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Old Sep 7, 09, 11:34 am
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 5,191
welcome to the new worldperks program...

There are several tricks that I have used over the years, with less effectiveness recently.

You may be forced to route NYC-HNL-NRT-BKK, as the HNL-NRT flight is the easiest one to find 2 seats and it's definitely available PerkSaver for some of your dates. That is a pain in the *ss for sure, but you might be able to stagger your flight into HNL and your departure to NRT so that you have 20 hours to stay at a hotel on the beach.

The one trick that I'll share that used to work on pretty much any day is to buy a ticket to HNL and you can get perkpass award tickets from there (all the way to BKK in fact) for 140k per ticket. It used to be only 120k for perkpass on this route, before DL came along, now even 140k isnt the upper limit, but on many days the 140k level can be found. Often you can find PP one way (70k) and PS the other (35k), so only 105k per ticket (again HNL-BKK, you pay to get to HNL and back to NYC). I know you are on the east coast, so NYC-HNL is not a cheap flight (for us on the west coast, this can be had for low to mid $300s). But that is a pretty easy option, not as good as 120k WBC from start to finish.

The other option that works well is LAX-NRT, but for 2 people, that might still be tough (but a quick search reveals this works at least one way during the months you seek to travel).

The other thing you need to understand is that NW's "journey logic" (actually there is not too much logic involved) means that you have to look at married segments (e.g., LAX-SIN, instead of looking at LAX-NRT and NRT-SIN individually). What this means is that each of the feeder flights into NRT form the US is allocated a certain number of seats on the connecting flights onward to Asia. The more popular transpacs eat up those seats quickly. But HNL and LAX tend to have more of those "onward" seats left, this is true for awards too. That logic can be broken, however, with a stopover in NRT (and continuation on NW another day) or a connection to a partner airline.

To beat journey logic, you really need to start with the transpac and be willing to pay some change fees, not really the end of the world if you think about spending $150 for several changes to get such an expensive ticket.

Good luck, snagging 2 awards is always a challenge, but with a mix of the above strategies it is doable...
stephem is offline