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The Definitive "How To Search for Low Tier Business Awards"

The Definitive "How To Search for Low Tier Business Awards"

Old Dec 21, 12, 1:21 pm
  #1516  
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Originally Posted by michael_v View Post
If you were on a separate paid or reward ticket, my guess would be that you wouldn't have had 1.5 hour layover in the first place...
Do you think the 1.5 hour layover is too short or too long or something else? I thought it was just about right. Robyn
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Old Dec 21, 12, 1:55 pm
  #1517  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
Do you think the 1.5 hour layover is too short or too long or something else? I thought it was just about right. Robyn
When booking separate positioning flights, I would say 1.5 hours is not enough as a layover. I would allow 3-4 hours at a minimum.
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Old Dec 21, 12, 2:35 pm
  #1518  
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Originally Posted by michael_v View Post
When booking separate positioning flights, I would say 1.5 hours is not enough as a layover. I would allow 3-4 hours at a minimum.
Thanks for your prompt reply. We are a touch less than 2 hours now. With a one hour flight out of JAX into Atlanta - checking in for both Delta flights and checking our bags through at JAX - and not having to go through security again in Atlanta. So I think we should be ok. Note that I would not feel comfortable with this connection time if we were flying out of a busier delay prone airport on a longer flight - were changing airlines - not checking bags through - and/or had to leave a secured area upon arrival in Atlanta and go through security again. And we do have a lot more time in Atlanta on the return (we'll have to clear immigration and customs). Perhaps we are spoiled. We hub through Atlanta a lot and have never had a problem with a connection like this (although I guess there's always a first time ). Robyn
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Old Dec 21, 12, 6:26 pm
  #1519  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
Thanks for your prompt reply. We are a touch less than 2 hours now. With a one hour flight out of JAX into Atlanta - checking in for both Delta flights and checking our bags through at JAX - and not having to go through security again in Atlanta. So I think we should be ok. Note that I would not feel comfortable with this connection time if we were flying out of a busier delay prone airport on a longer flight - were changing airlines - not checking bags through - and/or had to leave a secured area upon arrival in Atlanta and go through security again. And we do have a lot more time in Atlanta on the return (we'll have to clear immigration and customs). Perhaps we are spoiled. We hub through Atlanta a lot and have never had a problem with a connection like this (although I guess there's always a first time ). Robyn
The only hiccup with Atlanta I have found to be re-clearing security when coming off an international flight for those people not eligible to go through Sky Priority.
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Old Dec 22, 12, 3:31 pm
  #1520  
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Originally Posted by michael_v View Post
The only hiccup with Atlanta I have found to be re-clearing security when coming off an international flight for those people not eligible to go through Sky Priority.
We have about 4-5 hours connection time on our way back. Which should be plenty.

What is Sky Priority? A separate line for BF and F passengers (we are traveling F domestic and BF international)? Sorry to ask such a dumb question - but we only travel on DL international flights once every 2-3 years or so - and I tend to forget things from one trip to another.

BTW - something I will add for travelers connecting through Atlanta is for those of you smokers left (I still smoke) - you don't have to go outside security to grab a cigarette between flights. There are designated smoking rooms inside security (and - IIRC - a pretty uncrowded one in the international departures area right around the corner from the Delta Sky Club). Robyn
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Old Dec 22, 12, 5:04 pm
  #1521  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
We have about 4-5 hours connection time on our way back. Which should be plenty.

What is Sky Priority? A separate line for BF and F passengers (we are traveling F domestic and BF international)? Sorry to ask such a dumb question - but we only travel on DL international flights once every 2-3 years or so - and I tend to forget things from one trip to another.

BTW - something I will add for travelers connecting through Atlanta is for those of you smokers left (I still smoke) - you don't have to go outside security to grab a cigarette between flights. There are designated smoking rooms inside security (and - IIRC - a pretty uncrowded one in the international departures area right around the corner from the Delta Sky Club). Robyn
Sky Priority is the access lane for business/first and elite customers.

Sorry for going off topic with these last posts.
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Old Dec 22, 12, 6:19 pm
  #1522  
 
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Originally Posted by robyng View Post
Do you think the 1.5 hour layover is too short or too long or something else? I thought it was just about right. Robyn
I personally like to have another later flight leave and get there before the flight I am trying to catch. That way, if there is a mechanical on my flight, I have a shot of jumping on the next plane and still making it. That's how I booked DTW to LAX, before MEL, even though it was the same PNR.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I didn't want to miss that flight, which would have really messed up the every other day flights to New Zealand.
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Old Dec 22, 12, 11:10 pm
  #1523  
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Originally Posted by Bikeguy View Post
I personally like to have another later flight leave and get there before the flight I am trying to catch. That way, if there is a mechanical on my flight, I have a shot of jumping on the next plane and still making it. That's how I booked DTW to LAX, before MEL, even though it was the same PNR.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I didn't want to miss that flight, which would have really messed up the every other day flights to New Zealand.
Exactly.

When making reservation I also look at the possible weather condition during the time of the year when we travel, and as you pointed out, the available flights AFTER our own flight to make sure that should our own flight does not make it, we still have at least one to two flights for the rest of the day to get us to the gateway.

For TPAC from West Coast we always fly a day ahead to position us at the gateway for the TPAC flight the next day. I sure dont want to have a mechanical / weather delay that causes a very stressful connection or worse, miss the TPAC flight if we come in on the same day from East Coast and the first flight is delayed.

There are some airports in the nation that during certain time of the year weather delays are common place - such as ORD and DFW in Summer, thunderstorm delays are daily event. You have to factor that in your planning, not just going for the shortest possible connection time - that is just leaving no room for error and asking for potential trouble. But to each their own of course.

Last edited by Happy; Dec 22, 12 at 11:20 pm
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Old Dec 23, 12, 7:10 am
  #1524  
 
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
For TPAC from West Coast we always fly a day ahead to position us at the gateway for the TPAC flight the next day. I sure dont want to have a mechanical / weather delay that causes a very stressful connection or worse, miss the TPAC flight if we come in on the same day from East Coast and the first flight is delayed.
The corollary is there was a guy that used to post in NW forum, TravellerJim, that booked a $500 ticket to SIN, IIRC from Oklahoma. His initial flight went mechanical and by the time he got to LAX, the only flight left going TPAC was Quantas, again IIRC.

The part I definitely remember is the only seats left were F, he got pajamas and had a chef cook his meal! For $500 R/T.

So, maybe you should try to miss your booked flight, especially if it's in coach, like his was!
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Old Dec 23, 12, 9:21 am
  #1525  
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Originally Posted by Bikeguy View Post
His initial flight went mechanical and by the time he got to LAX, the only flight left going TPAC was Quantas, again IIRC.
Highly unlikely it was Quantas.
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Old Dec 23, 12, 1:54 pm
  #1526  
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Originally Posted by Bikeguy View Post
The corollary is there was a guy that used to post in NW forum, TravellerJim, that booked a $500 ticket to SIN, IIRC from Oklahoma. His initial flight went mechanical and by the time he got to LAX, the only flight left going TPAC was Quantas, again IIRC.

The part I definitely remember is the only seats left were F, he got pajamas and had a chef cook his meal! For $500 R/T.

So, maybe you should try to miss your booked flight, especially if it's in coach, like his was!
Unfortunately our TPAC usually is in either F or J. My great fear is, if we miss it, there would be no F or J availability on the next flight, and we would be invol downgraded to Y or wait several days to get our F/J back!

I seriously doubt the above story would be QF which would NEVER release additional F/J seats for award even the front cabin is half empty...

On top of that, it would be the original carrier's policy to determine whether it would endorse his ticket to another airline...., there is no regulation to require the airline to get him to his destination in the originally scheduled time...

