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Best Use of BA Miles from SAN/LAX to Bali in Business?

Best Use of BA Miles from SAN/LAX to Bali in Business?

Old Jun 20, 11, 2:41 am
  #1  
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Question Best Use of BA Miles from SAN/LAX to Bali in Business?

This may belong in the "One World" forum; if so, moderator please feel free to move. Story is: wife and I have 250K BA miles collectively. We've covered most of Asia but have not visited Bali, the last favorite on our Asia checklist. Could some kind soul out there in Flyertalk land give us some salient advice on using those BA miles to get to Denpasar from either SAN or LAX in the most expeditious way. We're hoping we have enough miles to do this in Business (or at least one-way in Business) on one of the OneWorld partner airlines. I'm guessing Cathay Pacific would be our best bet, but I'm also speculating that award seats are few and far between. JAL might also work. And perhaps with Malaysian joining the club, that might get us there with a stopover in KL. We're both One World Emerald members so I believe we can use any of the clubs along the way whether we're in coach or business. We're both retired now so our time is exceptionally flexible. We'd also like to use our Marriott points to stay at the new Bali Courtyard and am wondering if anyone had had experience with this property. We've been very pleased with Courtyards in Asia, particularly in China. Thanks to anyone who can give us a hand.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 5:45 am
  #2  
 
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I think CX would be your best bet from LAX. Two C tickets would cost 200,000 BA miles + taxes and fees. I hoping to back this from ORD for next June. Son lives in BKK but I have always wanted to go to Bali.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 6:15 am
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BA awards get much more expensive (in miles) if you try and use more one partner. So as JAL don't fly to Bali you can't really use then trans-pacific unless you go to/from Jakarta and buy a connection.

Malaysian should become an option, but you won't be able to make a booking until they join next year. Looks like they fly LAX-Taipei adding a further possible stopover.

But overall CX is likely to be your best bet. I believe it can be done availability-wise. If you book two separate oneways, you could always cancel one at little cost if Malaysian becomes an option.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 9:40 am
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Based on the little bit of preliminary research I've done, I think you're right in that CX will get me to Jakarta but not to Bali. Don't quite get it since it appears CX does fly to Bali but they won't let one use an award ticket to do it. I'm guessing I can buy two Air Asia tickets from Jakarta to Bali pretty cheaply though. Do we need to join Cathay's FF program called "Air Asia" in order to convert the mileage? And thanks for the reminder about Malaysian; I;ll keep an eye out as to what's going on there. You mentioned price in miles increasing if one uses more than a single OneWorld partner. It would be more convenient to depart from SAN, but then I'd be using AA and CX so will probably stick with CX only from LAX. Thanks very much for your input.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 2:47 pm
  #5  
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CX does seem to be your best option. I've used AA miles to fly CX from SFO to Denpasar, Bali on via HKG. I would think that would be possible using BA miles as well. Could it be that you simply reached a poor CSR who gave you the wrong info?

By the way, if you have enough AA miles to burn (I believe something like 135K RT), CX F is a really special experience if you have only enough BA miles for one ticket and would be prepared to obtain the other using AA miles. CX J is nice, but (unless they're introducing the new seat arrangements on the LAX-HKG run) you'd be in the current herrringbone arrangement that is fine for many solo travelers but means you don't really share the experience with your travel companion. Ironically, sometimes F award availability is also better than J.

Regardless, if you cant' find availability right now, keep checking. It tends to come and go on CX.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 3:37 pm
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Don't cause yourself undue stress by trying to conconct a multiple-carrier One World routing. LAX-HKG-DPS is very doable using Executive Club redemption on CX. Depending on the time of year, seat availability in first and business is not "few and far between," and there can be great availability for award redemption in both classes. It seems you've got the time to accumulate additional miles (even if you have to buy some), so you may want to consider reaching 300K in order to redeem the miles for both of you to travel in first LAX-HKG (and business HKG-DPS). It's an awesome experience.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 3:40 pm
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Based on personal experience, your easiest/cheapest way to Bali on BA miles is with CX. As stated the burn rate in J is 100,000 miles each (plus taxes etc) but for 300,000 you could both go First! You can go directly to Bali from the USA with BA Miles- maybe there was no availability HKG-DPS on the days you were looking at.

