Using Miles to Travel from CLT to GOT

 
Old Oct 19, 09, 3:59 am
  #1  
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Using Miles to Travel from CLT to GOT

Hi everyone,

I'm new here, so I apologize if this is not the correct forum, but I think it is. I'm a graduate student from the US studying overseas in Gothenburg, Sweden, have a ticket to come home for Christmas (my return flight on my original booking to Sweden), but am attempting to book my next flight back to Sweden.

My brother has graciously offered me to use his American AAdvantage miles. The shortest American Airlines itinerary I can find from CLT is 4 flights and >24 hours of travel time versus ~12 hours in 2 flights if I book a USAir flight. Now I realize the flight time would be longer with American since I need to travel to one of their international HUBs while I can catch a direct USAir flight to FRA from CLT. This seems a little long though.

From the patterns I've seen one of the bigest problems is there are no direct AA flights from CLT to JFK, where I catch my overnight flight to BRU and then jump over to GOT. All the itineraries I've seen have me going to from CLT to ORD, DFW, or MIA then to JFK.

Can anyone help me find a better set of flights from CLT to GOT during the week after Christmas but before New Year's (Dec. 27 - Jan. 1) using AA? I'd be willing to drive to a nearby airport, but don't know which ones I should try.

Thanks a lot for any help you may have.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 4:28 am
  #2  
 
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The only AA flight numbers to GOT is a Brussels Airlines flights from Brussels (which I'm guessing you've already figured out ) It looks like this causes you two problems, one you already know about and one you may not:

1. AA only flies non-stop from ORD and JFK in the US to BRU. Unfortunately, it appears the ORD-BRU flight arrives in BRU too late to be a legal connection to GOT. So you would have to connect through JFK which, as you discovered, has no non-stop AA service from CLT.

2. If you are coming back after March 28, 2010, this flight routing will not be available to you on AA flight numbers, since AA's codeshare agreement with Brussels Airlines ends on March 28, 2010

There are other types of awards available such as 'all-partner' awards and OneWorld awards, which would allow you to use award mileage on AA and its partners, and do not require you to stick solely to AA flight numbers. AA's European OneWorld partners are British Airways (no service to GOT), Iberia (no service to GOT) and Finnair (service from Helsinki-GOT). Finnair flies from a couple of US cities (JFK, Boston seasonally, MIA seasonally, according to wikipedia) to Helsinki. So, you could try to route CLT-MIA-HEL-GOT where CLT-MIA is AA (American Eagle) and MIA-HEL-GOT is Finnair. This would only work when the MIA-HEL service is running, of course. Otherwise, you'd have to route through JFK.

I am not an expert on these partner/oneworld awards and will defer to the FAQ and wiki for you to find more information (full disclosure: I've never personally booked one of these types of awards). You will have to call AA to book an award of this type, they can not be booked on-line.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 6:22 am
  #3  
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I like AA, but it's simply the wrong airline for efficient travel CLT-GOT. The Lufthansa single-connect options through MUC or FRA are much superior.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by nikpack View Post
Can anyone help me find a better set of flights from CLT to GOT during the week after Christmas but before New Year's (Dec. 27 - Jan. 1) using AA?
You're trying to find an award ticket during a peak travel period two months out, which falls in the same level of difficulty category as buying your retirement villa on the moon.

I'd say no matter what connection possibilities exist, you're going to run into the problem of a lack of award availability during this time, unless you're willing to spend twice the miles to get an AAnytime award, which is frankly not worth it.

Sorry for my candor, but I think you better look into your revenue flight options.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 6:42 am
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Besides FinnAir, Malev flies to GOT but the timing of that as a connection is even worse unless wanting to overnight at BUD.

If sticking to OW is what needs to be done without yet another overnight trip, I'd fly to ARN or CPH and then take a train to GOT.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 6:46 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by imagineertobe View Post
You're trying to find an award ticket during a peak travel period two months out, which falls in the same level of difficulty category as buying your retirement villa on the moon.

I'd say no matter what connection possibilities exist, you're going to run into the problem of a lack of award availability during this time, unless you're willing to spend twice the miles to get an AAnytime award, which is frankly not worth it.

Sorry for my candor, but I think you better look into your revenue flight options.
I have been able to routinely land an award trip from the US to Scandinavian countries for the post-Christmas period as long as I was willing to wait to book it 0-10 days before my trip. But that waiting game is not for everyone.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 8:10 am
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Originally Posted by nikpack View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm new here, so I apologize if this is not the correct forum, but I think it is. I'm a graduate student from the US studying overseas in Gothenburg, Sweden, have a ticket to come home for Christmas (my return flight on my original booking to Sweden), but am attempting to book my next flight back to Sweden.

My brother has graciously offered me to use his American AAdvantage miles. The shortest American Airlines itinerary I can find from CLT is 4 flights and >24 hours of travel time versus ~12 hours in 2 flights if I book a USAir flight. Now I realize the flight time would be longer with American since I need to travel to one of their international HUBs while I can catch a direct USAir flight to FRA from CLT. This seems a little long though.

From the patterns I've seen one of the bigest problems is there are no direct AA flights from CLT to JFK, where I catch my overnight flight to BRU and then jump over to GOT. All the itineraries I've seen have me going to from CLT to ORD, DFW, or MIA then to JFK.

Can anyone help me find a better set of flights from CLT to GOT during the week after Christmas but before New Year's (Dec. 27 - Jan. 1) using AA? I'd be willing to drive to a nearby airport, but don't know which ones I should try.

Thanks a lot for any help you may have.
Being CLT based, I wish I had better news for you, but if you have access to getting to a car or taking the train, you could pop down to RDU (about 3-3.5 hours) to fly direct into JFK. I did not check the time tables, but I assume it is doable. Otherwise if you need to fly out of CLT on this, you will need to make a few connections. Making AA work from CLT (especially if you need to get to NYC) can be a challenge, but the DAArkside goodness is good indeed!

Safe Travels
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Old Oct 19, 09, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by GTITAN View Post
Being CLT based, I wish I had better news for you, but if you have access to getting to a car or taking the train, you could pop down to RDU (about 3-3.5 hours) to fly direct into JFK. I did not check the time tables, but I assume it is doable. Otherwise if you need to fly out of CLT on this, you will need to make a few connections. Making AA work from CLT (especially if you need to get to NYC) can be a challenge, but the DAArkside goodness is good indeed!

Safe Travels
+1. RDU has much better options.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 11:12 am
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If you don't mind spending a little $$ extra you could add a seperate one-way segment at the start/end of your trip that might open up a few options.

Example 1: if you can find availability to LHR on AA, say CLT-ORD-LHR, then buy a one-way LHR-GOT segment on SAS for $150.

Example 2: buy a one-way CLT-JFK segment on US, Jetblue, etc., then catch your AA award flight JFK-BRU-GOT.

However, as mentioned above, simply finding award availability to Europe during that week is going to be your biggest obstacle, not the out of the way routings.
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Old Oct 19, 09, 12:01 pm
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You can get to Frankfurt with 1 stop in Dallas on the 30th. You would then have to take care of your onward journey with cash. Air Berlin has a cheap ticket, but you would need to connect in Berlin.
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