LAX-JNB midNov2013 UuA?

Old Sep 19, 13, 7:13 pm
  #1  
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Question LAX-JNB midNov2013 UuA?

Hi!

So at the advice of different blogs I signed up for a Chase BA card and have accrued 140k avios. As I setup my vacation plans, I would really love to utilize them.

Need to be in JNB 11/9 6pm for tour so looking at:
Departing 11/7 and returning 11/17 or 18.
Dates flexible earlier departure or later return.

Optimally, I would love to use the avios for upgrades but I appear to be hitting roadblocks during the booking process.
1. Book w/ money UuA on website - none available
2. T class deal for LAX-LHR but not LHR-JNB. Any chance of upgrading those legs if I book the WT+? $1700RT Pointless?
3. Should I call BA and see if they can help me book it? or is this a hopeless cause?
4. Are there other equally efficient uses for my avios?

Thanks so much in advance for any help! I don't fly often (no metal) but still love the forums for all the information about saving money, and utilizing miles.
-a
Ayers is offline  
Old Sep 20, 13, 12:50 am
  #2  
 
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If there is no reward space then unfortunately that means that calling BA would not help. You can book WTP and hope for space opening up last minute (this would require you to monitor very regularly, though - daily at the very least). It may well happen that you are able to upgrade for only part of the route, though.

How much is the WT ticket? WTP does provide some extra comfort and nicer food (reduced options from CW) which you would get on those legs where you're unable to UuA.

Also more tier points and some more avios.
TravellingSalesman is offline  
Old Sep 20, 13, 2:02 am
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Try travelling on a day when the BA33/34 rotation runs to JNB, as that adds additional capacity. Recently there has been late availability (T-48 for WTP-CW using Avios) on the BA57 from LHR-JNB and BA54 for the return.

The Friday returns from JNB are always full
escape2sun is offline  
Old Sep 20, 13, 1:13 pm
  #4  
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Thanks for the suggestions!

AF Coach - $900RT
BA WT - $1080
BA WT+ - $1880
x2ppl

Doesn't seem quite worth it for a slim chance at upgrade, does it?
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Old Sep 20, 13, 1:30 pm
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I'd say the upgrade chances are more than slim, but certainly there's a nontrivial chance you'll travel in WTP.

Personally I wouldn't pay $800 more for the return in WTP, but then others may disagree. For me it would depend a bit on what I'm planning to do at the other end. Since you seem to be off on vacations it wouldn't matter so much if you can't sleep well on the plane. On the other hand, you are looking at two 10h+ flights...

I would also take a good look at connection times for BA vs AF: usually you'll arrive in Europe before noon and have a long layover before another overnight to JNB. So you may want to get out into town for a few hours: this is usually easier and more quickly done at CDG than at LHR.
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Old Sep 21, 13, 5:51 pm
  #6  
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Hah, I didnt think about stopovers. Well since my vacation is flexible I think I'm going to go with a few days in Paris.

Instead of going with AF (convenience), I'm going to use BA with the 10% chase to get $1100 LAX-JNB; JNB-CDG; CDG-LAX (all through LHR).

It would have been nice to use the $900 AF ticket but the discount fare doesn't allow for the stopover.

Back to the original post: $1800 just seems like way too much for WTP and the chances at upgrading each leg. And I called BA and it appears I can't just pick and choose a few legs to upgrade

Thanks again for the advice! Love this forum!
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Old Sep 22, 13, 2:52 am
  #7  
nux
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Originally Posted by Ayers View Post
And I called BA and it appears I can't just pick and choose a few legs to upgrade
Yes you can do this.
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Old Sep 22, 13, 11:38 am
  #8  
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Hmm, maybe I should have said cost prohibitive? The agent on the phone seemed to indicate that the fares would all go up to "upgradeable" and not discount levels. Pricing out the whole trip in WTP was $1800 (no stopover) and $3000 for WTP on the LAX-LHR legs with Paris stopover

Is there another way to do without losing the fare codes of the other trips?
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Old Sep 22, 13, 2:02 pm
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An $800 premium for 4x long-haul legs in WT+ is a pretty fair deal. Personal preferences and all that but WT+ >> WT when it comes to overnighters for 2 people.
Other (secondary) factors might push OP towards WT+:
1. The extra tier points will secure Bronze level (OW Ruby), and the CDG legs will get higher TPs and get you closer to Silver (say 200 tps away). Silver would be very useful when discharging the 150k avios pile, for lounge access and seat selection. So if planning more trips on BA, this puts more value into the $800 extra.
2. WT+ offers side-by-side seating for 2.

The value for the upgrade chance to CW is a toughie. As OP really needs 2 upgrade seats. The upgrade will cost $100 or so + 12,500 avios, per person per sector. Certainly a bonus if available, if only to test out CW.
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Old Nov 26, 13, 11:07 am
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Just an update about trying to UuA - went online to manage my booking several times a day before the flight and nothing opened up. They had some CW seats when we were flying JNB-LHR but full price upgrade.

As a plus, the WT+ seats were better than expected on the long haul, although middle in the A380 wasn't ideal. Not many bathrooms upstairs huh?
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