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Old Jul 19, 04, 4:00 pm
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Nashvegas
Posts: 855
Part 2

Booking Tickets:

Q: The booking classes are A (first), D (business) and L (economy). If I buy a first class ticket and there is no first class on my flight, what happens?
A: That depends on what you mean by "no first class." If the seat inventory (A in this case, but the same goes for D) is not available for the flight you want and you can't get a flight that does have available inventory, you get downgraded to the next available inventory class (A goes down to D, and D goes down to L) and no compensation or refund is payable. Except on two class US domestic flights, if the plane is only one class (all economy) or two class (economy and business), then you get downgraded and no compensation or refund is payable. On two class US domestic flights, if you hold a D class ticket you can book into the A (first) inventory, if it is available, at no extra charge. On domestic flights on AE (American Eagle), AY, EI and LA (which are one class), all A and D tickets book into the Y (full fare economy) inventory bucket which means it is economy seating, but there should be plenty of availability.

Q: Can I upgrade some of the segments to fly business/first class?
A: In limited circumstances. Your options are: (a) you can upgrade your entire itinerary - subject to availability - by paying the higher class fare but otherwise without penalty, (b) flights operated by AA may be upgraded with AA miles, (c) US/Canada domestic flights operated by AA may be upgraded with 500-mile "sticker" upgrades issued by AA, (d) flights on BA that offer World Traveler Plus (WT+) service can be upgraded for USD300/AUD600 except for service between LHR and SYD/MEL where the charge is USD450/AUD900, (e) flights operated by CX may be upgraded using CX miles, and (f) flights operated by QF may be upgraded using QF miles/upgrade credits. BA also offers "on board" upgrades for prices ranging from GBP200 up if there is a spare seat on board. Talk to the purser when you board, but these upgrades only qualify for the mileage/status you originally booked. For instance if you were in BA economy and upgraded on board to WT+ for GBP200 on LHR-SIN, you only get the discount economy miles, not the WT+ miles.

Q: What is an open segment and why would I book that?
A: An open segment is basically setting your itinerary in advance, but not confirming your seat on the plane. You do this by leaving the date on the flight coupon (eg. LHR-JFK) open, even though you have decided that you will at some point be flying that route. You might do this as it is easier to change your travel timing as you go. If you set all the flight dates and then needed to make a change at some point, you may have to change all the onward flights and not just the next one or two.

The downside is that you need the inventory to be available on the date you finally want to travel, and on some routes/carriers at certain times of the year, A and D inventory may have limited availability. Further, it gives you no protection should a route be discontinued. If a route between XXX and YYY is discontinued, you then will have to pay the reroute fee and use an additional segment to fly XXX-ZZZ-YYY.

Q: Can I change my mind?
A: Yes, you will find the *ONE* to be a reasonably flexible ticket. For tickets originating in North or South America, changes to the first international flight and all preceding flights must be completed no later than 7 days before departure. Date/time changes are permitted at no charge, and subject to availability you can change the oneworld carrier you want to use without charge as long as there is no change in origin/destination and intermediate points (eg. changing BA to QF for a flight SYD-LHR). Changes other than date/time (routing is the obvious change) incur a US$75 charge and the ticket is reissued, with some carriers charging you a service fee. For tickets originating elsewhere, changes to the first international flight and preceding flights are not permitted. Date/time changes are permitted at no charge, but routing changes incur a US$75 charge, and again some carriers charge you a service fee. The rules don't state that routing changes in this case are a reissue (see below about what happens if the rules change). The number of continents/extra flight segments may be increased or decreased and you will be charged/refunded accordingly. If you need to cancel before departure, tickets originating in North or South America incur a penalty of 10% of the ticket price, tickets originating elsewhere incur no penalty. If you need to cancel after departure, all tickets other than those originating in SWP (no penalty) or Japan (lower of 10% penalty or JPY50,000) incur a 10% penalty. You may get a refund of the unused portion of your ticket based on the cost of the flights used to date and the penalty due.

Q: What happens if the rules on my ticket change, or are about to change?
A: If the rules change before your ticket is issued, then the new rules will apply and you will have to change any existing reservations that are not permitted under the new rules. If the rules change after your ticket is issued, the rules that apply are those that were in force when your ticket was issued. But be aware - if after the rules change you want to cancel the ticket, or to do something not permitted under the old rules, then the ticket will be cancelled and reissued, and the new rules will apply. If you are worried about rule changes and want to maximize your flexibility, set your last flight to be 12 months after the date of your first flight (which is permitted). This gives you 12 months' worth of flexibility once you start travelling since date changes are currently free of charge. To give yourself even more flexibility, get your ticket issued up to 12 months in advance of your first flight (which is also permitted), which gives you an effective 2 year lock on the rules as long as you don't change that first flight.

