Award First Class tickets Sth. Africa-FRA. Do you think these days may clear?

Old Feb 17, 03, 5:25 am
  #1  
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Award First Class tickets Sth. Africa-FRA. Do you think these days may clear?

Joh and I have a ton of UA miles to burn, so thought we would try and go First Class on LH to Cape Town, maybe take the Blue Train or whatever between the two, then open jaw back to FRA from JNB. The idea of sleeper seats (only FOUR rows!) upstairs on a LH 747 for about 11 hours plus CPT each way is VERY appealing.

We did plan to do this for a few days AFTER the Valencia FT weekend and our few days driving up in the Barcelona area.

Going DOWN to RSA ex FRA is pretty wide open around the 21/22/23/24 March. But coming BACK last 5 days March or first days April there is zero seats UA tell me. No coach, biz or F on any day. Even the LH Airbus flight JNB to Munich has zippo available.

It is a 3 class Airbus but to burn 100,000 we'd prefer a 747 both ways. Do the F seats on these compare with the LH 747s? Also we will probably connect immediately to a LH FRA-Asia flight so coming into Munich is just a nuisance as we then need to fly to FRA anyway.

Joh wants me to keep calling daily re the JNB-FRA ... but does anyone think realistically they'll clear? Star awards CANNOT be waitlisted using UA points. Maybe Rudi or someone else can take a guess at our chances? We are without his Zurich LH 'angels' sadly!

It seemed like a nice few days that fitted in perfectly after Spain. OS fly VIE to Mombasa and thought it might be neat to go across to Zanzibar, but it is a weekly Sunday flight, and no seats anyway.

So we have about a week to kill SOMEWHERE from Madrid or Barcelona. We are *thinking* late March in St. Petersberg or Moscow is likely still too cold? I've been there in December and it was bitter. And my other choice was to go to Cyprus for a week but Joh thinks it is a little too close to Iraq. And I'd prefer to burn a BIG chunk of miles to either Africa or Latin America.)

I asked about FRA to Peru so I could show Joh Macchu Picchu and Cuzco. Also only 100K in First. But NO * carrier flies Europe to Peru, despite that being a specific award zone. Durrrrrhhhhh. We need to fly via Rio (on Varig) and that makes it a 130,000 award! Talk about a dumb system that Star chart in cases like that. We would not even bother stopping in RIO as it happens. Even so they sting you for "higher" cost transit zone.

Costa Rica is about the only thing that works right now. LH 747 to Mexico City and UA onwards. Right now that looks the only thing 'doable' for us. Does LH fly 747s to Mexico City?

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Old Feb 17, 03, 5:38 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ozstamps:
Going DOWN to RSA ex FRA is pretty wide open around the 21/22/23/24 March. But coming BACK last 5 days March or first days April there is zero seats UA tell me. No coach, biz or F on any day. Even the LH Airbus flight JNB to Munich has zippo available.

It is a 3 class Airbus but to burn 100,000 we'd prefer a 747 both ways. Do the F seats on these compare with the LH 747s?
[...}
Joh wants me to keep calling daily re the JNB-FRA ... but does anyone think realistically they'll clear?
[...]
LH 747 to Mexico City and UA onwards. Right now that looks the only thing 'doable' for us. Does LH fly 747s to Mexico City?
</font>
I think CPT/JNB is pretty hard to get F-awards for even with LH miles as these routes have very high loads in the premium cabins...I would not expect to see these seats open up until a week or so before departure and then chances are that they have been sold in the meantime. So daily calling will probably bring you nowhere.

The Airbus, if it becomes an alternative, is not all that bad. In fact the cabin is very intimate with only eight F-seats... Seats are the same as on the 744, but the pitch is marginally less, and it's not so good for couples traveling together as it's layout is 1-2-1. Apart from that, LH's first is great on any aircraft they fly...;-)!

As to Mexico...as far as I know LH flies the 744 there, and starting the summer-schedule even twice (one hour apart) on some days of the week.

