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Old Jul 18, 12, 8:34 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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AA & UA Mile Redemption to Brazil

Hi,
I'm looking to travel to Brazil in November 2013 (any two week period), and possible Australia around Dec 19, 2013 - Jan 2, 2014. I have lurked on flyertalk for about 1-2 months now, and started accumulating points/miles from credit card bonuses. I am focusing on AA & UA w/ regards to airlines, and hilton for hotel.

I've never redeemed miles for travel and see various posts discussing the time frame that they have gotten their reward tickets. This can range from weeks prior to up to a year. I can fly either UA or AA to both destinations and am trying to find out how far in advance I should get my ticket. I want to go with my uncle to Brazil in November, but he can't commit to exact dates until a few months prior. I will probably get my tix anyways as soon as they are available to Australia as the dates are much less flexible (330 days prior?)

Brazil trip will be non-peak, Australia trip will be peak. What is your opinion on how soon before my trip I may be able to get rewards tickets to each destination considering the dates? I'd hate to redeem miles for a ticket then wish I could change the dates a few months later

Thank you!
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:31 pm   #2
 
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Originally Posted by BQatWSU View Post
Hi,
I'm looking to travel to Brazil in November 2013 (any two week period), and possible Australia around Dec 19, 2013 - Jan 2, 2014. I have lurked on flyertalk for about 1-2 months now, and started accumulating points/miles from credit card bonuses. I am focusing on AA & UA w/ regards to airlines, and hilton for hotel.

I've never redeemed miles for travel and see various posts discussing the time frame that they have gotten their reward tickets. This can range from weeks prior to up to a year. I can fly either UA or AA to both destinations and am trying to find out how far in advance I should get my ticket. I want to go with my uncle to Brazil in November, but he can't commit to exact dates until a few months prior. I will probably get my tix anyways as soon as they are available to Australia as the dates are much less flexible (330 days prior?)

Brazil trip will be non-peak, Australia trip will be peak. What is your opinion on how soon before my trip I may be able to get rewards tickets to each destination considering the dates? I'd hate to redeem miles for a ticket then wish I could change the dates a few months later

Thank you!

For AA/UA you can change the date/routing 21 days before departure. You can change dates on AA even after departure or right before as long as award space is available and under condition that routing doesnt change. I'm not sure about UA, but the 1st rule should be good enough for you.

Last edited by superking; Jul 18, 12 at 9:40 pm.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:53 pm   #3
 
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Might be helpful to read up on each Airline's forum as well. Qantas awards are notoriously hard to get for AA member, partly due to the fact that awards are available to Qantas FF members 30 days before they are available to AA.

UA probably has better availability on the route. But I don't their F service comes anywhere close to QF First on an A390.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 9:56 pm   #4
 
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Thanks Superking. I guess what it comes down to is finding out what availability will look like to non-peak Brazil and peak Australia.

I was playing with united's redemption about 1 month ago looking at various availability to Brazil for a November 2012 as a comparison. It seemed like there were many available sports for the saver awards. However, this was still based on 6 months prior, so I guess playing around with AA and UA later this year may give me a better idea about next year.
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Old Jul 18, 12, 10:08 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by mikelat View Post
Might be helpful to read up on each Airline's forum as well. Qantas awards are notoriously hard to get for AA member, partly due to the fact that awards are available to Qantas FF members 30 days before they are available to AA.

UA probably has better availability on the route. But I don't their F service comes anywhere close to QF First on an A390.
Thanks mikelat for the info on Qantas. I'll look into them more. I just looked at the Qantas website trying to figure out how many points are needed to travel to Sydney. Looks like I'll be zone 9 since I'm flying out of Chicago and it will be around 120K for business, 170K for first. I'm just looking forward to flying business since I've traveled to SE asia and Israel this year in economy. I can't imagine how much better it would have been in business or first class
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Old Jul 19, 12, 8:22 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by BQatWSU View Post
Thanks mikelat for the info on Qantas. I'll look into them more. I just looked at the Qantas website trying to figure out how many points are needed to travel to Sydney. Looks like I'll be zone 9 since I'm flying out of Chicago and it will be around 120K for business, 170K for first. I'm just looking forward to flying business since I've traveled to SE asia and Israel this year in economy. I can't imagine how much better it would have been in business or first class
If you are using AAdvantage miles it doesnt matter what the Qantas award chart says. You would be paying according to the AAdvantage All Partner award chart.

