I've been checking the award seats for Envoy for the past few weeks multiple times per day/night. The number of points they require appears to drop as the dates get nearer, which makes sense - if they don't think they are going to fill the seats they seem to drop the price (in terms of the miles necessary).
Thus, while most of the calendar was full of 100,000 and 175,000 seats (each way!) they seem to drop down to 50,000 as the dates get closer.
However, at times there does not appear to be any rhyme or reason to the changes! Yes, the next 4-5 days always seems to drop down to 50k, but some dates will go from 175k down to 100k, down to 50k, then back to 175k -- all without the actual "number of seats filled" changing! I don't understand this part.
It really does seem random at times!
They seem to keep the weekends at 175k for as long as possible, even when they are only a week or two away with only a few seats taken. However, the weekdays often drop to 50k fairly quickly, but I cannot figure out if there's any pattern to these changes?
My dilemma, is that I'm booked on an award ticket for PHL-CLT-MAD for Envoy this Wednesday (using 100k total, 50k each direction), but hoping to switch my outbound to get on an A330-200 and direct routing (PHL-MAD) on fly on Thursday.
I'm also on the same PHL-CLT-MAD coming back, but hoping to switch to the direct flight on the return as well (especially since my spouse is already on that return flight!).
My outbound is available but my return date is still at 100k - so I'm sort of waiting until it drops to call and change my entire itinerary. I'm happy to pay $150 change fee to get "real" Envoy in the A330-200 on the outbound, but I really hate to have to do this twice on my itinerary (assuming I make the outbound change now and just wait until the return date gets closer and the miles will drop down to 50k).
Thus, my questions are:
1. Any rhyme or reason to the changes they make in these award seats?
2. Given that my original reservation for my outbound is coming up tomorrow, how long can I wait to make the changes to the itinerary before I get into trouble (i.e., they cancel the reservation entirely or something)?