A rant on AA award options

Old Aug 30, 18, 3:16 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero
AA miles have a lot of value to some destinations. You just need to pick and choose wisely. Partner awards to Asia using AA miles on JL or CX are fairly decent.
I thought CX availability for 2 in the same premium cabin was almost zero since the Asia Miles change a few months ago.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 3:21 pm
  #47  
 
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Another problem for the OP is that he is trying to get TWO awards on the same flights. Perhaps a compromise is to try to find one saver award and then pony up the miles for the Aanytime award on the same legs as your spouse? At least you can save some of your miles that way I hope rather than 2 anytime awards.

Another option is to fly on different flights if you can get one saver award each on different flight itineraries. Not ideal of course but that may get you where you want to go. Since you are flying from SEA, that flight to Europe will likely be an overnight flight at least and both of you will want to sleep on the outbound?
Good luck with your search.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 3:40 pm
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The golden era of saver J/F awards to Europe with AA miles has long passed. There was a time many years ago when availability was much better. But that was before the US-AA merger and the AA bankruptcy.

As others have mentioned, *A has many more European partner airlines, which offer more flexibility. AA only has BA, IB and Finnair as European partners. And of those, BA is the only one that release regular J/F awards, albeit with high taxes/fees. Enjoy your trip to VCE as it makes for a nice getaway.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 4:00 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly
No, the miles needed are the same if the origin and destination zones are the same.

OK, what you were probably referring to is the "twice as far" bit. Yes, the exact ratio varies, and the stated ratio was rounded to integer accuracy (zero decimal places) to indicate that it is approximate.
Indeed - was referring to the distance

For example from Los Angeles, Mumbai , for example, is 8,709 away whilst Athens is 6,928 away. This makes it only about 26% furher . Rounded for integer accuracy that would be 1 times as far

AA's zone approach is good for some origin-destinations, but makes some others to be really poor value.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by AA100k
I believe most of AAs advertising is aimed at the economy customer. There are usually plenty of saver awards in Economy.
Not so great in Economyville, either. Just booked a DSM-ORD overnight round trip for myself and my 4-year old granddaughter. (Poor kid- if she gets Grandma's Travel Lust she better choose a lucrative career or marry well. ;-)) Hardly a glamorous itinerary. I was open to any two-day pair during a 3-week period in October and wanted to do one leg using miles. Ignoring the 6 AM and the 8 PM flights (don't want to get her up at 4 AM or take chances with the last flight of the night), there was ONE day in ONE direction (DSM to ORD) with a couple of acceptable flights for 7,500 miles per person. Redemption rate a little over 2 cents per mile, but what a PITA, and what a stingy selection.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 4:43 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by Time traveller
The golden era of saver J/F awards to Europe with AA miles has long passed. There was a time many years ago when availability was much better. But that was before the US-AA merger and the AA bankruptcy.

As others have mentioned, *A has many more European partner airlines, which offer more flexibility. AA only has BA, IB and Finnair as European partners. And of those, BA is the only one that release regular J/F awards, albeit with high taxes/fees. Enjoy your trip to VCE as it makes for a nice getaway.
That probably has more to do with the strong economy than anything. Things are going well for many people. People have the disposable income to travel at will. That is going to change at some point in the next 24 months and people are going to get slapped in the face with reality. And these airlines are going to be begging us to patronize them.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 6:16 pm
  #52  
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It was further exacerbated by the mistake carriers made of not cutting capacity during the recession. They simply cut prices (increased award space). That mistake won't occur again. If the economy tanks, frequencies will be cut or smaller aircraft will be used.

I was only half joking about telling OP to wish for a recession. That's what it will take. The good ole days were good unless you were on the wrong side of the job market.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by shoelessj
Just wanted to share my frustration with AA. I was an occasional flyer (usually FC ) with a couple hundred k miles between my wife and I. Also have a bunch of 500 mile upgrades but know these are not applicable to overseas. I had been looking to use these miles for a trip to Venice from ORD in late Sept. and started looking at award options a year ago. There were absolutely no BC (saver points) options available at any point in my search (pretty much checked daily). Some crazy BA BC offers showed up (transfer to a different airport, stay overnight, and pay many hundreds of dollars in 'fees') that were really laughable. I even checked days before and after ie was flexible. Bottom line was the only thing I could book was an outbound coach with saver points and return coach with anytime points. AA was kind enough to let me pay extra to have a few back of the plane 2 in a row seats on their 787. I know this is perhaps a 'limited' travel overview but my colleagues who are AA high status level tell me a similar sad story. So my plan is to burn any AA miles I have left (as I stew in the back of the plane) and move on to other carriers where the miles have a bit more value. Thanks for letting me vent!
I had the same issue years ago when trying to get Business Class after a pair of cruises from VCE. So, I took the train to MXP and flew from there. Much better than using miles for AANytime
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Old Aug 30, 18, 8:56 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian
Star Alliance does indeed generally more business saver awards available. Keep in mind although the non UA partners these seats are available on are 70K miles each way vs. 57.5. Just a data point.
Then again, AAnytime J *starts* at 110K and goes up to an absurd 180K on arbitrary dates.

Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly
If so, you have no excuse for ranting (your term) because you couldn't find awards for the specific trip you wanted. It is well known that there is absolutely no guarantee of finding awards for a specific destination, date(s) and class; but your original post clearly indicates that this is news to you.
Utter strawman. Somebody whos willing to go pretty much anywhere AA flies in Europe other than LHR*MXP, ZRH, BUD, ATH, BCN, CDG, FCO, you name itstands a good chance of being stymied if they have any sort of schedule constraints.

Ive been looking for the past 2 months for J SAAver seats next May. Apart from the rare award to ZRH, theres been nothing. Nada. Zip. Niente. Zilch. Rien. Nichts. Bubkes. Diddly squat.

In short, the OP has a point, no matter how much you mock a caricature of it.

(*LHR: where to start? The surly BA crews for almost all onward connections? The idiotic security rescreening when you change terminals? The fact that the flight from JFK is too short to get a decent nights rest? All of it.)
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Old Aug 30, 18, 10:17 pm
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Originally Posted by beltway

(*LHR: where to start? The surly BA crews for almost all onward connections? The idiotic security rescreening when you change terminals? The fact that the flight from JFK is too short to get a decent nights rest? All of it.)
Compared, say, to the ridiculous screening with long queues at US airports with requirements to remove shoes belts etc - plus generally not being able to check bags through to an onward service after an international arrival but having to join other long queues for immigration, collecting bags and dropping off

I'll take a connection in London anytime over a connection in the USA

Unless connecting from a domestic flight, the US has even more idiotc screening going between terminals
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Old Aug 30, 18, 10:22 pm
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I rarely fly internationally. If I had to make a complaint, it would be more about search than availability. *A is best (IMO), OW next, ST is awful. I will allow that I found a SFO-ORD-AMN (Amman Jordan) J saver award for a friend a few months ago; on the return I had to book her on a 2-hop on ST through Saudi Arabia.

I'm pretty happy with Saaver availability on domestic. A few years ago when I made Plat on a challenge and had no shot at high status, I flew a few award tickets, and I've gotten a few for friends. IIRC, there was a time when US Air had something like 14% availability on saver domestic awards (AA might have been higher).

Yeah, I want a Saaver First award to Oz. And two hot 20-somethings to go to Vegas for a week. Any bets on which I can find more easily?
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Old Aug 30, 18, 11:18 pm
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Originally Posted by redtop43
I rarely fly internationally. If I had to make a complaint, it would be more about search than availability. *A is best (IMO), OW next, ST is awful. I will allow that I found a SFO-ORD-AMN (Amman Jordan) J saver award for a friend a few months ago; on the return I had to book her on a 2-hop on ST through Saudi Arabia.

I'm pretty happy with Saaver availability on domestic. A few years ago when I made Plat on a challenge and had no shot at high status, I flew a few award tickets, and I've gotten a few for friends. IIRC, there was a time when US Air had something like 14% availability on saver domestic awards (AA might have been higher).

Yeah, I want a Saaver First award to Oz. And two hot 20-somethings to go to Vegas for a week. Any bets on which I can find more easily?
I disagree with your rankings. ST is not awful at all for going to Europe. Hell, just last fall I was able to fly United from ORD-LHR in F class. I got it the seat T-3 and was able to use 70k Singapore Miles to do so. Their chart has been devalued since for ST partner travel but it worked well for me for quite a while.
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Old Aug 30, 18, 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by kapooncha
I disagree with your rankings. ST is not awful at all for going to Europe. Hell, just last fall I was able to fly United from ORD-LHR in F class. I got it the seat T-3 and was able to use 70k Singapore Miles to do so. Their chart has been devalued since for ST partner travel but it worked well for me for quite a while.
ST is SkyTeam. You're referring to Star (*A) @:-)
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Old Aug 31, 18, 12:14 am
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy
ST is SkyTeam. You're referring to Star (*A) @:-)
Good call. In that case I agree with his rankings
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Old Aug 31, 18, 12:35 am
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I wasn't referring to availability. I was referring to search.
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