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New here, need help: Travel to Paris/Milan in Aug

New here, need help: Travel to Paris/Milan in Aug

Old Jun 20, 22, 5:22 pm
  #1  
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New here, need help: Travel to Paris/Milan in Aug

Hey All.. Trying to make sense of everything from Fare Code basis to itasoftware and expertflyter.com.

I would like to get into mileage earning and traveling more but all of this information has been intimidating, to say the least. I tried reading up and watching videos yet still failed to execute properly.

My goal for now: Travel to Paris/Milan 2nd the week of August and snag a business class upgraded ticket.
Start to earn points and maybe do Mileage Runs.

I have Amex Platinum & Chase Sapphire with some points. I really want to take advantage of the Amex card.

Any advice on where is a good point to start? How to use the fare basis code (Can I contact my local travel agent and deal with them or call the airline. At times the hold time was more then an hour and I was not able to figure out which fare basis code to use.. sigh)

I feel like this is the millionth time someone might've asked here so do excuse my ignorance. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 3:28 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by blacksheepqv View Post
Any advice on where is a good point to start?
Mentioning where you're based would be a good start.
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Old Jun 21, 22, 6:34 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
Mentioning where you're based would be a good start.
New York. Next to JFK airport. Thanks.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 9:07 am
  #4  
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Hi, welcome to FT.

This is a place where you can really deep dive into information. So asking for "any advice" is very broad and, on this website, too broad to get the answers that you seek. When you can break your questions down into smaller, more specific components, I have no doubt that the answers are all here for you.

What videos exactly are you watching? What's "failing to execute properly?" What advantages are you looking to take advantage of with your Amex Card? (Lounge access perhaps?}

It sounds to me like you've signed up for a couple of credit cards and are hoping to travel in Business Class from NYC to Milan or Paris later this summer. Using points? It is peak season for travel and relatively close in for an award flight in business class. That could be the root of the difficulties. There's no need to deep dive into fare basis codes for a simple, first time booking.

And yes, the hold times for the airlines are crazy long.

All this said, I'm going to relocate your thread to the Information Desk forum. Perhaps you'll get some additional direction there.
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Old Jun 22, 22, 9:19 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by blacksheepqv View Post
My goal for now: Travel to Paris/Milan 2nd the week of August.
Do you mean:
​​​​​​
1. Paris and Milan (flying into one, and back from the other)?

or

2. Paris or Milan (presumably, whichever destination is cheaper)?
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Old Jun 23, 22, 10:06 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by blacksheepqv View Post

I would like to get into mileage earning and traveling more…

My goal for now: Travel to Paris/Milan 2nd the week of August and snag a business class upgraded ticket.Start to earn points and maybe do Mileage Runs.

Any advice on where is a good point to start?
TL;DR: Sounds like you are looking for more than just this trip, and want to make it a long term thing, you are in the right place. Start by figuring out what is important to you in terms of travel and what it is you want to get out of it.


A good place to start is by narrowing and focusing the context, both for your goals and then for asking the best way to do something. Before you can make a plan, define some parameters. You have watched videos (which is a bit disconcerting) - but you seem to have an idea that you want to do this ‘thing’ - how do you see this thing, What does it look like? Its structure, in your mind?

That thought/idea of how it all works may be a little more fantastical than reality, especially if its based on watching others’ self-promoting videos - and thats ok - this is a great site to help refine it all and to take advantage of the travel game.

Some areas to think about:
What kind of budget are you willing or wanting to work within?

How often do you plan to travel?
Once a year? then credit card points are probably your thing. Dont have a large budget for cc spend? Then sign-up bonuses and credit card churn, may be your game. see the credit card forums here

Want to travel every couple months or more? How flexible are you when it comes to travel?

Think in terms of dates, connections, layover time, money for spontaneous purchases on great fares that last 1-2 days once or twice a year that line up with your available location/destination. If this seems like your thing, then-Is airline status important to you?

You are located in an area where you have your pick of airlines. But if it looks like you are going to fly a lot and collect miles, I would suggest reading up on the 3 airline alliances and see which one you use most.

