Topic Author
Posts: 3049
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:23 am

When Do Award Seats Open Up?

Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:27 am

Hi everyone,

I have lots of miles on Aeroplan (AC) and I would like to book a BOS-FRA trip on LH (business or, prferably, first class) sometime in the Fall.

I looked at the Aeroplan online WWW site for booking reward travel, and I also contacted Aeroplan directly, and LH shows 0 (zero, none, nada) seats available on their direct flights around the time when I want to fly (and I did look at a wide range of possible dates); not even economy.

Last year I booked such a trip around this time (for August) and I was given some different possibilities.

I was wondering whether LH opens up reward seats closer to the departure date or whether all rewards seats are really taken already. Can anyone shed light on this?


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Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: When Do Award Seats Open Up?

Tue Jun 07, 2005 4:58 am

While not familiar with AC and LH specifically, availability of seats technically opens up 360 days prior for sale or award usage. As time goes on and dependent on how various flights and destinations sell additional seats are often made available. In addition very often in the last few weeks/days leading up to the departure date additional seats can become further available. Also the cancellation and changes to already issued awards can see dates that previously not available become wide open.

Its basically a matter of keep trying, and also being willing to fly various routing options as your preferred choice might not be available. Consider BOS-xxx-FRA and route via another East Coast or European city.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
Posts: 1198
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 3:01 am

RE: When Do Award Seats Open Up?

Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:29 am

First off, reward seats are VERY hard to find. More so because people can change them anytime and have to pay only $50 to change them. Doesn't hurt to book the flights way in advance. But in any case, travel demand to Europe is a lot more in summer months and if you are booking now for August chances are you won't get anything.

Several things you should try:

- Keep calling. I was looking for reward seats on Air France and I got different options every time, sometimes even on the same day. People change reward seats all the time.

- Try alternate routings. Most airlines will allow you a total of 6 segments in your itinerary, and also different arrival and departure airports as long as they are in the same zone (eg. Europe, North America etc). MOst airlines also permit ONE stopover in your routing. Just to clarify, the 6 segments can be used as 3 outbound and 3 inbound or 4 outbound and 2 inbound, any combination, as long as you keep within the 6.

- Try other airlines in the same alliance. Usually you can get a routing to say perhaps Toronto on AC and then LH or AC outbound. Try permutations and combinations, chances are something somewhere is open.

- Lastly, have a contingency plan. try and get as close to your final destination as possible and take the cheapest flight/train from there. Sometimes, distance may not matter. For example, I wanted to book a friend from Paris to San Francisco, but didn't get the routing, so easiest was to book to Washington Dulles and then put her on UA to OAK, rather than fly to LAX and then take AA/UA (IAD-OAK was about $100 cheaper than LAX-SFO)

Hope this helps.

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