Yeah, nice corollary but probably only happened in someone's wet dream rather than real life unless of course, said lucky passenger has pictures of his BP and PJ to prove it.
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Old Dec 23, 12, 2:33 pm
  #1527  
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Originally Posted by Bikeguy View Post
I personally like to have another later flight leave and get there before the flight I am trying to catch. That way, if there is a mechanical on my flight, I have a shot of jumping on the next plane and still making it. That's how I booked DTW to LAX, before MEL, even though it was the same PNR.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but I didn't want to miss that flight, which would have really messed up the every other day flights to New Zealand.
I am not so much paranoid as nervous. So your plan makes sense if it's not too expensive (in terms of miles) or inconvenient. Also - your plan is not an ironclad guarantee. On our last flight that got FUBAR - LAX/IAH was 3+ hours late (long story why). We not only missed our original connecting flight but the last IAH/JAX flight of the day. And wound up having to overnight at El Dumpo at IAH (yes - CO paid for it - but it was free and worth it). And that's far from the worst travel mess we've encountered through no fault of ours.

Note that I also agree with Happy about planning travel connections to avoid known common weather conditions in certain places at certain times of the year (like snowstorms up north in the winter or afternoon thunderstorms down south in the summer). Not to mention avoiding airports with lots of flight delays at certain times of day because they're too crowded.

I have done what Happy has done with his west coast overnights before a TPAC trip - but in my case it was an early morning flight out of EWR to NRT and doing an overnight at EWR (also had to do the same overnight on the way back). I found that trip was pretty exhausting - and I was younger then than I am now. Also - had I not paid for the hotel with hotel points - it would have been pretty expensive too (for an airport hotel).

I guess the bottom line is I don't mind spending more miles these days to get where I'm going on a reasonably convenient route. Although it's always nicer to get the rewards for fewer - not more - miles . And I always have my fingers crossed that the unexpected in terms of connections doesn't happen. Robyn
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Old Dec 23, 12, 7:46 pm
  #1528  
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Living in WAS the west coast flights to SYD worry me.
I always take the 3-5 PM flights and wait 4 hrs in LAX or SFO
Yes it is a waste, but when I have work commitments that are essential, I think wasting a couple of hours extra in a lounge is not too bad a trade off.

Aug 2010, going DCA-SLC-LAX on DL we only found AM flights and decided to spend a day out in LA and then make it back in time for the Virgin flight to SYD. A great experience with a nice bar.
On the return we only had a 3 hr in LA but still made our connection with global entry help and we had more flights to fall back on.

On awards, I now try to go with as few connections as possible to get the certainty of travel or rather a higher certainty of hassle free travel. As a family of 4-6, it is more important to get there on time together. I do not want our family trips to be disasters for 6 separate PNRs. The penalty free changes has been a godsend to achieve this.
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Old Dec 23, 12, 8:48 pm
  #1529  
 
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Highly unlikely it was Quantas.
You are right. I did a search and it was Cathay Pacific. See post 14.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/catha...ax-lounge.html
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Old Dec 26, 12, 5:18 pm
  #1530  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
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I'm not sure this is the right place for my question.

I have on hold a trip in Business:

LAX-SYD
SYD-LAX

My real goal is to add another leg: LAX-CDG which would be a month after the SYD-LAX flight. So when finalized, my itinerary would be:

LAX-SYD (destination)
SYD-LAX (stopover)
LAX-CDG

All flights I used are available in low.

In business, US to South Pacific is 150k RT. Europe to South Pacific is also 150k RT. I want to have this priced as: one way US-SO Pac @ 75k and one way SO Pac to Europe @ 75K, including stopover. DL.com prices this at 250k: the US-So Pac RT (150k) and a one way US-Europe (100k).

Several calls today brought just about every answer I can think of, except to my question on what rule causes this to jump out of one award into two awards. If the MPM is based on LAX-SYD, then I am way over that. But shouldn't the MPM be to total of LAX-SYD plus SYD-CDG?

Note that if I booked rt CDG-SYD thru LAX, it would be 150k and my itinerary is the same except I am dropping the initial CDG-LAX leg. I tried booking the CDG-SYD online so I could then put that on hold and then try to drop the first leg but the multi-stop won't book it with the long stopover in LAX.

My only option seems top be another afternoon on the phone. Anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
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