Mini RTW Questions

Old Feb 17, 2013, 3:43 pm
  #856  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Ottawa
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Retired Frequent Flyer, glad your trip worked for you. Several questions, if you do not mind, as i am looking to set something up like this for my daughter (India for volunteer work as part of her masters coop, a stop for diving (Thailand or Phillipeans) and visiting friends in Europe onway back to Ottawa). I will fly her economy, not business:

1) could you set out your route with carriers that got you the very reasonable ~$350 in fees. I think i can put it together from your post 835, but if you could specify that would be appreciated.
2) i am very interested in the possibility of getting her to India on Asia points (100,000 vs 75.000 points if i do BKK and (a less attractive saving) 90,000 for Manila). You seem to have gotten this except for the agent not understanding MMP constraints, but then you seem to have given up on this. Can you give any more detail on discussion with AP re MNL or BKK being the point of turnaround (with the lower cost in points) but still allowing India stop?This was discussed on the RTW itenery thread about a year ago as possible, i raised it there recently and was told "no go" by PseudoNim and others, but i got one PM that they had done it with yyz yul ZRH bom bkk, and it is doable, just has to be under MPM to BKK. So any more info on this aspect would be great for when i talk to the AP agent.

Thanks and Enjoy your trip.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 4:58 pm
  #857  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Canada.
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Originally Posted by ramsfan
Retired Frequent Flyer, glad your trip worked for you. Several questions, if you do not mind, as i am looking to set something up like this for my daughter (India for volunteer work as part of her masters coop, a stop for diving (Thailand or Phillipeans) and visiting friends in Europe onway back to Ottawa). I will fly her economy, not business:

1) could you set out your route with carriers that got you the very reasonable ~$350 in fees. I think i can put it together from your post 835, but if you could specify that would be appreciated.
2) i am very interested in the possibility of getting her to India on Asia points (100,000 vs 75.000 points if i do BKK and (a less attractive saving) 90,000 for Manila). You seem to have gotten this except for the agent not understanding MMP constraints, but then you seem to have given up on this. Can you give any more detail on discussion with AP re MNL or BKK being the point of turnaround (with the lower cost in points) but still allowing India stop?This was discussed on the RTW itenery thread about a year ago as possible, i raised it there recently and was told "no go" by PseudoNim and others, but i got one PM that they had done it with yyz yul ZRH bom bkk, and it is doable, just has to be under MPM to BKK. So any more info on this aspect would be great for when i talk to the AP agent.

Thanks and Enjoy your trip.
Sorry, I had not seen your post, we just got back from a long trip and just catching up..
Here is what I was finally able to do.
Ottawa-Manila via Chicago on UA and Via Seoul on Asiana.
Return from Mumbai to Ottawa via Istanbul on Turkish and Toronto via AC.
Total taxes for this were approx. $350.00 plus 100K points.
Will need to purchase a separate one way between Manila and Mumbai which can be had in economy for approximately $400.00.
I was NOT able to get Manila and India on one AP ticket due to MPM limits. It seems that I might have been able to do Ottawa-BKK-Bombay and return on one AP ticket however, in this case I would have needed to purchase a round trip BKK-MNL in order to visit Manila which was a MUST for me.
For your daughter, if she wants to touch BKK, BOM and Europe, I would suggest then I think this 'should' be doable for 100K points. You might get an agent who tells you that this is over the allowed MPM, so ask them to work with you to get it within the allowed MPM suggesting that others seem to have done it!! You can always use a mileage calculator and look for shortest route.
In order to avoid high taxes, choose Swiss, United, Turkish etc. airlines to/from Europe over Ac and Luftansa. For BKK, the cheapest taxes were on Air China but I am not too crazy about this airline so I went with Asiana. Lots of options with ANA also for similar taxes.

I am not sure it this helps and if not, send me some more details about the most desired itin and I will be happy to play with it to see if I can provide some more specific recommendation!
Good Luck..
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 9:11 pm
  #858  
 
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Thanks retired frequent flyer

I think this gives me the information i need for now. But thanks for the offer for more help. I will be back to you if needed.

On the question of getting an India stop for Asia cost as discussed in one of your earlier posts as something i think you were trying based on POT being Asia not India, it looks like you gave up on that; and in another RTW thread i just saw discussing the same issue re AKL & JNB ( The Complete Newbie Guide/FAQ to the Air Canada Aeroplan Mini-RTW-- post 196 ) it seems to be clear this is not possible, and the T&C are clear you have to pay the higher point amount and not the POT amount (Oh well, i guess that makes sense). That post said:

"Hi again,
One other question about routing through South Africa for a trip to Australia/NZ:

The Aeroplan T&Cs say:

5.1. If any allowable stopover point is in a different region than the flight reward destination, the higher reward mileage level will apply.

If I'm interpreting this correctly, this means that even if YYZ-AKL via JNB is a published route, using a stopover in JNB means that the reward will cost 110k instead of 80k"
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 7:22 am
  #859  
 
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[QUOTE=ramsfan;20273671]Thanks retired frequent flyer

I think this gives me the information i need for now. But thanks for the offer for more help. I will be back to you if needed.

