Troubles searching for award flight

Old Aug 3, 05, 3:37 pm
  #1  
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Post Troubles searching for award flight

I would like to book an award flight with the Flying blue program but I'm having troubles searching for flights. It seems that every day is fully booked and no room left for award seats. Also it only let's me search flights per one day. This is very time consuming!! There used to be this WPAA lister, which was very handy ^ . But what are the other options nowadays for this problem?
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Old Aug 4, 05, 1:56 am
  #2  
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No one?
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Old Aug 4, 05, 2:29 am
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Originally Posted by hellrider
No one?
1. The online booking tool is worthless (esp. for connections and/or partners). Try it once for errors in your favour, then dump it.

2. Call the call center and talk to an agent. Be flexible with dates and creative with routings.

3. When they can't help you, call back later and talk to someone else who can.

4. When they can't help you, keep trying closer and closer to desired departure date.

5. When that doesn't work, buy a ticket.
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Old Aug 4, 05, 3:01 am
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I agree with the helplessness of the Web booking engine.

But at least from France, my experience with the FB reward reservation desk is that they are particularly prompt to answer, courteous, and helpful. They even suggested innovative combinations (like connecting in LHR instead of AMS to catch a flight to NBO) to get an availability at the lowest possible mileage. I like the option to hold the booking for 4 or 5 days, too.

Last edited by albireo; Aug 4, 05 at 3:04 am
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Old Aug 4, 05, 3:44 am
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Thanks a lot. So looks like calling is the best option. No special online search tools available at all?
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Old Aug 4, 05, 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by hellrider
Thanks a lot. So looks like calling is the best option. No special online search tools available at all?
Try this one (be careful to select Air France or KLM as the desired carrier).

I suspect, however, that it shows availability in the X booking class only. If your are FB Silver or higher you are entitled to the W booking class which is usually more open.
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Old Aug 4, 05, 8:43 am
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The link is to a page that says:

"You can use this site to purchase award tickets if you have a mailing address in Japan. Northwest web sites serving other Asian countries are accessible from www.nwa.com/asia"

Jerene

Last edited by Jerene; Aug 4, 05 at 8:48 am Reason: Corrections
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Old Aug 4, 05, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by Jerene
The link is to a page that says:

"You can use this site to purchase award tickets if you have a mailing address in Japan. Northwest web sites serving other Asian countries are accessible from www.nwa.com/asia"

Jerene
That's right, but you can still use this tool to determine availability all by yourself. Then the actual booking has to be done through the FB desk. Too bad their Web booking tool does not work.
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Old Aug 4, 05, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by albireo
That's right, but you can still use this tool to determine availability all by yourself. Then the actual booking has to be done through the FB desk. Too bad their Web booking tool does not work.
Exellent tool, especially the option to search for up to three days before/after, and a list of alternative initieraries with all specs.

What a relief. Thanks.

I went to the nwa homepage and clicked on the Award Flights tab to find it - and this direct link works too:

http://www.nwa.com/award/home.html

Jerene
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Old Aug 4, 05, 10:16 am
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Interesting thread. As I was trying to feed our board with award availabilities suggestions, I came across this nwa award booking engine and tried this:

AMS-ICN (Seoul, Korea. OK, I don't really need to go there next week...)
8 Aug. - 15 Aug.

NWA says "no matching flights found" and warns me that "WorldPerks members may receive better search options and results by logging in at this time".

AF's french website has at least 2 available seats (both at minimum redemption rate):

80,000 in coach, 120,000 in biz. Plenty of AMS CDG connections available, both with the AF 13:15 flight or with the Korean Air evening flight.

Lessons learned: search results depend on the booking engine you use and probably on your status (FB or NW, DL, AZ...). I wish I could carry out such searches from KL's website to see if there are non stop awards between, say, AMS and ICN. Unfortunately, my FB membership number says I am not a dutch FB member and that I am not allowed to use the KL's award search engine.

I wish I could be dutch, just for 15 min...
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Old Aug 4, 05, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by Falco Peregrinus
I wish I could carry out such searches from KL's website to see if there are non stop awards between, say, AMS and ICN. Unfortunately, my FB membership number says I am not a dutch FB member and that I am not allowed to use the KL's award search engine.
Hmmm ... did you try the KLM UK website, or the English version of the Dutch website?

Jerene
(who attempted searching on AFs French site and got one million "flight does not exist" responses - ha)
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Old Aug 4, 05, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by Jerene
Hmmm ... did you try the KLM UK website, or the English version of the Dutch website?
Just greeted by a friendly "You are not authorized to reserve an award ticket on this site. To make this reservation, please contact Flying Blue" (sic)

OK guys, I won't insist. Maybe on Kenya Airways website? Pretending to be a Greenland citizen?
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Old Aug 4, 05, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Falco Peregrinus
Interesting thread. As I was trying to feed our board with award availabilities suggestions, I came across this nwa award booking engine and tried this:

AMS-ICN (Seoul, Korea. OK, I don't really need to go there next week...)
8 Aug. - 15 Aug.

NWA says "no matching flights found" and warns me that "WorldPerks members may receive better search options and results by logging in at this time".
Did you use the NW Japan site (link in post #6) or NW US site? Both the Air France and Korean Air options came up on the NW Japan site when I checked AMS-ICN Aug 8.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 1:41 am
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Exclamation

Originally Posted by PhilC
Did you use the NW Japan site (link in post #6) or NW US site? Both the Air France and Korean Air options came up on the NW Japan site when I checked AMS-ICN Aug 8.
I first tried the US site, and made a 2nd attempt today with the JP site for a CDG-MEX award posted in my specific thread (with a confirmed availability as of 2 hours ago). NW JP said no availability, but proposed an outbound flight on Saturday (tomorrow), connecting in AMS.

It clearly confirms that the different booking engines (AF, KL, NW) use different connection options (AMS vs. CDG), therefore that there are more availabilities than it seems, and that it might be worth calling FB to get more opportunities that normally don't show up on your "pre-assigned" award booking engine.
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Old Aug 5, 05, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by Falco Peregrinus
Just greeted by a friendly "You are not authorized to reserve an award ticket on this site. To make this reservation, please contact Flying Blue" (sic)

OK guys, I won't insist. Maybe on Kenya Airways website? Pretending to be a Greenland citizen?

I had the same message. So I wrote them un e-mail in the "contact Flying Blue" section asking why and what to do. Still waiting their answer. I will keep you posted (I hope before the end of this year)
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