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Old Aug 13, 12, 9:27 am   #1
 
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LA vs. XL?

I recently redeemed some AA miles for a trip JFK-LIM. I thought I was booking LA 531, the nonstop. Instead it seems that I was booked on XL 539, JFK-GYE on "LAN ECUADOR AEROLANE S.A." The onward flight, LA 2431, from GYE-LIM, is also operated by LAN Ecuador.

I am booked into business class on both flights and see that both aircraft are 763s. Are these the same as the full-flat 763 business class seats that are on regular LAN aircraft? (If not, is it worth trying to change to the nonstop from JFK?)

Thanks!
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Old Aug 13, 12, 9:41 am   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crimson12 View Post
I recently redeemed some AA miles for a trip JFK-LIM. I thought I was booking LA 531, the nonstop. Instead it seems that I was booked on XL 539, JFK-GYE on "LAN ECUADOR AEROLANE S.A." The onward flight, LA 2431, from GYE-LIM, is also operated by LAN Ecuador.

I am booked into business class on both flights and see that both aircraft are 763s. Are these the same as the full-flat 763 business class seats that are on regular LAN aircraft? (If not, is it worth trying to change to the nonstop from JFK?)

Thanks!
Yes, it is the same seat.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 9:59 am   #3
 
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Great, thanks.

I may still try to switch to the nonstop, just for convenience, but good to know that I'll not get "downgraded" in terms of the hard product.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 10:11 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crimson12 View Post
I recently redeemed some AA miles for a trip JFK-LIM. I thought I was booking LA 531, the nonstop. Instead it seems that I was booked on XL 539, JFK-GYE on "LAN ECUADOR AEROLANE S.A." The onward flight, LA 2431, from GYE-LIM, is also operated by LAN Ecuador.

I am booked into business class on both flights and see that both aircraft are 763s. Are these the same as the full-flat 763 business class seats that are on regular LAN aircraft? (If not, is it worth trying to change to the nonstop from JFK?)
LA2531? I thought GYE-LIM-GYE was 1630/1631.. checking... ah, there is a Monday only 2430/31. Boy, that flight doesn't show up on their schedule look-up page very often. Can I ask when are you flying?

To answer one of your questions, yup, same lie flats JFK-GYE.

Other question, should you try to change? I think so. I do that route, NYC-GYE to save money, the connection in the morning is good, arrive GYE go through secure transit, pop into a nice lounge for a coffee with Baileys and then off you go. But since you are on award tix, why not go directly to LIM and get to have a bit more sleep?
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Old Aug 13, 12, 10:14 am   #5
 
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Currently I'm booked JFK-GYE on Saturday 3/2 and GYE-LIM on Sunday 3/3. Yes, the reason I'd go direct is just to get some more sleep! I actually booked an AA award YVR-JFK(stop)-GYE-LIM, with the YVR-JFK leg in a couple of weeks. All for 30k miles in J!

AA will let me move around the last leg, so long as its flown within a year of ticketing. I'd like to go in early/mid March but if I can get the nonstop I'm willing to be flexible... we'll see what AA says.

My next question was going to be what the lounge situation is... but I guess you answered that!
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Old Aug 13, 12, 10:48 am   #6
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Originally Posted by crimson12 View Post
All for 30k miles in J!
Great deal! Can I ask how?
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Old Aug 13, 12, 11:55 am   #7
 
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Two things.

First, this chart http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/a...rtnerChart.jsp shows that North America to South America 1 (Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Venezuela) costs 30k miles in J one-way. So my one-way flight was going to cost 30k.

Second, I had plans to go to Hawaii and Seattle later this month. Originally I was JFK-ATL-HNL(stop)-SEA(stop)-JFK on DL, for 135k miles total.

Instead, I'm flying EWR-HNL on UA (40k), then HNL-SEA on AS (37.5k), and YVR-JFK(stop)-LIM.

So my ticket to Lima actually straddles two trips: coming back from my Hawaii/Seattle trip in a couple of weeks, and then the first half of my trip to South America next March.

To do this I took advantage of AA's routing rules for awards, which allow a free stopover in the North American gateway. The "gateway" is the last city in NA from which you depart to the international destination. So I could stopover in JFK for a few months, so long as I flew from JFK to an international destination. This was actually a little tricky. SEA-JFK(stop)-LIM would have been ideal from a schedule standpoint. But I think AA has few (or no) direct flights out of JFK. If I flew JFK-MIA-LIM, then MIA would be the international gateway and I could stop over there, but not JFK.

The workaround is what you see above -- on the outbound, flying JFK-GYE-LIM. Since I'm flying JFK-Ecuador, JFK is the international gateway and I can stop over there. The catch is that AA has to have a published fare YVR-LIM, and you can't exceed the maximum permitted mileage for that fare by more than I think 15% (it's either 15% or 25%; AA has one rule and UA the other; I forget which is which).

ExpertFlyer tells me that AA does in fact have a fare from YVR-LIM with a MPM of 6115. YVR-JFK-GYE-LIM is 6122, so it's comfortably within the cushion.

I have to say this was a great value and the first time I've ever booked any "clever" or otherwise interesting/impressive. I paid 27.5k last year to fly in coach from EWR to LIS each way. I'm so ashamed now!
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Old Aug 13, 12, 12:00 pm   #8
 
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BTW: Later in 2013, maybe August/September, I want to fly to MXP. I am hoping to use this same trick to book the return from LIM:

LIM-JFK(stop)-MXP.

LIM-JFK in March; JFK-MXP in August/Sept.

AA does publish a fare from LIM-MXP, and the MPM on that route is 7987, and the actual mileage is 7624, so no issue there either.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 12:19 pm   #9
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Yes, that is clever! Have to try to add that to my toolbox.
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