Q: How much does the ticket cost?
A: The ticket is priced based on the number of continents you visit, a minimum of three and a maximum of six. The pricing varies depending on where in the world the ticket is issued. If you want to try to save some money by starting your *ONE* somewhere other than your home to take advantage of local pricing and currency rate differences, check the link to current pricing. Infants under 2 and not occupying a seat are charged 10% of the adult fare. Children 2-11 and occupying a seat are charged 75% of the adult fare, except for tickets originating in India where they pay 67% of the adult fare.

Q: If I pony up the money for an A ticket, which routes still have "real" first class?
A: This is a bit of a moving target, but essentially the following routes have traditional first class service on a three class plane (all include the reverse routes too):

AA - LHR to LAX, JFK, ORD, BOS and MIA; NRT to LAX, SJC and JFK; GRU to MIA and JFK; DFW to LGW and FRA; and some flights MIA to EZE
CX - HKG to LHR, JFK, LAX, YVR, FRA, SFO, SYD, MEL and CDG; some flights HKG to NRT, SIN, BKK, MNL, KIX, DXB, SEL, TPE, and CGK; and seasonally HKG to JNB
QF - LAX to JFK, SYD and MEL; SYD-SFO + SFO-YVR (seasonal), LHR to SIN, BKK, HKG, SYD and MEL; some flights HKG to SYD and MEL, SYD-JNB (seasonal F Class offering?), although one weekly SYD-JNB (Fridays?) and SYD-SFO service is operated by Qantas' 2-class 747-400s (no First Class, only J/Y).
LA - SCL to MAD, FRA, AKL, and SYD

Q: Have there been any problems with handwritten tickets?
A: You need to confirm that each airline receives the ticket number for the flights that are booked on them. In particular, Cathay has been known to cancel space if it has not received the ticket number. Although the booking airline should send the ticket number to all airlines on the itinerary, it is best to call Cathay to assure they have received it.

Miles and Status:

This is a very difficult section, since what you will earn in terms of miles and elite status depends on which airline program you want to use. As a related point, you may find that a routing needs to be constructed using or avoiding certain oneworld airlines because of the mileage-earning implications. For instance, L class tickets on BA gets 25% miles when booked to the QF program, but the same L ticket on the QF codeshare earns 100% QF miles. All programs are geared off the booking class, so knowing the booking class and the flight number/operator are the key points. The best advice is to thoroughly check the earning rules for your preferred program(s), and if necessary, post questions on your local airline forum if you are unsure. That said, there a very general FAQ that the regulars on this forum thought should be posted.

Q: I know that the booking classes are A, D and L, but what happens to my miles if I am booked into another class?
A: Generally you will earn miles for the class in which you travel. If you are downgraded from A to D, you will earn D miles/status. Similarly, if you are on a domestic US flight and your D ticket is booked into the A inventory, you will earn A miles/status. If you upgrade individual flights, you receive the miles for the flight in which you were booked originally (ie. before the upgrade) except for pre-paid WT+ upgrades where you get the applicable WT+ miles/status. As said above, on board upgrades on BA earn miles/status for the class originally booked.

Q: Is there a consistent baggage limit, and if so, what is it?
A: The xONEx checked baggage allowance is 2 pieces. Each carrier can specify its own limit on the maximum weight allowed per piece. On some it is 32kg, on others it is 23kg, and there may be variations for some flights (eg QF domestic prop flights have a lower limit).

Further Information:

All the above information comes from the universal starfiles, which are the rules applicable to these (and other) tickets. Some very nice FTers have obtained copies of the rules and posted them on their websites. Note though that since the airlines do not routinely make the starfiles available to the public there may be a time lag in updated files becoming available to this community. That said, if you wish to read the starfiles themselves, you can access them by clicking this link.

christep has made available a current copy of the CX rules here: This page includes link to the Cathay Pacific CircleTrip, CircleThePacific, Global Explorer & OneWorld Explorer rules.

The revised AA rules have been published by kanebear in conjunction with darren here: Rules: OneWorld Explorer Fare Update 01JUL06

Validity Tools to check your routing
This tool is great for doing initial validity checks on your routing.

If this location is inaccessible, see this thread for more information.

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Dec 16, 07 at 11:09 pm
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