best time to redeem awards?

 
Old Nov 17, 13, 1:58 pm
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best time to redeem awards?

Hi. Our family of four is planning to fly to Paris from NYC July 20 and return from Barcelona. We have 100,000 miles at this point. AAdvantage is currently only offering award seats for the direct flight to Paris--none for the direct flight out of Barcelona on Aug 7. We'll have to buy 2 or 3 of the tickets, which are currently listed at $1400. There are plenty of seats on both flights. Any ideas about when they might open up reward seats on that Barcelona flight? We will be getting a bonus 35,000 miles in mid/late january. Would it make sense to wait so that we have more miles? Or might the reward seats that are now available on the flight to Paris would be taken? Merci beaucoup!
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Old Nov 17, 13, 2:01 pm
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Welcome to FT!

Call AA, and ask about award flights out of BCN on Iberia (which will not show up on aa.com).

Last edited by guv1976; Nov 17, 13 at 2:01 pm
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Old Nov 17, 13, 2:02 pm
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That's anyone's guess. However, what I would do is start exploring some alternate routes, such as flying out of MAD, or making a connection stateside. You can change to ex-BCN if it opens up but at least you'll have seats. Also, even though there are the dreaded BA fuel surcharges, you'll still do better connecting via LHR than $1,400/ticket and BA has a lot of award availability.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 10:01 am
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Thanks. We were hoping to avoid connecting flights, but that might just be life in the big city.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 11:39 am
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It's hard to predict when seats are going to be taken up. There's probably other people looking to book awards to Paris from NY, too, besides yourself. It's a race to see who does it first.

You can try exploring different routes, and then booking them, and change to a non-stop if you find availability. Keep in mind that it there is a change fee to move dates if you don't have status, and a fee to move cities if you use MileSAAver awards.

This link has the particulars and details:
Making Award Reservations

Last edited by FlyMeToTheLooneyBin; Nov 19, 13 at 11:52 am Reason: Added link
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Old Nov 19, 13, 12:14 pm
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"Keep in mind that it there is a change fee to move dates if you don't have status."

That is incorrect. Date changes are free for all AAdvantage members, provided that the new date of travel is at least 21 days past the date of ticketing of the original award flight (regardless of the date of the original flight, and regardless of how soon before the new flight the change is made).
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Old Nov 19, 13, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by hudsonriverguy View Post
Thanks. We were hoping to avoid connecting flights, but that might just be life in the big city.
If you are forced to make a connection, I would definitely explore flights on AB, via TXL, instead of BA via LHR, because you won't encounter the dreaded BA fuel surcharges.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 1:24 pm
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Sign up for a free Qantas FF account. Once you are signed up you can do dummy bookings for miles flights as if you were redeeming miles from Qantas. This will show you IB flights (which as mentioned upthread aren't shown on the AA website) as well as AB, AA, and BA. That way you can call in with the information about IB in your hand and just feed it to them.
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Old Nov 19, 13, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerdude88 View Post
Sign up for a free Qantas FF account. Once you are signed up you can do dummy bookings for miles flights as if you were redeeming miles from Qantas. This will show you IB flights (which as mentioned upthread aren't shown on the AA website) as well as AB, AA, and BA. That way you can call in with the information about IB in your hand and just feed it to them.
Will IB, as part of IAG, have massive YQ?
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Old Nov 19, 13, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Upgraded! View Post
Will IB, as part of IAG, have massive YQ?
No, it's quite reasonable.
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