Does this routing work?

Old Apr 3, 19, 2:22 pm
  #1  
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Does this routing work?

Hi, I am doing some dummy bookings to see what I can do when my wife and I get a chance to do some premium travel, sans kids, hopefully in a couple years. Our final destination is TPE from HNL, and I found RT J availability on KE which kind of works for only 105K RT. The routing for HNL-TPE takes us through NRT and ICN, both overnight stops. Since we wouldn't mind doing a multi-day stopover in Tokyo, I thought I would try to use the free stopover feature for Alaska award bookings for the trip.

I did an award search for HNL-TPE and got J availability all the way through on 01/22/2020 with stops in NRT and ICN. I then searched HNL-TPE again and found mixed cabin J availability on 01/27/2020, but the J portion was for NRT-ICN (overnight but less than 24H) ICN-TPE which works out perfect for me. I then found J availability on KE from TPE-HNL on 02/04/2020 through ICN on KE. Unfortunately, when I tried to plug the routing in with the dates I got an error saying

No search results were found for Tokyo-Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Taipei, TW (TPE).
Try selecting a different date.

Error Code: -1300
Since I was able to find available J seating in all the portions I wanted on certain flights, is this a situation that a phone call would be able to resolve? Or is there something in my routing that is not allowed? Is it because I can't stop-over in Tokyo?
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Old Apr 3, 19, 2:46 pm
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I am confused how you would go HNL-ICN-NRT-TPE since, and off the top of my head, NRT-TPE would not be on KE so, in theory this would be two awards etc but is not possible anyways. Maybe I am misunderstanding. Secondly: Is HNL an international gateway city for partners?
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Old Apr 3, 19, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
Is it because I can't stop-over in Tokyo?
So you're routing HNL-ICN-NRT-ICN-TPE, all on KE? Yeah. that's a problem, there's no way to do a HNL-NRT-ICN-TPE routing on KE since there's no HNL-NRT nonstop KE flies, you can't mix partners on a one-way (JL DOES fly that route but you can't have a JL/KE single award), and a stopover in NRT while staying on KE means you're doing a backtrack to get your stopover (ICN-NRT-ICN). Not gonna work.

What you CAN do is do KE on outbound or inbound (ICN stopover), JL on the other (TYO stopover). KE can be paired with a second carrier on a round-trip (because all a round-trip is for AS logic is two one-ways).
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Old Apr 3, 19, 6:02 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
there's no HNL-NRT nonstop KE flies
Sure there is. KE2.

It's HNL-ICN with a stop in NRT, but you can get off in NRT.

ETA: This seems to be more effort than it's worth. If you don't actually want to stop in Korea, why not just fly HNL-NRT//NRT-TPE on JL? You can then stop in Tokyo for as long as you want.

If you DO want to stop in Korea, do TPE - ICN // ICN - HNL on the way back. KE awards are round-trip, but you can pay half the miles for a half-round-trip.

I did a similar award last year: SFO-HND // NRT-TPE with a week in Tokyo.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 11:00 pm
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Well today I learned that KE has a fifth freedom in Japan, which I would not have expected.

I haven’t been able to book stopovers using CX fifth freedom flights like BKK or SIN. just sayin’...
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Old Apr 4, 19, 2:14 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Well today I learned that KE has a fifth freedom in Japan, which I would not have expected.

I haven’t been able to book stopovers using CX fifth freedom flights like BKK or SIN. just sayin’...
Yup, VegasGambler found the routing I was looking at for HNL-NRT.

Interesting, so maybe it is the 5th Freedom stopover I can't do?

I was looking at HNL-NRT-ICN-TPE (because KE doesn't fly NRT-TPE directly).

For me, the reason I was looking at KE was two-fold, they seem to have more award seats available (of course this is a dummy booking, so when the actual booking occurs, things might change) and also, the cost is a decent chunk less, 105K versus 130K. Definitely Japan is the preferred stop-over, but having an overnight stop in Seoul with the free city tour would be a nice bonus. Anyone can comment if calling Alaska would be able to get the routing to work if i have the flights? Or are the CSRs limited to whatever shows on the computers?
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Old Apr 4, 19, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Sure there is. KE2.

It's HNL-ICN with a stop in NRT, but you can get off in NRT.

ETA: This seems to be more effort than it's worth. If you don't actually want to stop in Korea, why not just fly HNL-NRT//NRT-TPE on JL? You can then stop in Tokyo for as long as you want.

If you DO want to stop in Korea, do TPE - ICN // ICN - HNL on the way back. KE awards are round-trip, but you can pay half the miles for a half-round-trip.

