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-   -   Airlines good at releasing last minute business class awards? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/information-desk/1804574-airlines-good-releasing-last-minute-business-class-awards.html)

sktnyc Nov 26, 16 4:56 am

Airlines good at releasing last minute business class awards?
 
I am currently in India, waiting for my new passport. It is taking much longer than expected. Looks like I should be receiving my passport in the next two weeks. I would like to book my flight for MAA to SFO 3-5 days after I receive the passport.

I have enough miles for one-way business class to US (1 person) with American, United, and Alaska. Any suggestion on which airline to call, and which partner airlines that generally have the availability?

Thanks.

mihaid Nov 26, 16 5:18 am

In my opinion your highest chances are with UA miles. They (and many of their Star Alliance partners) are pretty good at releasing last minute award inventory, sometimes with interesting/surprising routings. Of course, the higher your UA status is, the better are your chances to see more options being offered.

LondonElite Nov 26, 16 11:24 am

Sorry for maybe stating the obvious, but wouldn't it just be best to check the various programs once you know you can commit to a travel date, rather than have us speculating on something we have no control over? I mean ultimately you'll end up going to aa.com, united.com, etc anyway, right?

erik123 Nov 26, 16 1:06 pm

It's hard to tell. UA used to consistently release award seats about one day out but no longer. I think Air India still does (no guarantees) about 2-3 days out and BA and CX are also worth checking. Start looking BOM-SFO now so you get a sense.

JDiver Nov 26, 16 6:27 pm

As well, look at QR to DFW, LAX etc. via DOH an connecting AA onward.

Good idea to begin checking now to see if your predilection airlines release award seats prior to departure. (CX is known to.)

sktnyc Nov 27, 16 6:03 am


Originally Posted by LondonElite (Post 27529195)
Sorry for maybe stating the obvious, but wouldn't it just be best to check the various programs once you know you can commit to a travel date, rather than have us speculating on something we have no control over? I mean ultimately you'll end up going to aa.com, united.com, etc anyway, right?

You are saying I can search for award flight on aa.com, united.com, and alaskaair.com, and they will display availability for all their partner airlines? Yes, that would be nice.

erik123 Nov 27, 16 8:27 am


Originally Posted by sktnyc (Post 27531704)
You are saying I can search for award flight on aa.com, united.com, and alaskaair.com, and they will display availability for all their partner airlines? Yes, that would be nice.

No - only some. Check all of the above, but in addition, for CX (but not within a week as is no longer shown so use QF) and QR check BA. For EY check EY.

LondonElite Nov 27, 16 9:10 am


Originally Posted by sktnyc (Post 27531704)
You are saying I can search for award flight on aa.com, united.com, and alaskaair.com, and they will display availability for all their partner airlines? Yes, that would be nice.

Sort of. Some you have to call in for. But what I'm really saying is that there's not much point doing research until you know you are able to pull the trigger. Just because there's availability today for a flight next week doesn't mean it will still be there tomorrow (when you are able to commit.)

sktnyc Nov 27, 16 9:12 am


Originally Posted by erik123 (Post 27531979)
No - only some.

I knew that :-)

It would be nice if all airlines displayed all availability.

JDiver Nov 27, 16 10:16 am


Originally Posted by sktnyc (Post 27531704)
You are saying I can search for award flight on aa.com, united.com, and alaskaair.com, and they will display availability for all their partner airlines? Yes, that would be nice.

Generally, you can sign up with BAEC and use BA to search oneworld airline availability. Occasional phantom availability may show.

See http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ssistance.html.

If you want to look for Etihad (not oneworld but a partner) availability using AA miles, see

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...aster-thd.html.

In particular, read the information in the Wikiposts at the top of the pages.

sdsearch Nov 27, 16 11:09 am

A year and a half ago I was watching LH business class availability LAX-FRA for a week (because I wanted to change a United award from AC connection to LH nonstop), and it was showing last minute availability for some days (including luckily for the day I was flying), but never ever showed last minute availability for some other days.

I've seen similar patterns with some other airlines (to other destinations) in some other programs.

So the more flexibility you have on the date you're willing to fly in each direction, the better, if you're intending to rely on last-minute awards.

Duke787 Nov 27, 16 11:17 am

Last minute your best bet is CX. They consistently release award space last minute if seats are open in J and F.

You will need to use either the BA or JL website to search for award space. You'll have to use AS miles as AA doesn't permit routing to from India to US via Asia 1/2 (but Alaska does).

If you wanted to use AA miles, you could pick up a cheap flight MAA - BKK in Y and then use AA miles for either JL / CX / AA to route BKK - HKG/HND/NRT - SFO.

Also looks like you can get MAA - SIN - SFO on SQ PE for ~$800 - $1000 USD depending on dates.

sktnyc Nov 28, 16 10:41 pm

Thanks. Searching CX award on ba.com, for the next 7 days, business class seat is available for 2 days.

Duke787 Nov 28, 16 10:54 pm


Originally Posted by sktnyc (Post 27539306)
Thanks. Searching CX award on ba.com, for the next 7 days, business class seat is available for 2 days.

You need to check it consistently. They (CX) release space up until basically T-1 hour. I've booked onto CX and KA flights as late as 36 hours before the first flight based on award space opening up last minute.

With BA, you also need to search point to point (e.g., you'll need to manually search all HKG - US Points of Entry - the BA website is not good at finding connecting flights). It's a huge PITA (see AwardNexus recommendation below) but you basically need to search HKG - LAX, HKG - JFK, HKG - BOS, HKG - EWR (sometimes shows under HKG - JFK), HKG - SFO, HKG - ORD individually to conclude if space exists. JFK/EWR and LAX have the most available seats so are usually your best bet though ORD during the middle of the week can be fairly empty.

You might also use the QF or JL websites to verify that BA is correct (QF is easier to navigate) - there have been some reports recently that BA isn't seeing all CX space at the moment.

Would be useful to get an AwardNexus account or other - you get some free searches with an FT account and can pay for more.

You could also get a a free EF membership, look at loads, and then compare to what BA is showing as available for award (e.g., J=3 and BA shows 2 J awards; F=2 and BA shows 2 F awards).

Keep in mind AS allows a free stopover so you can do: MAA - HKG (1-2 nights due to award availability) - US.

With AS miles you can also do EK J for 82.5k (can search directly on the AS website for that), KLM/AF for 70k (search directly on AS website), or BA for 70k + $cam charges (also search directly on AS website).

dukerau Nov 28, 16 10:59 pm


Originally Posted by sktnyc (Post 27532083)
I knew that :-)

It would be nice if all airlines displayed all availability.

Be careful what you wish for. If aa.com showed CX availability, there wouldn't be much.


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