Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Information Desk
Reload this Page >

Best way CLT -> LHR -> LCA on miles

Best way CLT -> LHR -> LCA on miles

Old Jul 31, 14, 4:07 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Best way CLT -> LHR -> LCA on miles

EDITED FOR UPDATED TRAVEL PLANS:

Hi All!

I was hoping for some expert help for an itinerary I plan on taking next September with my wife and son (who will be 15 months old at time of travel). I am based in CLT and will be traveling LCA for a wedding (Sept. 19, 2015).

Ideally, we would minimize connections (though travel through/from EWR or JFK is OK since we have family there who will be accompanying us on this trip) and fuel surcharges, Total trip is ~2weeks. The only stipulation is I must be in LCA before Sept. 19th. We are flexible with which seating class we're in - coach doesn't bother us, but with a 15 month old, is it better to get 3 coach seats or 2 business and him sit on my lap? And is it really that bad to travel that long with a 15 month old on your lap in coach (or even business)?

As for accumulated points, this is what I have so far to work with:

300k AMEX
110k UR
50k US
40k Starwood

I appreciate all your help in advance. I understand I'm a bit early, but if I need to add a CC or two, I'd like to get that sorted out.

Last edited by magmaster21; Feb 9, 15 at 12:53 pm
magmaster21 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 14, 5:39 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 21,556
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

Welcome to FT!

Unless you are able to redeem for an award that allows for a free stopover in LON en-route to LCA (you might be able to do this on a redemption with Aeroplan or UA or US), for LON-LCA, BA Avios, redeemed for a Reward Flight Saver" award, would provide very good value. Just 10,000 Avios and a copay of about $28 USD covers all surcharges and taxes for an Economy Class ticket. Of course, you would have to be able to find award-seat availability on your desired flight. Both MR and UR points can be converted to BA Avios, and Amex sometimes runs bonus promotions on transfers to BA.

At some point in 2015, USDM will be converted to AAdvantage miles. Currently, the AAdvantage program is all one-way awards, with no free stopovers anywhere. So if you could amass enough USDM before the conversion, that might be the way to go. (And US offers a CLT-LHR nonstop.)

Also, bear in mind that lap infants do not travel for free on most international flights, but are instead charge a percentage (10%?) of the cost of a cash ticket.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Aug 3, 14, 3:28 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Germany; Toronto, Canada; and SW Florida, USA
Programs: UA 1K, BA Gold, Hyatt Globalist, and assorted others
Posts: 23,103
You'll have to look at how Amex points convert in the US to see if that helps you with you BA/AA/US travel situation.

As for travelling with an infant, it depends. We've been through four of then and the worst age to take them flying is between 12 months and 2.5 years, as they are too big to just lie there and sleep, but too small to be allowed to walk by themselves. At 15 months you may find yourself chasing an eager walker up and down the aisle on an overnight flight. Stops being cute fast!

I think a front bulkhead seat is the way to go. You probably won't be relaxed enough to enjoy the business cabin.

Welcome to FT!
LondonElite is offline  
Old Feb 9, 15, 12:51 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
I know this is a late Thank You, but I appreciate the input... my plans, however, have changed and I have yet to book.

I no longer need to stop in LHR, and can theoretically connect anywhere that gets me to LCA with the minimum amount of stops, travel time, and costs. I'd still like two weeks in LCA and would be looking to be home by Friday, Sept. 25th - so maybe 9/10 through 9/25 give or take

It looks like the easiest way is still through LHR, but that's on BA and would incur substantial fees. AA metal would mitigate fees, but I don't have enough for two tickets.

I've tried looking through the ANA tool, but haven't had much success.

I'd really appreciate some help now that the constraints have improved. My miles balances are more or less the same but Starwoods is around 40k now.

Thanks in advance.
magmaster21 is offline  
Old Feb 9, 15, 2:42 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 21,556
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

Check united.com for award availability on Star Alliance carriers.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Feb 9, 15, 10:21 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,071
If you are thinking about doing the lap infant thing, make sure to consider the cost of that in your award comparisons. Aeroplan has the most generous policy that I know of - $50 or 5k miles for lap infant in economy, double for business. Not sure if that's round trip or one way, but a great deal either way. If you can find award seats where the over water flight is on United, Turkish, Swiss, SAS, Brussels, or EgyptAir metal, you will avoid fuel surcharges when using Aeroplan miles. Aeroplan does charge 37.5K for economy seats to LCA, so another point to consider. Their business rate is good though - 52.5K.

Also consider using BA Avios to get to NYC. Search for awards to LCA from NYC - you'll have much better availability. From CLT in Star Alliance we only have CLT-MUC on LH and otherwise are reliant on spotty United saver seats to EWR or ORD. On the other hand, it's usually pretty easy to find saver seats on US from CLT to one of the NYC airports. You could do the same for ORD but with your family in NYC it makes more sense. Of course you'll need a safe layover buffer if you book separate awards and don't stay overnight in NYC.

