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FF Miles vs Cost

pwrshift

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Carol C

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Doesn't seem to show differentials like seasonal blackout dates, capacity during peak but not-blacked-out dates, nor does it show change of airports sometimes required. But it's an interesting chart nonetheless. Thanks for posting it Brian! :wave:
 

x3 skier

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Good chart but try and get one of the 80000 or 50000 mile tickets.:(

Cheers
 

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is there one for American Airlines to Hawaii?
 

pwrshift

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Good chart but try and get one of the 80000 or 50000 mile tickets.:(

The only time I've had a problem getting biz class to Europe is when I didn't do it 330 days ahead of flight day. Otherwise, you have to get lucky and be very flexible.

One of the best ways to look 'ahead' to FF availabilities on Star Alliance flights is the ANA site. Join for free and try it out. I find it very useful to see what flights have seats on which days ... then check the hotels to marry the dates up ... then call UA to book the flights. Did it twice last year alone.

https://aswbe-i.ana.co.jp/p_per/sky_ip_per_en/preAwdSearchLogin.do
 

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One of the best ways to look 'ahead' to FF availabilities on Star Alliance flights is the ANA site. Join for free and try it out. I find it very useful to see what flights have seats on which days ... then check the hotels to marry the dates up ... then call UA to book the flights. Did it twice last year alone.

https://aswbe-i.ana.co.jp/p_per/sky_ip_per_en/preAwdSearchLogin.do

I have seen that site mentioned a couple of times, and have looked into it. But its probably just me, but I have never really seen an explanation of how to use that site to search for FF tickets. To me, it just looks like a web site for an airline. Am I missing something here? Is there a "how-to" or tutorial out there somewhere?

Thanks for any info you could pass along to help out a fellow soul!

Kurt
 

pwrshift

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How to use the ANA site to find FF seats on Star Alliance partners

Kurt ... it is a little confusing. Hope this helps. Register free with ANA if you haven't done it and get an ID number and password. Then go to this url to enter the ID and password and click on 'next':

https://aswbe-i.ana.co.jp/p_per/sky_ip_per_en/preAwdSearchLogin.do

That will take you to another page where you click on the line that says:
Use Star Alliance Member Airlines ... then it takes you to another page.

Now you enter your desired departure and return date (about 330 days from the return date is best)...where you are departing 'from' and where you want to go to...entering in the country, city, and airport in both departure and arrival. You also enter in the number of FF tickets you are looking for ... the more tickets you ask for the harder it is to get good results. I sometimes search for only 'one' seat and then go back to see if they have more on those days. Before you leave this page ... if you are just going to one location check 'next' but if you are returning from another location from where you went click on 'flight search' button instead so you can tell the site the info they need on the next page.

Then click on 'next'...and now you'll see the results of your search. On this page you'll see 3 columns - first class, business class, economy. They may all be blank indicating on the departure date there are no FF seats available. You can tell if there's an available flight as it will be a colored box .. usually more of them economy than business. Scroll down to see if there any suitable ... if not, you'll have to click on the arrows (left side of the boxed area) to the next day, or previous day, to see if anything changes...and click click click until you find something. When you do, click on the box and it will then allow you to do the same with the return flights. Note that there are 3 class and 2 class airplanes - 2 class is usually just first and economy and biz class FF amounts are used for first in this case as there is no alternate. First class seats are usually nicer on 3 class airlines for the extra FF miles.

When you find what you want, take a note as to flight numbers, airline partners, times, etc. as you won't be able to book them on the ANA site if you don't have points there ... you have to call UA (for example) or where you have your FF miles to tell them what flights are available, dates, etc. and they'll think you're amazing! :) It makes their job easier...but ask them if they can find anything better than those as they often do, and are better at finding partner airlines than you can on the ANA site.

Further note: if you find the flights you want, now you have to go to the Marriott site and see what hotels you can get for the dates you want so you'll be able to marry up your flights with hotel dates - remember that the arrival date may be different from the flight day, so book your hotel on arrival day. This also tells you what hotel category it is so you can order the right 'air+hotel' package with 120,000 FF miles.

Have fun ... sometimes frustrating fun, but if you work it you'll be OK. Play with it -- you can't book anyway so there's no risk you'll get a ticket you didn't want.

An easier but not always as successful is to the your UA rep to do the legwork and find flights available -- but she can't help you marry up the hotel part of the flight and they have time limits on how long they will hold the tickets. In addition, you must have the FF miles in your UA account before they'll even hold it -- AA will hold them but they usually charge more FF miles for the same flights as UA (at least for now).

Brian
 

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Thanks for the very informative post, Brian! I will definitely give it a try. I'm sure lots of other people will find this info very useful as well.

Thanks again,
Kurt
 
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