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Booking reward flight using Avios on mixture of AA / Cathay flights

Booking reward flight using Avios on mixture of AA / Cathay flights

Old Jan 24, 2018, 7:16 am
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by the_outcast
Good point. My approximate dates are Dec 19 - Jan 12, with a little bit of flexibility if necessary. Yes, I suppose I could wait a few days for the Dec 19 availability to open up and hopefully the CX availability is still there, then call them to add the BDA-JFK a month or so later. That seems like the best approach, without having to wait too long. Thanks.
January 12th flights on AA won't be available to be booked (either paid ticket or award if offered) until ~Feb 16th, as AA only allows bookings 330 days ahead. December 19th or 20th should be bookable today.
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Old Jan 24, 2018, 7:13 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by HPN-HRL
January 12th flights on AA won't be available to be booked (either paid ticket or award if offered) until ~Feb 16th, as AA only allows bookings 330 days ahead. December 19th or 20th should be bookable today.
Thanks. Checked on AA and they are showing 'Economy Anytime' availability up to the 21st, but only have 'Economy MilesSAAver' up to the 13th. I understand the latter is the only one that BA customers can book using Avios, so I will look again tomorrow and see if the availability is opened up for the 14th... and then so on until the 19th / 20th.

I assume AA do this to try and get their customers who are desperate to book a flight to redeem at the higher AAmiles charge before opening up it up a week or so later to a lower mileage cost and to BA customers.
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Old Jan 24, 2018, 7:23 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by the_outcast
Thanks. Checked on AA and they are showing 'Economy Anytime' availability up to the 21st, but only have 'Economy MilesSAAver' up to the 13th. I understand the latter is the only one that BA customers can book using Avios, so I will look again tomorrow and see if the availability is opened up for the 14th... and then so on until the 19th / 20th.

I assume AA do this to try and get their customers who are desperate to book a flight to redeem at the higher AAmiles charge before opening up it up a week or so later to a lower mileage cost and to BA customers.
There's very little reason for an AAdvantage member to book an AAnytime award eleven months out, since AAnytime awards offer last-seat availability. (Although there is more than one mileage level for AAnytime awards, so it is possible that the cost of an AAnytime award on a particular itinerary could go up over time.)

It's not unusual for SAAver award seats to get loaded several days after AAnytime seats, on a particular date of travel.
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Old Jan 24, 2018, 8:03 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
There's very little reason for an AAdvantage member to book an AAnytime award eleven months out, since AAnytime awards offer last-seat availability. (Although there is more than one mileage level for AAnytime awards, so it is possible that the cost of an AAnytime award on a particular itinerary could go up over time.)

It's not unusual for SAAver award seats to get loaded several days after AAnytime seats, on a particular date of travel.
Thanks again for your input. Have seen more CX availability disappear whilst checking today so think I will just have to forego the BDA-JFK piece before it all disappears. It would be nice to get it all on one itinerary and with the benefit of the multi-carrier award, but not at the expense of missing out on the JFK-HKG piece.
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Old Jan 25, 2018, 1:23 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by the_outcast
Thanks again for your input. Have seen more CX availability disappear whilst checking today so think I will just have to forego the BDA-JFK piece before it all disappears. It would be nice to get it all on one itinerary and with the benefit of the multi-carrier award, but not at the expense of missing out on the JFK-HKG piece.
Do you have any plans to travel to NYC before December? Long stopovers are permitted on the multi-partner redemption.
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Old Jan 28, 2018, 7:22 pm
  #21  
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A nice idea, thanks. As you might have guessed, my recent silence is because the Avios availability is gone for the JFK - HKG routes. Travelling with others as well, and the revenue seats in premium economy, where I was going to put them are quite expensive, so not too bothered to miss out. Asiana's business class from NYC - MNL is sub $4k at the moment, so think I will go with that route, with my travelling companions in economy. Thanks a lot for all your help.
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Old Feb 1, 2018, 12:43 pm
  #22  
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Just to update on this.

Kept searching over the past few days and managed to find some more flexibility with our travel plans and was finally able to book something today. Was frustrated by the efforts to do so - all-in-all, it took 3 phone calls over the past 3 days, totalling about 2 hours before I was able to secure the booking.

I kept finding award availability for JFK-MNL, and also for the individual sectors, i.e. JFK-HKG and HKG-MNL. But when I would call up, I was told they were unavailable - despite confirming the availability on BA and Qantas. Thankfully, the lady I spoke to today was very helpful, despite originally encountering the same problem. Turns out the reward availability wouldn't show up on her system after originally selecting the BDA - JFK piece (which is on AA). But she was able to find the availability for CX on its own and then tag the AA flight on at the start, and consolidate it all into one booking. It's open-jaw, because the AA flight on the return isn't available yet, but it will be available soon and I will book it separately. Not at all concerned about that as there is more than sufficient connection time at JFK. Didn't want to wait and risk the availability disappearing again.

So to summarise, that's BDA - JFK - HKG - MNL - HKG - JFK, all in business with the exception of the BDA-JFK piece which is in economy. I am travelling with a lap infant and, even though he will have a seat in economy, I figured he might want to spend some time with me, and I believe Cathay are strict on passengers remaining in their ticketed cabins. Total cost therefore was 220k avios, including the 10% uplift for the infant, and about $670 in taxes and charges.

Thanks to all who helped, especially guv1976 - as well as a getting a business class seat on Cathay for two >15 hour individual sectors (after a horrendous experience in economy a few years back on that flight - the result of a passenger next to me, and not the staff), you have also saved me over 50k avios. Many, many thanks, it's much appreciated.
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Old Feb 2, 2018, 12:57 pm
  #23  
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Congrats! Glad to hear that this worked out for you.

Did you happen to ask the agent whether you will be permitted to amend the booking -- for a fee -- if and when JFK-BDA MileSAAver seats should become available?
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Old Feb 5, 2018, 6:44 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Congrats! Glad to hear that this worked out for you.

Did you happen to ask the agent whether you will be permitted to amend the booking -- for a fee -- if and when JFK-BDA MileSAAver seats should become available?
No, I didn't ask directly. I had her on the phone for almost an hour and, with this being the third day in a row where I had called, I didn't want to confuse matters. I will look into it again in a few days, but I'm not so bothered about it as I should have a >4 hour layover in JFK, and even if I somehow miss that, there are 3 airlines flying JFK - BDA, so it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to stay overnight and get a flight the following day on another carrier.
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Old Feb 6, 2018, 8:03 pm
  #25  
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Congrats! Glad to hear that this worked out for you.

Did you happen to ask the agent whether you will be permitted to amend the booking -- for a fee -- if and when JFK-BDA MileSAAver seats should become available?
Even if I am unsuccessful in making that change, I'm a little annoyed that they were only able to book me with a 60 minute connection at HKG on the outbound, even though there was availability for a later flight, which would have given me about 3 hours layover. I will be Gold by then and was hoping to try the First lounge, which clearly I now won't have time for. Therefore, when I call again, I will ask them to see if they can change it to the later departure. She didn't know why she couldn't do it, but said that it's probably down to "complicated ticketing rules involving other carriers and countries".
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