I'm frustrated - can't seem to redeem miles

 
Old Dec 27, 04, 8:34 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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I'm frustrated - can't seem to redeem miles

I am so frustrated. I've been accumulating NW FF miles for years and would like to be able to use them to go to either Hawaii (preferably Maui, Kauai or Oahu) OR to Copenhagen, Denmark but it doesn't matter what dates I check nothing is available. Why accumulate miles if you can't redeem them. Here's what I'm looking for.

Indianapolis to Copenhagen, Denmark - March 24, 2005 thru April 2, 2005 OR
Boston to Copenhagen, Denmark - March 24, 2005 thru April 2, 2005

Indianapolis to Maui, Kauai or Oahu - Any dates during February, May 1-15, June 15-Aug 15 or anytime after September 6 - Would like to stay in Hawaii for at least 7 nights, maybe longer.

I'm so sick of trying to find seats, no combination I try works.

Any help?

Thanks - Rita
Tupergal is offline  
Old Dec 27, 04, 8:40 am
  #2  
 
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I worked in reservations for a major airline and mileage seats to Hawaii were filled the first day they could be booked. You need to find out the first day you can book mileage seats to Hawaii and plan accordingly. I imagine Europe is much the same. By the way, have you thought about using your miles to upgrade? It's really a better use of miles when you compare the cost of a roundtrip coach fare to business or first class fare.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 27, 04, 9:40 am
  #3  
 
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Look at Code Share/Redemption Partners

I used CO miles to score 4 F seats (on DL) from CLE-HNL during the last week of March (the week of Easter and spring break for many schools).

In the case of NW, check DL and CO.
At this late stage, I'd check every day.
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Old Dec 27, 04, 9:45 am
  #4  
 
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Before this thread gets moved to the NW forum:
IND-HNL availability in February, 2005:
02/02/05 IND 09:20 HNL 18:44 - - Y NW187/NW361/NW85
02/02/05 IND 08:15 HNL 18:44 - - Y NW1606/NW345/NW85
02/09/05 IND 12:30 HNL 19:10 F - - NW497/NW97
02/09/05 IND 08:10 HNL 19:10 F - - NW1873/NW447/NW97
02/18/05 IND 09:20 HNL 22:29 - - Y NW501/NW843/NW93
02/19/05 IND 09:20 HNL 22:29 - - Y NW501/NW843/NW93
02/22/05 IND 12:30 HNL 19:05 - - Y NW1205/NW97
02/22/05 IND 08:30 HNL 19:05 - - Y NW2901/NW414/NW97
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Old Dec 27, 04, 1:16 pm
  #5  
 
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Exclamation Ever Try to Legendary WorldPerks Award Availability Lister?

http://usr.v7.com/wpaa/
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Old Dec 27, 04, 1:20 pm
  #6  
 
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Forget Hawaii

You need to be more flexible or otherwise do extreme planning.

Classic tourist destinations are where EVERYBODY wants to go with their miles.

If you want to go Birmingham, Alabama, you likely will have no trouble using your miles.

So, advice would be to avoid (or not count on) places like Hawaii unless you are prepared to phone on the first day (maybe 330 days out) that inventory is made available.

Europe tends to work well mid-week during off-season. Peak season, Europe starts to look more like Hawaii.

Birmingham AL can be nice in the spring, I'm told.
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Old Dec 27, 04, 1:24 pm
  #7  
 
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Some other suggestions:
-Don't rely only on Northwest's web site - over the phone I've had them offer award seats on flights that weren't listed as available on the web.
-When you call make sure they check every partner airline; they may not do it automatically.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 27, 04, 1:29 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Reindeerflame
You need to be more flexible or otherwise do extreme planning.

Classic tourist destinations are where EVERYBODY wants to go with their miles.

If you want to go Birmingham, Alabama, you likely will have no trouble using your miles.

So, advice would be to avoid (or not count on) places like Hawaii unless you are prepared to phone on the first day (maybe 330 days out) that inventory is made available.

Europe tends to work well mid-week during off-season. Peak season, Europe starts to look more like Hawaii.

Birmingham AL can be nice in the spring, I'm told.
I think it has more to do with the program than the destination. I've gotten tickets on AA to hawaii with less than a month advance, and several choices of flights. I've gotten tickets to DEN on UA during ski season with less than three weeks advance. I've gotten EIGHT seats to SYD on UA with tons of availability still open on those dates.
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Old Dec 27, 04, 2:50 pm
  #9  
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consider calling the airline and when you finally get a pleasant CSR, chat about creative ways to get there...

consider alternate airports, partner airlines and even stopovers or changes that will get you to where you want to go. Once I flew to Vegas via LAX just because I knew using miles would be a pain otherwise. But it worked because the CSR was nice and was willing to spend some time with me working on ways to get there even if I had to connect in some city not normally considered during such a route.

