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Hawaiidan

Flying to Europe- business class

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52 minutes ago, buggins0402 said:

AA has a sale right now.  265000 for around $4500 plus tax.  That is almost enough for two on AA metal, non saver. 

 

 

Hi Buggins - Yes, I did see that sale and have "saved it" to refer back to and possibly "pull the trigger on".  That is one of the most generous/expansive offers I think I've gotten from AA (for buying FF miles) in recent months.  It works out to 2-cents a mile.  One of AA's "financial wiz's" has probably figured out that it's better for them to get "today's money" now and in hand, for future FF travel, then it is to wait until later for "future possible revenue".

 

I just might take them up on "maxing out" those FF miles (265K).  Those new miles, along with what I have stored now, would be enought for the 2 BC one-way tickets to FCO.  If I fly (on) AA/BA codeshare directly out of PHX to Europe (on my way to FCO), I have no choice but to go through "dreaded LHR".  Yuck!  Terrible transfers and I avoid Brit Air at all costs (among other things, I can't stand BA's "funky backwards seats" in BC)....(Also don't like BA's "business model" of charging you EXTRA to reserve specific/preferred seating in advance - after they've already wacked you for BC tickets...don't know who the "genius" was who thought that one up!)  But I note that if I select the AA connection through PHL, I can continue on (on a "real" AA flight - not a BA codeshare) directly from PHL to FCO.  And I'm one of the "probably 5 people in the world" who happen to "like" AA and DL, for trips to Europe, as opposed to a host of other choices.

 

Thanks to everyone (including RallyDave, Geezer, HawaiiDan, Susie, et al) for all the good knowledge and thoughts you're sharing! Buying the AA miles (with this most recent "sale") actually works out cheaper for one-way tickets for myself and DW to FCO then using my "hypothetical idea" of buying R/T tickets and "trashing" the return leg.  Again, thanks to all!

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

you could buy 155,000 for $3100.      or 70,000 for $1400 !!!    its far cheaper than getting the miles from spending...

Maybe so but the best way to get the miles is the promo associated with opening a new credit card. You can get 50, 75 or even 100K miles after spending a required minimum ($2 or 3K usually). That is money you would spend anyway - say to pay for your cruise and thus you got your miles “for free”. Not only will you get the promo 100K miles but also 3X the miles for money spent - with a $20K cruise for 2 people it’s another 60K miles.

Hard to beat that 🙂

PS - just noted Dan’s note about these promo options - the way to go!

Edited by Paulchili

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Booking 330 days in advance has been mentioned by a few people in this thread.  That's great to be able to do that but I can offer a word of warning if you do. It is practically guaranteed that the departure time of the flight is going to change, sometimes by many hours.  Keep checking it and never assume as it nears the date of your trip that the flight is the same as when you booked it 10 months ago. 

 

We booked a flight in Business Class 330 days in advance using FF miles. Chicago to Stockholm on one of United Airlines partners (SAS). Our cruise is in June.  About 4 weeks ago, being the somewhat OCD-type person that I am, I went on SAS website just to make sure that this flight is still as it's supposed to be. I had already checked my reservation on my United log-in and everything looked fine. I was shocked to see that the flight to Stockholm now leaves 5 hours earlier than the original departure time.  SAS didn't inform United of the change.  United was quite surprised when we called them to ask what was going on. If we hadn't done our research, we could have shown up at O'Hare and be told that our flight departed 3 hours ago.  Check your flight status routinely and do not assume that nothing has changed. 

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1 hour ago, Paulchili said:

Maybe so but the best way to get the miles is the promo associated with opening a new credit card. You can get 50, 75 or even 100K miles after spending a required minimum ($2 or 3K usually). That is money you would spend anyway - say to pay for your cruise and thus you got your miles “for free”. Not only will you get the promo 100K miles but also 3X the miles for money spent - with a $20K cruise for 2 people it’s another 60K miles.

Hard to beat that 🙂

PS - just noted Dan’s note about these promo options - the way to go!

Another free mile strategy, use the airline shopping portals.  If I see something I want at a store, I can usually find that item at that store in the portal, sometimes at 10x points. 

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5 hours ago, buggins0402 said:

Another free mile strategy, use the airline shopping portals.  If I see something I want at a store, I can usually find that item at that store in the portal, sometimes at 10x points. 

 

5 hours ago, buggins0402 said:

Another free mile strategy, use the airline shopping portals.  If I see something I want at a store, I can usually find that item at that store in the portal, sometimes at 10x points. 

some cards  like Marriott business..  give 6X for Marriott  and 4 x gas food restraunt, tele,  and 2X for everytihg.   I use mine for ever thing i spend for regular life domestic expense.        I am using that card because UAL has , or is, soon going to destroy my former FF bank worth.   Knowing this I have booked some 800K of trips  in the past 24 months.   I saw the light at  the end of the tunnel.......it was a train.     Hotel points still good when  Airlines go south, and I dont me to Rio !

