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How to score JFK/IAD-JED-DAC R/T with DL low tier mileage

How to score JFK/IAD-JED-DAC R/T with DL low tier mileage

Old Mar 1, 13, 2:13 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Posts: 46
How to score JFK/IAD-JED-DAC R/T with DL low tier mileage

We have been accumulating DL miles for 15 years and never used it. Now with Saudia (SV) came on board, I see a good opportunity for me, if I can use my miles effectively. I have 108K and my wife has 133K and my son has 23K DL miles.

We want to get JFK/IAD to JED to Dhaka(DAC), 4 R/T tickets, with a stopover in JED in August 2014. Low tier mileage is probably 80K per ticket. If we want we can try to get some more DL miles and willing to buy/transfer some miles.

Can we get this ticket on SV with DL low tier miles? If not 4, can we get 3 and buy 4th? Lots of experts are here, who can predict pretty accurately whether I have a good chance or not. Please share your thoughts. Am I looking for something impossible? How do I check low tier award availibility on SV?

I actually live in PDX, but I know that if I want to add PDX-JFK/IAD to this ticket, my chances will be much lower. So If I can score those 3-4 tickets, I can find some cheap way to fly PDX-JFK/IAD route. But if possible I want to add domestice segment to this award ticket.

Thanks in advance.
Budget_Traveller_OR is offline  
Old Mar 1, 13, 2:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Programs: DL DM, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 2,873
For starters, the Award Chart is a good place to look to get an idea of the requirements. A you'll need 80k miles per person for round trip travel at low level and 130k per person at medium level. Finding low level awards might be tricky and if you do find them there's a good chance you'll only be able to get some of the tickets at the level while the remainder are at medium or high.

Best case scenario you will get 4 tickets in economy for 320,000 miles. You can't combine your miles into a single pool to book. The only way to do that would be transfer miles from one person to another at a rate of roughly $0.011 per mile which does not make economic sense in this situation. Based on the miles in each person's account, you only have enough to book 2 tickets. Also these tickets will be separate reservations so it is possible that you might get split up in event of IRROP or aircraft changes. Withe your balances using the transfer option to combine points, the best you could do is transfer 27k miles (for ~$300) from your account to your wife's which would allow her to book 2 tickets, you to book one, and pay cash for the 4th (assuming you can get 3 low level tickets).

If there's anyway you can pick up some extra miles via a credit card signup or other method, it would help in case the 3rd needs to be booked at medium level.

If you are thinking of paying for a ticket to get to the east coast in order to use the miles, it's probably best to just pay cash for the entire ticket and get it on a single reservation, especially counting the miles transfer fees. It's going to add a LOT of complexity to this trip, with multiple PNRs and people with multiple tickets (i.e. paid ticket to IAD then award ticket to Saudi Arabia). Splittign one person on a part paid part award ticket can be dangerous, since a misconnect isn't protected.

Your wife and you have enough miles for USA-Europe in business, I suggest buying tickets for everyone on a single reservation for this trip, and save the miles for a nice vacation in style up front to Europe on some future date.
roknroll is offline  
Old Mar 1, 13, 6:19 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Portland, OR, USA
Posts: 46
Thanks rocknroll for your detailed suggestions. I know those problems about multiple PNR for a family travel. In case of misconnect and metal change for splitting family, I think I can call them and with good request we might stay together.

But getting all the points in one account for this type of awards, is a luxury for us. We are not big time business flyers and will never have those opportunity. Our only option is doing in a piecemeal.

Going back to my original question, how do I see SV award inventory? What can I do to get 4 award tickets? 330 days in advance or just a few days in advance?
Budget_Traveller_OR is offline  
Old Mar 1, 13, 6:34 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SUX
Programs: BA Silver; HHonors Gold; SPG Gold; Points but dirt with everyone else
Posts: 8,050
Four seats in Y on SV is a trivial proposition with some flexibility. Heck, four seats in J on SV is trivial, but you won't have the miles for that. Get an ExpertFlyer account and search there. I'd recommend airfrance.us, but it doesn't recognize DAC as a destination. Monitoring things a bit should help you figure out patterns for when the availability is best. Coming from PDX, you may even be able to get your flights to the east coast included if you can find AS flights.
mtkeller is offline  
Old Mar 1, 13, 8:44 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Jose, CA
Programs: DL DM, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 2,873
http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewfr...bian-airlines/
roknroll is offline  

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