SkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 378 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3427 times:
I just got off the phone with an AA representative because I was wondering how many miles I needed to go roundtrip from IAD-Johannesburg on June 15. She was a very nice Asian lady, and spent about 20 minutes on the phone with me finding various routing options. She told me that on the 15th of June, there were no available seats on any of the One World partners connectiong through Europe from IAD (like BA and Swissair). Her itinerary for me was to send me from DCA to LaGuardia, then take the shuttle from LGA to JFK and board Swissair to Geneva, then continue to Zurich, and later board the Swissair flight from Zurich to Johannesburg. I was very surprised that there were no available seats, even though on Orbitz.com it showed available fights on BA and Swissair. Is she mistaken, or is the Orbitz sight not up to date? I need to figure this situation out by early next week cuz flights are filling up!
By the way, I am a huge fan of United and the Star Alliance partners (since my home airport is IAD), but when I called the Reservations center the representative with very short with me and would not even look up flight schedules for me without my mileage plus number. I never even gave the lady from AA my OneWorld account number...maybe the United guy was just in a bitchy mood
Award inventory for using frequent flyer miles is a completely different thing than just logging onto any one of hundreds of websites and booking a ticket. On any given flight, airlines only set aside a certain portion of the seats for frequent flyer awards. This proportion depends on years of priceless statistical data that helps airlines to accurately predict how many seats they can afford to give away to frequent flyers to keep them happy without sacrificing any revenue. Obviously, for the dates you chose, no AA frequent flyer program partner had an award seats available for frequent flyers, but I'd be willing to bet that any one of AA's partners -- or any other airline who served the market -- would be more than happy to sell you a revenue ticket today, or any day until the day of departure.
SkyHigh777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3340 times:
OK well that does make more sense...so basically im screwed and I'm gonna have to fork over the $2,200 to buy a fare on South African...I never expected all flights to Europe being completely full with mileage passangers...My dad last year flew United to IAD-LHR last minute (as in booked it the same morning) because my brother was in the hospital and he used his miles. If I'm not mistaken it was around December, which is usually a pretty busy travel month. Oh well!
777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3875 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3163 times:
Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 3): OK well that does make more sense...so basically im screwed and I'm gonna have to fork over the $2,200 to buy a fare on South African...I never expected all flights to Europe being completely full with mileage passangers...My dad last year flew United to IAD-LHR last minute (as in booked it the same morning) because my brother was in the hospital and he used his miles. If I'm not mistaken it was around December, which is usually a pretty busy travel month. Oh well!
Award tickets on AA and on Oneworld carriers booked through AA are notoriusly difficult to book. You should try booking a business class ticket to Australia if you want a challenge.
727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3018 times:
How many Mileage Plus miles do you have???? The latest Screw the telephone booking and look for your flight on United's website. The standard award level, which is unrestricted, for flights to Europe is 80,000 while flights to West Asia are 100,000. Their latest chart doesn't reflect SAA's joining Star, so I can only guess a flight to JNB would be at one of those two levels. At the very least you can save yourself some cash by getting to FRA, where I am sure you can find a much cheaper ticket to JNB. Just do it like a stop-over!
United requires 80,000 miles to South Africa round trip, plus taxes of course. I'm not sure how many miles I have on MileagePlus because those are my father's miles...AA is 75,000 miles round trip. That Frankfurt suggestion might not be too bad, I'll look into that. Hopefully I can just find a way to get the company to cover it under company costs
Sllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2715 times:
Another thing to consider (being that we are airplane folks!) would be to get yourself to BKK on miles, and then fly BKK-JNB. BKK's often pretty cheap to fly from, although for some random dates in August FRA-JNB seems to be much cheaper.