Paul....what  cards do you suggest for  intro bonus ?   Your  genius is requested.     I am a FF pauper now. 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Paul....what  cards do you suggest for  intro bonus ?   Your  genius is requested.     I am a FF pauper now. 

I would check out The Points Guy for the latest info and see which one might work best for you  - good luck

Edited by Paulchili

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Posted (edited)

Rather than quoting multiple threads, a few comments...

 

Remember that using miles for cruise flights requires that the airlines have seats available when you want to fly.  There's a lot of "common knowledge" about FF seats opening at X days before the flight, but these are often as wrong as they are right.  Airlines use extremely sophisticated (and secret) algorithms to determine when and if seats are released into award inventory; in the case of most North American airlines overall bookings open at 330 or 331 days before the flight, and while some might release award seats at the get-go, most won't; instead they'll be released only when the robots decide it's safe to do so, which might be (and often is) so late in the booking period that anybody trying to book flights for cruises will have long since done so, using money.

 

Most US-based airlines are moving toward "dynamic pricing" for their FF seats, as opposed to "saver" or "anytime" categories.  Up to now, with, say, American, you could wait for "saver" seats to come available - which they might not - or, for usually around twice to three times the "saver" miles, book "anytime" seats which will get you a seat in any flight that isn't sold out.   Now, however, the airlines will be setting the price on the award seats according to what their algorithms say gives the airlines the highest return for the seats.  So while a "saver" award for the continental US to Europe might be, say, 57,500 miles for business class one way, under the new arrangement it could be anywhere between 57,500 and, say, 200,000 miles for a given day, and the day before or the day after might be totally different.  The good news is that you'll be able to get an award seat pretty much any day; the bad news is that you probably won't be able to get it cheaply at all.  

 

For transatlantic business class, it's worth noting that the northern summer is often the time when purchased business class is at its cheapest, while ironically it's the most expensive time for economy (and usually premium economy) fares.  This is due to a falloff in actual business travel; the airlines will cut fares to fill the chairs.  (This doesn't mean you're likely to get more seats for FF miles, quite the contrary.)  These summer discounted business class fares start showing up in March and April, and usually last until May, for travel between, say, July and August, sometimes longer into the autumn.  They can also be quite place-specific; you're less likely to see cheap fares between mega-hubs like New York and London, and more likely to see good prices for city pairs like Detroit and Milan, things like that.  For example, there was a Portland (OR) - Prague business class round trip fare on Skyteam carriers (Delta, KLM, Air France etc.) for $2400 that expired two days ago.  I've also seen sub-$2000 business class round trips on Aeromexico from the west coast to Europe via Mexico City, but haven't checked recently.  And I know that TAP (Portuguese airlines, a member of Star Alliance) offers well-priced one-way flights over the pond during the summer, mainly from their US gateways (MIA, BOS, EWR, IAD, SFO, ORD, maybe more.)

 

It's also worth checking out fares from Canadian cities; sometimes the savings in the transatlantic fare will more than justify some "staging" flights to the Canadian gateway (look at Toronto - YYZ, Montreal - YUL, and Vancouver - YVR.)

 

On the idea of purchasing miles, the best deal at present is with Alaska Airlines, which happens to have one of the best FF programs going and is partners with numerous airlines.  Right now you can score Alaska miles for under 2c per mile, which is a great deal.  Alaska (still) uses award tables, and there are some well-known fabulous deals available with their partners, e.g. Cathay Pacific business class from North America to South Africa via Hong Kong (stopover allowed) for 62,500 miles each way, or first class for 70,000 miles.  On Cathay Pacific, fer Pete's sake.  Unbelievable value.

Edited by Gardyloo

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8 hours ago, Gardyloo said:

Rather than quoting multiple threads, a few comments...

 

Remember that using miles for cruise flights requires that the airlines have seats available when you want to fly.  There's a lot of "common knowledge" about FF seats opening at X days before the flight, but these are often as wrong as they are right.  Airlines use extremely sophisticated (and secret) algorithms to determine when and if seats are released into award inventory; in the case of most North American airlines overall bookings open at 330 or 331 days before the flight, and while some might release award seats at the get-go, most won't; instead they'll be released only when the robots decide it's safe to do so, which might be (and often is) so late in the booking period that anybody trying to book flights for cruises will have long since done so, using money.

 

Most US-based airlines are moving toward "dynamic pricing" for their FF seats, as opposed to "saver" or "anytime" categories.  Up to now, with, say, American, you could wait for "saver" seats to come available - which they might not - or, for usually around twice to three times the "saver" miles, book "anytime" seats which will get you a seat in any flight that isn't sold out.   Now, however, the airlines will be setting the price on the award seats according to what their algorithms say gives the airlines the highest return for the seats.  So while a "saver" award for the continental US to Europe might be, say, 57,500 miles for business class one way, under the new arrangement it could be anywhere between 57,500 and, say, 200,000 miles for a given day, and the day before or the day after might be totally different.  The good news is that you'll be able to get an award seat pretty much any day; the bad news is that you probably won't be able to get it cheaply at all.  

 

For transatlantic business class, it's worth noting that the northern summer is often the time when purchased business class is at its cheapest, while ironically it's the most expensive time for economy (and usually premium economy) fares.  This is due to a falloff in actual business travel; the airlines will cut fares to fill the chairs.  (This doesn't mean you're likely to get more seats for FF miles, quite the contrary.)  These summer discounted business class fares start showing up in March and April, and usually last until May, for travel between, say, July and August, sometimes longer into the autumn.  They can also be quite place-specific; you're less likely to see cheap fares between mega-hubs like New York and London, and more likely to see good prices for city pairs like Detroit and Milan, things like that.  For example, there was a Portland (OR) - Prague business class round trip fare on Skyteam carriers (Delta, KLM, Air France etc.) for $2400 that expired two days ago.  I've also seen sub-$2000 business class round trips on Aeromexico from the west coast to Europe via Mexico City, but haven't checked recently.  And I know that TAP (Portuguese airlines, a member of Star Alliance) offers well-priced one-way flights over the pond during the summer, mainly from their US gateways (MIA, BOS, EWR, IAD, SFO, ORD, maybe more.)

 

It's also worth checking out fares from Canadian cities; sometimes the savings in the transatlantic fare will more than justify some "staging" flights to the Canadian gateway (look at Toronto - YYZ, Montreal - YUL, and Vancouver - YVR.)

 

On the idea of purchasing miles, the best deal at present is with Alaska Airlines, which happens to have one of the best FF programs going and is partners with numerous airlines.  Right now you can score Alaska miles for under 2c per mile, which is a great deal.  Alaska (still) uses award tables, and there are some well-known fabulous deals available with their partners, e.g. Cathay Pacific business class from North America to South Africa via Hong Kong (stopover allowed) for 62,500 miles each way, or first class for 70,000 miles.  On Cathay Pacific, fer Pete's sake.  Unbelievable value.

Right now  UAL is having a sale on miles @ 0.019 per mile    this means you can get  70 K miles  good for a 1 way business  0n UAl sustem  for  around $1300. !!!! 

 Lufthansa is selling 1 way europe to lax for $2762.pp   You can buy 140K  rt  from ual  for $2695 thats almost $100 cheaper than the LH fare one way for a rt !!!      UAL  is selling a one way for About $5600

 

I checked my cards and all   No card beats the New AMEX business Marriott Bonvoy  but it cost $500.   There is one card that does..the Bonvoy Business Marriott Premier.  which I have.    Sadly they are not issuing that any more as it trumps the AMEX and Saphire according to the  Points guy tables.b

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70k (or more frequently 80k) is a Saver Award for Business class to Europe on United. Great if you can get one, but not easy. So your idea that $1300 for miles is a great deal is a little misleading. 

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15 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

Right now  UAL is having a sale on miles @ 0.019 per mile    this means you can get  70 K miles  good for a 1 way business  0n UAl sustem  for  around $1300. !!!! 

 Lufthansa is selling 1 way europe to lax for $2762.pp   You can buy 140K  rt  from ual  for $2695 thats almost $100 cheaper than the LH fare one way for a rt !!!      UAL  is selling a one way for About $5600

 

I checked my cards and all   No card beats the New AMEX business Marriott Bonvoy  but it cost $500.   There is one card that does..the Bonvoy Business Marriott Premier.  which I have.    Sadly they are not issuing that any more as it trumps the AMEX and Saphire according to the  Points guy tables.b

When Marriott took over SPG and migrated SPG's excellent points program to "Bonvoy" (hate that name) they kept one of the best programs going (IMO) largely because you can transfer Bonvoy points into miles in one of 40+ airlines' FF programs, sometimes at a bonus.  Thus you can shop between airlines and alliances for the best deal for redemptions, then transfer Marriott points into that program, and badda bing.  However sometimes it takes a day or two to finish the transfer, during which the available seats can go poof.

 

The high annual costs are a major PITA and can quickly eat into any savings on redemptions.

 

By the way, Skyteam is currently having a biz class sale between SFO and London (maybe other destinations too) for $2500 - $2700 running from mid-July through December.  

