Award Seat Rant...

 
Old May 6, 02, 9:02 pm
  #1  
E
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Strongsville, OH
Posts: 791
Award Seat Rant...

Okay, here goes...

Looking for two award tickets for next year's Spring Break. Now granted, I know I'm looking in FLORIDA...the CAPITAL of SPRING BREAK, but give me a break!!!

I start by using February 28th as my start date. We are flying from DBQ and I tried 10 different airports that NW claims to fly to in Florida, not counting the two or three up in the panhandle.

What did I find, looking over an EIGHT day period, and TEN cities?!?!? Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zippo.

Now come on...no blackout dates, increased capacity controls...how the h--- are we supposed to make use of our miles when we can't even book seats out 10 months in advance?

In the past I have had a fairly easy time of finding and using award seats to the destinations we wished to go. But this is getting ridiculous!

On the day they were available to book (supposedly 330 days out or something?), I tried getting three award seats from DBQ to HNL...we only got two (for the direct flight) and another one via SEA. Once again...I don't believe it. This system has GOT to change.
E is offline  
Old May 6, 02, 9:39 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: CMH/DAY
Programs: NW Gold/SPG Plat/Hilton Gold
Posts: 557
Have you tried calling and asking if there is availability on CO?

Please don't take this the wrong way, or as an attempt to defend NW. I think that the problem you are experiencing has more to do with the fact that NW has cancelled many flights that it used to have pre 9-11 to Florida. Where it used to have three and four departures to cities like MIA from DTW, it now only has two. If you combine this with the fact that from DBQ it is very hard to find itineraries that do not have less than 2 connections, it is problematic.

The no-blackouts is all a smokescreen, and has been widely discussed on Flyertalk. Just because there are no blackout dates, makes for good marketing but not necessarily for more seats. You can call a date not blacked out, but not offer any seats that day. And if you have went from four daily departures to two, it just means that there are less seats in the market to begin with.

Good luck in finding something!
Andrew14302 is offline  
Old May 6, 02, 10:14 pm
  #3  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Programs: AAdvantage ExecPlat, United 1k, United Club (life), Virgin Silver, Marriott/SPG/Hilton/Accor Gold
Posts: 5,030
Was the award availability there to get you from DBQ-MSP on the outbound and MSP-DBQ on the return?
TransWorldOne is offline  
Old May 6, 02, 10:21 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA NW Platinum Elite Since 1999, United GoldMM, Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz #1 Gold, IC Ambassador, Avis Chairman's
Posts: 7,445
Using the handy dandy World Perks Award Availability locater, found the following flight available...

03/04 NW2817 DBQ 1110A -> MSP 1231P 0 N N Y SF3
03/04 NW0604 MSP 0111P -> CLE 0413P 0 N N Y D9S
03/04 NW8185 CLE 0700P -> FLL 0947P 0 N N Y 735

02/25 NW3176 DBQ 0630A -> MSP 0751A 0 N N Y SF3
02/25 NW0999 MSP 0840A -> MIA 0311P 1 N N Y 320

use this site to narrow down where you wanna go, then call the WP line and see what's available... good luck!
http://usr.v7.com/wpaa/
thezipper is offline  
Old May 6, 02, 11:14 pm
  #5  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Arizona
Posts: 213
Very cool. Zipper. Thank you. Do you have something similar for CO??

[This message has been edited by TheAuditor (edited 05-06-2002).]
TheAuditor is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 12:53 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Alexandria, VA, USA NW Platinum Elite Since 1999, United GoldMM, Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz #1 Gold, IC Ambassador, Avis Chairman's
Posts: 7,445
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by TheAuditor:
Very cool. Zipper. Thank you. Do you have something similar for CO??</font>
Well... if you plug in the right flights, for example NRT-EWR, this comes up...have to play with it a little, but sometimes it pulls CO's availability too. (funny, it's showing F available on a 777, so I'd guess that means BF is available as an award or UG on that flight)

06/18 NW6008 NRT 0420P -&gt; EWR 0400P 0 Y N N 777
thezipper is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 7:09 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: NW Platinum Elite, United PE, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 399
E,

I'm having a similar problem. Even with full fare economy (Y) there are still no upgrade seats available on the SFO-AMS-SFO route. I have to do this route a number of times over the next few weeks so any seat in business I can get I'll take using my miles.

I think NW should really look into this problem because it's becoming hard and harder these days to spend your miles. When talking to NW reps they say that other people book their award travel a year in advance but even if I want to, my situation is just not like that I can book that much in advance.

