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Trials and tribulations of travelling together but on 2 PNRs - advice requested

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TripleB

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Hi there,

I am going to be a good son and takemy mum (regrettably she was bumped down to QF silver this month after being20SC short of renewing gold) to the UK to visit her mum in the UK for a week in early February.I was going to book economy on QF flight numbers (probably QF metal to/from DXB and EK metal to/from LHR). They have some pretty good fares on offer.

I'm based in DRW and mum is in Sydney. Mum much prefers flyingwith someone (she's not infirm or anything - she's just not very good withairports and planes) - so I'm ok to fly down to Sydney to pick her up on theway through to LHR. Conveniently the prices ex DRW (DRW-SYD-LHR) are only a fewdollars more than just the SYD-LHR. Which means that I'm a good $400 better offbooking one through ticket DRW-LHR (with a stopover in SYD) for me, then I ambooking DRW-SYD-DRW on red-e-deals and then SYD-LHR-SYD (on the same booking asmum). Now that JQ has made way for 3K on DRW-SIN-DRW and the DRW-SIN is an early morning rather than late evening flight - the connections to Europe are terrible.

So the upshot of this will be that I will have 2 PNRs one DRW-SYD-LHR (and return) booking for me and a SYD-LHR (and return) booking for mum (with us being on thesame flights SYD-LHR-SYD).

Ordinarily I'd probably burn some points for upgrades - but thereis no J class reward availability for the dates I want so it would be 'onrequest' and with my status I'd probably stand a reasonable chance of getting it butmum would be down the list quite a bit. She wouldn’t be happy sitting inbusiness class with me down the back in economy (I'd insist on her sitting in J even if my upgrade came through). So it's a kind of all ornothing approach.

I know that I am trying to really bend the rules here (and Ireally suspect that the answer is no) - but is there any unpublished (obviouslythe published rules on this are pretty clear) or practical way I can link thebookings to help bump her up to the same priority as me? If I were to try and do it in the lounge before departure is that probably my best option?

As a fall back - the 2 seats on the side of the upperdeck would be greatfor us but mum's silver status means that she can't preselect the upper deck on the QF 380s. If I were to ring the platinum line and ask nicely do you think thatthere is a chance that they would manually allocate her a seat next to meupstairs (if indeed they can actually do that)?

Also - I was going to try and break the journey a little bit in DXB on the way over with 7 or 8 hours in the airside hotel. One of my friends recently had terrible trouble when he tried to checkin to a Dubai city hotel with his girlfriend on the basis that they weren't married and accordingly couldn't stay in the same room. Am I likely to get any pushback on sharing a twin room with my mum (FWIW she's in her mid-60s and I'm in my early 30s and we have the same surname)?

Any other suggestions?

Many thanks,
TripleB
 
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JohnPhelan

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Ring the Platinum line and ask them to link the bookings, which they can certainly do.

Re the upgrade request, run that by them, too, as they may be able to work a little magic for you.

The airside hotel - from my experience, this is quite painless - a hotel staff member will be waiting for you at the gate and will escort you through the airport to the hotel reception. You will not have any issues in sharing a twin room with your mother.
 

Pushka

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Ring the Platinum line and ask them to link the bookings, which they can certainly do.

Re the upgrade request, run that by them, too, as they may be able to work a little magic for you.

The airside hotel - from my experience, this is quite painless - a hotel staff member will be waiting for you at the gate and will escort you through the airport to the hotel reception. You will not have any issues in sharing a twin room with your mother.
They can certainly link and it seems to work.

However we have even had the same PNR and our carefully selected together seats in J were separated a couple of hours before travel. This was with my elderly mum. They took one look at her in QP and suddenly we were back together.
 
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Also being in DRW - have you considered MH/via KUL at all (i.e fly Mum to DRW and both go onwards from there)? I agree that the DRW/SIN times aren't flash these days either.

Another idea - depending on your mothers mobility consider selecting assistance to/from the gates. I flew to WLG last year to collect my father and then flew with him WLG-MEL(overnight)-DXB-LHR-DUB. My father has good short range mobility but has knee issues over long distances so had assistance to/from te gate at MEL/DXB/LHR. Made life a lot easier!
 

TripleB

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Thanks for all the replies - much appreciated.

I'll go ahead and book and see what the Plat line can do for me. The next trick will be to see if I can score an extra 40k points by buying 2x $2000 vouchers to pay for the flights. I've only ever redeemed vouchers for domestic flights. Is the voucher booking engine just as powerful (read flexible) as the regular booking engine?

MH is a really good option ex DRW. Sadly MH has been on mum's no fly list for nearly 20 years - and the sad events of the last 12 months mean that I don't think MH will ever come off. The last time I checked they had $200 one way fares to KUL/SIN ex DRW. I

I'm really missing the late afternoon JQ DRW-SIN. If you only had hand luggage and JQ wasn't too late (and it had 2.5 hours on the ground in DRW between arriving from ADL and leaving for SIN) - it was dead easy to connect from that to one of the 2 BA SIN-LHR flights. I did that a couple of times last year - even managed a shower and then dinner in the QF Singapore Lounge followed by help yourself ice cream in the adjacent BA lounge. The connection on the way back was 5 or 6 hours - but not too bad all things considering.

Mum's mobility is fine - she's just a bit of a nervous nelly at airports (which is ironic given that she is one of the most well travelled people I know).
 

JohnK

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I'll go ahead and book and see what the Plat line can do for me. The next trick will be to see if I can score an extra 40k points by buying 2x $2000 vouchers to pay for the flights. I've only ever redeemed vouchers for domestic flights. Is the voucher booking engine just as powerful (read flexible) as the regular booking engine?
It is the same booking engine to book flights using gift vouchers as it is for booking paid flights but sometimes I find the options offered via gift voucher are somewhat limited.

I can be a struggle if you want 6 hours transit in say SYD for a SIN-SYD-BNE return flight. The computer will usually only offer 2-3 connecting flights BNE-SYD close to arrival time in SYD.

You should be OK for simple bookings and there are only a limited number of flights offered for DRW-SYD to connect to SYD-LHR anyway.
 

maomaocat

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They can certainly link and it seems to work.

However we have even had the same PNR and our carefully selected together seats in J were separated a couple of hours before travel. This was with my elderly mum. They took one look at her in QP and suddenly we were back together.
I had two work trips recently, my wife and son came up with me ADL-MEL-HKG with them on a personal ticket. While there, they decided to spend a few weeks in China with relatives so they delayed their return trip. I flew back HKG-MEL-ADL. My second trip was ADL-BNE-HKG, HKG-MEL-ADL - with the last leg on a different flight to my wife and son. Qantas were able to change that, too!

This meant we went from linked PNRs, to an unlinked PNR, to a new linkage for my second trip / PNR, with two changes to our personally paid booking. Qantas handled it without issue and we never lost the bassinet seat / infant meal. All in all it seems quite flexible. It took three phone calls over the various stages and weeks to sort it out as our itineraries changed, but I was never stresed about it.

(CX need to be more competitive about their direct ADL-HKG vv flight...)
 

TripleB

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Thankyou for all the responses - much appreciated.

I'll report back on how I get on.
 
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BD1959

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MH DRW - KUL is 737.
I would go down to meet her in SYD if I were you.
Wide Airbus 380 SYD - DXB would be the way to go.
DRW-SYD is also 738 ... and only 45mins less. MH KUL-LHR is also A380.

HOWEVER, the good TripleB wants to escort his Mum all the way (what a nice son!!) so that trumps the MH metal.

Besides, the Lounges for WP would be so much better flying QF/EK than MH ... again a plus for a good son escorting Mum!!

Regards,

BD
 

TripleB

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Dec 23, 2012
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Just a bit of an update in case someone comes across this by the search function one day ...

Booked SYD-MEL-DXB-BHX-DXB-SIN-SYD with 9hrs in DXB on the way over and 37 in SIN on the way back for both mum and I on 2 PNRs with DRW-SYD-DRW legs on mine a few weeks either side. The WP line didn't hesitate when it came to linking the PNRs. The lady was more than helpful in assigning mum seats next to me on the upperdeck of the 380 which she with her silver status otherwise wouldn't be eligible to select.

I stupidly didn't read the t&c of the vouchers - you can't use them for multi city flights - so I had to forego the 40k points which would have been on offer for purchasing 2x$2000 vouchers.

Thanks for all the advice and help - much appreciated.
 
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