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LAX to Frankfurt (FRA) using SPG points?

LAX to Frankfurt (FRA) using SPG points?

Old Aug 10, 17, 8:55 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2017
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LAX to Frankfurt (FRA) using SPG points?

Just found flyertalk today - My 1st post

I'm planning a trip from LA to Frankfurt in September and have around 200k SPG points (along with 300k BoA travel reward points)

Any suggestions to get a good deal for upgraded travel using points?
Upgrade: Biz, premium eco or 1st class

And honestly I'm lost on how to book.
Do I have to call airline by airline that fly that route to request what award offers they have available? Having a hard time to find information online.

Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old Aug 11, 17, 12:56 pm
  #2  
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Welcome to Flyertalk!

A few basics:

- you can book awards on dozens of airlines using the miles from a particular airline's frequent flyer program (e.g. you can book an award on any Star Alliance member airline using miles from any Star Alliance member airline's frequent flyer program), though you will often need to call in to make the booking
- some airlines release more award space to members of their own FFP (particularly relevant if you want to fly LH F or SQ J/F)
- each frequent flyer program has its own award charts, rules, routing rules - so you could literally end up getting 20 different answers when asking "how many miles and $ will it cost to take flight AB123?" depending on which FFP you use
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Old Aug 11, 17, 1:53 pm
  #3  
 
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First step is to review which programs SPG points can get transferred to and what the sweet spots are for redemptions.

Are you looking to travel in September 2017? If so, you're late to the game and it may be more difficult to find availability. Start reading up in the SPG forum which can be found lower down in the hotels section of "Miles & Points". Then look at the airline programs as each one is different and they are not equal.

For Star Alliance generally using the United Airlines search gives you a good view at what is availabile. SPG Transfers to a few Star Alliance partners including UA but at a 2:1 ratio which isn't good. NH gets 1:1 and has a J class redemption starting at 86k points RT. It does not allow for 1 way awards if that is what you're looking for. SQ may be another option. Aeroplan/Air Canada gets a 1:1 rate and does allow 1 ways but the required miles can be higher than other programs. Once you locate a low level/Saver award you can call the airlines that don't display them online to book.

For One World BA & AA do a decent job displaying awards. But don't show all including some of the European partners. You'll also want to avoid BA & AA via LHR for awards as the fees will be very high. AA flights via other cities will be good and IB awards will have a much lesser but still existing fee schedule.

For Skyteam Delta & Frlying Blue are good for searching and I give a slight edge to Flying Blue rates but be sure to check out both.

Alaska's award program can be a great transfer partners but can be tricky for new and even some experienced award travelers.

If all of this is too much, you can hire an award booking service for a small to moderate fee to do all this searching for you.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...e-reviews.html

I know nothing about BoA's program so won't comment on that.
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Old Aug 11, 17, 3:00 pm
  #4  
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Rostropowich Welcome to FT

2 very goods posts above. Will be a steep learning curve to get the best from loyalty points/miles.

For upgrades airlines have t&c's. Often not all fares are not eligible. Generally getting a full award is better than hoping for upgrade with miles/cash co pay.
Awards close in are hard to get. Premium cabin awards/upgrade even harder. Awards and upgrades are never guaranteed. More people wanting these than seats available.

Did you get the SPG points from credit card or hotels stays?
Are you a member of any ffp now?
Generally you are better being in airline you fly most or an airline of you home country.
Look here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...help-here.html
I note you just signed up to Air Berlin Topbonus http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/airbe...nus-miles.html

Freq Flyer Award assistance tools
Use at your own risk. (These are not recommendations)
These links give a guide of ff miles needed. These may not be up to date.
Availability is from the airline ffp web sites/phone.
Award flights are never guaranteed. You need to be flexible with date and route.
Depending on the airline and/or ffp awards can start to become available 355/330 days out . Awards can be released any time from the 355/330 days to closer to departure.
Frequent flyer miles/points are not equal to or burn. They are not 1 to 1
If a multi segment award check the rules/cost carefully. With some ffp’s it can be 2 or more awards or cost more ff miles/points than a direct flight.
If the award is on partner airline it may cost more miles/points than an award on the ffp airline.
Some awards/airlines/routes can have cash surcharges, in addition to real taxes.
Real taxes/regulatory fees are the same for all airlines on the same route/class.
Some carrier imposed surcharges can trigger additional real taxes when the flight changes from non-revenue to revenue.
-AwardAce: Compare Award Redemptions Across Airlines In Seconds --> http://www.awardace.com/ Has surcharge indication
-Economical Excursionist's Tools to compare Frequent Flyer Mile Redemptions --> http://www.flyermiler.com/
-http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ast-miles.html --> http://www.awardhacker.com/

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Aug 11, 17 at 4:39 pm
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Old Aug 11, 17, 4:33 pm
  #5  
 
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Not near my computer so can't type out a full answer but if you want to go *A, Aeroplan is a great option right now. Since you are transferring from SPG you get both the 5k bonus for every 20k (as you do with all SPG transfers) plus a 35% bonus from Aeroplan so 20k SPG ends up as 33750 Aeroplan.

Aeroplan will charge 110k for RT to Germany in J and 140k for RT in F. Do note that Aeroplan does also apply a fuel surcharge on many but no all TATL partners.

You are late to the game though LH does release a lot of late F space that would be available to Aeroplan you would just need to be okay with booking your flights within 15 days of departure. Personally I'm fine with that (doing that for a trip later this year) but understand some are not especially if they haven't been playing the game as long.
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Old Aug 11, 17, 6:58 pm
  #6  
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American Airlines requires 57,500 miles for one-way travel between the continental U.S. and Europe. You can get to Frankfurt for that amount on Sept. 11 or 19th. You can return for that amount on Sept. 20, 21, 26 or 27. (Other dates may also be available for that number of miles, or some of those may no longer be available, by the time you check. If a date isn't available for 57,500 miles, it is probably still available for more miles, but you don't want to do that unless you have no alternative.) That's a total of 115,000 AA miles for the round trip. Getting those will require 95,000 SPG points because of the bonus that Duke787 mentioned above. You can even take a friend!

The routing I got for that itinerary on the random pair of dates I used has you on an AA commuter hop to San Diego, then BA with a change in London. Depending on where you are in the LA area it might be easier to just fly out of SAN. You won't save any miles by doing that, but you'll avoid the need to deal with LAX.

You can book this online with AA, but I'm fairly sure you have to move the points into your AA account first to do it. You may be able to put it on hold while you move them. The AA and/or SPG forums here will probably have more information about that, or you can call AA to find out without incurring a telephone booking charge as long as you don't actually book anything with the phone agent.
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Old Aug 11, 17, 9:40 pm
  #7  
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Wow, truly great support. Thanks

I'm actually looking to book a round trip for 2 and the AA option sounds like a perfect match. Def trying to grab that deal
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Old Aug 13, 17, 9:02 am
  #8  
 
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For burning 70k SPG points and converting them to M&M you can get a one way in F class to Europe flying Lufthansa. However, YQ will be painful
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Old Aug 13, 17, 3:30 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
American Airlines requires 57,500 miles for one-way travel between the continental U.S. and Europe. You can get to Frankfurt for that amount on Sept. 11 or 19th. You can return for that amount on Sept. 20, 21, 26 or 27. (Other dates may also be available for that number of miles, or some of those may no longer be available, by the time you check. If a date isn't available for 57,500 miles, it is probably still available for more miles, but you don't want to do that unless you have no alternative.) That's a total of 115,000 AA miles for the round trip. Getting those will require 95,000 SPG points because of the bonus that Duke787 mentioned above. You can even take a friend!
Where did you look up the avails? I called AA (was on line for 1-2 hours) and they said they don't have anything for September. Are these agents a reliable source?
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Old Aug 13, 17, 3:32 pm
  #10  
 
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The search most likely was for 1 ticket not 2 which is what I found when I replicated Duke's suggestion.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 9:04 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
The search most likely was for 1 ticket not 2 which is what I found when I replicated Duke's suggestion.
Can't speak to the AA side of things - my recommendation remains SPG ---> Aeroplan to take advantage of 35% bonus
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Old Aug 14, 17, 4:20 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Rostropowich View Post
Where did you look up the avails? I called AA (was on line for 1-2 hours) and they said they don't have anything for September. Are these agents a reliable source?
I checked online. I only checked for one person because, at the time, there was nothing in your previous posts to suggest you really wanted to take a friend - that was just a throw-away line. Go to aa.com, click "Advanced Search" so you can choose the class of travel instead of just economy, and be sure to check the "Redeem Miles" box. You'll get a calendar display with departure dates two weeks on either side of whatever you put in and the minimum number of miles per person for flights departing on that date.

Unfortunately, the fact that I found one ticket a couple of days ago doesn't guarantee that you'll find two on the same flight now. I did, however, find two seats at 57,500 miles each one way on flights departing August 29 and returning Sept. 6, if you can move your departure ahead a bit and that's a long enough stay.
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