ramerinianair
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:03 am

Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:14 am

I am closer to becoming an elite member by segments before miles. I usually fly ISP-PBI with 2 stops each way. I only get about 600 miles per segment. So with 30 segments, I will only be close to 18,000 miles.
Does anybody have any ideas for producing segments cheaply? Kind of like a Mileage run but not for the miles, just for the segments.
Thanks,
SR
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avek00
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 11:28 am

For the past few Thanksgivings, I've done MRs to the West Coast - last Turkey Day, I flew BWI-EWR-DTW-IAH-SEA-IAH-ATL-CLE-EWR-BWI without stopping (4 hours in SEA) for $230 r/t. It's going to be tough to do a run like this now that the heavy travel season is coming upon us, but is still possible with alot of route and schedule planning.
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ramerinianair
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:03 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:04 pm

How did you book that? Everytime I try to book more than 4 segments on CO.com, I get an error message!
Thanks,
Steven
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:09 pm

A few questions:

1) What's your definition of cheap (as in, your total budget you'd spend to acquire these segments divided by the number of segments you need)?

2) Have you checked the mileage run boards at FlyerTalk for ideas yet?

3) Do you know how to use the search engine at:

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/cvg/dispatch/prego

... and then have a good travel agent you can book your tickets through as you want them booked to maximize miles/segments?

These three things are what I would define first before aimlessly looking for segments that may or may not end up being a good deal if it involves additional cost to get to where the perceived deals may be.

Cheers, and good luck!  Smile
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AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:21 pm

Quoting RamerinianAir (Reply 2):
How did you book that?

I'm not sure how Avek booked that itinerary, but one way I've seen it done without using a travel agent is by booking multiple stops to simulate a round-trip using the "Multiple Destinations" or "Multiple Cities" option on booking engines such as travelocity.com or expedia.com.

For instance, earlier this year there was a fare of about $850 from the west coast to Tokyo on Alitalia via Milan that garnered 26,000 base miles on a K fare (if I recall the fare class correctly) and had a minimum 3-day stay. The way it had to be booked was:

SFO-MXP (Monday)
MXP-NRT (Tuesday)
NRT-MXP (Thursday) - 3 days from departure from SFO as the minimum
MXP-SFO (Friday)

That combination of seemingly multiple stops would kick in the special AZ fare SFO-NRT via MXP, since it was seen as a "direct" or "next flight out" routing by the reservations computer qualifying as a round-trip SFO-NRT, not 4 separate flights or 2 round-trips.

I really long for the days of the text version of EaasySabre where you could construct your own itinerary based on connect cities and fare class all in one line item instruction.
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avek00
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:24 pm

"... and then have a good travel agent you can book your tickets through as you want them booked to maximize miles/segments?"

Booking via a travel agent won't work - CO only gives 50% Elite Qualifying Miles and 0 Elite Qualifying Segments on deeply-discounted fares not purchased via continental.com.

The best way to book a complex segment run:

1. Pull up the routing rules using expedia - go to flyertalk.com under the mileage run forum to figure out how to do this;

2. Look up the skeds on continental.com to determine what connections would work;

3. Book the flights 1-2 segs at a time on continental.com - for example, I booked my segment run as BWI-DTW (via EWR), DTW-SEA (via IAH), SEA-ATL (via IAH), ATL-CLE, CLE-BWI (via EWR).

4. If the fare isn't what you expected, call continental.com customer support to have them manually reprice your itinerary into the lowest possible fare class.

5. Get ready for one hell of a segment run!
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AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 12:32 pm

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 5):
CO only gives 50% Elite Qualifying Miles and 0 Elite Qualifying Segments on deeply-discounted fares not purchased via continental.com

Oh bah, yes, I see they've changed the rules on Q, I, S, W, T, X, and L fares. Once you get used to doing something one way, they go and change the rules! Good to know, and thanks for the correction to my post.  Smile
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ramerinianair
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 6:03 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 1:42 pm

Thanks guys!
I always have problems using the multiple cities function if I book too many segments. I just tried the what you said, book ISP-CLT via ALB & CLE then CLT-PHX via IAH etc. The only problem was the price. I guess I have to call the customer representative line. Avek00, I will try to ask for a manual reprice.
Thanks Again,
Steven
W N = my Worst Nightmare!!!!!
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:08 pm

Quoting RamerinianAir (Reply 7):
The only problem was the price.

Are you using the Best Fares finder at Yahoo to locate the lowest priced markets from ISP first? You can find it here:

http://search.travel.yahoo.com/bin/search/bfsearch?intl=us&oc=isp

Then use the ITN availability screens to find when the lowest fares are offered before calling CO to have the agent hunt and peck through flights and fares.
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avek00
Posts: 3168
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 2:54 pm

"book ISP-CLT via ALB & CLE then CLT-PHX via IAH etc. The only problem was the price. I guess I have to call the customer representative line. Avek00, I will try to ask for a manual reprice"

Did you look up the permitted routings for ISP-PHX? I can't seem to pull them up right now, but I've rarely seen routings via ALB or CLT permitted...
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timetables
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:21 pm

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:01 pm

If you don't know exactly where to connect, then you should use an airline downloadable timetable such as http://www.eskyguide.com/download (eSkyGuide). Once you've got this figured out, then you can go to the airline sites and be more knowledgeable on what to do.
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AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Cheap CO Segments . . .

Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:20 am

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 9):
Did you look up the permitted routings for ISP-PHX? I can't seem to pull them up right now, but I've rarely seen routings via ALB or CLT permitted...

It's looking to me like he's trying to book ISP-CLT as one ticket and CLT-PHX to pickup multiple segments on each round-trip.

This is one reason I use ITN, because it allows you to set where to connect and on how many segments. ITN is not a booking engine though, just a good tool to see what is available at that moment to book either through the airline or travel agent.
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