access to award availability

Old Nov 28, 06, 12:30 pm
  #1  
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access to award availability

I expect this has been asked before. Sorry.

I'm planning some very colourful travels for a few months holiday. Routes like syd-nan-mel with OW and ccu-han (via bkk) with *A.

I hope to use some of my miles but find it intensely boring ringing BAEC or BMI DC to ask endless availablity questions.

Is there another method to this. Thanks in advance.
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Old Nov 28, 06, 12:34 pm
  #2  
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I know of no method for BA apart from ringing (or checking each partner individually in their own FF schemes). For BD, the advice on the BD Board is to use the ANA tool which will show *-wide availability. More details over....there.
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Old Nov 28, 06, 12:47 pm
  #3  
 
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The QF sight shows most of the OW award inventory (AA, BA, QF, CX, etc.). Its not foolproof, but it is very complete.
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Old Dec 1, 06, 4:25 am
  #4  
dwu
 
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BA site has award availability

It's actually quite good in that it shows availability over an entire month at a time.

I don't know if there's another airline (*-alliance, 1-world or otherwise) that likewise shows availability over an extended time period.
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Old Dec 1, 06, 4:28 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by dwu View Post
It's actually quite good in that it shows availability over an entire month at a time.

I don't know if there's another airline (*-alliance, 1-world or otherwise) that likewise shows availability over an extended time period.
That's pretty easy for BA to do when many routes have one or two day's availability each week at most!
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Old Dec 1, 06, 4:33 am
  #6  
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The ANA tool works the other way - showing availability over a number of different CLASSES at a time, on the same day.

This works well, mainly because *A redemptions usually involve a change of plane and it is possible that you may need to mix classes to get the flights you want. Because *A availability is generally quite good, as long as you don't mind connecting where necessary, the system is fine.

BA availability, on the other hand, is generally terrible and redeeming for OW partners is generally bad value. The 'month a time' thing is therefore probably the best way in these circumstances, although its annoying flicking between F and J to mix and match suitable dates.
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Old Dec 1, 06, 4:50 am
  #7  
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Many thanks.

Some excellent help. Thank you all.

The ANA tool worked a wonder. QF tool never used as I found *A had equally good connections when I needed them.

If anyone is interested I managed to get myself everthing I wanted on the day (or day before or after) that I wanted except home from SYD:

LHR-DEL on BA in F
DEL-IXB (Bagdogra) and IXB-CCU i'm doing on JET airways.
CCU-SIN-HAN on SQ in C (longer than the TG connection, but I prefer the idea of more time on SQ 777s with 50" pitch than TG A300s with 38".
SIN-BKK on SQ in F (didn't know they had 3 class service on this route.)
BKK-LHR on TG in F
LHR-BKK-AKL on TG in F
AKL-SUV bought on Air Pacific. Great I can go straight to SUV not NAN
SUV-SYD bought on Air Pacific. Ditto
SYD-SIN-LHR on BA in F. But gosh it's on a 777.

225,000 BA Miles. 222,500 BMI miles. I slightly feel I got more out of the *A ones though.
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Old Dec 1, 06, 5:28 am
  #8  
dwu
 
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Fantastic how responsive these forums are!

Since *-A worked so well for you all, perhaps you might have some advice on an itinerary I'm struggling with at the moment: DEN-> Crete (either HER or CHQ).

I checked the BA site, and it did show DEN-HER (via LON), and indeed there are only a couple of days available per week.

The QF site didn't show the flights to HER at all.

For *-A, SAS flies Oslo to CHQ....yet the ANA site doesn't show it at all.
Neither does the new UA site (on the Award Travel page, with "Star Alliance" ticked at the bottom).

Any suggestions?

Thanks all!
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Old Dec 1, 06, 5:31 am
  #9  
dwu
 
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To clarify my last post: what I meant by the UA site not showing it at all, is that it doesn't seem to recognize Chania as a destination, nor the airport code CHQ.

The ANA site shows CHQ, but doesn't show any valid flights from Oslo even??
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Old Dec 1, 06, 7:23 am
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How would you like to enquire about availability on ba.com? What questions do you have?

Of course, there's 'can I go to Australia and back in January', but what about
- where can I go in March for x miles
- when is there availability to Australia next year
- when is there weekend availability to Madrid in the next six months

and then how should the results be displayed?
On a map?
In a table?

Do you want to be able to display results in multiple classes (F, J etc) at the same time?
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Old Dec 1, 06, 7:28 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by BA Nick View Post
How would you like to enquire about availability on ba.com? What questions do you have?

Of course, there's 'can I go to Australia and back in January', but what about
- where can I go in March for x miles
- when is there availability to Australia next year
- when is there weekend availability to Madrid in the next six months

and then how should the results be displayed?
On a map?
In a table?

Do you want to be able to display results in multiple classes (F, J etc) at the same time?
I would be happy if I can see the results of all classes (F,J,W,Y) at the same time in a table.

...and the fare codes when doing a MFU
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Old Dec 1, 06, 8:30 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by BA Nick View Post
How would you like to enquire about availability on ba.com? What questions do you have?

Of course, there's 'can I go to Australia and back in January', but what about
- where can I go in March for x miles
- when is there availability to Australia next year
- when is there weekend availability to Madrid in the next six months

and then how should the results be displayed?
On a map?
In a table?

Do you want to be able to display results in multiple classes (F, J etc) at the same time?
Is this a feature request question? Goody

First a bug fix request; I'd really like it if ba.com would remember the thing you're trying to do, as you go through the different possibilities. For example, if you choose "one-way, F, LHR-SYD" and pre-select some or all of the members of a household account, when you get to the screen which says "you've gotta be joking" and then proceed to try again, that it would remember those settings - it currently changes you to "return" from "o/w", and de-selects the household members you chose just leaving yourself selected. Then you have to set it back up again and try again. Painful.

Yes, I'd love if F&J were shown on the same screen. Possibly W too.
Yes, I'd love to see a calendar display showing zero availability but WITH the "next month" and "previous month" links active so it's easy to look (currently you have to do start a new query; see problem mentioned above)
Under "would you like a stopover", and "continuing on in", I'd like an third option "I don't mind; a stopover would be good but check for both possibilities please". Under "where would you like a stopover", I'd like added "Any (i.e. BKK or SIN or HKG or NRT for LHR-SYD)"
Yes, I'd love a "where can I go in March for x miles" type feature.
Yes, I'd love to be able to put a reward booking on hold for 24 hours, so that I can ensure all my other arrangements can be made.
Yes, I'd love to be able to book Amex 2-4-1's online, and TCP it together with a separate PNR for the rest of the family.
Yes, a new gold benefit should be converting the lowest paid revenue bucket to reward inventory for ALL classes of travel, perhaps for a 25% extra mileage charge.

Naturally all these advanced features should be restricted to gold card holders

Thanks!!! When can you have them done by?
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Old Dec 1, 06, 12:27 pm
  #13  
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I would like to see availability across all cabins throughout a month period.

BA has four classes First, Club, WT+ and WT. The monthly thing works well. Take Feb for example. 28 days in Feb. Split each of the 28 boxes numbered 1-28 into four little boxes allowing you to select the class (and indeed see it's not available that day by it being greyed out).
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