With BA do not try and mix airlines as this cranks the burn rate right up. CX will take you via HKG and the first flight to DPS leaves HKG around 10.20 am. I have used them from JFK where they will shortly have 5 dailys to HKG; the 889 leaving JFK via YVR arrives in HKG around 6.30 am +2, so a short layover to freshen up gets you into DPS mid-afternoon.

Sorry, don't know the arrival times into HKG from SFO or LAX but you could shoot for the YVR flight too (admittedly leaves YVR at a horrible hour). ORD may also offer an option.

With CX you can have a free stop-over, so we break the journey in HKG for a couple of days to get the body clock localised. No extra miles required. Unless something has recently changed, CX (712) ran a SIN-BKK-HKG route - so coming back start in SIN, stop in BKK, and continue back to YVR/SFO/LAX via HKG. Additional cost for the one way local positioning flight to SIN.

Availability - no idea other than to say that we tend to book well in advance. I would imagine avoid the main (school) holiday times and Chinese New Year but someone else may be able to give you an insight on peak periods when availability is difficult. We'll be in DPS in late August (dry season) although I hear it will be quieter in September when the Australians go back to school/work. The BAEC booking engine should show you availability (book with partner airlines) although if you want to break the journey you'll have to pick up the phone.

Widely accepted as one of the best uses of BA Miles, and the taxes and charges are not too bad (compared with if you were doing this from Europe).

Last edited by Betteronacamel; Jun 20, 11 at 4:40 pm
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Old Jun 20, 11, 7:54 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by maltasr View Post
Based on the little bit of preliminary research I've done, I think you're right in that CX will get me to Jakarta but not to Bali. Don't quite get it since it appears CX does fly to Bali but they won't let one use an award ticket to do it.
I fear that you may be confusing JL with CX. CX most definitely permits redemptions through to Bali, with free stopovers in HKG in either/both direction, if you wish. Be aware, however, that the daily flight from HKG to DPS is only sold as a two-class service (Business and Economy), and therefore the BAEC agent needs to be looking for a different class code for the HKG - DPS segment if you are flying in First trans-Pacific.

Keep in mind that there are no penalties for booking BAEC awards as one-ways, and therefore Betteronacamel's suggestion regarding the open jaw trip (i.e. US - Bali; SIN - US) is one of many such possibilities that you might want to explore. Also keep in mind that free enroute stopovers on BAEC partner airline awards can only be booked over the phone....but the offset to that is that telephone agents sometimes see considerably more availability than you will find by yourself on ba.com.

Last edited by jbalmuth; Jun 20, 11 at 8:00 pm
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Old Jun 20, 11, 8:48 pm
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SFO-HKG-DPS on CX in F or J is the best value out there. Do not add a feeder flight on AA since this will increase the miles you need disproportionately. You don't need to contact an agent for the HKG-DPS flight. It will automatically book in J. Try to book it on a day that they use a 747 though since they sometimes sell the F cabin for J.

Book as far ahead as you can (350 days) since multiple seats are few and far between. Enjoy DPS it is my favourite destination. Try to go between June and October for the best weather.

BA agents do not see more availability than you do on ba.com by the way. That is an urban myth. They can sometimes search partner bookings more efficiently.
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Old Jun 20, 11, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by henkybaby View Post
BA agents do not see more availability than you do on ba.com by the way. That is an urban myth. They can sometimes search partner bookings more efficiently.
ime ba.com filters out many/most codeshares of partner airlines, and does a horrible job if your goal is to travel through the Americas on LAN (on combinations of Lan Chile, Lan Peru, Lan Argentina, Lan Ecuador etc.. It took literally years for the website to add IPC (Easter Island) to the list of airports that it recognized as valid, and GPS (Galapagos Islands) sometimes generates an IT error even today. Many AA TATL flights are also only available upon calling. It is true that you can successfully query the website for "through" itineraries from DPS to various U.S. destinations, but ime, it will not offer you an itinerary where you need to overnight in HKG if an earlier connection is available. YMMV.
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