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Old Feb 16, 12, 8:56 am
  #7  
Jumpgate
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: MKE
Programs: AA Exec Platinum, SPG Platinum / Ambassador / Lifetime Gold, Avis FIRST
Posts: 3,288
For non-FT people who don't have a mastery of the hub & spoke system and have the ANA tool (etc.) ... I agree FF miles are essentially useless.

My parents saved up US miles for years (using the occasional flight & credit cards). About 1.5 years ago they decided to go to Rome and Paris and they had enough miles on US according to the chart for 2 round trip Y tickets.

My mother called me, very upset, and said she had spent an hour on the phone with US and there was "no availability" for any of the dates they could have traveled.

I opened up KVS, spent about a 1/2 hour, and pieced together SAN-YYZ-FCO and CDG-YYZ-ORD-SAN an AC/UA, called US pretending to be my father, and got them there & back no problem.

It's just frustrating because in reality these miles are *not* useless. It's just the phone agents don't do the legwork to really satisfy customers. I'm sure the agent my mother spoke to just types in "SAN to FCO" and the system brought up the most direct (likely US-only) options on which there was no availability and concretely said "Sorry Maam - we have nothing available that day." In actuality that was a complete lie.
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