Greetings - Dirk
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Old Feb 17, 03, 6:19 am
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MEX: two years ago, I (Senator) had no difficulties to get instant upgrade confirmations (from paid *rtw-business to first) with LH miles/vouchers for 2 FRA-MEX segments. And I noticed on that flight (Boeing 747, upstairs), that about one third of the F-seats were not taken.
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Old Feb 17, 03, 6:20 am
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I guess I was lucky to get an F award using UA miles to do JFK-MUC-JNB-FRA-JFK. The high loads are a fact, the cabin was complete on the MUC-JNB sector. I think your difficulty is that you need two seats, thats gonna be tough. LH's MEX service is done on 744, they used to have 1 flight per day, but I guess thats being reduced for the Summer schedule.

As for the A340 F seats, they are the same as on 744, so from that perspective you are fine.
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Old Feb 17, 03, 6:48 am
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Wow. Three helpful and informative answers within an hour. Thank you folks. FlyerTalk is an amazing resource.

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Old Feb 17, 03, 8:16 am
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[Glen, I am really happy that you addressed your questions to the LH board and not to the *A board. In the latter case I would have moved this thread to the UA board as your questions are about redeeming MP miles.

But now to serious business: I do not know, if you have M&M miles to burn. If so, you could request Germany/RSA vv on M&M other partner airline SA for 70/105/140k M&M miles (I do not know about availability on SA 261) . Definitely not for this time but for later (if you can do a cheap SYD-PER vv): You could ask for PER/RSA vv on SA 281 for 90/135/180k M&M miles.

Another option for now could be using SkyMiles on a SA award from Great Britain to RSA vv for 50/80/120k SM miles.
 
Old Feb 17, 03, 12:30 pm
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Maybe I just got those two seats... Me flying CPT-FRA on March 26th and my brother on April 2nd...

The flight for my brother was changed from that March 26th date of my flight to April 2nd where only C seats where available. Some 2 weeks ago an F seat opened up and I booked it.

As we booked the trip in November nearly any date was avilable in F and C!
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Old Feb 18, 03, 9:13 pm
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OH NO ... ralfkrippner GOT *MY* FIRST CLASS 747 SEAT!!!???????

I
I
I


Well simply could not happen to a nicer guy.

As you know, Joh and I owe you a SUPERB dinner when your paths cross for coff, coff, 'great advice' in another Forum. (Can't mention which one or Patron may lock this thread for being off-topic!) So if we do snaggle seats to South Africa that week, we must try and rendezvous.

I owed Rudi a similar 'debt' for first bringing that very matter to my attention, and he and Gisela were "paid" here a couple weeks back in MEL over a lovely Italian meal.

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[This message has been edited by ozstamps (edited 02-18-2003).]
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Old Feb 19, 03, 1:34 am
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I don't know what you mean, oz...

I'm at the Starwood Western Cape from March 19th to 26th. So if you will be at ZA then too, let's meet for a drink. FRA could be another oportunity...
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Old Feb 20, 03, 3:17 am
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OZ, if you finalize your date of travel I will be flying FRA-CPT Mar27 & CPT-MUC Apr1. After how hard these annoying UA changes hit you guys "down-under" the least I can do is buy you a drink.

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Old Feb 21, 03, 11:29 pm
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Well the drinks are still safe guys.

Checked again today and March 21/24 FRA to CPT the only days for 2 x F award seats is the 24th, (747) getting us into CPT at 12.34 pm on the 25th.

However the only seats BACK to FRA March 27 to April 1 period is the via MUC Airbus flight leaving March 27, so that only gives us 2 days there, (after 13? hours flying from FRA) and hardly good use of 100,000 miles each as Joh has never been to Southern Africa before. Still sweating on the 30/30/1st to shake out and then we'd lock it in. Shame is, one cannot waitlist Star awards using UA miles.

Anyone know any LH 'Angels' that like ozzies?

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