ARCHIVE: MileSAAver award reduction / scarcity 2011 - Dec 2014

 
Old Aug 11, 2011, 1:16 am
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA, AA, US, DL, PC Plat, Dollar, Avis, National, SPG, HH Gold, CC Gold
Posts: 1,212
Just booked 4 U class return tickets from Malaga - Madrid - Budapest - JFK - ORD on June 16/17

I've been looking for a way home for over 2 weeks now. Lots of availablity thru Budapest for those looking for a way in or out of Europe. Multiple seats available in business on 4 days during the week. I would suggest Budapest as Malev is supposed to be a good product in Europe.
balima is offline  
Old Aug 11, 2011, 7:26 am
  #77  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DFW
Programs: AAdvantage Plt, Hyatt Plt, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold.
Posts: 69
Originally Posted by sk3
Your friends could fly to FCO thru MAD on IB in business for the same 50K miles but for only ~ $80 in taxes and fees per ticket. I've found IB availability pretty decent.
I called yesterday and IB does have decent availability. They would go YYZ-LHR-MAD-FCO. Not as bad as my other booking on hold. Not great but as I joked with the AAgent, "If they can't do four stops on their honeymoon, they'll never make it anyway."

ZRH is also an option so I'm looking around for that too. Thank god for the euro train system. ^
system error is offline  
Old Aug 11, 2011, 7:37 am
  #78  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 100
I'm sure this has been answered before and i appologize,

what is the best way to look for IB awards?

thanks,
Lenny
lenny851 is offline  
Old Aug 11, 2011, 8:22 am
  #79  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: AA LT Plat, UA 1k/1mm+, National EE, IC Plat, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 2,605
There can be no doubt that award availability on AA has gotten much, much tougher. It used to be that at 330 days out, one could book virtually any flight in any class to anywhere in the system. Now, it's very unpredictable what availability may be going anywhere.

I have been tracking award availability for US domestic, Europe, Asia, and Caribbean for the last few years, always around the summer months and around Christmas/New Year, and what I have been observing the last two years is very concerning...One thing that seems to be happening is that award availability is usually non-existent when school is out especially in the winter. In the summer, US-Europe is usually available, but the return flights are usually zeroed out...So I can get there but not back.

I have talked to a number of EXP agents who have uniformly bemoaned the increasing lack of award space and the miffed customers as a result. I just booked an award to DPS for next summer at 11 months out and even with that much time in advance, the agent found only a single outbound and return date in a 2 month span. I was flexible enough to make it work, but the routing is sub-optimal as it requires 3 overnight stays (1 in HKG on the outbound, and HKG and LAX on the inbound). And just in case someone were to say that this must be an issue with partner availability, allow me to point out that the AA flight AUS-ORD that we are booked on the outbound gives us a super long layover...the other flights have zero availability. That's zero availability on AA 11 months out and WITH our EXP extra availability. That's just messed up.

On a related tangent, I originally wanted to go to NBO (which was available) but I was quoted taxes and fuel surcharges of $2000 for my family of 4 on top of 300,000 miles. Totally absurd.

And this increasing difficulty in obtaining awards does neither go unnoticed nor will it go unanswered. This year, I made the decision to fly AA as much as possible and UA/CO only as much as I had to with the goal of making Star Gold still. I now already regret this decision and have decided to go for at least Plat again next year on UA, and possibly 1k if I can get both EXP and 1k. Either way, AA who is going to see 170k EQMs from me this year will go to no more than 125k next year. If I go for 1k, AA will get barely over 100k from me. And I know I can't be the only one.

To contrast and compare, award availability in Star has been fantastic for quite some time, and I have had zero problems getting to Thailand and Malaysia this year using CO, LH, TG, and SQ on the exact dates I wanted. I also looked into NBO recently, which was wide open, as was all of Europe (using LH). And never mind that none of the award itins I have booked on Star has had absurd YQ surcharges.

As long as AA continues to hand out credit card miles like candy and does not provide significant priority to its elites by tier, AA will run into more and more push back. The solution here is pretty obvious...provide better award availability by Elite tier and provide lowest priority to the credit card mile hoarders and general members.

I love AA, but when it comes to award availability and YQ surcharges, the program is no longer the best of the legacies. Years ago, AA was definitely the program with the best availability among the majors, but I would now put it below CO and UA and by quite a margin. Not good for AA at all.
AAExPlat is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2011, 1:12 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 44
I must be missing something in regards to the seats being loaded back into the system because I don't see any at all. Milesaver that is (30K) from LAX-LHR.

I have gone back several months and don't see anything. I have never had a problem securing awards seats on this route but now there is nothing. Was hoping for something in late June and early July. I have been watching religiously for the last month.

As an EXP member, I find it inexcusable when looking at 330 days out and flexible with dates, there should be something. I have called the EXP desk and they have been no help what so ever. I have called 10 different times now.

