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

Airlines good at releasing last minute business class awards?

Airlines good at releasing last minute business class awards?

Old Nov 26, 16, 3:56 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 210
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.
sktnyc is offline  
Old Nov 26, 16, 4:18 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: EWR, NJ / OTP, RO / KUL, MY
Programs: UA (1K), OZ (Diamond)
Posts: 232
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.
mihaid is offline  
Old Nov 26, 16, 10:24 am
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 27,519
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?
LondonElite is online now  
Old Nov 26, 16, 12:06 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,891
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.
erik123 is offline  
Old Nov 26, 16, 5:27 pm
  #5  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,659
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.)
JDiver is offline  
Old Nov 27, 16, 5:03 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 210
Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
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.
sktnyc is offline  
Old Nov 27, 16, 7:27 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 7,891
Originally Posted by sktnyc View Post
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.
erik123 is offline  
Old Nov 27, 16, 8:10 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 27,519
Wink

Originally Posted by sktnyc View Post
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.)
LondonElite is online now  
Old Nov 27, 16, 8:12 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 210
Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
No - only some.
I knew that :-)

It would be nice if all airlines displayed all availability.
sktnyc is offline  
Old Nov 27, 16, 9:16 am
  #10  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,659
Originally Posted by sktnyc View Post
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.
JDiver is offline  
Old Nov 27, 16, 10:09 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 24,938
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.
sdsearch is offline  
Old Nov 27, 16, 10:17 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7,915
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.
Duke787 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 16, 9:41 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 210
Thanks. Searching CX award on ba.com, for the next 7 days, business class seat is available for 2 days.
sktnyc is offline  
Old Nov 28, 16, 9:54 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 7,915
Originally Posted by sktnyc View Post
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).
Duke787 is offline  
Old Nov 28, 16, 9:59 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: CLT
Programs: AA, UA, BA, Hilton Gold, SPG Gold, IHG Platinum
Posts: 2,072
Originally Posted by sktnyc View Post
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.
dukerau is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: