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Strategies for MIA/FLL ---> MAD for next summer/fall

Strategies for MIA/FLL ---> MAD for next summer/fall

 
Old Jul 23, 08, 9:13 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 25
Strategies for MIA/FLL ---> MAD for next summer/fall

The wife and I are hoping to cash in some long saved up miles to help pay for a 10 day trip to Spain next year (late summer/fall - anytime late august through late october)

Miami (or Ft. Lauderdale - FLL) is usually our best bet for International Flights (though not surprisingly all the International flights I've taken on CO went through EWR - so i dunno if departing airport will matter). So I assume it will either be MIA -> EWR -> MAD or FLL -> EWR -> MAD.

Anyway, I have ~ 35k miles right now, with another 25k on my Amex that we hope to transfer over later this year, for a grand total of 60k miles. So, the best I can tell, I would qualify for a single round trip international ticket with Saverpass, and we would just pay normal fare for my wife (or stick her on another airline if its cheaper )

My question to those who read this;
  1. When is the best time to book?
    -------As i'm hoping to get a saverpass ticket, I understand that its capacity controlled, so should I book as soon as the flight becomes available? When should I expect the flights for next fall to be released?
  2. Is there any other route/time I should consider that may be easier to find seats for?
    -------Say maybe flying out of another airport, or mixing up the days for more availability.
  3. If my ticket is a Saverpass and my wife just buys her outright, will we likely be able to sit next to each other?
    -------Though 7+ hours in a small seat next to my wife may be 6.5 hours too long.
  4. Should I have any concerns about doing it this way? and/or Is there a better way to accomplish this?

Sorry for all my basic questions, i've been saving miles for a long time (we don't fly continental all that much), and its the first time I plan to actually try and use them. Its also likely that we will have another 20-25k points on the amex by the time we take the trip next year, which would give us another 35-40k miles towards a 50k mile saverpass ticket, but at that point it will be too late to use on the big trip, so i'm not factoring that into my decisions right now.

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
aphex is offline  
Old Jul 23, 08, 9:27 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
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If you are reasonably confident of your travel dates, book the flights if you can find seats available. Seats can come and go, but if they are there take them, assuming they fit in your travel plans.

Regarding routings, you'll likely do well to look at AF/KL flights from MIA to CDG/AMS, respectively, in addition to CO, DL and NW flights across the pond. Sadly, most of those flights will not show up on a co.com search so you'll have to use the other carriers' sites to find some of the options. Also consider VS from MIA/MCO.

Sitting next to each other shouldn't be a problem, other than being stuck next to each other that long, but you seem to have already identified that issue. You can get seats assigned next to each other. Keep an eye on them as you'll be viewed as single travelers and potentially split up if there are changes. But generally you should be OK.

Don't be surprised and don't get put off if the flights aren't available at 330 days out. Airlines have stopped doing that as much so it is no longer the only way to find seats. I've had good luck 6-9 months out on my last few redemption efforts.

Good luck!!
sbm12 is offline  
Old Jul 23, 08, 9:39 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Excellent! Thanks for the quick reply!

I know Easyjet has a direct from CDG to MAD and would likely be cheaper than a train, so def. something I'll keep in mind. I'll check Ryanair as well but I don't recall them flying out of any of the big airports.

If the code share partners don't show up on a co.com search, how does one go about finding out if they have saverpass seats available on the other airlines and by the same token, how would i book it? over the phone?
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Old Jul 23, 08, 9:58 pm
  #4  
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Start your searches for partner flights by using their websites. That will work pretty well for Delta and NW/KLM. The NW/KLM site will also show some of the AF flights.

If you can make it to Europe you should be able to pick up the intra-Europe flights using the partners rather than having to buy a different ticket to make it work. Also consider trying for Air Europa for the intra-Europe connections as necessary.

You will definitely have to call to book and you might have to call to check availability for some of the carriers (like Air Europa).
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