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FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: MileSAAver / SAAver Award Availability - Help, Assistance & Discussion (consolidated)
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Old Apr 8, 11, 10:40 am   #751
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Miles saver vs. anytime ?

Be kind....I just joined this site today. Wondering about recommendations for the following scenario. I have noticed that in looking for seats for my last two vacations that Mile Saver First Class tickets do not seem to become available at the same time as Anytime First Class tickets. For example, I check the available seats for a given flight and none are taken yet (entire cabin is open) no Mile saver seats are available ....only Anytime seats at the higher mileage requirement. I tend to do my searching on the first available day, 331 days out. Granted the last times were for holiday travel to Hawaii and Mexico.....can someone enlighten me or start me in the right direction to develop my strategy?
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Old Apr 8, 11, 11:18 am   #752
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Welcome to FlyerTalk!

Lots of information available in the MileSAAver / SAAver Award Availability (consolidated) thread, where your question will be added.

AAnytime seats are available - well, anytime there are seats for sale. MileSAAver seats are discounted and significantly limited in availability by Revenue Management - if they can sell a seat they would prefer selling it, of course - even for the normal amount of miles - and that's a complex mechanism by which AA has complicated predictive analytics software that attempts to maximise revenue to AA. This is discussed in a current thread titled How do award upgrade seat buckets become available?
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Old Apr 8, 11, 1:03 pm   #753
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baucutt View Post
Be kind....I just joined this site today. Wondering about recommendations for the following scenario. I have noticed that in looking for seats for my last two vacations that Mile Saver First Class tickets do not seem to become available at the same time as Anytime First Class tickets. For example, I check the available seats for a given flight and none are taken yet (entire cabin is open) no Mile saver seats are available ....only Anytime seats at the higher mileage requirement. I tend to do my searching on the first available day, 331 days out. Granted the last times were for holiday travel to Hawaii and Mexico.....can someone enlighten me or start me in the right direction to develop my strategy?
You do mention if you are EXP??

I am EXP so changing award tickets is free. I just rebooked a trip to GIG for Carnival in 2012. Last week I booked it but could only get Business class going but coach on the return but I booked it anyway because I wanted to lock in the business class going. For the last week I have been checking AA to see if any mile saver business class opened and finally this morning it did so I called AA and rebooked the trip in business both ways.

So you have two options:

1) do what I did and check AA as often as possible, I did twice per day
2) subscription to expert flyer and set it up to notify you

Rod

Last edited by Rodraid; Apr 8, 11 at 1:19 pm.
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Old Apr 8, 11, 1:15 pm   #754
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodraid View Post
I am EXP so changing award tickets is free. I just rebooked a trip to GIG for Carnival in 2012. Last week I booked it but could only get Business class going but coach on the return but I booked it anyway because I wanted to lock in the business class going. For the last week I have been checking AA to see if any mile saver business class opened and finally this morning it did so I called AA and rebooked the trip in business both ways.
Just a note, AA doesn't generally charge fees for anyone (EXP or not) when you change an award to a higher class of service, even if it is, for example a coach AAnytime to a first MilesAAver, which cost the same domestically.
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Old Apr 9, 11, 8:21 am   #755
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 43
Using AA Reward for trip to Alaska

Hi:
New to this forum and looking for insight on a trip I'm making to Alaska.
I'm leaving on July 22 from Tampa, FL to Anchorage with a return flight on August 1st from Vancouver. Upon looking at flights, I only see the Anytime
higher award level available for First Class. Is there anything I'm missing
that could get me First without using 50k each way as this totals 200k for
the two of us. Thanks in advance.
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Old Apr 9, 11, 8:37 am   #756
 
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Only other suggestion is to call AA, there might be other routings available on Alaska Airlines (AS). AA's partners such as this don't show up when you search online at aa.com. That said, getting sAAver award seats to ANC in the summer cruise season can be very tough, as you're seeing...
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Old Apr 9, 11, 8:56 am   #757
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Definitely check on AS availability. They have more frequencies from more cities than do AA. They serve ORD year round from ANC, and you could also consider SEA and PDX which have several daily options. You'd be looking at two plane changes for the latter two, but availability may be better as those ORD-ANC flights do tend to fill up during the summer months.

