YOW-LHR, gov't, 2-for-1, questions

Old Mar 9, 01, 1:38 pm
  #1  
ALW
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Join Date: May 1999
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YOW-LHR, gov't, 2-for-1, questions

I just found out I need to go to England for the week of April 2-6 (and maybe the following week, don't know yet).

Checked AC site, J is >$5000, Q is <$600. Don't see how I can justify that. I'm Prestige this year so I don't see any point in considering Y or M for an upgradeable fare.

I still have my Amex 2-for-1. There was no "C" inventory showing when I priced the flights, does that mean I can't use the Amex coupon? Or is there more to it than that?

Also, the person I would be sharing it with is a federal government employee. Assuming he's authorized to fly J in the first place, if the coupon is good, would $2800 appeal to them? Or is the gov't rate so low that it's either less than that, or the inflexibility of travelling with me would not be worth it? (I don't want to offer it if it won't appeal to them).

As a contractor, am I eligible for government rates when travelling on sort-of government business but paying for the ticket myself?

There are no front-cabin award tickets (D?)available YOW-LHR or YYZ-LHR on 31/3, but there's D available YHX-LHR. Is this a real J seat? Coming back 14/4 there are no D seats LHR-YYZ but there are LHR-YHZ and LHR-YOW (so I could fly back direct, or stop in Halifax for a couple of days).

If I book an award seat for 80k, how do calculate its value (for my own internal "did I save 3 cents a point?" purposes)? Am I spending $1800 worth of points (60k) to save $600 (a bad investment) plus $600 (20k) for an upgrade, or am I spending $2400 (80k) for a $5500 ticket? I'd say the latter but wondered.

Both "763" and "767" both link to the same 2-2-1 layout diagram.

Finally, it looks weird when it's AC30xx with a note it's operated by Air Canada. I thought it might be formerly CP metal (thus the weird note) but it linked to 2-2-1.

Any comments?

Thanks!


[This message has been edited by Andrew Webber (edited 03-09-2001).]
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Old Mar 9, 01, 2:28 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Ah, many questions.... well, here goes.

1) Government pays standard fares, just like everybody else. the Government gets a concession from the travel agent operating Government Travel Service, but they are real fares, just like everybody elses.

(Ourson is GTS still Ryder? On foreign postings we weren't tied to GTS, so I haven't used them since 1992)

2) The employee will not be authorized for J. J is authorized for:

1) non-stop flights of 9 hours or more
2) flights with stops--without disembarkation--of 12 hours or more.
3) total travel time, including connections of 14 hours.

If stopover privileges are built into the routing, then the employee must use those instead of jacking all the travel into one day.

(All of which is academic, YOW-LHR is under 9 hours, so no J class).

Other sectors can be J class if the fare basis is lower than breaking out the eligible sectors. e.g YOW-YVR-HKG can go all in J, because it is cheaper than ticketing YOW-YVR Y + YVR-HKG J.

3) Can't use the 2-for-1 in combination with official travel. The Government pays fully for the employee. They will not allow another person to piggy back on the amount paid on behalf of the employee, even for a concession on the fare. End of story.

4) If the Government is paying directly, they will give you a travel authorization number, and you must book through GTS. If they are not paying directly, you book yourself and bill them. They will tell you what they will reimburse (they will likely allow you more leeway than a public servant in terms of travel expense).

5) YHZ-LHR is real J. Beware the flights that stop in YYT in the middle of the night (very painful on sleep).

6) As for value--if you are getting reimbursed, don't use points--you can't claim compensation for using them.

If you are using this to shift the expense to your business, this is extremely cumbersome, and if you have a corporation, it may not be legal. Check with your accountant. Please.

If this is only a benefit analysis, then consider it as 80k for a $3k ticket, representing a full-fare ticket that you could have upgraded.

7) YHZ-LHR was shifted over to CP with route reallocation after the takeover deal was inked. But there isn't CP metal avilable to operate it, so AC equipment is back operating the CP flight. (Confused...?)

[This message has been edited by AC*SE (edited 03-09-2001).]
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Old Mar 9, 01, 3:09 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
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Hello from the hangar floor, and hello Andrew. I am ever so glad you continue to fly AC, as my paycheck depends on people like you.

I can answer your last question. The 2-2-1 seating is on all of our 763's as well on selected 767-200's. So the super J must be installed on the 200's doing that flight.

So there ya go! Back to work now.
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Old Mar 10, 01, 8:39 am
  #4  
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Finally, it looks weird when it's AC30xx with a note it's operated by Air Canada. I thought it might be formerly CP metal (thus the weird note) but it linked to 2-2-1.

It is operated by CP, however, AC's website does not contain CP seat map, so a 763 will link to AC's 763 seat map which is configured 2-2-1. The seating for this flight should be 1-2-2.
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Old Mar 10, 01, 2:54 pm
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Government Travel "Service" is still operated by Ryder.
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Old Mar 10, 01, 4:18 pm
  #6  
ALW
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Thanks everyone!

AC*SE:

Thanks for the info on sharing the cost. I think I've got it right (beyond "can't do it"), they won't let an employee split the cost of a ticket with a non-employee, even if the net cost is cheaper (reasonable I guess, inasmuch as it avoids opportunities to manipulate). Since he doesn't have J authorization, it's a non-issue anyway, since they can get him a Y ticket for much less than half a J. I'm a little surprised that even the government would expect its employees to flight back-cabin across the Atlantic (non-stop >6:59 I'd understand, as it would restrict it to outside N.A.). Oh well.

