Advice on Using AA Miles to Paris. TN or IB?

 
Old Jan 24, 12, 3:08 pm
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Advice on Using AA Miles to Paris. TN or IB?

Trying to use AA miles for a J trip DFW to Paris in May. At this date no AA flights are available of course, but I have found the following J Class availability. DFW-LAX-CDG on TN or DFW-ORD-MAD-ORY using IB. I've never flown either airline but have read reviews here on FT including from our own J Diver who seems to be an IB fan.

Any comments on which would be the best trip?

As I understand it IB has a far superior lie-flat seat but decidedly surly in- flight service. IB involves 2 airport connections, TN just one. ORY is slightly more convenient for me but not a deal breaker. Overall elapsed trip time is about the same for both itineraries. Don't know if reliability is a factor. IB is OW, TN is not.

Cabin service is important only to the extent that I be treated with at least a minimum of courtesy, get a decent meal and a refilled wine glass (which I understand may be difficult on IB).

I wish I could resolve the problem by snagging an F seat on TN but AA say's F awards are never available.

Advice would be much appreciated.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 3:27 pm
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Does TN have a published through-fare from DFW to CDG? If not, you would have to redeem for two separate awards in order to use TN for the TATL segment.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 3:31 pm
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take a look at the ib & other asian forums for info....i would be inclined to go w/the ib route rather than go west to start plus wondering about irrops on tn....

we have been in ibj & i thought it was pretty good....

whats the elapsed time for each of the itins?
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Old Jan 24, 12, 3:35 pm
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One thing to consider, if neither of these is your ideal routing, is that I think you have more flexibility to make changes if you book with IB. AA allows changes of routing and even carrier without charge if you are within OneWorld, but I don't think you have as much freedom if you book with a non-OW partner.

P.S. I think your concerns about service on IB are overblown, at least if you will be flying in J. I have been happy with the service in Business Plus.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 3:52 pm
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I would go with TN. The seat is nothing special, but reducing a connection is a plus.

I think when you land after a long TATL flight, you will be glad to be at your destination and not about to wait for another flight in a glorified economy seat (short-haul European J).

A few things that could change your decision:

- Does having a fully-flat seat make a big difference over a generous recliner? For some it does, for some it doesn't

- Does the CDG vs. ORY have an impact?
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Old Jan 24, 12, 4:07 pm
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Total time for both itineraries is about 14.5 hours.

AA says DFW-LAX-CDG can be done with 1 award so I guess there is a published TN fare.

Ready2Go I had not given serous enough thought to the issue of changes which you brought up, and this is obviously an important factor. There is always a possibility of a more favorable routing becoming available on other days (including in my wildest dreams a seat on AA's DFW-CDG non-stop) and to be able to make the change would be a great advantage. Does anyone know if AA (OW) considers CDG/ORY co-terminals?

After reading some more comments, I agree, I think service on IB Business Plus may be getting a bad rap.

Many thanks.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by jrussell View Post
I wish I could resolve the problem by snagging an F seat on TN but AA say's F awards are never available.
People - and maybe that's AA agent and not the OP - can be awfully darn sloppy with the use of 'never'. A random week I checked showed F awards on TN LAX-CDG four days out of seven.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 5:36 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
People - and maybe that's AA agent and not the OP - can be awfully darn sloppy with the use of 'never'. A random week I checked showed F awards on TN LAX-CDG four days out of seven.
What source are you using? In this consolidated thread, people have reported that "A" availability does not equal availability for booking with AAdvantage miles.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 5:57 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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Does TN have a published through-fare from DFW to CDG? If not, you would have to redeem for two separate awards in order to use TN for the TATL segment.

Clarifying question: How do you determine which airines has to have the published fare? In this case the OP is taking AA DFW-LAX and TN LAX-CDG, how do you determine that it's TN that has to have the published fare?
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Old Jan 24, 12, 6:21 pm
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TN F is basically C+ - six of the same seats they use in C, but they extend to fully flat, in a 2 x 2 x 2 configuration in a tiny, cramped cabin (they are 2 x 2 x 2 in C as well).

TN Poerava Business is quite OK, and a straight shot into CDG from LAX. Nothing against it at all, and I've enjoyed by TN flights; perhaps slightly more attentive service than IB. TN also means the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX - ugh!

IB Business Plus is a fully flat seat and a generation ahead of Air Tahiti Nui, better food and wine IMO, and the OP would get to use the excellent Velzquez lounge on the return as well.

TN has the flight to Paris, IB and AA have a JB and many more flights between Madrid and Paris.

In the end, depends on what is available - but IB offers greater flexibility, better hard product.

And, there's nothing to prevent the OP, if he wants some interesting experience (especially if he returns and shares with us! ) using TN outbound and IB return, etc.
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Old Jan 24, 12, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Sahcurity
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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Does TN have a published through-fare from DFW to CDG? If not, you would have to redeem for two separate awards in order to use TN for the TATL segment.

Clarifying question: How do you determine which airines has to have the published fare? In this case the OP is taking AA DFW-LAX and TN LAX-CDG, how do you determine that it's TN that has to have the published fare?
It is the "over-water" carrier that must have the published through-fare (and that fare must permit the desired routing).
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Old Jan 24, 12, 6:38 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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It is the "over-water" carrier that must have the published through-fare (and that fare must permit the desired routing).
Thank you!
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Old Jan 24, 12, 9:28 pm
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I have found historically that IB award availability is also the best of them all.
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