On the question of getting an India stop for Asia cost as discussed in one of your earlier posts as something i think you were trying based on POT being Asia not India, it looks like you gave up on that;

"QUOTE]

One of the agent had calculated Manila as the POT and was allowing a stop over in India for the points required for Manila which are 130K in biz class. I needed to do some more fine tuning in the dates before booking so when I called back a couple hours later, the other agent insisted that Manila and India can NOT be combined in one AP award. She confirmed it with the help desk also. She DID say that had I booked it with the earlier agent at 130K, AE would have honored it. I had not expected Manila and India to be on the same reward ticket any way, so accepted it and moved on to another option which requires a separate one way between Manila and India.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:52 am
  #860  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Connect through DXB/timing question for booking

I have a couple of questions I'm hoping to get some help with.

1. I'm in the planning stages for another mini-rtw and I'm looking at a route that connects through DXB. I remember reading something about Canadians needing a transit visa - is this accurate? I searched and discovered almost all western passport holders don't need a visa but Canadians do and they are not cheap. But do you need one just to connect through DXB?

2. Normally I book without intending on making a later change but since I'm seeing availability on the A380 in J for one possible leg I'm considering booking now before my likely return dates are released. I know I can book a return with the full intention of changing later for the $90 fee (+ taxes) but is that the best way? The other day a non-FT member told me he booked a one-way trip under these circumstances and the agent told him they would correct the point difference when he called in to book his return for that trip. Does that make any sense? Also, since I'm a long way from getting vacation approval at work & assuming I need to change dates: is it one year from when you book or when your trip commences?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 2:55 pm
  #861  
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Originally Posted by tryinginvain
I have a couple of questions I'm hoping to get some help with.

1. I'm in the planning stages for another mini-rtw and I'm looking at a route that connects through DXB. I remember reading something about Canadians needing a transit visa - is this accurate? I searched and discovered almost all western passport holders don't need a visa but Canadians do and they are not cheap. But do you need one just to connect through DXB?

2. Normally I book without intending on making a later change but since I'm seeing availability on the A380 in J for one possible leg I'm considering booking now before my likely return dates are released. I know I can book a return with the full intention of changing later for the $90 fee (+ taxes) but is that the best way? The other day a non-FT member told me he booked a one-way trip under these circumstances and the agent told him they would correct the point difference when he called in to book his return for that trip. Does that make any sense? Also, since I'm a long way from getting vacation approval at work & assuming I need to change dates: is it one year from when you book or when your trip commences?

Thanks in advance!
1. If you are just transiting, you do not need a visa (as long as you are not planning to leave the airport). If you are planning to exit the airport, there is a transit visa available for $75, I believe (even for Canadians), valid for something like 96 hours.

2. I haven't heard of this one-way idea. When I was once booking a flight that was 350 days out, they just booked me a fake return on "whatever" with the expectation I will need to change when the date is closer. I *think* it's up to one year from trip start, since tickets can be, and are, re-issued.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 3:06 pm
  #862  
 
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Originally Posted by tryinginvain
I remember reading something about Canadians needing a transit visa - is this accurate? But do you need one just to connect through DXB?
I was through DXB as a Canadian in Oct 2012 on a direct flight as a continuing passenger (UA iAD-DXB-DOH). I had my boarding passes issued and no visa was required.

However, there were a large number of Indian Continent nationals stuck in the transit area before immigration, and before connecting security screening. There were about 40-50 of them sacked out on the floor, waiting for the connections desk to be staffed so that they could collect their boarding passes and clear security and head to the departure concourse.

I would presume that if you had a long connection, that you too may be stuck in this limbo if you did not possess an onward boarding pass.

Probably not an issue if your flight is continuing on, but possibly an issue if you are traveling between two separate carriers.
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Old Feb 21, 2013, 7:41 pm
  #863  
 
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Originally Posted by jmolony
I was able to do a booking on Aeroplan - Yfc-FRA-JNB-EZE-YFC, Y was 100,000 - with scamcharges of $765. I did not really look to closely at J but it is 150,000 with limited J class seats available.
So - yes it can be done!

Thank for finding this!
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 9:40 am
  #864  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: YYZ
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Originally Posted by cmgalan
Booked today:

All in Business Class from July 11 returning July 24, 2013):

125,000 Aeroplan points per person (2 travellers)

yyz - start
ord - connect (UA)
pek - connect (UA) (layover less than 24 hrs)
hkg - stop (CA)
bkk - destination (TG)
ist - connect (TK)
cdg - stop (TK)
yul - connect (AC)
yyz - (AC)

Taxes and scamcharges: $560.36 each traveller
AE reservation fee: $30 x 2 plus tax
I'd like to upgrade from J to F on as many flight segments as is reasonable on the above itinerary. Not considering the additional points or taxes / scamcharges, is it possible to go from CDG to Germany to access LH F or is this considered backtracking? What I'd like to do is:

YYZ - ORD - UA J
ORD - ICN - OZ F
ICN - HKG - OZ J (2 class cabin) - stop
HKG - BKK - TG F - destination
BKK - CDG - TG F - stop
CDG - FRA / MUC / - LH J
FRA / MUC - NORTH AMERICA GATEWAY - LH F
NA GATEWAY - YYZ

If this is valid, is it possible for the NA Gateway to be ORD (technically past YYZ) then ORD back to YYZ?

Appreciate any expertise on this.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 10:13 am
  #865  
 
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Originally Posted by cmgalan
I'd like to upgrade from J to F on as many flight segments as is reasonable on the above itinerary. Not considering the additional points or taxes / scamcharges, is it possible to go from CDG to Germany to access LH F or is this considered backtracking? What I'd like to do is:

YYZ - ORD - UA J
ORD - ICN - OZ F
ICN - HKG - OZ J (2 class cabin) - stop
HKG - BKK - TG F - destination
BKK - CDG - TG F - stop
CDG - FRA / MUC / - LH J
FRA / MUC - NORTH AMERICA GATEWAY - LH F
NA GATEWAY - YYZ

If this is valid, is it possible for the NA Gateway to be ORD (technically past YYZ) then ORD back to YYZ?

Appreciate any expertise on this.
I am fairly certain that this will be okay and is not backtracking. I think I have seen CDG-FRA-YYZ before. And ORD should work as a NA gateway. I have BRU-ORD-YYZ booked.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 10:21 am
  #866  
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CDG-(FRA/MUC/DUS)-onwards is a completely legal routing, no concern there.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 11:31 am
  #867  
 
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Originally Posted by cmgalan
Okay, help needed please.

Looking to change the above booking to remove Beijing from the trip and to pay an additional 50k AE points each to fly F on as many segments as possible.

Switching to a day earlier (July 10), I can get two J tix on Asiana from ORD--->ICN--->HKG.

Question #1

There is one F seat available ORD--->ICN. If I book it, what is the liklihood of being able to get a second F seat prior to departure? And even if no award seat comes available, would I be able to access it at check-in or at the Gate if it is not occupied?

Question #2

I'm also planning on changing HKG--->Bkk and BKK--->CDG to F on Thai. I was booked on TK from BKK--->IST--->CDG. How much will I get killed on new scamcharges, etc by leaving United for Asiana and Turkish for Thai?

Question 3

Do taxes and scamcharges differ from Y to J to F?

Thanks in advance.
Thanks for the responses. I posted the question above on the confirmed RTW thread and didn't get any responses (appropriate since it was the wrong thread to do so).

Any thoughts?
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 12:11 pm
  #868  
 
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Originally Posted by cmgalan
Thanks for the responses. I posted the question above on the confirmed RTW thread and didn't get any responses (appropriate since it was the wrong thread to do so).

Any thoughts?
Question #1

There is one F seat available ORD--->ICN. If I book it, what is the liklihood of being able to get a second F seat prior to departure? And even if no award seat comes available, would I be able to access it at check-in or at the Gate if it is not occupied?

Theoretically, no if you go by the rules, but you can ask and you may get lucky.

Question #2

I'm also planning on changing HKG--->Bkk and BKK--->CDG to F on Thai. I was booked on TK from BKK--->IST--->CDG. How much will I get killed on new scamcharges, etc by leaving United for Asiana and Turkish for Thai?

Not sure, but I am told it's worth it

Question 3

Do taxes and scamcharges differ from Y to J to F?

They do with AC so I would assume they do with other carriers too, but not 100% certain.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 2:05 pm
  #869  
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1: while I'd freely do this with J, F is always a risk as airlines aren't always as willing to release last-minute seats. You could try searching a reference sample of next-day (or next five days) departures to see if the airline releases seats. You CANNOT upgrade at the airport without calling Aeroplan - only if the agent truly takes a fancy to you, ie you must be VERY lucky.

2: figure 250-300 per longhaul segment as a rough rule of thumb.

3: Taxes are GENERALLY the same with a few exceptions like the UK APD.

Easiest thing to do for better answers to #2/3: go to ITA Matrix and price each route (use advanced routing if needed to force a specific routing). Make sure start and end points are the same, as taxes differ depending on whether you are exiting or not - and you'll get a reasonably accurate prediction of taxes and YQ.
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Old Feb 24, 2013, 2:47 pm
  #870  
 
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Planning a mini-RTW in August - any thoughts on these flights/routings (all in J)?

YYZ-PEK (either AC direct, or via ORD & ICN on OZ for the Quadra Smartium seat and slightly lower fuel surcharge)
--destination-- (side trip to FNJ!)
PEK-CPH (SK direct)
--stop-- (side trip to Malmo by rail)
CPH-WAW (SK)
--stop--
WAW-YYZ (LO - on the 787 if it's back in service)

Comes to about $350 in surcharges/taxes.

Any suggestions for improvements? And is the QS seat worth the extra connections (versus $150 extra charges)? (I was in ICN in November, so not planning a stop there).
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