Old Jul 24, 18, 7:43 pm
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: HOU
Programs: AA Plat | Delta Plat | Marriott Gold
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by diver858 View Post
Have you checked AA Vacations? I recall an earlier thread promoting discounted first/biz to Europe when combined with hotel, may also work for Hawaii.
Sadly I'm taking this trip to use a Marriott voucher for 7 days... so hotel is already taken care of.... Is it really that big of a difference? I tend to experience the same airfare costs even when booking vacation packages.

Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Here is my suggestion.

First get an Expert Flyer subscription. They are able to query directly into the AA database and get real-time fare bucket availability.

In EF you can ask for Awards and Upgrades buckets, for either an exact date or +/- 3 days. Try that and get a feel for what might be available at the time you want to fly. Also note that EF has a list of exactly the fare codes for various upgrades and awards.

When you find flights that suit your needs with available awards or upgrades, then go to the AA website and get the reservation and put it on hold.

Call and say "I have record XYZABC and I want to buy the ticket if I can upgrade." This way you will commit to the ticket and get that upgrade at the same time in the same transaction. If you find an award flight that suits your needs, you can just reserve it on the website and need not call.

If they don't have any upgrades or awards that suit your needs, then you will go on a waiting list. Buy the ticket, then call and put your reservation on the wait list. If your reservation clears, then they automatically do the upgrade and charge your co-pay and miles. If you do not clear, then you are not charged anything.

Expert Flyer takes the guess work out of this kind of thing. You can see exactly what they have available and make plans. That sure beats sitting on the phone saying "Try this.... try that....".
Signed up for a trial of expert flyer. Thanks for the tip. Sadly the "C" code in Expert flyer is showing 0 for the flight to OGG for... pretty much any that I choose. Sounds like no automatic upgrades all around

For some reason I feel like the flight might get cheaper as well - I am afterall booking this out 3 months in advance.
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