Honeymooners Seeking Advice (award MCK-BCN)

Old May 4, 19, 3:26 pm
  #1  
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Question Honeymooners Seeking Advice (award MCK-BCN)

Hi there,

I'm a long time lurker who doesn't post often but is hoping for help. I'm struggling on finding a routing that makes sense for my fiancee and I on our honeymoon. I currently have 245K miles with AAdvantage and am trying to get us from MCO to BCN to board a cruise sailing out of BCN. We're looking to leave MCO on 4/16/20 (or 4/15/20) and leave BCN for the return leg on 4/26/20. My hope is to be able to book business class because I have the miles for it and it's our honeymoon.

I know that airfare won't be released for another few weeks so I've been looking at late March flights to get some rough ideas in mind but am struggling to find anything that makes sense for us. I was looking using (the old) AAdvantage search tool but the only thing that shows as available for late March is on BA, which I'd like to avoid because of the insane fuel charges. Does anyone have suggestions on anything else I could try?

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 4, 19, 3:40 pm
  #2  
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I checked 3/10 - 3/26 since, as you say, the schedule for April isn't loaded yet. I see options like MCO-MIA-BCN on AA, with the long haul route being AA112 MIA-BCN.

Looks like 52,500 for Coach, 115,000 for Prem Econ and 167000 for Business. (all points are for roundtrip).

You could begin trying to book a one way when April 16 opens up to see if maybe you get 2 business over for the night routing, and 2 premium economies for the return. You may also be able to buy up the extra points to get to 2 roundtrip business class tickets since it will be 334,000.
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Old May 4, 19, 3:45 pm
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@PHL - thanks for the quick reply

I was looking when I booked the cruise a couple months ago and was seeing a ton of business class availability for Iberia for what was ~330 days after I booked the cruise (which was 115K roundtrip) but I haven't seen Iberia business class in the last month as I started looking again. Have they gotten tighter with how many seats they are opening?
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Old May 4, 19, 4:12 pm
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Easter is April 12th in 2020 so I would not count on AA opening up alot of availability that week...
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Old May 4, 19, 5:55 pm
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New credit card? I'm sure someone on here will be on a flight W/ a special offer soon!

In all seriousness it's not a bad way to bridge the 60 or 70k for a anytime award.
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Old May 4, 19, 7:30 pm
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All things being equal you have a better shot scoring saver J on IB to Madrid but as another poster stated it’s Easter so you’re probably looking at anytime available awards for AA business.
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Old May 5, 19, 6:13 am
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We had the same struggles with a cruise that ended in Barcelona, returning to ORD.
If your schedule allows a couple extra days in Madrid you might find more Iberia availability.
The BA fees are prohibitive plus you route through LHR which I personally detest.
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Old May 5, 19, 6:47 am
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BA open 2 Business class tickets on every flight at a "saver" level. The "Fuel surcharges" are high, but net net it is often a reasonable choice.
Another way is go AA to LHR and buy a cheap LHR to BCN ticket. That will be cheaper than BA surcharges
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Old May 5, 19, 8:17 am
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Awards are One Way Tickets & Check Other Than MCO

Just a reminder that awards are one way tickets, which means you can book outbound and return flights whenever a suitable option becomes available. By this I mean, you could book your return ticket weeks, months before your outbound ticket.

I use the BA award finder, just requires setting up a free BAEC membership at their website.

Also, you might look at other than MCO as the departure or return port. Sometimes the only thing prohibiting finding a MileSAAver award is that the short segment isn't available (in this example MCO), but perhaps is available from TPA (to MIA, DFW etc..). Buy a separate ticket to where the award is available.
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Old May 5, 19, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by levenhopper View Post
Hi there,

I'm a long time lurker who doesn't post often but is hoping for help. I'm struggling on finding a routing that makes sense for my fiancee and I on our honeymoon. I currently have 245K miles with AAdvantage and am trying to get us from MCO to BCN to board a cruise sailing out of BCN. We're looking to leave MCO on 4/16/20 (or 4/15/20) and leave BCN for the return leg on 4/26/20. My hope is to be able to book business class because I have the miles for it and it's our honeymoon.

I know that airfare won't be released for another few weeks so I've been looking at late March flights to get some rough ideas in mind but am struggling to find anything that makes sense for us. I was looking using (the old) AAdvantage search tool but the only thing that shows as available for late March is on BA, which I'd like to avoid because of the insane fuel charges. Does anyone have suggestions on anything else I could try?

Thanks in advance!
Just one suggestion, in addition to the helpful comments posted above: BA surcharges on transatlantic award travel are prohibitively high, but their surcharges on travel from the UK to the Continent are not as burdensome. If you can find saver award seats from the USA to LHR on AA itself with a connecting flight LHR-BCN on IB or BA, the surcharge will be more reasonable. (IB's surcharge will be lower than BA's.)
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Old May 5, 19, 11:09 am
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Id offer a different perspective on availability during holidays such as Easter for business class awards. My experience has been that there are very few paid business travelers during these periods and it can be prime time for getting multiple saver level awards. I have gotten five awards for my family during Easter Christmas and peak summer vacation time in August over the last few years.
Idi check all the gateways and grab the best thing you can find. I agree that Iberia can be a decent bet if you grab the seats before they are gone and consider purchasing a domestic connection if need be to get to their gate way.
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Old May 6, 19, 8:10 am
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Focus your search on Miami to Barcelona. You might not be seeing many options because AA availability MCO-MIA is awful. So search the most significant segment. If you have to buy a cash ticket to get to the international gateway, so be it.
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Old May 6, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by dls25 View Post
Easter is April 12th in 2020 so I would not count on AA opening up alot of availability that week...
But, the 16th is the Thursday after, which wouldn't seem like a huge travel day, and April 26 is 2 weeks later, and the vast majority of students will be back in school well before April 26.
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Old May 6, 19, 11:59 am
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The only way we were able to get J seats from MIA to Barcelona was MIA-MAD on IB and then take the high-speed train from there to Barcelona (very nice, but not cheap). We then got Y IB exit row seats back from BCN since we weren't going to sleep anyway on the return flight to MIA. As was suggested, spending a couple of days pre-cruise in Madrid is nice if you have the time. If not, you could do what we did, and take a taxi or bus directly from MAD to the train station. Doing this could also let you use the miles you already have.
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Old May 6, 19, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by taxatty56 View Post
then take the high-speed train from there to Barcelona (very nice, but not cheap). .
In general if you buy far enough ahead you can get good deals on the train. I forget how far ahead you can buy, maybe 3 months, but even a bit closer in you can get decent prices if you are flexible on times.
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