EF can search for both AS and AA award availability so it may be a good tool to try. Good luck!
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Old Apr 9, 11, 11:17 am   #758
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
Definitely check on AS availability. They have more frequencies from more cities than do AA. They serve ORD year round from ANC, and you could also consider SEA and PDX which have several daily options.
Where "several daily" means 19 (!) daily SEA-ANC flights in August.

Quote:
You'd be looking at two plane changes for the latter two, but availability may be better as those ORD-ANC flights do tend to fill up during the summer months.
I see a very limited number of award seats SEA-ANC in both first saver and coach saver on July 10 and 11. You won't get much choice of flights (and will probably have an overnight layover), but there are seats. I didn't check availability getting from TPA-SEA, though. (You might also look at AS's MCO-SEA nonstop.)

I second that ExpertFlyer is very much your friend.
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Old Apr 9, 11, 12:54 pm   #759
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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OK. I went to EF and put in my info and it does show flights in Milesaver using AA only TPA-DFW-Anc but on the AA site they don't exist?
How do you get them?
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Old Apr 9, 11, 1:32 pm   #760
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyznme View Post
OK. I went to EF and put in my info and it does show flights in Milesaver using AA only TPA-DFW-Anc but on the AA site they don't exist?
How do you get them?
If you're confident you're using ExpertFlyer properly, a call to AA to book the seats would be my next step if the itinerary met my requirements.
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Old Apr 9, 11, 4:12 pm   #761
 
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+1 on using AS through SEA/PDX. If you're claiming an F award, you'll get the added benefit of BR access.
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Old Apr 10, 11, 12:21 pm   #762
Val
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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ORD-DUB in Business

Looking for advice on ORD to DUB in business. I would prefer the AA non-stop vs. a partner award, but from what I can see online, there is not a single J award available between today, and the end of bookable flights (March 5, 2012).

Any tips?
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Old Apr 10, 11, 2:27 pm   #763
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 246
JFK-LAX MileSAAver Award Availability Blocked Off Dec 25-Jan 3

I've been trying to book JFK-LAX award seats in late December as part of an itinerary to New Zealand, but those dates are entirely blocked out. I booked the LAX-AKL portion 11 months in advance, but the JFK-LAX part has never come into the system on any of my possible travel dates. At the time of booking, the reservation agent advised me to put in a "dummy" date from JFK-LAX, and said that I could make a change for no fee when my desired date becomes available. I was expecting to have difficulty getting to New Zealand, not to LAX.

Here we are several months later....and still nothing. Worse case, I figured I could book a 1-way from JFK to LAX, but I was expecting something to open up. Is this common? Will they eventually open up seats? Do you have any suggestions?
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Old Apr 10, 11, 2:35 pm   #764
 
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You don't say if you're looking for first, business or coach. 12/31 had PLENTY of first and business class awards.
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Old Apr 10, 11, 2:39 pm   #765
 
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I'm assuming you're asking about MileSAAver award availability. Remember, it it is highly unlikely for there to be a flight with zero award availability, period, especially so many months in advance. AA makes every seat on every flight available for award redemptions at the AAnytime level. However, AAnytime awards "cost" many more miles than MileSAAver awards.

That said, AA does not have "blackout dates" in the traditional sense. Every flight is constantly under evaluation by the computers and experts in Revenue Management. Based on historical data as well as actual performance thus far, the staff and computer decide whether to offer MileSAAver inventory.

It is not surprising to me in the least that AA is restricting MileSAAver inventory on JFK-LAX-JFK during the busy, busy travel week between Christmas and New Years. If the OP really wants to use miles to travel during this period on this route, he or she could:

1) spend more miles for AAnytime awards
2) wait to see if MileSAAver inventory becomes available in a couple of months


For what it's worth, I was able to get a Z award on JFK-LAX-JFK during this week in 2010 with only a couple of weeks' notice. But then again, I'm EXP and it was for 3-class F, not Coach.
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