Travel to Belize on AA or Taca? Suggestions?

 
Old Mar 9, 05, 9:54 am
  #1  
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Travel to Belize on AA or Taca? Suggestions?

I posted a broader Belize question on Travelbuzz, but got no response. I realized that since I really have no desire to fly US Airways or Continental to get there, this is really an AA question.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to get to Belize either using AA miles or buying tickets. The catch is that we are trying to go for New Year's, and I'm quickly discovering that this must be a popular New Year's destination, as I'm seeing no AA award availability and a bunch of $700 R/T airfares (MCI-DFW-BZE).

So a couple of questions:

- I see Taca is a partner airline, but I can't find any way to check Taca award availability short of calling on the phone. Anyone know how to do this? Going through AA.com yields only AA metal, and it's saying no availability for any dates - even flying on Christmas Day itself and New Year's Day itself.

- The lack of availability on Christmas Day itself leads me to ask: is it possible that AA simply hasn't made award seats available yet on their flights? I mean, surely that will be a somewhat empty flight...or will it?

- Is there an AA/Taca equivalent to the Mexican Hat Dance? e.g., Instead of flying MCI-DFW-BZE for 700 clams, is there a MCI-DFW-???-BZE routing that will yield some sort of reasonable airfare - even if it's 2 tickets?

- Any way to query applicable award fare buckets to perhaps find some creative routing using miles?

Any thoughts/ideas (other than "You are silly to try and go to Belize at that time of year!") are appreciated!
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Old Mar 28, 05, 4:15 pm
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Shameless bump. Looks like we are doing this trip - Dec 26-Jan 1, give or take a day on either end. Still can't figure out a way to query Taca award availability. AA.com still showing me nada in terms of any awards in any class on AA metal.
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Old Mar 28, 05, 5:34 pm
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Not sure about the availability issue. I can tell you that it is indeed a busy time of year. My wife and I travel there around the end of the first week in December, and again same time frame each February. I have had award tickets on AA for 12/2-12/15 for about three weeks now so all things being equal, they/it? would have been loaded? But, when you look at the seats 12/26 - 1/1 MCI - BZE they are wide open...
You are right about CO. We did about five trips with NW/CO awards from the midwest through IAH and really disliked that connection. AA through DFW is a real nice change.
Can't help you with Taca. But, if your destination is Ambergris Caye, I have a wealth of info/experiences at your disposal.
Good luck!

Last edited by alien; Mar 28, 05 at 5:43 pm
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Old Mar 28, 05, 5:49 pm
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ExpertFlyer.com shows TA fare buckets-- but I have no idea if it will show the "hidden" buckets-- or, for that matter, what those buckets would be for AA redemptions using all-partner awards on TA/AA. Call AA and see if they'll tell you and then you can start checking and see if seats open up (assuming they are not currently available.)
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Old Mar 28, 05, 5:54 pm
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I just spent a few minutes (while listening to a very boring conference call) playing around with your itinerary, using all my usual "tricks" and didn't come up with anything that would get you down there for less than $738.
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Old Mar 28, 05, 10:20 pm
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End of last November my work gave us a number of extra days off over the holiday break. So I had to plan a trip for the week between Christmas and New Years with only a few weeks notice. We wanted to do Central America (Costa Rica or Belize) - so that meant watching AA and TACA pretty closely for several weeks.

Dec 25th - Jan 1 never became that affordable, but there was fluctuation as the dates got closer. AA fares were $700 something when I started looking Thanksgiving weekend. I kept putting reservations on hold (you get 2-3 days at a time), and eventually was able to book Costa Rica for around $475 from LAX. The AA flights to most central america destinations were very full for that time period.

TACA's planes were wide open (empty from row 20 back on their A320s) when I started looking, but the fares were in the mid-$500s. Around December 14th, however, they had a great sale to many destinations -- including $275 RTs for December 23rd - 30th for Costa Rica. For that little notice and the holiday period, I thought it was a great deal.

The fares to Belize seemed to fluctuate in the same way, but were always a little more expensive than Costa Rica from LAX.

We were set on being away for the long New Year's weekend and wanted to upgrade on the overnight flight, so we held out for AA. But my guess is TACA will have an excellent sale at some point much closer to departure. Same for AA.

For FF tickets, I have always found Dec 16-24, 26-30, and Jan 2-4 blacked out and/or unavailable.

Last edited by dbuckho; Mar 28, 05 at 10:29 pm
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Old Apr 21, 05, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by alien
... if your destination is Ambergris Caye, I have a wealth of info/experiences at your disposal.
I will be there in early May and would really appreciate your wisdom...
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Old Apr 21, 05, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by pnb
I will be there in early May and would really appreciate your wisdom...
Well, count me in on needing the Ambergris Caye wisdom...we're staying at a place called Captain Morgan's. (Presumably nothing to do with the rum...my inlaws picked it out.)

The first three thoughts that come to mind are manatees, Mayan ruins, and whether there are any good local (nontechnical) trails to do some running. But I'm open to any and all wisdom about the resort, any nearby towns, dining options, whether or not we need a rental car, etc.

Flights are still $700+ and probably won't change. Looks like we'll probably end up burning miles (I know...I know...it's not the best redemption, but I have bazillions of AA miles) and flying on the dates/segments we want, even though all of those planes will be 100% full...
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