I did a similar award last year: SFO-HND // NRT-TPE with a week in Tokyo.
Thanks VegasGambler, I looked at your post a little closer and if I understand what you are saying, I can choose JAL outbound with a stopover in Tokyo, and then KE inbound with a stopover (or layover) in ICN and they would just split the KE fare in half? That would be totally worth it then.

I just tried to look for J availability from HNL to Tokyo on JAL...and it is tough.

Last edited by HIFlya; Apr 4, 19 at 2:25 pm
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Old Apr 4, 19, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
Thanks VegasGambler, I looked at your post a little closer and if I understand what you are saying, I can choose JAL outbound with a stopover in Tokyo, and then KE inbound with a stopover (or layover) in ICN and they would just split the KE fare in half? That would be totally worth it then.

I just tried to look for J availability from HNL to Tokyo on JAL...and it is tough.
You'll get charged for a KE redemption one way and JL the other.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
You'll get charged for a KE redemption one way and JL the other.
Yes but the point is that KE redemptions are round trip (ie, the number in the chart is the number of miles required for a round trip, unlike for other partners). However, if you use them as half of a round trip, you only get charged half. On the other hand, if you use them for a one-way, you get charged the full (round trip) amount.

The key point from the fine print on the award chart is:

One-way Korean Air award bookings are charged the same number of miles as round-trip travel. Korean Air flights, when used one-way in combination with Alaska Airlines or another partner airline to create a round-trip itinerary (routing restrictions apply), will be charged half the applicable Korean Air round-trip miles. If any part of a round-trip itinerary is flown on Korean Air, it becomes ineligible for any refund of the unflown portions.

This restriction can create issues (1) if you don't want a round trip (maybe you are doing a RTW or a circle trip, or maybe you want to reposition one-way to take advantage of a good fare) or (2) if you want to return on an airline that can't be combined with KE (I was told by a phone agent that CX had to be ticketed separately, and thus a one-way CX award could not be combined with a half-round-trip on KE). But combining with JL should be fine.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Yes but the point is that KE redemptions are round trip (ie, the number in the chart is the number of miles required for a round trip, unlike for other partners). However, if you use them as half of a round trip, you only get charged half. On the other hand, if you use them for a one-way, you get charged the full (round trip) amount.
Yeah, that part I know. Unlike KE's fifth freedom routes.

Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
KE can be paired with a second carrier on a round-trip (because all a round-trip is for AS logic is two one-ways).
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Old Apr 4, 19, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
Thanks VegasGambler, I looked at your post a little closer and if I understand what you are saying, I can choose JAL outbound with a stopover in Tokyo, and then KE inbound with a stopover (or layover) in ICN and they would just split the KE fare in half? That would be totally worth it then.

I just tried to look for J availability from HNL to Tokyo on JAL...and it is tough.
Married segment logic might help you here. HNL-TYO is unavailable for the foreseeable future but HNL-NRT-TPE is relatively wide open
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Old Apr 4, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Married segment logic might help you here. HNL-TYO is unavailable for the foreseeable future but HNL-NRT-TPE is relatively wide open
Sorry to be a bother, but do you have any specific dates? I tried a few in January/February 2020, and it is popping up on the calendar, but they are mixed class...and of course HNL-NRT is the coach portion.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 3:56 pm
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Eg, Feb 19 HNL-NRT, Feb 23 NRT-TPE. It's out close to the end of the schedule though. I didn't realize that award space from HNL was so tight (I guess it makes sense since so many Japanese people like to go to Hawaii on vacation... probably this is their own members using up all the saver award space)

Leaving from SFO, LAX, or SEA might be "easier", if you consider a 5 hour repositioning flight easy...

Edit: I was totally wrong about the married segment logic. What I thought was business space when you added the connection was actually just mixed space, as you pointed out. But the TL;DR here is that you probably need to either leave from from somewhere other than HNL, or book right out at the end of the schedule.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 5:07 pm
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Originally Posted by HIFlya View Post
Interesting, so maybe it is the 5th Freedom stopover I can't do?
Correct; stopovers are only allowed at gateway cities (i.e., where you're connecting to the partner from AS) and partner hubs. CX, for example, offers a handful of fifth freedom flights from TPE, but AS won't let you book HKG-TPE (stopover)-NGO.
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Old Apr 4, 19, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
Correct; stopovers are only allowed at gateway cities (i.e., where you're connecting to the partner from AS) and partner hubs. CX, for example, offers a handful of fifth freedom flights from TPE, but AS won't let you book HKG-TPE (stopover)-NGO.
Thank you for the confirmation...even if the information is bad. If I can ever find space via JAL, that would solve my problem, definitely willing to spend the extra 12.5K miles for a free stop-over in Japan.
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