As Mikelat said business class is very difficult to find because of how they release their award seats.

You might have to get creative with your routing or just be willing to save some miles and fly economy.
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Old Jul 19, 12, 10:20 am   #7
 
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Originally Posted by thetravelabstract View Post
If you are using AAdvantage miles it doesnt matter what the Qantas award chart says. You would be paying according to the AAdvantage All Partner award chart.

As Mikelat said business class is very difficult to find because of how they release their award seats.

You might have to get creative with your routing or just be willing to save some miles and fly economy.
Thanks for the info. I'm glad I'll also have UA miles with over 100K Ultimate Rewards Points as well. Coach to Brazil shouldn't be a big deal, but I'll try to get business to Australia due to the length. I'll continue reading up on redemptions, especially on the individual airline forums. Thanks again
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Old Jul 19, 12, 5:27 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Extrapolating this request forward, I have somehow been nominated to plan a trip for about a half-dozen guys to go to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup. What miles should I have the group focus on collecting now so that we can book as soon as reward seats open?

Understand that we'd have to be flexible on all sitting together, and am happy to relegate some of the shorter folks to Y :-)


Cheers
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Old Jul 20, 12, 12:48 pm   #9
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Originally Posted by CrownRoyalForever View Post
Extrapolating this request forward, I have somehow been nominated to plan a trip for about a half-dozen guys to go to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.
Ouch! Doesn't everyone want to go to that event?

In other words, sort of like London for the Olympics, don't necessarily count on much in the way of "saver" awards bieng available (because any fleeting award inventory that does become availabile will be snatched up instantly by other people who aren't trying to coordinate half a dozen guys and just grab one or two seats as they appear).

You may thus find that only"anytime" awards (double the miles) will get you there. But to even have that option, you have to be colecting miles with a US-based airline that flies its own planes to there (since you can only use "anytime" miles on the airline's own planes, not on partner flights, not on codeshare flights).

(It tends to be hard enough to get 6 awards to one place even when there's no high-profile event going on there. HIgh-profile events make award travel much more difficult even for people traveling by themselves or as a couple.)
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Old Jul 20, 12, 10:33 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Ouch! Doesn't everyone want to go to that event?

In other words, sort of like London for the Olympics, don't necessarily count on much in the way of "saver" awards bieng available (because any fleeting award inventory that does become availabile will be snatched up instantly by other people who aren't trying to coordinate half a dozen guys and just grab one or two seats as they appear).

You may thus find that only"anytime" awards (double the miles) will get you there. But to even have that option, you have to be colecting miles with a US-based airline that flies its own planes to there (since you can only use "anytime" miles on the airline's own planes, not on partner flights, not on codeshare flights).

(It tends to be hard enough to get 6 awards to one place even when there's no high-profile event going on there. HIgh-profile events make award travel much more difficult even for people traveling by themselves or as a couple.)
If any comfort, I got "saver awards" for South Africa 2010
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Old Jul 20, 12, 11:25 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Ouch! Doesn't everyone want to go to that event?

In other words, sort of like London for the Olympics, don't necessarily count on much in the way of "saver" awards bieng available (because any fleeting award inventory that does become availabile will be snatched up instantly by other people who aren't trying to coordinate half a dozen guys and just grab one or two seats as they appear).

You may thus find that only"anytime" awards (double the miles) will get you there. But to even have that option, you have to be colecting miles with a US-based airline that flies its own planes to there (since you can only use "anytime" miles on the airline's own planes, not on partner flights, not on codeshare flights).

(It tends to be hard enough to get 6 awards to one place even when there's no high-profile event going on there. HIgh-profile events make award travel much more difficult even for people traveling by themselves or as a couple.)
Let me rephrase this for you. It is NOT going to happen. Save yourself. Start watching AA or United from the day they release the awards, and tell everyone else to buy their own damn tickets. That's what I'm going to do.
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