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AF business awards- recent trend, they are gone, gone, gone

AF business awards- recent trend, they are gone, gone, gone

 
Old Sep 15, 09, 6:49 pm
  #1  
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AF business awards- recent trend, they are gone, gone, gone

I am wondering if others have been as frustrated as me on the recent nearly complete zeroing out of premium cabin awards on AF?

I am not just talking from a couple of anecdotal experiences, I have a ton of experience on SEA-CDG as well as the onward CDG-India flights. Even during the prior economic boom it was pretty easy to find my wife an award to map to my paid flights (the India flights were surprisingly easy). I used to have a rough sense of what I could find if I looked out a few months (mainly midweek) vs last minute (where I could find tons of options). Where the J/C/I booking classes were all 9's, things were often open in the award class. Often AF availability would disappear from the online search tool, but could still be booked by calling. Now, there is nothing, even with the flights showing 9's across classes on the day before departure.

I am curious, is anyone finding ANY AF premium awards? Is this something that others corelate with the DL merger or is this just a result of AF closing down availability?
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Old Sep 15, 09, 7:00 pm
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AF is one of the airlines with full visibility to ExpertFlyer. Just checking one week, one sees 2 seats in J SEA-CDG 9/27/09. No anecdotes needed.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 7:07 pm
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Well my searching for next summer has had some AF options but these are just for simple US-Europe trips. I've not called to actually book them but can find availability on isolated point to point searches selecting AF as the only partner.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 7:27 pm
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In June I was able to snag 3 biz award seats MXP-CDG-DTW for the return flights of a trip to Europe for next May 2010. It was the best option that fit our scheduling needs on the return (not too early of a flight from MXP) and had availability.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 8:13 pm
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I'll be on AF awards over Thanksgiving.

Hey, it's not like the summer when Delta just said no we won't be allowing members to book AF thank you very much!
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Old Sep 15, 09, 9:30 pm
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With the drop in Biz travel in general, have people been noticing an increase in close-in availability in Business class? If not, that would be rather telling... either they're holding back or bucking world-wide trends.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 10:40 pm
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Speaking as someone who is currently shopping for flights to Europe, India, and South Africa, I can report that Air France has excellent O availability for all three next summer. Generally 9's for the Indian and South African flights, 2s and 3s for the CONUS flights. Far better than my *A options.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by stephem View Post
I am curious, is anyone finding ANY AF premium awards? Is this something that others corelate with the DL merger or is this just a result of AF closing down availability?
I agree to some extent; AF availability seems more limited than before. It has practically disappeared from NWA.com, and even when using EF, it seems as though there are fewer award seats available. I follow SEA-CDG pretty closely, and availability used to be great (O2 or greater for most days, often O6 and up), but is now down to O0 for the most part. I assumed for a while that they limited availability for that route because they considered axing it, but availability has been poor for some months now. Otoh, I have not noticed a reduction in availability for US-Asia routes, and LAX-PPT has pretty decent availability.

Originally Posted by gleff View Post
Hey, it's not like the summer when Delta just said no we won't be allowing members to book AF thank you very much!
I book quite a few AF awards with DL miles, and never heard of that. Sure, I sometimes spend an afternoon on the phone with DL, but I've always been able to get any available AF flight with DL miles. Please provide more details.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 10:59 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Just checking one week, one sees 2 seats in J SEA-CDG 9/27/09...
Originally Posted by 3Cforme
...No anecdotes needed.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by jpdx View Post
I book quite a few AF awards with DL miles, and never heard of that. Sure, I sometimes spend an afternoon on the phone with DL, but I've always been able to get any available AF flight with DL miles. Please provide more details.
You just haven't been at it long enough. I assure you Gary knows of what he speaks. It was several years ago now, I don't remember which year. Perhaps you didn't know we could even book First (and Concorde!) on AF back then, too?
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Old Sep 15, 09, 11:26 pm
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I Had Some Flexibility Earlier This Year

I wanted to go to the UK for a long weekend; I found an itinerary on AF that met my needs, 2 days before the day I wanted to travel outbound; it was available for 80k in Y, 100k in J. The routing was IAD-CDG-NCL and return.

Full fare J on this route was $10.8k; I got a ticket for $214 and 100,000 miles.
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Old Sep 15, 09, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
AF is one of the airlines with full visibility to ExpertFlyer. Just checking one week, one sees 2 seats in J SEA-CDG 9/27/09. No anecdotes needed.
3Cforme-- OK, so you found 2 seats for one day, on expertflyer. The only problem is that you can't book flights on EF. I'm not sure if you just cherry picked the one day where EF purports to show some AF availability, but according to the only 2 places I know where you can book WP awards, NW.com and the NW reservations line, there aren't any seats available in the front cabin of the AF SEA-CDG flight on Sept 27, nor the entire month of October, nor the entire month of November. That is a huge change from the way things used to be. Again, these flights are sparsely populated and I was able to find a paid ticket for around $3k for me, in the past I would have had no problem finding an award seat for my wife. I'm not trying to sound alarmist, just recounting that I have flown these routes a lot and the AF availability sucks compared to years past, and this is a really recent phenomenon.

Erasmus-- I used to agree with you, AF used to be amazing all months for CDG to India, but at least for the 4 months I was looking for 2 tickets things were bleak. For *A, I tend to find really good luck with the MUC-DEL and MUC-BOM flights (there is almost always an F seat on these) for north India and the FRA-MAA flight for the south. Indeed that is likely what we are going to use for these next two trips.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 12:10 pm
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I got an AF biz saver award LAX-CDG a few weeks ago, but only for the outbound and only with a connection (and a 5-hour layover!) in DTW. Coming home, the best I could do was AF CDG-IAH/CO IAH-LAX, both in coach. With the trip coming up in less than 2 weeks, I'm haunting nwa.com, hoping for a biz return--or at least a nonstop coach return. No joy so far, but coach seems to be opening up on the nonstops at about the 2 week mark.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 1:07 pm
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with 2x daily flights LAX-CDG, it not too hard to score J tix and pretty easy to score Y tix. Helps to call, as nwa.com isn't as good after Dultification.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
Helps to call, as nwa.com isn't as good after Dultification.
This is actually not DL's fault. DL.com is much better than NWA.com at finding AF availability.
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