I would try to avoid oneworld. Even though you're in a OW hub, it looks like only BA flies to LCA of the OW European carriers. That means you have to transit London, and most likely LHR. Plus the fuel surcharges on LON-LCA. Better to avoid altogether if you can. I saw CLT-LHR-LCA on US metal for the transatlantic flight, and the total chargers were almost $200 per person, one way.
dukerau is offline  
Old Feb 9, 15, 11:40 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 21,556
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

"From CLT in Star Alliance we only have CLT-MUC on LH and otherwise are reliant on spotty United saver seats to EWR or ORD."

Don't forget about UA's CLT-IAD service. Lots of TATL service from IAD.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Feb 10, 15, 12:38 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,071
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

"From CLT in Star Alliance we only have CLT-MUC on LH and otherwise are reliant on spotty United saver seats to EWR or ORD."

Don't forget about UA's CLT-IAD service. Lots of TATL service from IAD.
Ah, good point. The same issue persists, though - UA saver availability is limited from CLT to any of their hubs. US opens up many more options.
dukerau is offline  
Old Feb 12, 15, 4:00 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,184
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Don't forget about UA's CLT-IAD service. Lots of TATL service from IAD.
Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
From CLT in Star Alliance we only have CLT-MUC on LH and otherwise are reliant on spotty United saver seats to EWR or ORD.
In addition to EWR (UA), IAD (UA), MUC (LH), & ORD (UA) don't forget about AC's service to YYZ from which there is also quite a bit of TATL service.

Also note that since the failure of Cyprus Airways, Aegean (A3) - a Star Alliance carrier - has started quite a bit of service ex-LCA.

Last edited by Indelaware; Feb 12, 15 at 4:06 pm
Indelaware is offline  
Old Feb 13, 15, 7:50 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Thanks for all the help so far. I took a look at united, and while that was suitable for me, my wife was less than thrilled with the 2 stops and minimum 20hr trip each way (taking into account travel with a 15 month old).

Is the only way with one stop CLT -> LHR -> LCA via BA? Paying a bit of money for the surcharges is OK if it cuts out 5+hours of travel time each way.
magmaster21 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 15, 8:24 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,071
Originally Posted by magmaster21 View Post
Thanks for all the help so far. I took a look at united, and while that was suitable for me, my wife was less than thrilled with the 2 stops and minimum 20hr trip each way (taking into account travel with a 15 month old).

Is the only way with one stop CLT -> LHR -> LCA via BA? Paying a bit of money for the surcharges is OK if it cuts out 5+hours of travel time each way.
Yes, LHR is the only airport that has both (1) nonstop flights from CLT and (2) nonstop flights to LCA, so that will be the only 1-stop route. CLT-LHR is on US, so that should reduce the fuel surcharges you'd have to pay.
dukerau is offline  
Old Feb 13, 15, 9:59 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
Yes, LHR is the only airport that has both (1) nonstop flights from CLT and (2) nonstop flights to LCA, so that will be the only 1-stop route. CLT-LHR is on US, so that should reduce the fuel surcharges you'd have to pay.
Which partner would I book through to get that flight? I only have 50k US and would prefer not to transfer any Starwoods to meet the necessary amount. AFAIK, US would have to be done through a OW partner, no?
magmaster21 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 15, 10:38 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 21,556
Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

Originally Posted by magmaster21
Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
Yes, LHR is the only airport that has both (1) nonstop flights from CLT and (2) nonstop flights to LCA, so that will be the only 1-stop route. CLT-LHR is on US, so that should reduce the fuel surcharges you'd have to pay.
Which partner would I book through to get that flight? I only have 50k US and would prefer not to transfer any Starwoods to meet the necessary amount. AFAIK, US would have to be done through a OW partner, no?
Yes, and if you book the TATL US flight with Avios, you'll still be hit with very high surcharges.
guv1976 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 15, 12:49 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,071
Points.com allows you to transfer Aeroplan to US miles at a 1:0.84 rate. So 72K Amex MR = 60,480 US, which is just more than the 60K needed for 1 award ticket CLT-LHR-LCA and back. This assumes there are award seats available.

http://canadiankilometers.boardingar...s-com-returns/
dukerau is offline  
Old Feb 20, 15, 8:21 am
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
Points.com allows you to transfer Aeroplan to US miles at a 1:0.84 rate. So 72K Amex MR = 60,480 US, which is just more than the 60K needed for 1 award ticket CLT-LHR-LCA and back. This assumes there are award seats available.

http://canadiankilometers.boardingar...s-com-returns/
This sounds like a terrific option, and may just be the route I decide to go. Thanks so much for the suggestion!
magmaster21 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread