Tuesday, 11 March 2014

BOOKING A HOLIDAY ON AWARDS, A CASE STUDY II

PART II


As per the earlier post, we wanted to do this trip in November. In America, the only date you have to be careful of in Nov is Thanksgiving, which this year fall on the 27th . Trying to flying into or within the USA around that date can be a nightmare, and with flights in demand, the chances of getting award flights are slim.


I would be doing four flights in this trip:
  • Into the USA
  • From Las Vegas to Los Cabos
  • From Los cabos to San Francisco
  • Out of USA.

The most important flights and the hardest ones to score awards on, are the international flights, and thus these are the ones I'd need to prioritise.  Recall, that I want to start and end my flights in Dub. So I'm looking for DUB-> LAS on the outbound and San Francisco (SFO) -> DUB on return.

My ultimate goal, is to do the SFO-DUB direct on Aer lingus in Biz, but that isn't going to be easy to book, and I am going to need an initial "get home" in the bank whilst I wait on that. A look on BA.com showed me that I could flight DUB-LHR-LAS in first 7th of Nov. The only BA return flight out of SFO was economy SFO-LHR-DUB leaving on the 21st of Nov, arriving in Dub 22nd. That would give us 2 weeks. A cursory look for my internal flights on AA.com and Alaskaair.com showed that I had options. So that was the initial international booking sorted.

BOOKED 7th Nov DUB-LHR-LAS in first, 21st Nov SFO-LHR-DUB in economy.

Avios cost is 218K Avios, plus £330 each. A couple of points to note is that if this booking was originating in LHR instead of DUB, the taxes would be over £500 each. Also, I'm doing this booking on the assumption that I'll be cancelling the return segment. The return is merely to ensure I have SOME way of getting home. BA allows award flights to be cancelled or changed, for a small fee of around £25 per person. I know that when I cancel the return portion, the taxes will drop to around £150 each.

So I now have an outbound and return dates to work on. The return date may vary by a day or so, depending on how I get on later on in working out a better return flight, but I'm considering the outbound flight date as set in stone.

Before I can book the next leg, I have to start considering how long I want to stay in each place. Having been to Las Vegas a number of times, I think 5 days is a good duration there. The flight is long haul, so it gives you some time to get over it, and we enjoy booking a few shows. Based on my international flying dates, that means I'll be departing Vegas on the 12th Nov.

I now have a firm date for which to look for my LAS-> Los Cabos flights.... more tomorrow....

2 comments:

  1. Looking forward to hearing how you get in with the Aerlingus availability! Any tips for finding it online anywhere?

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  2. Aer Lingus has a codeshare agreement with United, and thus Aer Lingus reward availability can be seen on United. Two issues with this.
    1) At this time, it doesn't seem that United have extended the codeshare to include the SFO-DUB routing, as revenue fares don't show up on united.
    2) I've seen some reports say that BA doesn't necessarily have the same availability as united.

    You'll see in one of the future blogs in this series, that I have successful booked ORD->Chicago is biz on aer lingus, as part of an improved return flight, until I see if I can score the SFO-DUB flight.

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