Or, figuring out if you want to do mileage runs for actual miles and not status - that’s important, so is knowing if you plan to do int’l trips for these runs (it opens up more options), otherwise it will eliminate some airline options that award miles mostly on how much you spend + you current status. You may want to find the airlines that still award actual miles based on miles flown - unless you travel for work and your spend is other peoples money.

Find your travel profile or what you want it to be, then it will be so much easier to figure out the finer points

As for that summer trip - that may be difficult to pull off this close to the travel month, and in the middle of a revenge travel summer with only a couple new cards. Unless you already have large point bonuses sitting in your account - may have to travel in Y (economy class) or wait a few months - but without more information, and maybe flexibility on your part, its going to be difficult for anyone to really help get you to Paris or Milan this Aug in any class
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Old Jun 24, 22, 7:36 am
  #7  
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I would add that if status is a goal, think carefully about the timing. Most airline programs base status requirements on earnings during the calendar year (as do most hotel programs). Starting in August puts you at a disadvantage unless you can find a status challenge for a FF program you want that doesn't require current elite status in some competing FF program.

The programs that are exceptions tend to start the accrual year for new members based either on when membership is initiated or the date of the first flight activity to credit to the program, so check the rules carefully.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 8:57 pm
  #8  
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Thanks. I read on a pin post to start here. You are right I did sign up for few cards and racked up about 150k points. Just trying to monetize on these points instead of just buy tickets.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 8:58 pm
  #9  
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Flying into Paris and then to Milan. Returning back to JFK from MXP.
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Old Jun 25, 22, 9:39 pm
  #10  
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Firstly, thank you for a detail post. This should be pinned for future dummies like me. Lol.
I do need to firm up my idea of the type of traveling I like. I am able to set aside budget for 2 to 3 international trips depending on deals. I can be flexible with dates and be spontaneous as I run my own business. Just not this trip because of my partner. Also, I don't travel for work.

I did sign up for Amex platinum recently and racked up 130k points ( I assume this is not alot of points ). I also have Chase Sapphire and Hyatt card (have not used it in some time). Will read up on credit card forums here.

I figure this summer trio will be a killer and that feeling was right. My partner is keen on going to Lake Cumo and Paris. She has a travel bug but doesn't necessarily care for deals or upgrading. I also think it should be a human right to travel business class on flights longer then 3 hours. Lol. Man it makes such a difference.

It would be great if I can take advantage of upgrading to business class on these travel. Also, I can keep an eye on flights using expertflyer.com but still trying to figure out how to properly utilize that site for what I want.

I can work towards getting Status over points if it gets me to better class seatings on longer flights. So comfort is another want I have. I assume this is achievable via airline status instead of mileage runs? If so. Airline Status is something I would go for. Where do I start on this?

AGain folks thank you so much for all of this. I hope you to learn enough and help folks navigate this more.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 26, 22, 2:06 am
  #11  
 
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Based on wanting comfort and AMEX being preferred - I would suggest diving into the different Delta/SkyTeam forums. AMEX and Delta have some partnership with lounges or something, maybe? I dont know the details but someone else will.

Also, not sure which SkyTeam airline would be best to sign up with (if you go with that), but only do one and fly the alliance with that FF#. There are ways to maximize award miles and status credit doing this with United’s FF program on other StarAlliance airlines, so I would guess could do similar with Delta/SkyTeam? - they all seem to eventually copy each other with minor tweaks/details to try and stand apart.

I think once you decided a FFProgam/direction, it will be easier to narrow down your options for using the points you have collected in a more copasetic way. But since the Aug trip is kinda soon, there may be a better way to use the cc points now, even if it doesn't line up with your long term goals.

And def. see if any have a status challenge, and check status earning/timing as suggested above. Could help jumpstart things.

Im in a similar work/flexibility situation and being flexible and able to appreciate the journey as much as the destination will make it a lot easier, and more fun if it also turns into a game/hobby for you.
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