Waitlisted for November 2019 flight

Old Mar 9, 19, 11:09 am
  #1  
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Waitlisted for November 2019 flight

Hello,

First time (trying to) fly ANA. I've transferred 85,000 AMEX points to my ANA account and tried to book a business class roundtrip seat for SFO <-> NRT in November 2019. Currently, only two seats on both flights in the business cabin show as assigned / purchased - rest of the business class cabin is empty. I wasn't able to get confirmed, and I am waitlisted.

Wanted to ask ANA experts: what are my chances of getting the seats? How often does ANA release award seats? How long should I wait before canceling the waitlist and purchasing an economy tickets instead?

Thanks for any advise!
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Old Mar 9, 19, 12:29 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SF, Japan, YYG
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If you are flexible, try other dates, SJC instead of SFO, F or Premium economy one leg. I wouldn't gamble on waitlist clearing.
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Old Mar 9, 19, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by synergypi View Post
If you are flexible, try other dates, SJC instead of SFO, F or Premium economy one leg. I wouldn't gamble on waitlist clearing.
Tried other dates (a few days in each direction) - all were showing waitlisted, even though business cabins were nearly empty on all those flights.

How many business seats per flight are typically allocated to award bookings? Only two?
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Old Mar 9, 19, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by od_sf View Post
Tried other dates (a few days in each direction) - all were showing waitlisted, even though business cabins were nearly empty on all those flights.

How many business seats per flight are typically allocated to award bookings? Only two?
Up to 3 seats released initially for general members
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Old Mar 10, 19, 10:28 am
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OP, your waitlist for award seat may never clear. Checking for inventory before transferring points/miles is always a must.

No airline wants to give a free seat when they can sell it for big money.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by roberto99 View Post
OP, your waitlist for award seat may never clear. Checking for inventory before transferring points/miles is always a must.
I did check inventory and seats were available when I checked. It took 2 business days for points to transfer from AMEX to ANA and availability was gone by then. And obviously I realize it might never clear, which is why I'm here asking questions.

Repeating my original question, which has not been answered yet:

How often does ANA release award seats? Just once when the flight is placed on the schedule? Or are more award seats released as time goes by? I assume this depends on how well the flight is selling, but I also assume that ANA experts here might be able to share previous experiences. Knowing this will allow me to make a decision on how long to wait before canceling the waitlist and purchasing an economy ticket instead.

Last edited by od_sf; Mar 10, 19 at 12:45 pm
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Old Mar 10, 19, 12:42 pm
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by od_sf View Post
How often does ANA release award seats? Just once when the flight is placed on the schedule? Or are more award seats released as time goes by?
How long should I wait before canceling the waitlist and purchasing an economy tickets instead?
I don't think anyone really knows when additional seats get released; some evidence that clearing from waitlist can occur 2 weeks or so before the flight, and upgrades requests may clear around check-in. However, if there are premium members on the waitlist they will be cleared first so unlikely that general members can secure the seat(s).

Initial J seat release #s for general members leaving SFO seems to be 1 for Fri and Sat, 2 for Thurs and Sun, and 3 for Mon Tues Wed.
Initial J seat release #s for Pt or SFC members seems to be 2 for Fri and Sat, 4 for Sun-Thurs.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by synergypi View Post
I don't think anyone really knows when additional seats get released; some evidence that clearing from waitlist can occur 2 weeks or so before the flight, and upgrades requests may clear around check-in. However, if there are premium members on the waitlist they will be cleared first so unlikely that general members can secure the seat(s).

Initial J seat release #s for general members leaving SFO seems to be 1 for Fri and Sat, 2 for Thurs and Sun, and 3 for Mon Tues Wed.
Initial J seat release #s for Pt or SFC members seems to be 2 for Fri and Sat, 4 for Sun-Thurs.
Thanks, this is useful. I've changed my dates and rebooked and I'm now confirmed business to Tokyo and premium economy returning. One last question: is it possible for someone who has no status with ANA to upgrade from premium economy to business using points? And if so, how many points are needed for NRT -> SFO?

Last edited by od_sf; Mar 10, 19 at 3:14 pm
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Old Mar 10, 19, 5:50 pm
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FWIW I was waitlisted for one seat for the first week of March RT SEA to NRT since Oct. In my experience C cabin had always been almost less than half full. Had plenty of seats up until feb. I never cleared the waitlist. Cabin on both trips were full. Btw Iím also a diamond.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by od_sf View Post
Is it possible for someone who has no status with ANA to upgrade from premium economy to business using points? And if so, how many points are needed for NRT -> SFO?
If you mean PE award ticket to business award ticket, then not possible for anyone.
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Old Mar 13, 19, 9:50 pm
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Originally Posted by synergypi View Post
If you mean PE award ticket to business award ticket, then not possible for anyone.
Thanks again for the info synergypi.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 11:39 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Their own elite had better chance to get cleared/also slightly better availability (eg. one more first class seat), otherwise, it seemed it seemed that it will be wait-listed forever. I guess book one year ahead of time would be always the best way to do it.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 2:21 pm
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I wouldn't get too optimistic with award seat waitlists clearing with ANA. Much better chance of upgrades clearing than outright awards.

I booked a C award seat for SIN - HND - SIN back in September for flights later this month. HND - SIN was available immediately, but SIN - HND was waitlisted. As a DIA + NH MM, I thought this would be no problem because only 2 seats were taken on the seatmap, 1A and 2F (usually blocked anyways), and this was 7 months out!

However, since I remained waitlisted and prospects did not look bright (2 weeks before my flight, C had 8 seats available and 16 waitlisted), I swapped the SIN - HND leg to a flight in the future and booked a one-way between SIN - HND via ICN.

I assume I was #1 or #2 on that waitlist, but ANA didn't seem to care. I had the Diamond desk inquire with a supervisor in Japan, if it could be pushed manually, but the answer was 'no'. Apparently, they have a program that clears upgrades now based on a slew of assumptions. Up until few years ago, this was all done manually.

Once waitlisted on ANA, you're waitlisted. They don't differentiate between award seats and upgrades, but the caveat is award seat waitlists expire 2 weeks before your flight, so you better have some contingency plans or be flexible with dates.

ANA won't tell you where you rank in the waitlist, but they will tell you how many people are waitlisted. If you are DIA, MM, or a combination, it's safe to assume you're near or at the top. Some phone agents will hint at how high up you are on the waitlist.

The seatmap does not necessarily indicate open seats. Some seats are booked, but people haven't assigned their seats yet. I believe there's a higher tendency of this happening when booking with a third party or corporate travel like AMEX. It's always wise to call and ask how many seats are available, how many seats are they selling, at what fare, and how many award seats or upgrades have already been redeemed.

Hope this helps!!
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Old Apr 5, 19, 8:50 am
  #14  
 
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ANAStarFlyer is spot on. Same experience here!!
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Old Aug 10, 19, 2:54 am
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Does the infinite waitlist only apply for PE and Business? I was wondering if Economy will be easier to clear?
Thank you,
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