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Stopover Rules/Availability Questions on CO Rewards Flight

Stopover Rules/Availability Questions on CO Rewards Flight

 
Old Oct 23, 10, 9:32 am
  #1  
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Stopover Rules/Availability Questions on CO Rewards Flight

Hi. We live in the DC area (all 3 airports are 30-40 minutes from us) and we're planning a trip to France, and perhaps northern Spain (Basque Country or Barcelona).

I'm also considering the possibility of us trying to spend a half day or more in another connecting city on the way back, but I'm trying to figure out if that's possible within CO's rules and its flight schedules. So here are my scatterbrained thoughts/questions using the assumption that we start the return trip through Bilbao, Spain (near San Sebastian) and are using the cheapest type of RT Onepass travel:

Trip, I assume, must make sense. I'd love to go to Prague or Athens or Rome on the way back, but they're clearly backwards. I assume you can't make an illogical request to go through a city that is in the wrong direction from where you start.

Similarly, does trip have to follow the airline routes that come up when searching on CO's website? Lisbon and Frankfurt appear to be the routes back to the U.S. from Bilbao. Am I required to take one of these two routes? I'd like to visit Lisbon if possible. Of course, Dublin and London are generally in the correct direction too, and Barcelona is not far from Bilbao, but is there any flexibility in choosing your own path back?

If you can choose a path back, any suggestions on how to get the most time wherever you're going? I won't take the chance of being a no-show by intentionally missing a plane, but if I can arrange schedules that actually require me to spend an extra day somewhere, that would be great.

Finally, can I intnetionally look for planes without Onepass availability for the long segment on one specific day and ask (for example) to take the flight from Bilbao to Lisbon on one day and the flight back to the U.S. the next day? This would allow for at least a half day (and night) in Lisbon.

I hope this made sense. Thanks for your responses.
TornCalfGuy is offline  
Old Oct 23, 10, 11:24 am
  #2  
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CO is pretty flexible in the routing rules.

You can have the flight follow illogical routings and be somewhat circuitous so long as you stay in the same award zone. Flying home from Spain via PRG, FCO or ATH should be fine for any connection under 24 hours as long as you can find the inventory.

And remember that you get one stopover and one open-jaw so you could do WAS/BWI - (XXX/YYY/ZZZ) - NCE, BCN-PRG, PRG-ATH-FCO-FRA-WAS/BWI and as long as the time in ATH, FCO and FRA is less that 24 hours you should be fine.
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Old Oct 23, 10, 3:48 pm
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Thanks; So this might work?

So this might work?

WAS-CDG with a return of Bilbao(BIO)-ATH(stopover)-WAS?

Thanks for your time and help. If I traveled more, I'd have probably found this site a lot sooner!
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Old Oct 23, 10, 5:17 pm
  #4  
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You could also fly to Vienna and do the train to Prague. The best way to do it, is to call and let them figure it out for you. I tried online 30 times to fly to Palau with a stop in Pohnpei on the way back and ended up calling the Elite desk, where it took the agent 5 minutes to figure the whole thing out
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Old Oct 26, 10, 8:42 am
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Thanks for the help; tickets booked yesterday

In the end, we got two tickets via rewards that will allow us to do the following:

Dulles-Paris (via Toronto); Bilbao-Athens(via Barcelona; stopover in Athens for 3 days)-Dulles (via Heathrow and Toronto). Of the 7 flights, not one is operated by Continental, unless you count the two United DC-Toronto connections to and from Europe.

As long as flights are available, the Star Alliance appears to allow a stopover anywhere in Europe: Unless my geographic sense is off, Athens is not exactly a point between northern Spain and Washington, DC, unless you're going around the world.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old Oct 26, 10, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by TornCalfGuy View Post
In the end, we got two tickets via rewards that will allow us to do the following:

Dulles-Paris (via Toronto); Bilbao-Athens(via Barcelona; stopover in Athens for 3 days)-Dulles (via Heathrow and Toronto). Of the 7 flights, not one is operated by Continental, unless you count the two United DC-Toronto connections to and from Europe.

As long as flights are available, the Star Alliance appears to allow a stopover anywhere in Europe: Unless my geographic sense is off, Athens is not exactly a point between northern Spain and Washington, DC, unless you're going around the world.

Thanks for all the help.
good job with the routing! enjoy your trip!
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Old Sep 30, 11, 10:06 am
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I'm having trouble trying to figure out exactly what I'm allowed to do with stopovers. I'm planning a trip for two people in F or C BOS-NRT-PVG-BOS in the spring and am trying to spend 5 days in both Tokyo and Shanghai. Would stopover rules allow this? I'm extremely flexible on the dates and could also do Shanghai first if that helps. Finally, it would be great if I could make the middle flight HND-SHA (or SHA-HND) but not sure how that would effect the stopover. I've been using both KVS and the ANA tool and am trying to maximize my miles.
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Old Sep 30, 11, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by axpmaluga View Post
I'm having trouble trying to figure out exactly what I'm allowed to do with stopovers. I'm planning a trip for two people in F or C BOS-NRT-PVG-BOS in the spring and am trying to spend 5 days in both Tokyo and Shanghai. Would stopover rules allow this? I'm extremely flexible on the dates and could also do Shanghai first if that helps. Finally, it would be great if I could make the middle flight HND-SHA (or SHA-HND) but not sure how that would effect the stopover. I've been using both KVS and the ANA tool and am trying to maximize my miles.

All this is fine.

HND and NRT are both part of TYO, so it's not even an open jaw.
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Old Sep 30, 11, 11:21 pm
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You are NOT making a stopover in Athens; your destination on this itinerary is Athens and your stopover is in Bilbao, as the industry sees these things. Enjoy the trip!


Originally Posted by TornCalfGuy View Post

... Unless my geographic sense is off, Athens is not exactly a point between northern Spain and Washington, DC, unless you're going around the world.

Thanks for all the help.

Last edited by JohnWM; Sep 30, 11 at 11:25 pm Reason: thumb slipped
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