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Sydney to Houston - To AA or not to AA?

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acampbel

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I have a Houston trip coming up in April and was checking out the options with a mind to maximising miles/SCs and minimising hassle, but it seems an impossible task.

The most direct route is QF73 to San Fran and then CO to Houston, but I can take QF107 to LAX and then skip through DFW with AA. The elapsed time is only about an hour longer, but that extra hour is spent jumping off and on flights at Dallas.

So I was wondering what the payback in miles/SCs would be if I took the AA option. In case it comes up I don't believe a YUP(P) fare is possible unless the travel agent (Amex) can be fooled into thinking they are economy fares.


Ta,

Andrew
 

Dave Noble

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Have you considered taking SYD-LAX on QF149 and then connecting to a CO flight ex LAX. CO has a lot of flights from LAX-IAH and would easily beat going on AA via DFW. The SYD-LAX arrives at 06:00 and so can connect on at 08:00 to IAH arriving at 13:13. Should you be delayed, the next service is at 09:10 arriving into IAH at 14:23 ( using todays timetable as an example )

Looking at the OW timetable for today, going on AA via DFW , the arrival time into IAH ( using QF149 ) would not be until 17:10. 4 hours saving is pretty decent. Going to HOU you could get there at 15:00.

Which airport in Houston is most conveniant for your final destination. Would arriving at Hobby airport help offset the 1:45 hour longer journey ( including a flight on a cute ER4 american beagle service )

Dave
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Dave Noble said:
Have you considered taking SYD-LAX on QF149 and then connecting to a CO flight ex LAX. CO has a lot of flights from LAX-IAH and would easily beat going on AA via DFW. The SYD-LAX arrives at 06:00 and so can connect on at 08:00 to IAH arriving at 13:13. Should you be delayed, the next service is at 09:10 arriving into IAH at 14:23 ( using todays timetable as an example )

Looking at the OW timetable for today, going on AA via DFW , the arrival time ( using QF149 ) would not be until 17:10. 4 hours saving is pretty decent

Dave
Minimum connect time between airlines and terminals at LAX is 3 hours. Therefore would need to take 9:10 flight not the 8:00.
 

Dave Noble

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Minimum connect time between airlines and terminals at LAX is 3 hours. Therefore would need to take 9:10 flight not the 8:00.
The MCT between QF and CO definately shows up as valid at 2 hours using Expert Flyer

SYD - LAX (QF149) - IAH(CO294) shows as a routing for that journey arriving at 13:13

Dave
 

Kiwi Flyer

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Dave Noble said:
The MCT between QF and CO definately shows up as valid at 2 hours using Expert Flyer

SYD - LAX (QF149) - IAH(CO294) shows as a routing for that journey arriving at 13:13

Dave
Some booking engines allow routings that are under MCT.
 

NM

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Dave Noble said:
( using todays timetable as an example )
Definitely check the schedules closely. USA changed onto Daylight Savings time last weekend (3 weeks earlier than previous years), while Australia does not change off daylight saving time until the end of the month. So there are going to be a few connections alterations between March and April.
 

acampbel

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OK - I should have said that I will be traveling Saturday (or perhaps Sunday) so there may be fewer flight options. No QF149 for one.

The hotel in Houston is the Hilton Westchase which appears to be fairly equidistant from either airport, but if I can avoid anything in the LOTFAP that has the name Bush associated with it .... then all the better.

Is San Fran a better airport for transferring than LAX? Is the 3 hours really necessary if I have no luggage! How come CO seemed to be the only airline that does direct flights to Houston?


Cheers,

Andrew

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Dave Noble

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acampbel said:
Is San Fran a better airport for transferring than LAX? Is the 3 hours really necessary if I have no luggage! How come CO seemed to be the only airline that does direct flights to Houston?
Houston is a major hub for Continental so tends to have great flight options to/from IAH. If the booking service can get you on a single ticketed itinerary with a 2 hour connection, then you would be protected

aa.com will happily allow a connection from AA7319 arriving at 06:00 to connect to CO294 at 08:00 when QF149 operates, so combined with EFs display, I am prepared to trust that 2 hours is a valid connection

I would go via LAX due to the greater number of services offered onto IAH

Dave
 

NM

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acampbel said:
Is San Fran a better airport for transferring than LAX? Is the 3 hours really necessary if I have no luggage! How come CO seemed to be the only airline that does direct flights to Houston?
If transferring to an AA flight, the LAX is probably better as its all in Terminal 4 and you get to use the AAdmirals Club lounge there (assuming you have oneWorld Sapphire or Emerald status or QF club membership). Transferring to CO at LAX means lugging your bags from Terminal 4 arrivals to Terminal 6 for CO check-in.

Also, the only option for QF to SFO arrives mid morning, meaning your are not going to get out of SFO until midday at the best. Weekend flight options from SYD to LAX include QF107 with an arrival time of 6:30am, allowing an earlier departure from LAX and hence an earlier arrival into IAH, even allowing for the treck from T4 to T6.
 

Dave Noble

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NM said:
If transferring to an AA flight, the LAX is probably better as its all in Terminal 4 and you get to use the AAdmirals Club lounge there (assuming you have oneWorld Sapphire or Emerald status or QF club membership). Transferring to CO at LAX means lugging your bags from Terminal 4 arrivals to Terminal 6 for CO check-in.
If on a single ticket, then QF should be able to check luggage through to IAH and so should,iirc, be able to use the transfer luggage facility. This would be moot given that acampbell is planning to have carry on only

Dave
 

NM

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Dave Noble said:
If on a single ticket, then QF should be able to check luggage through to IAH and so should,iirc, be able to use the transfer luggage facility. This would be moot given that acampbell is planning to have carry on only

Dave
Indeed I would expect it to be cool for luggage transfer at TBI. I was just not sure for T4 arrival to CO connection. Last time I connected at LAX to a CO flight I had to trudge my luggage over to T6, but that was something like 15 years ago :shock: .
 

acampbel

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I don't want to hop the fence across to the Travel Agent whinge, but I just got a quote from our new Travel Agent for the QF/AA itinerary and it came to .... $4245 !!!

I checked out the same routing (admittedly all AA flight #s) via AA.com and it came up with $2900. I went to Qantas.com and I could get the SYD-LAX leg for $2400.

All I can hope is that they included the car hire (USD300) but that still leaves the best part of $1000 to explain.


Cheers,

Andrew

.
 

NM

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Does your corporate travel policy require a minimum class of booking? For example, our corporate policy will book us into K or higher in order to ensure the required level of flexibility. So I can often see cheaper fares available on-line, but I will always be booked in K or above for work trips.
 

acampbel

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Nope - our corporate policy doesn't stipulate flexible fares ... but the travel agent had other ideas. They've now com back with a quote for $2600 but warned that for such an "infexible" fare there will be at least a $200 change fee and no chance of a refund.

Let me see ..... spend $1800 more to avoid a possible $200 change and a very improbable cancellation. Doesn't seem to add up.


Cheers,

Andrew

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