Book now, hope to upgrade with Avios?

Old Feb 6, 12, 5:22 am
  #1  
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Book now, hope to upgrade with Avios?

Every other Christmas we travel to SAN and I was very pleased when direct flights resumed last year. For the last few years I have successfully booked and upgraded to CW with miles to any of LAX, SFO or PHX. At the time of writing, only AA flights to LAX have reward availability (in business), none at all to or from the others - let alone SAN!
Question is: shall I book WT+ to SAN for money now and hope (i.e. roll the dice) that upgrades with Avios become available, or grab the AA flights to LAX now?!

All opinions welcome...
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Old Feb 6, 12, 5:23 am
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Business Class is always better than WT+.

It's up to you - but if the availability opens up on BA you could cancel your AA flights for a small fee and rebook with BA...that's what I'd do in your shoes.

BAH
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Old Feb 6, 12, 6:04 am
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You could book the AA flights for now and then check back in periodically to see if MFU possibilities open up. They are very unpredictable, in my experience: sometimes flights open up for MFU in the few days before, and sometimes not.
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Old Feb 6, 12, 8:15 am
  #4  
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Thanks both. I am inclined to book the AA flights as they are there, so to speak, and check perodically on SAN availability...
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Old Feb 6, 12, 8:47 am
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The chances of seats opening up before now and then are pretty good I would say. If you're happy with the price for a WT+ ticket then book it and check every day for MFU opportunities.
If the worst comes to the worst flying in WT+ isn't the end of the world especially on the day flight from LHR.
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Old Feb 6, 12, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by nwmgc View Post
Every other Christmas we travel to SAN and I was very pleased when direct flights resumed last year. For the last few years I have successfully booked and upgraded to CW with miles to any of LAX, SFO or PHX. At the time of writing, only AA flights to LAX have reward availability (in business), none at all to or from the others - let alone SAN!
Question is: shall I book WT+ to SAN for money now and hope (i.e. roll the dice) that upgrades with Avios become available, or grab the AA flights to LAX now?!

All opinions welcome...
I've been looking at the west coast and LAX specifically over the last six months for a couple of trips and for some reason the seats in this area are not being released at 355 days - there actually appears to be a 1 - 2 month 'lag' on availability.

I booked a F redemption for Aug/Sep and at the time I couldn't believe how few seats were available in F or CW. A month or two after 355 and availability was back to 'normal'.

I'm now looking for a Jan 2013 F or CW redemption and once again availability is virtually zero (or it was yesterday). Based on recent patterns I'm hoping availability should start to show up towards the end of this month.....
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Old Feb 9, 12, 8:57 am
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Thanks once more. Needless to say, my dithering and general indecision means that the AA Business seats have now disappeared anyway. I'm back to the 'no flights available on your selected dates', so very familiar to me!
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Old Feb 27, 12, 5:20 am
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Well, finally got the AA Business flights after BA advised only a slim chance to get on the SAN route. Just been reading the Skytrax reports on AA. The trip may be very good or very bad....
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Old Feb 27, 12, 5:36 am
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I struggle to find availability sometimes, but I recently subscribed to KVS on the advice of others on FT and have never looked back.

There was availability around when I wanted it and to the right places, but the online BA system being such a chore to use made it very much a hit and miss affair or at best a lengthy process.

With KVS, stepping through each day +/- is an absolute doddle and being able to reload previously saved itins to check for updated award space makes it really quick and easy.

I was able to find 4 x F awards for MAN-LHR-JFK-LHR-MAN for December in about 10 minutes. Then go to BA and using the exact criteria book the flights I wanted.
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Old Feb 27, 12, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by usually sat at the back View Post
I struggle to find availability sometimes, but I recently subscribed to KVS on the advice of others on FT and have never looked back.

There was availability around when I wanted it and to the right places, but the online BA system being such a chore to use made it very much a hit and miss affair or at best a lengthy process.

With KVS, stepping through each day +/- is an absolute doddle and being able to reload previously saved itins to check for updated award space makes it really quick and easy.

I was able to find 4 x F awards for MAN-LHR-JFK-LHR-MAN for December in about 10 minutes. Then go to BA and using the exact criteria book the flights I wanted.
I knew FT was useful. If only I could discover things in the right order!
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Old Feb 28, 12, 6:46 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by usually sat at the back View Post
I struggle to find availability sometimes, but I recently subscribed to KVS on the advice of others on FT and have never looked back.

There was availability around when I wanted it and to the right places, but the online BA system being such a chore to use made it very much a hit and miss affair or at best a lengthy process.

With KVS, stepping through each day +/- is an absolute doddle and being able to reload previously saved itins to check for updated award space makes it really quick and easy.

I was able to find 4 x F awards for MAN-LHR-JFK-LHR-MAN for December in about 10 minutes. Then go to BA and using the exact criteria book the flights I wanted.
Congratulations on getting your BA F Award! ^
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Old Feb 28, 12, 7:40 pm
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Hi Usually - I subscribed to KVS recently but have been struggling to learn how to construct searches for BA award availability (yours truly is not the sharpest knife in the drawer). Can I ask where you found the explanation of how to do this?
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Old Feb 28, 12, 7:48 pm
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Just purchased KVS and although the website says the platinum version will perform one world award lookups, when you try on the software it says you need diamond!?

What's going on?
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Old Feb 28, 12, 10:16 pm
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I have KVS Platinum and I can do the award availability searches.
Tab: Awards/Upgrades
Method: Amadeus: Awards/OneWorld
Select appropriate To, From, Date etc
Hit go!
For example:

[KVS Availability Tool 6.9.4/Platinum - Amadeus: Awards/OneWorld/AU-QFA-SP1]
Code:
LAS  Las Vegas McCarran Intl NV US [KLAS]
LHR  London Heathrow UK [EGLL]
TUE  01 May 2012 | 1 Seat

Carrier    Flight  From  Depart    To    Arrive         St  Availability
---------  ------  ----  --------  ----  --------  ---  --  ------------
AA         348     LAS   12:15     ORD   18:00          0   FS+  YS-
 -> AA     46      ORD   19:15     LHR   09:05 +1       0
AA         1707    LAS   17:05     LAX   18:10          0   FS+  YS-
 -> AA     136     LAX   19:50     LHR   14:15 +1       0
AA         348     LAS   12:15     ORD   18:00          0   FS+  YS-
 -> BA     296     ORD   20:35     LHR   10:00 +1       0
AA         1738    LAS   00:50     ORD   06:10          0   FS+  YS+
 -> AA     90      ORD   09:00     LHR   22:45          0
AA         1950    LAS   10:55     JFK   19:05          0   FS+  YS-
 -> AA     104     JFK   20:50     LHR   09:00 +1       0
AA         1707    LAS   17:05     LAX   18:10          0   FS+  YS-
 -> BA     268     LAX   21:20     LHR   15:25 +1       0
AA         1950    LAS   10:55     JFK   19:05          0   FS+  YS-
 -> BA     172     JFK   21:30     LHR   09:20 +1       0
AA         1308    LAS   11:35     LAX   12:50          0   FS+  YS-
 -> BA     278     LAX   15:40     LHR   10:00 +1       0
AA         1950    LAS   10:55     JFK   19:05          0   FS+  YS-
 -> BA     114     JFK   21:50     LHR   09:35 +1       0
AA         1554    LAS   09:40     DFW   14:20          0   FS+  YS-
 -> BA     192     DFW   17:50     LHR   08:45 +1       0
AA         348     LAS   12:15     ORD   18:00          0   FS+  YS-
 -> AA     98      ORD   21:40     LHR   11:25 +1       0
Hope this helps!

rb211.
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Old Feb 29, 12, 2:56 pm
  #15  
KVS
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Originally Posted by mdj1 View Post
Just purchased KVS and although the website says the platinum version will perform one world award lookups, when you try on the software it says you need diamond!?
Originally Posted by mumblemumble View Post
Hi Usually - I subscribed to KVS recently but have been struggling to learn how to construct searches for BA award availability (yours truly is not the sharpest knife in the drawer). Can I ask where you found the explanation of how to do this?
We have posted the answers in the http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...l#post18105733 Thread.
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