You may need to book like 330 days in advance (as is the case with say, Boston to Aspen, CO in the winter) but you may also get lucky as people begin to cancel their reservations and there are suddenly seats within only weeks of your trip! Example: my recent trip to Key West, FLA booked online one week prior to Thanksgiving! We didnt even know we were going until that day! We went on normal miles!

then there are partnerships:
Alaska Airlines had seats avail using THEIR miles to fly on NWA planes from Manchester, NH through Detroit to Amsterdam when we wanted to go last spring, and yet, NWA iitself had run out of seats for the very same flights!

Inventory...
Each partner has alotted so much of it!

And flying out of Manchester, NH was an alternative to BOSTON, but it worked. Going the other way, to Detroit, was also factored into this one. Learn theroutes and who does what with who and when!

Keep at it! You will be successful if you work at it. Miles may be free or next to fre, but you still have to work. That AMS trip above took us 4+ hrs to set it all up. Worth it though, as it saved me about $900+

hope this helped.

MM
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Old Dec 28, 04, 10:39 pm
  #10  
 
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CPH is available

Originally Posted by Tupergal
I am so frustrated. I've been accumulating NW FF miles for years and would like to be able to use them to go to either Hawaii (preferably Maui, Kauai or Oahu) OR to Copenhagen, Denmark but it doesn't matter what dates I check nothing is available. Why accumulate miles if you can't redeem them. Here's what I'm looking for.

Indianapolis to Copenhagen, Denmark - March 24, 2005 thru April 2, 2005 OR
Boston to Copenhagen, Denmark - March 24, 2005 thru April 2, 2005

Indianapolis to Maui, Kauai or Oahu - Any dates during February, May 1-15, June 15-Aug 15 or anytime after September 6 - Would like to stay in Hawaii for at least 7 nights, maybe longer.

I'm so sick of trying to find seats, no combination I try works.

Any help?

Thanks - Rita
Awards for Both IND-CPH and BOS-CPH are available on the dates you specified. But you should be willing to pay more miles (Rulebuster fares).
Fewer miles if you have flexible schedule and willing to travel mid-week.
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Old Dec 28, 04, 11:25 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe
I think it has more to do with the program than the destination. I've gotten tickets on AA to hawaii with less than a month advance, and several choices of flights. I've gotten tickets to DEN on UA during ski season with less than three weeks advance. I've gotten EIGHT seats to SYD on UA with tons of availability still open on those dates.
Ditto to everything above. UA has come through with Hawaii at peak and London/Paris at peak with less than 6 weeks notice both times. NW/CO on the other hand made it impossible to find anything over a 7 month stretch when trying to redeem to Asia or Europe, that's why I found those 200k miles to be useless and left the program. Great for free domestic upgrades, sucks for redemption.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 3:56 am
  #12  
 
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I never ever had a problem, and burned in the last 14 months 180k miles.

But, I also found the key is to book as early as possible AND get a good agent on the phone. Especially with my European trip, as I had specific requirenments I wanted and I flew at a high volume time. Same was my 3 day out booked trip over labor day to san francisco. Agent suggested co-terminals which ended up to be the charm. First agent where I tried said there is absolutly nothing.

But then, maybe UA and LH are just better at keeping some inventory for booking with miles.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 7:54 am
  #13  
 
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About two years ago, I used DL miles to go to Hawaii. When planning the trip, the first thing I did was find dates that I could use the miles for. Then using those dates, we planned the rest of the trip (hotels, excursions, etc). Being somewhat flexible with the dates made it very easy for us to use the miles.

In the past year, I've cashed in miles three times: for trips from EWR to Vegas, Jacksonville, and Atlanta. The Vegas trip was the most difficult one to use miles for, but I was persistent and was finally able to do it. The others were fairly easy.

So from my perspective, it helps if you are flexible on when you can fly, and it is usually possible to find something if you are patient enough.
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Old Dec 29, 04, 8:09 am
  #14  
 
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Welcome to Flyertalk Tupergal.

This really belongs in the northwest forum. I'll go ahead and move it there for you.

Regards,

Flipside
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Old Dec 29, 04, 11:22 am
  #15  
mdb
 
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Waitlist, Waitlist, Waitlist

I feel your pain. Here is what I recomend. Call - get the closest thing you can (including 3 stops if necessary) - then WAITLIST for the flights you want. I have had this work 99.9% of the time. NWA, unlike UA waits until the last possible minute before they open extra inventory onpopular destinations.

Good Luck
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