award availability tightening again?

Old Jul 31, 18, 12:16 am
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award availability tightening again?

try to get an award ticket in F (preferred) or J to Euope (CDG, FRA, MUC, ZRH) during last week of March 2019 (25. - 31. March), 8 months in advance!
Nothing available, only waitlist…
what is going on?

has anybody access to UA availability? Maybe they sell everything to UA and screw their own FF?
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Old Jul 31, 18, 12:21 am
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Everyone has access to United availability. Just go to united.com. No account needed.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 12:39 am
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TG has been much tighter with releases to UA as well. They are now just making sporadic limited releases on flights that used to be super easy (e.g., BKK-HKG).
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:02 am
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I just booked a few HKG-BKK-SYD and return -- but I do agree with Kacee, the HKG-BKK options are reduced, and on the outbounds, I had to take the tight connection that won't leave time for the full massage at the TG F Spa in BKK. Life's tough :-)
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:07 am
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I use LifeMiles to check availability; not much seems to have changed except there is zero availability out of Auckland on any date. For the last week in March 2019 ex-Bangkok LifeMiles is showing 2 in J to FRA & CDG on 26/3 and FRA on 1/4. MUC nothing (always a brave choice of destination with TG) and same for ZRH. Limited Y availability most days, most destinations. No F. In contrast there are 2 seats available on every flight to SYD in J but none for F in that week. I suspect it's simply a matter of demand management. BTW (your favourite hobbyhorse I know) there are no F for Bangkok-SYD that week which may mean none may be available because the 747 may not be flying by then? Just saying
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:15 am
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One thing I don't like as a ROP Gold member is that the 50% award 'gift' can't be booked until after 01 Jan each year - which means 'I' business award availability for Jan-Jun can be very thin. same for Gold Upgrade, not loaded until the start of the calendar year, but usually more flexible as J is usually available.

Mrs TK and I have a plan to get to Europe next year in Sep/Oct, so I'd buy a K class economy ticket and use Gold Upgrade, and I would use the 50% award for a business ticket for her. I know it is a busy season and I fear award availability might be gone as the dates will be quite specific and I won't have much flexibility (reunion with others).

We did this last year and managed to make it work in Jun to fly ICN-BKK-OSL return.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:29 am
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good luck Thai-Kiwi
why should Sept/Oct be a busy season for BKK to Europe?
- Peak of the rainly Season in Thailand, lowest Tourist Saison there
- School Holidays in Europe are over by then
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Old Jul 31, 18, 1:35 am
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Oh good! I haven't researched the obstacles and was a bit worried by European school holidays.

I had a quick look for award availability ex-AKL in April (Songkran and Singapore rugby sevens) and even 1 business award seat is hard to find... although we have already planned to travel economically since the GUP is much more 'valuable' for NZ-Europe.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by BinSabai View Post
why should Sept/Oct be a busy season for BKK to Europe?
Sept/Oct is a tough time for flights to Europe, at least from the US. It's still tourist season (think Oktoberfest), business travel resumes after the summer, and it's when most of the big trade fairs are held.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Sept/Oct is a tough time for flights to Europe, at least from the US. It's still tourist season (think Oktoberfest), business travel resumes after the summer, and it's when most of the big trade fairs are held.
I think the point BinSabai is making is that availability is not blocked by European tourists returning home from holiday, because it is the peak of the low season in Thailand. Add to that, there are no very long holidays in Thailand around those months, meaning many Thais would likely pick another time of year to travel. So you cannot really compare any US to Europe travel pattern to TH to Europe.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by SKT-DK View Post
I think the point BinSabai is making is that availability is not blocked by European tourists returning home from holiday, because it is the peak of the low season in Thailand. Add to that, there are no very long holidays in Thailand around those months, meaning many Thais would likely pick another time of year to travel. So you cannot really compare any US to Europe travel pattern to TH to Europe.
It's a very strong period for business travel to Europe (and still substantial tourist demand as well, since it's a better time to visit than summer). I would assume that business traffic largely drives J cabin loads BKK-Europe, as it does pretty much everywhere else in the world.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 6:31 pm
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The OP was looking for award availability, and I would not expect business travellers to consume the number of seats released for award tickets. These would be paid tickets.

Granted, it may or may not impact the number of seats released by TG (only their revenue mgmt would know for sure), but that should not be much different in autumn than other times of year.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by SKT-DK View Post
Granted, it may or may not impact the number of seats released by TG (only their revenue mgmt would know for sure), but that should not be much different in autumn than other times of year.
Demand for paid business class absolutely impacts how many seats TG releases for awards. That's Frequently Flyer 1A.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Demand for paid business class absolutely impacts how many seats TG releases for awards. That's Frequently Flyer 1A.
Yes it is - but to which degree autumn varies from the rest of the year is not something you (unless you work in TG's RM?), nor I know - but of course, you can guess. But to make an educated guess, you would have to take into account that generally the downtime periods for business travel to and within Europe is July/August and Christmas/New Year plus the month of January. Otherwise fluctuations are limited, and these would naturally be taken into account by TG and any other airline when they make the initial release of award seats some 330 days out.

And there is not really a need to be condescending by making this comment, is there:
That's Frequently Flyer 1A
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Old Jul 31, 18, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
It's a very strong period for business travel to Europe (and still substantial tourist demand as well, since it's a better time to visit than summer). I would assume that business traffic largely drives J cabin loads BKK-Europe, as it does pretty much everywhere else in the world.
According to my observation, the share of the cabin load in J BKK Europe of tourists (Europeans, Thais, Expats) is growing year by year and should not be underestimated. ongoing economic prosperity creates a large customer base, who are willing to spend more to avoid to sit in cattle class...
September might be still attractive in Europe, but not October
in Thailand Sept/Oct are very low season
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