BA Fan
BA Fan is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 7:19 am
  #8  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Promoted to Chairman of the Most Wonderful Continental Airlines Highly Valuable OnePass Program Security and Ideological Purity Bureau
Posts: 4,130
The problem is that there are many people who really DO book award seats far in advance. For exmaple, I am already looking into a CO/NW/KLM ticket (using OP miles) to either Johannesburg or Nairobi for March, ad am running into zeroed-out availability.
avek00 is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 8:35 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Des Moines Iowa
Posts: 55
Thought I'd throw my 2 cents worth in here. First off, I had a WP phone agent tell me several years ago, that seats come on inventory not 330 days as I had believed, but even earlier. And that's been my experience on several trips. It doesn't always happen, but more often than not they are on before the 330d day. Second, while the WP lister site is helpful, it does NOT for what ever reason match up with what you can find out on the phone. I just booked a spring break trip, got seats on a date many days ahead of when the lister even showed the flights on the date in question. And lastly, I have seen seats on the lister and when I called the rep told me there was nothing. When I asked why I could see them, there was no answer. What did I do? I hung up and called back, got another rep in the "phone roulette" who in fact could see the same seats I did. The whole thing baffles my mind.
milesmom is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 8:51 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Mall of America, WorldGateway, and points between
Posts: 373
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by BA Fan:
E,

I'm having a similar problem. Even with full fare economy (Y) there are still no upgrade seats available on the SFO-AMS-SFO route. I have to do this route a number of times over the next few weeks so any seat in business I can get I'll take using my miles.

I think NW should really look into this problem because it's becoming hard and harder these days to spend your miles. When talking to NW reps they say that other people book their award travel a year in advance but even if I want to, my situation is just not like that I can book that much in advance.

BA Fan
</font>
The nonstop SFO-AMS-SFO is operated by KLM so NW has nothing to do with their inventory.

Between SFO and AMS there are dozens of options for you so I can't understand you not being able to find anything.

You have the option of connections through;

SEA, LAX, YVR, MSP, MEM, IAH, DTW, EWR and double connections through JFK, IAD, BOS, ORD.

Unless the flights are actually FULL, I can't understand how not one flight has business class seats available!
PARSpro is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 9:08 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Home of the El Dorado Promise
Posts: 462
Another post expressing frustration in booking NWA award tickets. How about trying Award Planner? $49 for one year of unlimited service.
http://www.awardplanner.com/

I'll be using them in a couple of months for airline and hotel awards for HNL next summer. You can use them first and let me know if it works out.

Good luck. Don't forget to take lots of sunsreen and asprin.

Soonerman is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 9:25 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Exile
Posts: 14,798
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by milesmom:
I had a WP phone agent tell me several years ago, that seats come on inventory not 330 days as I had believed, but even earlier. </font>
Considering that Worldspan/PARS is only capable of handling bookings 330 days into the future, I highly doubt that this is the case.
B747-437B is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 11:23 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Norman, Oklahoma
Programs: DL PM, AA Plat
Posts: 574
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by avek00:
The problem is that there are many people who really DO book award seats far in advance. For exmaple, I am already looking into a CO/NW/KLM ticket (using OP miles) to either Johannesburg or Nairobi for March, ad am running into zeroed-out availability.</font>

I was looking for flights into CPT for December looking 11 months out, and I couldn't find anything. I'm not sure KL makes award seats available to Suid-Afrika...
bwallet is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 1:04 pm
  #14  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Always on vacation
Programs: aa exp - spg gold - Hyatt Diamond - HH Gold
Posts: 6,007
Well I am flying SFO-AMS tomorrow on an upgraded seat. Remember if you are trying to find a seat from a "B" fare basis you can not see the bucket that the seat ( I ) comes out of online anywhere. You have to call.
If you are trying to upgrade a "Y" fare basis you can see the availability online at sites such as itn and classavailbilty by checking if "Z" seats are available. I was unable in a quick search to see one single day that did not have any seats available in "Z"
It has been posted many times previous in many differenbt threads on how others have had success getting rewards seats and upgrades. I have followed those suggestions and I have had success.
Is the complaining of not getting an award seat something new. Not in the news for sure. A quick search of google brought news articles up to 7 years ago of complaints about not enough availability of award seats and I am sure a more thorough search would probably bring articles from 10 or more years ago. More than half the life of ff programs.
I for sure believe that there are a lot more award seats given out than those who complain that they did not get them. Yes I have posted that those who use their smarts will end up with the seats. Those who don't will not. All the suggestions I use are in this thread and previous threads. The facts are below. Bold type inserted by me.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">From the NW site
Redeeming WorldPerks Frequent Flyer Miles

Making Award Travel Reservations

You may make award travel reservations for flights departing up to 352 days in the future. Northwest reviews and updates the number of Standard award seats on each flight daily. Some flights will sell out of Standard award level seats well before departure, while other flights may have award seats added closer to departure.</font>
magic111 is offline  
Old May 7, 02, 1:35 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 406
Can't believe we are arguing about booking 10 months or earlier. I just don't understand how flyers can tolerate these type of abuse.

I fly Southwest extensively, because other then few black out dates, there are NO capacity control what so ever. Why can't NWA be like that.
bellwilliam is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: