaining an eVIP would be the cheapest way to do it, otherwise use your Platinum status to try and nab the exit row seats

Dave
 
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Kiwi Flyer

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Mal said:
I don't think you get that choice. Even if transitting through the U.S, you are still required to go through immigration and connect to your next flight. So either way, you'll still be required to queue and wait etc.

yup - any international "connection" in US requires clearing immigration, even if it is continuing on same a/c and restricted to secure airside holding pen for the transit (ie NZ1/2 LHR-AKL via LAX and I presume similar also for CDG-PPT via LAX/JFK on AF and TN)
 

Tiki

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Dave Noble said:
To avoid the USA, then taking GIG-LHR would do the trick, though being on BA the mileage earning would drop quite a lot if that matters unless you elect to fly in WT+; if you fly through the USA , you will have to clear immigration, collect bags and clear customs before depositing the luggage for the onward flight

I do not think that you can use your upgrade credits on the GIG-JFK flight since GIG is in South America and they can only be used from Economy Class ticket on American Airlines within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean and between the U.S. and Central America.

To upgrade GIG-JFK-LHR , then obtaining an eVIP would be the cheapest way to do it, otherwise use your Platinum status to try and nab the exit row seats

Dave

Oh bugger, it never even occurred to me that you have to clear immigration if you are only connecting in the airport. :shock: That's a new one on me! I've never actually done a transit of the US before, but heaps of transits through SIN, BKK, DXB, etc without exiting the airport, I would have thought JFK would be the same. It's just one more document to lug around which isn't usually a problem but I like to avoid carrying 2 passports in South America. I can't enter the US as an Aussie, they fingerprint foreigners and mine are on file with my US drivers license so I would get nabbed. So I have to enter as an American. Well if we have to go there anyway, maybe we will keep the red-eye and visit my friends in NJ. I checked the OW interactive map and there isn't any other route that gets full miles in L class and doesn't enter the States.

Dave, I wish I could afford the BA option in WT but I can't and yes, the whole reason of using AA via JFK is for the miles/EQPs. I'll do my best in GIG, I know we won't have the 500 mile thingys but I was hoping for an op-up maybe if we are the only plats on the flight! Otherwise we will go for the exit rows-and extra Valiums! ;)
 

Tiki

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I finally have a price-called the Indians who read out what the ATW people put in. LHGLOB34 total price $4440 AUD, of which $363 she described as "taxes". I couldn't get anymore details out of her and I don't want to call the US until I have to extend the ticket deadline 8 Oct. What is really strange is that QF shows the base as $3889 AUD, AA appears to be charging a base of $4077 AUD. Is that a Forex issue?

Is AA going to nominate some travel agency to be their GSA here?
 

Dave Noble

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Tiki said:
I finally have a price-called the Indians who read out what the ATW people put in. LHGLOB34 total price $4440 AUD, of which $363 she described as "taxes". I couldn't get anymore details out of her and I don't want to call the US until I have to extend the ticket deadline 8 Oct. What is really strange is that QF shows the base as $3889 AUD, AA appears to be charging a base of $4077 AUD. Is that a Forex issue?

Is AA going to nominate some travel agency to be their GSA here?

The AUD190 would be the Fuel Fines methunks since AA does charge a USD75 fine for the transatlantic sector and USD65 for the US-Brazil sector and includes it in the base fare. USD140 comes out as aprox AUD187. This amount is likely to be quite a bit less than QF would charge in fines. $363 sounds a feasible level of taxes.

When you phone in Oct, see if they can extend the hold until , say, 21 days prior to departure

Dave
 

Tiki

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Oh, OK, thanks Dave. I didn't know the fuel fines were part of the base fare, so the taxes is just the country taxes.

I would still like to find a bricks & mortar place to buy these tickets if I can. I'll only be able to pay for one at a time because Amex was stingy with the credit limit they gave me and I want my MR points. I have $3500 limit, I need to phone them in Jan and try to bump it up to at least $5000, then pay one ticket, Bpay the Amex off, then pay the other ticket. I have excellent credit, prompt bill-payer, just low income.

I'd settle for one in Sydney (GSA) but would prefer Brisbane. If you have some rule against publisizing travel agencies online, could someone please PM me the name of one in Brisbane who issues AA tickets. I just am very uncomfortable with trying to get the Indians to do a one ticket at a time payment.
 

Dave Noble

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Paying one at a time is possible through AA anyway. Just get the ATW desk to split the 2 into separate bookings and each can easily be paid individually. Although I don't find the AA callcentre for Australia v good, I do believe that they are capable of actually issuing a ticket , so I would nto have any concerns there

*if* you can get AA to release the booking to be ticketed elsewhere ( definately not guaranteed that they will; I have had it refused recently ) then STA does have sabre. If you go to an agency to get it ticketed, expect to pay an extra $50 ish a ticket for the privilege since that seems to be the going fee at places I have visited recently such as Flight Centre and STA as well as possibly being stung 1 or 2% credit card surcharges

Dave
 

Tiki

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Dave Noble said:
The AUD190 would be the Fuel Fines methunks since AA does charge a USD75 fine for the transatlantic sector and USD65 for the US-Brazil sector and includes it in the base fare. USD140 comes out as aprox AUD187. This amount is likely to be quite a bit less than QF would charge in fines. $363 sounds a feasible level of taxes.

When you phone in Oct, see if they can extend the hold until , say, 21 days prior to departure

Dave

Dave,

I am totally panicking right now. I just called back to try to extend it. They absolutely refused to extend the ticket time limit. The flights are still available so they rebooked everything and put another 21 days hold on it. They are saying the computer won't let them put more than 21 days.

There is no way I can afford these tickets until Feb, maybe Jan if I am lucky. I need to save about 3 months pay. I am really scared I will lose the seats. This is totally insane, why are they being so hardnosed when the trip isn't even for another 10 months?

If you have any special way to get them extended for longer please let me know. I have been going through the ATW desk in the States, would the Indians extend it longer?
 

wombatcountry

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Hi Tiki,

I just found and read your thread. I don't really know anything about ATWs (except for the ones you can do as OW AAwards), but I've dealt with AA (in Oz, Europe, and the US) for about 15 years now - not with the ATW desk - but with the AAdvantage Platinum, Gold, EXP, and Vanilla desks at different times, and my experience is that, at least in recent times, not many AAgents are often willing to go out of their way to do you a favor. If the computer allows them to automatically extend a reservation 21 days at a time, that's probably what they will do, especially if overriding this limit is a complicated process (not saying that it is, I don't know). I doubt that the AAgents at the Indian calling centre would be more empowered than those in the US, but I guess it wouldn't hurt to try... In any case, you can try calling again after a few days and explain your situation, and see if you find a helpful AAgent who will give you a break. After all, you're asking to pay a full 5 months before flying time.

One of the golden rules when dealing with AA (or any airline, really) is: if you don't like the answer, thank them politely and hang up, wait a bit and call again. (It's important to remain polite and not to insist when you're told no, as less-than-helpful AAgents haven been known to put notes into the record locator which could make it very difficult for a later AAgent to help you). Now, this is not a suggestion to keep asking for things that are expressely prohibited by the fare rules (or by the frequent flyer program's T&C), of course. It's just that sometimes you'll find an AAgent who seems to be in a hurry to get off the phone and not very willing to help, and other times you'll get someone who will use a bit more time and imagination to help you solve a problem.

Anyway, to recap, unless you find a very helpful AAgent, you might have to call every 21 days to extend your reservations. L is not usually the cheapest fare bucket with OW airlines, so hopefully all your flights will still have availability into Jan.-Feb. for July travel, especially if you have some flexibility with dates and times.

Incidentally, Mr. wombatcountry and I also love birdwatching, and we flew to IPC last Feb. on our way to South America (but then we went south when we reached the mainland - Patagonia and the Falklands, truly spectacular!). Birdwise IPC doesn't offer that much, but it's still a fascinating place.
 
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