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How to best search for partner award travel on AS Website

How to best search for partner award travel on AS Website

Old Feb 22, 15, 12:02 am
  #1  
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How to best search for partner award travel on AS Website

Hi Folks:

I'm looking at using my AS miles to travel from SFO (or OAK, SJC) to SYD. trip would be way far from now, (February 2016).

Anyway, I'm just plugging in random dates now (tried every month from February 2015 through February 2016) and can't find any flight without TWO or more connections unless I fly out of STS airport (which is not near me)

It keeps giving me SFO-SEA or PDX - SYD. The only option for 1 connection is STS-LAX-SYD, but again, I'm nowhere near STS airport.

I know there are no non-stop flights from SFO-SYD on AS or any of its partners (I think the only airline that flies from any bay area airports to SYD is UA and that is SFO-SYD)...anyway I digress since UA isn't even a partner of AS

Anyway what i don't understand is that there are many options for award travel from SFO/OAK/SJC - LAX (on Delta, AA). However, it won't give me those options when it shows the SFO-LAX-SYD options

Is it because it is 2 different airline partners and neither of them are AS? (the LAX-SYD is always Qantas and the SFO-LAX is ).

Do you have to fly AS metal? If so, that's news to me. I've flown award tickets only on AA metal using my AS miles (althought it was ALL AA metal, not combo of 2 partners) I even tried multi city with SFO-LAX-SYD and keeps giving me 2+ connections

Really frustrating. I guess I could call in but prefer to do my research online and when I book prefer not to incur any fees for booking on the phone

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
kayexalate is offline  
Old Feb 22, 15, 12:13 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Originally Posted by kayexalate View Post
Is it because it is 2 different airline partners and neither of them are AS? (the LAX-SYD is always Qantas).
Yes. You can only assemble mixed carrier itineraries with AS + one partner airline at a time, but not two (with the exception of AF/KLM that count as one). You might have better luck finding just the Australia flight from LAX, and then buying a cheap cash ticket SFO/OAK-LAX.

Also, don't miss that Cathay Pacific flights can't be searched for on the website - SFO-HKG-SYD is quite the detour, but it's a possibility, and the extra work needed to book the tickets occasionally means that there's less competition for the award seats.
Kieron is offline  
Old Feb 22, 15, 12:51 am
  #3  
 
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Book whatever you find on the non-stop flights between the US and Australia, even if you have to buy a separate ticket. Trust me. They go away very quickly..

Routing via HKG might be an option, but award space isn't going to be any better. Main reason? A lot of Aussies and HKGers are booking J award space between HKG and Australia this far out as well, especially during our winter months.
Jimgotkp is offline  
Old Feb 22, 15, 8:36 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by kayexalate View Post
Do you have to fly AS metal? If so, that's news to me
Correct. AS does not allow you to mix and match partners, so you would need to fly AS SFO/SJC-SEA/PDX-LAX.

I'd get a cheap SFO/SJC-LAX ticket for the intra-CA route...
eponymous_coward is offline  
Old Feb 23, 15, 10:21 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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In coach, I was seeing lots of possibilities. In business or first, it's pretty useless. Alaska tags a flight from SFO to LAX as business and then gives you a 15 hour flight in coach, calls it a first reward ticket. It's stupid.
ou81two is offline  
Old Feb 23, 15, 10:34 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Very few J/F seats are released to from OZ, best to go long way around and have fun doing it, try via NRT or HKG. Select sector by sector like SFO to HKG then HKG to SYD for instance, it'll be on CX so have to call.
Limewood is offline  
Old Feb 24, 15, 12:47 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Avoiding the Alaska call center is probably your worst option overall. I generally have to arrange my award travel through the center. Overall I've had excellent experiences with the Alaska reps. Yes it does incur a cost but the website only presents a fraction of the award possibilities that are out there. A good routing saves you in the end through fewer nights in airport hotels waiting out long layovers.

Work on the overwater segment first. Even if you have to buy a cheap positioning ticket to the gateway city, you're still ahead.

Check into using FIJI Airways as an alternative. I've seen pictures and read reviews of their business class service on the new A330s. It looks like a nice alternative and probably way better (and cheaper miles wise) over booking on Delta.
I would try to route through LAX over SFO because of the frequent delays for fog.

I also would take a previous poster's advice and check into using Cathay. A side benefit of using Cathay is a stopover in Hong Kong.
ericdc98201 is offline  
Old Feb 24, 15, 12:47 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Limewood View Post
Very few J/F seats are released to from OZ, best to go long way around and have fun doing it, try via NRT or HKG. Select sector by sector like SFO to HKG then HKG to SYD for instance, it'll be on CX so have to call.
+1 Agreed. The long way around can be fun, try to grab a day or two in HKG.
Madone59 is offline  

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