||Nov 7, 10 11:38 am
Originally Posted by ccqueenanne
Also, what was the exception required for the London stopover? It has something to do with stopovers only being allowed in US hub cities?
These rules still confuse me. Thanks!
They are indeed confusing. Standardization among the carriers for both booking rules and redemption levels would be a great service to travelers who want to stay within the alliance. In all likelihood, it ain't gonna happen!
As you are learning, each *A member has different rules and conditions for booking an alliance-wide award. US, for example, requires that an award stopover can only occur in an alliance carrier hub city and that you have to fly that carrier either in or out of the stopover point. By contrast, Aeroplan has no such rule.
In the case of the awards for our Turkey trip that were booked through US, the LHR hub carrier would have been BD. So, naturally, they initially made a big fuss that we'd need to fly in or out of LHR on BD, for which there was no award availability (nor did I have the slightest desire to fly them). After explaining that the carrier did not actually fly to IST, our final destination, they relented and allowed the stopover as an exception.
If you want to extract the max value from alliance awards using either earned or purchased miles, you need to get familiar with: a) award redemption levels among the partners; b) the various rules and limitations; c) which carriers generally offer the best award availability on your desired routes (using tools like ANA or KVS); d) which credit card offers the best feed of earned miles to your preferred alliance booking portal (e.g., Amex MR, Amex SPG, etc.); and e) what occasional deals are out there at any point in terms of partner bonuses (e.g., US buy/gift/share) or credit card incentives (Chase BA 100K offer) that effectively reduce the true cost of an award ticket.