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1 hour ago, CruiserBruce said:

70k (or more frequently 80k) is a Saver Award for Business class to Europe on United. Great if you can get one, but not easy. So your idea that $1300 for miles is a great deal is a little misleading. 

Well in the past 18 months  for flying in April-May August  I have  had an easy time  getting 70K to europe  and 80K for Australia.   In fact I am looking at the award calender's for next March and April ( soon )  and there are not a lot but still a good number of choices for 70K in 2020   IFyou book before Oct 30 2019  for a  flight in 2020         Its  realistic in the LAX/SFO  departure market...   if your flexible            As an example    some flights that are cheap  show long connections   like 12 to16 hours.        Bad?      No if your wanting to beat jet lag  you fly 8 hours  to a stop in only a 5 ot 6 hour change  and grab a hotel then the next day you continue on  with a 3 ot 4 hour  change.    Makes it easier 

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50 minutes ago, Gardyloo said:

When Marriott took over SPG and migrated SPG's excellent points program to "Bonvoy" (hate that name) they kept one of the best programs going (IMO) largely because you can transfer Bonvoy points into miles in one of 40+ airlines' FF programs, sometimes at a bonus.  Thus you can shop between airlines and alliances for the best deal for redemptions, then transfer Marriott points into that program, and badda bing.  However sometimes it takes a day or two to finish the transfer, during which the available seats can go poof.

 

The high annual costs are a major PITA and can quickly eat into any savings on redemptions.

 

By the way, Skyteam is currently having a biz class sale between SFO and London (maybe other destinations too) for $2500 - $2700 running from mid-July through December.  

I may be dumb... but I have not seen all the airlines you suggest   I only say about 6 the other day....    Things are changing in Credit cards too    New "flight credit  like  when you get 50,000 points  you get a $700 credit for air fare.... Really !!!! what a crummy return   You get too $300 flight credit annually       Right now Marriott is getting me 2-3 nights a year comp  thats a good $700 right there.    I shifted building points to Marriott  and as a result  they gave me ultra status for life...Titaninum I guess  beats platinum.    Sounds silly but the checks cash !!!

 

Oh....Lufthansa is having a sale 15% off fares and miles to get flights...

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2 hours ago, CruiserBruce said:

70k (or more frequently 80k) is a Saver Award for Business class to Europe on United. Great if you can get one, but not easy. So your idea that $1300 for miles is a great deal is a little misleading. 

Hey    a few weeks ago  I scored a SFO-Zurich rt   nonstop UAL in a 787 for 140K and $5.60   They are there

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2 hours ago, Gardyloo said:

 

By the way, Skyteam is currently having a biz class sale between SFO and London (maybe other destinations too) for $2500 - $2700 running from mid-July through December.  

Looks like most the major airlines have matched $2,500-$2.700 RT (both SFO and SJC to LHR). Who knows how many hours this will last but, I'm guessing by tomorrow it might disappear??

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2 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

I may be dumb... but I have not seen all the airlines you suggest   I only say about 6 the other day....    Things are changing in Credit cards too    New "flight credit  like  when you get 50,000 points  you get a $700 credit for air fare.... Really !!!! what a crummy return   You get too $300 flight credit annually       Right now Marriott is getting me 2-3 nights a year comp  thats a good $700 right there.    I shifted building points to Marriott  and as a result  they gave me ultra status for life...Titaninum I guess  beats platinum.    Sounds silly but the checks cash !!!

 

Oh....Lufthansa is having a sale 15% off fares and miles to get flights...

https://www.marriott.com/loyalty/redeem/travel/points-to-miles.mi

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58 minutes ago, AZjohn said:

Looks like most the major airlines have matched $2,500-$2.700 RT (both SFO and SJC to LHR). Who knows how many hours this will last but, I'm guessing by tomorrow it might disappear??

This is a frequent happening that come and go....   in the mean time I have a friend that just paid $2100 for regular economy rt   I have seen it  where business was selling less than coach if you can beleive it.     Keeping plugged in is important

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, AZjohn said:

Looks like most the major airlines have matched $2,500-$2.700 RT (both SFO and SJC to LHR). Who knows how many hours this will last but, I'm guessing by tomorrow it might disappear??

These spring sales usually last a little longer, but remember airfares are for specific fare "buckets" - they don't "disappear," they just get sold out, leaving only higher-priced buckets available.

 

British Airways announced a summer sale yesterday or the day before - JFK to Brussels, Berlin and Luxembourg (maybe others) for under US$2K round trip, as low as $1700-ish in some cases, good for flights from August through the end of the year.  With an AARP 10% discount (and maybe also a Chase Visa 10% discount - they can be stacked) you could get the final price down to the $1400 - $1500 level.

 

Here's the easiest place to learn about these deals - https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/premium-fare-deals-740/

Edited by Gardyloo

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