BackTracking and TATL Routes

Old Dec 10, 08, 6:06 am
  #1  
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BackTracking and TATL Routes

Morning All

After lurking for many months i'm in need of some advice so have taken the leap to register and venture onto the small screen.

With the demise of TATL from MAN, this causes me a few issues in the holiday department. I used to go MAN-ORD-MCO which was just about bareable with kids in tow (and BMI were willing to release 3 seats in PE or Business on a regular basis). I've used US Airways once. Never Again. Ever!

With this no longer an option and not wanting to have to change planes twice if at all possible (i.e. MAN-LHR-IAD-MCO) I had a couple of questions:

1. Any ideas when Continental are joining *A? I'm hoping this should open things up a little. It originally suggested summer 09?
2. My other option was MAN-FRA-MCO with LH. But isn't this BackTracking?
(I was going to pursue this with the random answer generator known as the ICC but thought i'd try and clarify first.)
3. Has anyone had any success with Virgin award flights? I've joined Flying Club to check availability and their seems little for their own members, never mind to pass on to hangers on in *A?

So many questions....

Thanks in anticipation.

The Kipper

Last edited by TheKipper; Dec 10, 08 at 6:27 am
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Old Dec 10, 08, 6:19 am
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1. Consensus amongst contributors to FT's CO site appears to be November 2009.

2. I've managed several TATL redemptions going MAN-FRA-various US destinations and never had any problem (although it wouldn't surprise me if the occasional ICC-er claimed otherwise).

3. In my experience, the ICC is often keen to push redemptions on Virgin, but it's not a good use of miles, in comparison with cash+miles on *A.

Best of luck.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by TheKipper View Post
1. Any ideas when Continental are joining *A? I'm hoping this should open things up a little. It originally suggested this summer?
No idea, maybe sometime next year, but probably not in time for you to bag some seats for your hols
Originally Posted by TheKipper View Post
2. My other option was MAN-FRA-MCO with LH. But isn't this BackTracking?
It's allowed, many of us fly from the regions via FRA & MUC to get to the US. If the ICC say no, hang up, and redial until you get an agent that knows that it's allowed or ask for a supervisor.

Originally Posted by TheKipper View Post
3. Has anyone had any success with Virgin award flights? I've joined Flying Club to check availability and their seems little for their own members, never mind to pass on to hangers on in *A?
They are generally regarded as poor value for miles, and one way redemptions are not allowed.

FRA-MCO is usually a good route for award availability.

Welcome to FT by the way
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Old Dec 10, 08, 6:24 am
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Quick and to the point.

Thanks for the advice.

Just to push it a little further. I regularly see 2 First Class seats in LH on the FRA-MCO route. Whats the strategy for seat release for a third seat if it's pretty empty?

Do they normally appear pretty quick if they are going to release or are they last minute?
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Old Dec 10, 08, 6:30 am
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Originally Posted by TheKipper View Post
Quick and to the point.
Do they normally appear pretty quick if they are going to release or are they last minute?
It depends. LH will sometimes release 2, and then release another 2 later on, closer to departure. LH's yield management is very good, but there is one poster on here who has had 3 seats on that route, paging Oxon Flyer

You could bag the available F seats and then book the rest of your party into business and upgrade them as more F seats open up.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily View Post
paging Oxon Flyer
you rang ?

Morning TheKipper and welcome to Flyertalk and the bmi board.

Peoples Republic of Yorkshire


Indeed I got 3 seats MCO-FRA (out of the total of only 8 F seats in the 330), but got these all at once as all 3 were available at the time of booking.

Last edited by Oxon Flyer; Dec 10, 08 at 6:37 am
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Old Dec 10, 08, 6:49 am
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Well that confirms their is hope and I just need to search the ANA tool even harder.

I shall live the dream while it lasts and pursue three seats in F. If Regional goes outside *A this will kill my earning potential so this could be the final blowout of points for me.

Many Thanks for your advice folks and I hope we have a future together beyond 12th Jan!
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Old Dec 10, 08, 7:39 am
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Not sure when your holidays are planned for... remember that FRA-MCO is currently operating a 2 class (No F class) A340-600 (the nodding dog). So don't waste your time searching for F seats in the immediate future.

I'm not sure when the 3 class 330s return to the route, but it will be some time in the spring, IIRC. A quick search in the LH forum will comfirm.

Oh, and welcome to FT, TheKipper.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 7:52 am
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The 330 returns on March 29th according to Amadeus.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily View Post
It depends. LH will sometimes release 2, and then release another 2 later on, closer to departure. LH's yield management is very good, but there is one poster on here who has had 3 seats on that route, paging Oxon Flyer
*cough**cough* I bagged 4 seats in F on this route in July. There was certainly plenty of availability in F for summer 2008. I've been keeping regular tabs on ANA for similar availability next summer but its either been a touch more restricted or I've missed the (air)bus.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 10:42 am
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gate4lounge: - Thats what i'm finding. Proving significantly more tricky for 09 than it was in 08. I'm not even fixed to a specific month never mind date!

I'm after three seats in either C or F but can't find anything in C on the FRA-MCO. Two seats frequently show in F but not the magic three.

At this moment its either:

C seats m+c with LH - MAN-FRA-JFK-MCO

or

F Seats m+c with UA - LBA-LHR-IAD-MCO

An interesting aside that US show no availability any of the time in C. Although as I said previously i'm not stooping that low again.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by TheKipper View Post
Proving significantly more tricky for 09 than it was in 08.
I agree, currently looking at MCO flights for Apr 09 and F availability is less than I saw for this year. C availability has always been rather sparse on this route.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 11:32 am
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I ran out of patience/hope waiting for 4 seats in F to open FRA-MCO or reverse, so I've booked EDI-FRA-IAD-MCO TPA-ORD-FRA-EDI. The TATL sectors are in F, so we have access to FCT (or FCL) both ways. Obviously not looking forward to the internal US flights in steerage.

We had tried to get awards on UA in F via IAD on the outward sector but UA's married segment rule would not allow us to connect to IAD-MCO in Y (ANA showed availability).....go figure This would have allowed us a later start on so we felt it worthwhile to try despite LH's superiority.
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Old Dec 10, 08, 11:43 am
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Married Segment???

Is their a major flaw in my plan?

Don't US connect down to MCO in F as well as UA in Y? I wouldn't do US TATL but domestic in F they are passable as long as you don't mind not being on time or sat next to each other!
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Old Dec 10, 08, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by TheKipper View Post
Married Segment???

Is their a major flaw in my plan?

Don't US connect down to MCO in F as well as UA in Y? I wouldn't do US TATL but domestic in F they are passable as long as you don't mind not being on time or sat next to each other!
Re married segments, something of an explanation here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=890111

There may or may not be a flaw in your UA plans.....you won't know until you phone ICC for availability. There may be less of a problem if you can travel F all the way. I suspect that the LHR-IAD F to IAD-MCO Y connection might have been the problem in my case. I also think that the LH routing would erradicate your problem....it did in my case, but would mention the caveat that you might have to switch airport at NY. You might want to check availability via ORD or IAD (CLT and BOS weren't showing great availability when I looked) as alternatives. Also consider TPA instead of MCO, as I have had to do on my return trip.

US do fly from Washington to MCO, but they fly from DCA, not IAD. I didn't fancy a change of airport on top of our other sectors, with 2 kids in tow.

Finally, please forgive my earlier ignorance.....welcome to FT TheKipper
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