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DTManiac
Topic Author
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:17 am

Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:21 am

Hello A.netters,

I want to book a biz class flight in early January on Lufthansa with FF miles. Now my questions:

Are these seats limited?

If yes, how far in advance should I book?

What about other carriers?

Thank you,

Frederik
Gig 'em Aggies!!!
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 8:47 am

are seats limited? yes, always.
how far out should you book. as far in advance as possible, as soon as your dates are close to being firm.
what about other carriers? what about them? all (or nearly all) carriers limit the number of free seats on any given flight.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
m404
Posts: 1875
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 4:43 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:01 am

However it is usually a normal boarding procedure for FF to request upgrading for what few if any Premium seats may me available at departure.
Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20650
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:08 am

are seats limited? yes, always.

Yes, but in some cases restrictions are almost lifted, for example if you are an AAdvantage Platinum Member with an AAdvantage Credit Card, or something like that.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
BD1959
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:17 am

Hi Frederik,

Yes - get in as early as possible - particularly if you're looking at a time of the year when demand is likely to be up, or even if you're looking at a premium route from an airline perspective. Alternatives within the Alliance should always be considered.

I just booked MEL-MAN rtn for next September via QANTAS (my FF programme). Had REAL problems because I want to use WT+ with BA as much as possible. Fortunately I had a really good CSE on line who was persistent in trying different routings. It became obvious that BA had either not released SIN-LHR for that period - or had blacked them out, seats as far as SIN from both SYD and MEL were available but nothing SIN-LHR for any of three alternate dates out or any dates for rtn.

I eventually had to settle for flights via HKG, but even then had problems getting QF Y avaiablility ex MEL and am having to go via SYD !!

It pays to be persistent, flexible and to know your options with Alliance carriers before talking with the FF centre. IMHO the airlines guess we think of Rewards seats as something for free and are willing to place all sort of restrictions in place to make us use those points to their advantage where possible.

BD1959
 
AAgent
Posts: 540
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2001 11:41 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:28 am

Yes, they are limited. Either try to book approximately 330 days in advance or very near departure time. Those two times are when you are most likely to be successful.

Respectfully,
AAgent
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fbgdavidson
Posts: 3906
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:31 am

As a whole you do better to get book as far out as possible.

Status with an airline does help, I know for a fact BA Golds get more reward availability in Y (which seems dumb) than BA Silver / Blue. Not sure how an AA credit card would lift restrictions.....

Sometimes award seats are released close to date of departure, notably on the HKG route with BA.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
mirrodie
Posts: 6796
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 3:33 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:12 am

good luck dude.

AS far as seat availability goes, lots of users know that seats open up 330 days prior to the flight and YES theere are people that wait until that day to book ahead.

Good luck and let us know what happens!
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:21 am

Depending on your route and destination, reward seats can fill up pretty fast. Reward seats on flight to HNL from the mainland for instance can be as good as gone up to 6 months prior. The last time a claimed award travel was on Star Alliance for travel back on December 2004. I called as early as June and my options for my flight from ORD to a number of citites in Asia were already pretty limited. The seats were there, but the choices were not.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
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ClassicLover
Posts: 5163
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 10:32 am

Yeah according to a friend of mine, it's still an absolute bitch to use your points on Qantas - especially internationally.

I read earlier this year that complaints had been made by Qantas Frequent Flyers at the difficulty in making award bookings. Apparently they've put more award seats out there, but it still isn't much.

Complete contrast to Ansett, where they would let you use your points if they had a seat available on the flight. Apparently you could be on the phone walking into the terminal and book for a flight departing within the hour and they'd still do it for you.

Makes much more sense to me!

Trent.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
BAxMAN
Posts: 655
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 7:51 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 11:15 am

Status with an airline does help, I know for a fact BA Golds get more reward availability in Y (which seems dumb) than BA Silver / Blue

That sounds emminently sensible to me in that the cream of the elite are given that extra bit of availability.

Complete contrast to Ansett, where they would let you use your points if they had a seat available on the flight

R.I.P.


Booking in advance is the only trick to getting reward availability. A big problem that people encounter is that they want to use their miles to fly biz class for their family holiday to longhaul destinations, most notably places like CPT, GRU, MRU and anywhere in Australia. Obviously the availability on these destinations will be low given that there are typically 1/2 flights per day to these destinations compared to the zillions of daily flights to less exotic tourist areas like NCE, AGP and FLL. You can be hard pressed to find a good value full rev seat to some of these places at short notice, nevermind a reward seat!

Sometimes the powers that be in Revenue Management will release more seats closer to departure, soon after a hurricane for example, but it is a very dangerous game if anyone relies upon this as more often than not, you will not get what you are looking for.
Mild green Fairy liquid
 
ckfred
Posts: 5198
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 1:18 pm

If you are going to book reward seats, do so for when travel is slow to that destination.

For example, I had no trouble booking reward seats in May to go to YYC in September on AA, but if I had tried to go during the Calgary Stampede, that would have been another story.

 
DTManiac
Topic Author
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:17 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 2:34 pm

Unfortunately I cannot wait until travel is slow. I have to go to the US preferably to DFW or IAH in January. The date isn't really fixed yet, but I think it will be fixed in the next two weeks.
Well, I guess I just need some luck for my booking, but I am quite flexible concerning the route. And there are also other star carriers serving USA except LH.

By the way, I have a question for our Australian friends. Does anybody know how many miles I need for a booking on AA from DFW to HNL with my Qantas FF account? You cannot look it up on their website, but I would like to know.

Thanks to all of you,

Frederik
Gig 'em Aggies!!!
 
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fbgdavidson
Posts: 3906
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:34 pm

That sounds emminently sensible to me in that the cream of the elite are given that extra bit of availability

I have no problem with them increasing award availbility for Golds, in fact I am quite in favour of it!

It just seems daft to open more availability in Y. I don't know many Golds who get their status by flying in the back so why the hell would they do it on vacation (in my experience FFs use their miles for vacations, unless they have a really bad travel policy). I'd have though those flying in J for business would at least fly J on vacation
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20650
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 6:49 pm

I don't know many Golds who get their status by flying in the back

Count me in that group. I am now Gold (yeeeha) and I will reach Platinum in another 6 weeks months on AA and I have flown every single mile in Monkey Class. I am a member since June 3 this year.

It's really not that hard if you fly across the pond once or twice a month. JFK-LHR is 3451 miles each way.


So please DO open more Y class seats for Golds!

There are advantages to being Gold/Platinum even if you only fly Monkey Class. I can use the Biz class check-in (and before you say anything, you CANNOT use the kiosks for international flights) I can also prebook exit row seats. Whohooooooooo!
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
daumueller
Posts: 687
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 12:45 am

RE: Reward Seats Limited?

Thu Oct 21, 2004 7:10 pm

i booked quite a lot award flights with LH. never had a problem.

just booked a flight to thailand on TG/LH around new years eve - and don't tell me, that's low season  Smile.

all you need is a little flexibility:

can I get seat 1A on Flight LH418 on 25.12.04? - No!
can I get a C-Class seat on a flight from FRA to IAD around christmas? - Sure!

btw, you can make reservations for reward flights (free of charge). they will be hold for 3 weeks and can be changed free of charge before ticketing. after ticketing, they remain changeable (not reroutable!) and refundable for a fee of around 40 euros.

cheers,

ben


[Edited 2004-10-21 12:10:57]

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