JFK connection?

Old Feb 24, 15, 10:58 pm
  #1  
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JFK connection?

Looking for advice, and the responses could be "Go for it, you'll be fine," "It's doable, but risky" or "You're outta your friggin' mind." Or something in between.

I'm hoping to take advantage of a mileage award to fly upper deck J on a 747/380, and have identified some LH flights that have saver space (and, to confirm, if I have my LH PNR from UA, I can call them up and get a seat assignment, right?).

Anyway, the only saver space I've found in the timeframe when I can travel (May, because I can't do anything sooner, and LH doesn't seem to release award space for premium cabins too far in advance) is to/from the east coast, but I'm west-coast based (YYJ, to be specific). LH400 has availability into JFK and it's scheduled in at 13:25. I'd probably have to buy a revenue ticket on UA (unless there's a way to do this all on one award ticket, even if I'm in Y for the rest of the journey), but there's a PS flight out at 15:40 to SFO (2h15 connection) that connects with the YYJ flight.

I have Global Entry, if that helps in going through customs/immigration.

So, is this a doable itinerary, or should I forget about it? If I misconnect, am I basically on my own for getting rebooked? Or will UA help, since it's a UA ticket connecting to a UA ticket?
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Old Feb 24, 15, 11:13 pm
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GE does help. if you have GE and that gets you TSA pre, i think it would be tight, but doable. if you book on the same itinerary and you check a bag, you'd be more likely to make your flight (i don't know the details, but i remember there's some laws against flights taking off with checked bags without their owners being on-board... or something like that). although T7 is a mess with security, at that hour it should be quick. especially now that they finally introduced a real pre check line there. be sure to book it on a single itinerary though, that way they will help if you misconnect.

at least more likely to.
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Old Feb 24, 15, 11:23 pm
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How would I book it as a single itinerary? When I search for FRA-YYJ as award space, routing via JFK doesn't show up as an option, and when I try to do multi city, I get an error saying it can't find flights. I'm thinking it doesn't like that connection, but don't really know if it's that or some other problem.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 12:01 am
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Originally Posted by rmadisonwi View Post
How would I book it as a single itinerary? When I search for FRA-YYJ as award space, routing via JFK doesn't show up as an option, and when I try to do multi city, I get an error saying it can't find flights. I'm thinking it doesn't like that connection, but don't really know if it's that or some other problem.
You can make that connection with GE and no checked bags but I don't know if it's legal.

The award can theoretically be booked (assuming it's a legal connection) but you'll probably have to call it in. There is very little business saver availability on ps flights.

You should be looking for availability FRA-IAD and FRA-ORD, both of which get the LH 748, and both of which do show availability relatively frequently.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 12:24 am
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MCT

According to ExpertFlyer, it should be a legal connection:

STANDARD.D/D...D/I...I/D...I/I.
ONLINE 1.00 1.15 1.45 2.00
OFFLINE 1.00 1.15 1.45 2.00

I can't get it to work using multi-destination search either -- unless I add in a bogus third leg back to FRA, in which case it comes up fine. You should be able to call them to book it, and if you tell them that you couldn't get it to book via the website, they should waive the phone-booking service fee.

Regardless, you may run into issues getting that award to price properly. In theory, you should be able to use a single business saver award provided that business saver or coach saver is available on each leg. In practice, the computer doesn't always seem to price it correctly and it may add the award amounts together.

Note that your connection time at JFK can be as long as 23:59, and that you could connect using another partner (e.g., AC), so you have options beyond the p.s. flight.

Having said that, if you're going to SFO anyway, I'd look for FRA/SFO flights on the A380. Of course, I can't promise LH will release any seats... :-)

Regarding your original question -- I would not expect UA to accommodate you in case of IRROPS if you're on two tickets, even if they're both UA tickets. They may do so, but it's not a requirement, so you're depending upon the agent being in a good mood.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Feb 25, 15, 8:58 am
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I'll try and call them up and see what I can get. If not, I might have to roll the dice.

I did try FRA-SFO, ORD and IAD (as well as IAH, BOS, and anyplace else in North America that I could think of that LH flies and still has a reasonable connection back to western Canada), and there's no availability on the days I need. I mean, I suppose I could just book UA's 777 (seems the 747 is back off the ORD route again), but honestly, why would I do that?
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Old Feb 25, 15, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by rmadisonwi View Post
I did try FRA-SFO, ORD and IAD (as well as IAH, BOS, and anyplace else in North America that I could think of that LH flies and still has a reasonable connection back to western Canada), and there's no availability on the days I need.
Availability is ever changing. It's SOP around here to check daily, sometimes for weeks or months, to get the award itineraries we want.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Availability is ever changing. It's SOP around here to check daily, sometimes for weeks or months, to get the award itineraries we want.
True. My hope was to book before the end of the month to take advantage of UA's mileage discount promotion. What I might have to do is book a less ideal return (meaning, not A380/747) to get the mileage pricing I want, then see if something better opens up later, understanding the possibility that I may have to pay the difference in miles plus a change fee.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post

Regarding your original question -- I would not expect UA to accommodate you in case of IRROPS if you're on two tickets, even if they're both UA tickets. They may do so, but it's not a requirement, so you're depending upon the agent being in a good mood.

Enjoy your trip!
In case if IRROPS, the operating carrier of the late/cancelled flight is responsible for delivering you to the final destination. In this case, it would be LH, not UA. Even though UA might not accommodate, LH can do more.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by rmadisonwi View Post
What I might have to do is book a less ideal return (meaning, not A380/747) to get the mileage pricing I want, then see if something better opens up later, understanding the possibility that I may have to pay the difference in miles plus a change fee.
That's pretty much the best way to go.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by PTahCha View Post
In case if IRROPS, the operating carrier of the late/cancelled flight is responsible for delivering you to the final destination. In this case, it would be LH, not UA. Even though UA might not accommodate, LH can do more.
OK, fair point -- but if he has two separate tickets, the "final destination" of the first one would be JFK. Neither UA nor LH would be obligated to get the OP to YYJ -- LH because JFK was the final destination on that PNR, and UA because the passenger failed to appear at the gate on time. Again, LH might help, but I wouldn't risk it personally.
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Old Feb 25, 15, 2:13 pm
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In the end, the question was answered for me as the award space on LH400 disappeared. I found an alternative routing that gets me all the way home on a single ticket. I'll have to fly an A380 some other time.
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