I'm actually paying for this trip myself, I was thinking of cases where hotels give a corporate rate even for costs not paid by the corporation (OTOH, they don't insist it be billed through one agent), and wondered if I could get a "government rate" in this case (it's complicated, I won't go into it here in public, but it's not anything shady).

Since I'm paying myself, I figured I'd rather pay 80k than $5500. What about upgrading? Am I likely to get it YOW-LHR or YHZ-LHR (and back) as a Prestige? That's still $2400 extra (over $600) for a _chance_ at an upgrade. (I suspect the back-cabin fare will be more when I ticket, today is 21 days before departure and I can't book a non-refundable ticket for another few days until all details are final).

Calculating value of points is just a benefit analysis to make me feel better about blowing 80k. Conversely I guess I'm spending 80k to save a corporate-tax-deductible $5500, so the saving is a bit less. My threshhold is $0.03 per mile, so anything >$2400 is worthwhile. Thanks for the logical middle ground of full Y.

YOW-YHZ-LHR is the only thing available that day for 80k, I could check Friday as well but would prefer to fly out Saturday. It does say one stop so I guess I'm stuck with that. Can fly back direct (at least as of yesterday).

Was hoping for CP metal so I could plug in my computer. But on a redeye with a stop, trying to relax is probably a better idea. CP metal LHR-YOW though, right?

ACAvionicsGuy, the only American carrier I'd consider flying in economy is AA, due to their enhanced legroom. And I still like Air Canada for the most part, I just liked CP's financially unsustainable service better!

Empress, from AC*SE's reply it sounds like it really is 2-2-1 with no power.

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Old Mar 10, 01, 5:49 pm
  #7  
ALW
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I just booked YOW-YHZ-LHR-YOW (at 1755 on 10/3). It said to call and confirm within 72 hours, "i.e. 0555 on 13/3". That's 60 hours!

Anyway I tried the number it gave and got busy signals for a while. Figured I'd wait until I got home and could use my headset. Then checked my card and discovered Prestige has its own line!

Got right through!, and after for listening to Rupert [actully I pressed # about 5 seconds in, don't know if it saved time but he stopped talking], it was answered on the first ring. Very nice agent in Vancouver took my points and re-assigned my seats. She said there were no calls waiting.

I switched to:
3D on the DC9 YOW-YHZ
3K on the 767 YHZ-LHR (so it's AC metal)
5A on the 767 LHR-YOW (am in safe with this? I assume the issue with a rest seat is for trans-Pacific flights?)


A couple of questions about the trip:

1. The connection in YHZ is 45 minutes. Is that enough?

2. As a D-flying Prestige member do I have departure lounge access at YOW, YHZ, and LHR?

3. Do I have arrivals lounge access at LHR?

4. Is there anywhere in LHR to check a suitcase for a couple of days, if I do a side-trip with just my carry-on?

Thanks again!

andrew
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Old Mar 10, 01, 9:53 pm
  #8  
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Finally, it looks weird when it's AC30xx with a note it's operated by Air Canada. I thought it might be formerly CP metal (thus the weird note) but it linked to 2-2-1.

Empress, from AC*SE's reply it sounds like it really is 2-2-1 with no power.

3K on the 767 YHZ-LHR (so it's AC metal)



I think I am now confused about your question... YHZ/LHR is AC 860/861 so it's AC metal all the way on a 767-200. YOW/LHR (AC 3076/3077) is CP metal.

What flight number were you talking about in your original question?
  • As a D-flying Prestige member do I have departure lounge access at YOW, YHZ, and LHR?
  • 3. Do I have arrivals lounge access at LHR?

Yes



[This message has been edited by Empress (edited 03-10-2001).]
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Old Mar 11, 01, 8:30 am
  #9  
ALW
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Sorry, my mistake entirely, I was confusing two of my questions.

1. I wondered if YHZ-LHR had power in the seats (since I couldn't get a CP metal picture for YOW-LHR, I didn't trust the diagram they showed for YHZ-LHR).

2. I found it strange that note "985" said "operated by Air Canada" and figured it was a holdover from when it used to say "operated by Canadian Airlines" but it was easier just to change the text of the note than to remove the note. Then AC*SE explained the complicated situation wrt YHZ-LHR and I forgot about my earlier question re: YOW-YHZ, which is also confusing with a D9S flying a 30xx flight number! Sorry for forgetting what I was thinking.

And thanks for the confirmation of the lounge access. I guess it's upgrades that don't automatically get the benefits of flying in J?

And do I have "bring a guest" privileges in any of those four lounges, if the guest has no status and is flying in the back?

Thanks!

andrew
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Old Mar 11, 01, 11:00 am
  #10  
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which is also confusing with a D9S flying a 30xx flight number!

There is a 30XX flight operating between YOW-YHZ on a 737 and another 2 operating by AC on a D9S. You probably got the two confused. For now, it's definately CP metal if it's 3XXX flight number.

And do I have "bring a guest" privileges in any of those four lounges, if the guest has no status and is flying in the back?

Yes
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Old Mar 13, 01, 5:38 am
  #11  
ALW
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My faxed eticket arrived about 8am Monday. I actually confirmed it by phone about 6:30pm Saturday. I had similar service on the Washington tickets earlier this month.

Looks like eticket faxing is working again.

andrew
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