If someone can shed some light on this for me I would really appreciate this.
jbettis2 is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2011, 1:42 pm
  #81  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 754
Originally Posted by jbettis2
I must be missing something in regards to the seats being loaded back into the system because I don't see any at all. Milesaver that is (30K) from LAX-LHR.
FWIW, from what I saw before the zero-ing of all peak inventory, there wasn't a single LAX non-stop available, and there were no J/F available at 331 days out. I assume I'm the only one here looking for coach?
I think we're just SOL until they decide to open up seats. I have some alerts set for my dates, but out of all the other LHR non-stop destinations, because that doesn't restrict me to finding both an LAX flight and a connecting LHR flight. I'll do the LAX-XYZ work myself.
As a leisure-only traveler I can't justify the expense of ExpertFlyer, but the alerts from MileageManager have already paid for themselves at $15/year.
But really I think I might just be trying to find a new destination.
tjbrooks is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2011, 2:04 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: AS MVP Gold, BA Silver, AA Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 1,616
Originally Posted by tjbrooks
FWIW, from what I saw before the zero-ing of all peak inventory, there wasn't a single LAX non-stop available, and there were no J/F available at 331 days out. I assume I'm the only one here looking for coach?
I think we're just SOL until they decide to open up seats. I have some alerts set for my dates, but out of all the other LHR non-stop destinations, because that doesn't restrict me to finding both an LAX flight and a connecting LHR flight. I'll do the LAX-XYZ work myself.
As a leisure-only traveler I can't justify the expense of ExpertFlyer, but the alerts from MileageManager have already paid for themselves at $15/year.
But really I think I might just be trying to find a new destination.
ExpertFlyer is showing some MileSaver seats from ORD to LHR on June 25 and June 19. Hope this helps.
jbalmuth is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2011, 3:11 pm
  #83  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: LAX
Programs: UA/AA
Posts: 1,739
Originally Posted by balima
Just booked 4 U class return tickets from Malaga - Madrid - Budapest - JFK - ORD on June 16/17

I've been looking for a way home for over 2 weeks now. Lots of availablity thru Budapest for those looking for a way in or out of Europe. Multiple seats available in business on 4 days during the week. I would suggest Budapest as Malev is supposed to be a good product in Europe.
Malev is terrific.

Budapest is worth a few days if you can swing it......great city.
jaymar01 is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2011, 10:10 am
  #84  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: AA EXP 1MM, UA 1K, Marriott/SPG Platinum Elite
Posts: 774
I just did a search on AA for almost all AA transatlantic routes that I could think of and I only see a few SAAver awards here and there for up to June 26th (I am looking for July 1st onwards). I'm hoping that June 26th is as far as they've gotten with releasing SAAver awards and more will be coming soon. Anybody seeing anything after June 26th?

On another note, has anybody been able to verify that the availability seen on oneworld partners via the Qantas website can also be booked with AAdvantage miles through AA? I am still seeing much more availability on BA/IB/AY/MA through the Qantas website but when I call AA they say there is no availability.
mmjaysee is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2011, 4:41 pm
  #85  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: New York, NY
Programs: The Golden status boy
Posts: 854
And they are gone again. 1 day per month at 30K and everything else at 60K from DFW. Trying to decide if I am going to wait it out of transfer miles to Hilton before the ability to do so closes. Very dissapointing
spankytoes is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2011, 7:36 pm
  #86  
sk3
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 2,741
Originally Posted by spankytoes
And they are gone again. 1 day per month at 30K and everything else at 60K from DFW. Trying to decide if I am going to wait it out of transfer miles to Hilton before the ability to do so closes. Very dissapointing
Can you please be more specific? I'm not seeing the blackout that was evident when this thread was created.

I just checked 330 days out and do see that DFW-LHR is only showing 'T' availability for one day. But checking DFW-MAD I see a lot. What are the other exDFW direct flights to Europe?

You might have to reconcile yourself to a route with a connecting flight since checking ORD - FCO and JFK to FCO/MAD/CDG/LHR I see plenty of 'T' inventory there (considering that most likely these seats are getting booked as soon as they're loaded).
sk3 is offline  
Old Aug 16, 2011, 9:54 pm
  #87  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicago
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Posts: 1,212
There are also a number of flights from DFW - CDG. Two hours, several Euros and a chunnel ride will get you into LHR without a lot of taxes.

The last time they were all gone, THEY WERE ALL GONE. Nothing but anytime fares were available. If you see something that will work I suggest you book it. With the Olympics you never know what is going to happen.
I booked one-way over and waited to book the return flight when something came up I could work with.
balima is offline  
Old Aug 19, 2011, 11:48 pm
  #88  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 159
got my tickets to Europe next June/July

didn't want to take a chance to wait for 3 AA lax-lhr tickets to open up so ended up using BA and Air Tahiti Nui to cross the ocean. even though I ended up paying a lot more surcharges, still got good routing and non paid tickets. so don't forget the non OW partners.
tuscanyx is offline  
Old Aug 20, 2011, 9:03 am
  #89  
TRT
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1
This is more than disconcerting. For years I've focused all my resources on building miles with the AAdvantage program so that I could fly internationally for leisure. Like most here, I've been willing to do my homework and plan ahead extensively and prudently.

If these people are going to simply shut us out of flying overseas with a reasonable number of AAdvantage miles under any circumstances, I'm going to go back to Southwest and I'll do my international flying on whatever's cheapest, be it ScrewUpiStan Airways.

Could anyone tell me/us how to contact the VP for AAdvantage to register this disappointment?

Thanks ...
TRT is offline  
Old Aug 20, 2011, 7:32 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: AS MVP Gold, BA Silver, AA Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 1,616
I've noted that TATL availability for summer 2012 is very volatile (i.e. comes and goes each day). My approach has been to be patient, and look each day (I use ExpertFlyer for this), and have been happily surprised by days where many flights are T7 where they had all been T0 the evening before. ExpertFlyer has an email notification system for availability (which I have used, but never relied on as the emails seem to always be considerably delayed).
jbalmuth is offline  

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