Booking trip from London to LAS April 2014 - options?

Old Oct 30, 13, 5:01 pm
  #1  
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Booking trip from London to LAS April 2014 - options?

Hi,
I'm after a bit of advice - I need to fly to Las Vegas beginning of April next year for the NAB trade show. I'd be flying out of London (LHR and LGW are fine).

Having looked at FB's promo awards, they are currently only published till end of March 2014.
I did look at booking a FB award ticket anyway, and low and behold, there's availability. But upon checking the route, it's a 24hr trip via MEX I'm all for saving some money, but not if it means doubling the travel time!

So is it worth booking a return trip to say Chicago, Atlanta, DFW on FB miles and then booking the shorter segment seperately?

In your experience, what's the best way of doing it?

I currently have nearly 200k miles so might as well start using them (and am currently Platinum if it makes any difference). If not, I can book a direct flight from LHR or LGW via BA or Virgin and pay for it. It just seems a shame to have all those FB miles and not use them.

Ironically, I did check BA's website as I have around 180k Avios points, but availability to LAS is dire so not an option unless I also explore a multi-hop trip.

Thanks in advance,
Xav
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Old Oct 30, 13, 5:23 pm
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To be honest, I would think twice about not going for the (paid) direct BA flight to LAS. What you propose to do will essentially mean three flights, and if you book one separately, you won't be protected in case you miss your connection which could prove a very expensive idea or force you to book excruciatingly long connections in the first place to be on the safe side. If there were significant savings, I wouldn't say, but BA will run further sales in coming months so you would be able to get that for a decent price at some point or other.

I take your point about the shame of not using the miles you have, but I would say this is simply not the 'right' itinerary for FB miles. If you have another trip planned later that would make a one stop option realistic, you will be in a much stronger position to use them.
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Old Oct 31, 13, 3:49 am
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Thanks OM, it's the conclusion I was coming to myself.
The next question is whether it's worth waiting for better prices / sales prices closer to the flight time. As there's the NAB trade show, I guess it's unlikely - or rather it's a gamble (appropriate being LV )
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Old Oct 31, 13, 5:42 am
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There is a BA sale from Europe (that should cover your travel dates) on at the moment. LAS is at 1180 in WTP from AMS. Other points of departure in Europe may be cheaper.
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Old Nov 2, 13, 7:07 am
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I think I might go down the BA route. Get an economy flight out, but WTP on the way back as it's an overnighter.
Flying out around the weekend of the 5th April, returning a week later.
LHR/LGW - LAS eco out, WTP back is 1133 return.
Will look to see if I can get near your price, irishguy
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Old Nov 3, 13, 4:13 am
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If I couldn't find an award with decent connections (which would mean one connection) from LHR, I wouldn't bother. (actually, I'd prefer a LOW award in Business Class, but I digress).

I track fares to LAS (but ex-AMS), and have found sub 650 (all-in roundtrip with taxes), but never more than 2-3 months prior.

If I was in London, I would be quite inclined to just take the nonstop (immigration in LAS should be a snap).

Also,
make sure you secure your hotel reservations, as NAB tends to really increase room prices. Most Vegas reservations are refundable (72+ hours prior), but do require a deposit (refundable). Comp rooms, are usually not that much of an issue though; as I helped a relative out with 2 (comp) rooms this past April for NAB.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by baccarat_king View Post
If I couldn't find an award with decent connections (which would mean one connection) from LHR, I wouldn't bother. (actually, I'd prefer a LOW award in Business Class, but I digress).

I track fares to LAS (but ex-AMS), and have found sub 650 (all-in roundtrip with taxes), but never more than 2-3 months prior.

If I was in London, I would be quite inclined to just take the nonstop (immigration in LAS should be a snap).

Also,
make sure you secure your hotel reservations, as NAB tends to really increase room prices. Most Vegas reservations are refundable (72+ hours prior), but do require a deposit (refundable). Comp rooms, are usually not that much of an issue though; as I helped a relative out with 2 (comp) rooms this past April for NAB.
Room or rather bachelor pad with 4 bedrooms, pool, jacuzzi, pool table, etc, all booked I'm a big Airbnb user so have done that with some close work colleagues. Only a mile or two away from the strip.

I'll check what the cancellation charges are. If they're very reasonable, I might as well book a ticket now to guarantee a place and then change if something better comes along in the near future.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by tfboy View Post
Room or rather bachelor pad with 4 bedrooms, pool, jacuzzi, pool table, etc, all booked I'm a big Airbnb user so have done that with some close work colleagues. Only a mile or two away from the strip.

I'll check what the cancellation charges are. If they're very reasonable, I might as well book a ticket now to guarantee a place and then change if something better comes along in the near future.

Thanks for the advice.
A few miles from the strip is not a big deal if
(a) you have a rental car and (b) don't plan late Vegas nights (with alcohol), where you need to drive back to the rental place.

It also depends on how often you have been to Vegas, and how much of a "Vegas experience" you want in addition to the convention.

Personally, if it's just a few day trip, I'd stay on the strip and enjoy Vegas every evening (post-convention).
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Old Nov 3, 13, 1:15 pm
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Still need to figure out whether we get a hire car or not. There are three of us staying and a return trip in a cab probably costs more than a hire for the day + with a hire, we'd get to have a drive around

The longest stay is just over a week.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by tfboy View Post
Still need to figure out whether we get a hire car or not. There are three of us staying and a return trip in a cab probably costs more than a hire for the day + with a hire, we'd get to have a drive around

The longest stay is just over a week.
Car rental is definitely the way to go, if you are off strip; since parking (valet or otherwise) is universally free almost everywhere. With that being said, the issue with car rentals is a designated driver if you are going out for the evening on the strip. Another "potential" issue might be a car to accommodate more than 5 people, which are readily available, but also more expensive than the less expensive economy or intermediate size cars.

But, perhaps, the question becomes, is this a business/convention trip or a Vegas trip (or both).

If nightlife is important, more than a few nights, then being able to roam the strip becomes much easier (and relaxing) if you can walk (or take a very short cab ride) back to your hotel property.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 4:28 pm
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Thanks for the info regarding parking. I wasn't sure if it was free, but sounds like it is (or generally is).

We'll be fine with a designated driver or two.

I did in fact jokingly suggest that if we're lacking inspiration, we should watch The Hangover to get some ideas. That didn't go down too well

So it will be a business convention trip with a "sensible" Vegas bit thrown in. Whether that's possible or not, we'll find out. After all, what happens in Vegas.....

They've been several times before, but it's my first trip to Vegas and as an avid photogrpaher, I'm looking forward to it too just as much as the work / convention side.
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Old Nov 4, 13, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by tfboy View Post
Thanks for the info regarding parking. I wasn't sure if it was free, but sounds like it is (or generally is).

We'll be fine with a designated driver or two.

I did in fact jokingly suggest that if we're lacking inspiration, we should watch The Hangover to get some ideas. That didn't go down too well

So it will be a business convention trip with a "sensible" Vegas bit thrown in. Whether that's possible or not, we'll find out. After all, what happens in Vegas.....

They've been several times before, but it's my first trip to Vegas and as an avid photogrpaher, I'm looking forward to it too just as much as the work / convention side.
Basically, parking in all casino hotels is free for self-park and valet; though most (all) tip $1 to $5 upon the valet retrieving their car.

If it's your first trip to Vegas, you are really giving up "the experience" if you don't stay in a casino hotel property on the strip. Big convention in town, 24 hour hotel, always something going on.... it's just the way Vegas was intended to be experienced. Grab a coffee, walk talk a quick walk through the casino, throw some dice, get a bit of fresh air on the strip... and then go on with your day. (and the evenings... I don't really need to explain that....)

Unless you spend huge amounts of money, most of the houses off-strip are basically "McMansions" with little charm or character.

In any event, I think you would probably enjoy yourself much more, being in the center of the action, at least, for a few days.

Have fun, and good luck!
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Old Jan 28, 14, 6:32 am
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Right, I'm finally getting my finger out and booking the flights.
Interestingly, checking up on sites like Expedia offer some interesting routes. For example: AF LHR-DTW-LAS on the outbound with DL LAS-SEA-LHR on the return. Expedia mentions it's a "expedia special fare", and I like the idea of a different leg on the return, but it seems impossible to book this through the carrier's website. All flights are in V class. Availability is there and I'm experimenting with KVS tool too (pretty nifty).

So if I book via Expedia, can I then get the miles or not? Any other method of booking I should look into?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 28, 14, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by tfboy View Post
...So if I book via Expedia, can I then get the miles or not? Any other method of booking I should look into?

Thanks.
If the flights are under AF (or DL) codes, you will get the miles, no matter whence or from whom you bought the tickets. If you add your FB number when making the Expedia booking, the trip will (probably) automatically appear under "My Bookings" in your FB account; if it doesn't, you can always add it manually using the AF reference number (not the Expedia PNR) provided in the confirmation email.

-- Henry
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Old Jan 28, 14, 10:20 am
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Thanks Henry
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