Topic Wiki

Points Used:

UR: 133K
MR: 40K
SPG: 90K
AA: 148K
UA: 95K
Hyatt: 4 free nights
Marriott: 146K and 2 free nights (still waiting for some points to post and then change cash res. to points)
IHG: ~130K (still haven't decided which hotel in Belgium to stay at)
Melia: 22K
BA: 4.5K
And 1 BRG :)

Desired Locations: (Strikethrough means booked)

Israel
London
Paris
Zurich

Rome (Car rental booked FCO-FLR-PSA-VCE)
Florence
Pisa
Venice
Madrid (RT train booked to Toledo)
Barcelona
Seville
(Car rental booked SVQ-GIB-SVQ)
Gibraltar
Bruges/Ghent (Belgium) (Have to book trains within Belgium and RT to AMS.)
Amsterdam

Days Scheduled in Each Location
In no order in particular...

Rome 3.5
Florence .5
Pisa .5
Venice 4.5 including Shabbos (although others said it can be done in less time)
Israel 12
Amsterdam 2
Paris 4 including Shabbos
Dublin 1.5
London 4 including Shabbos (although others said it can be done in less time)
Zurich 1 (b/c it's the United <24 hour stopover, but I'm sure there's more than 1 day's worth of activities there)
Belgium 1
(Amount of days in the different Spain cities are short and were very calculated based on suggestions, as I wanted to save any "extra" days I had for other countries.)
Madrid 1
Seville .5
Gibraltar 1.5 including Shabbos
Barcelona 1.5
« Last edited by @Yehuda on June 08, 2014, 06:26:36 PM »

Author Topic: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon  (Read 69978 times)

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #120 on: February 05, 2014, 08:19:31 AM »
Right now, I'm still trying to get a OneWorld Explorer Award to work out which would be 80K per person for the entire TLV-everything in between-NYC if I can keep it under 10K actual miles travelled. I would only need AA miles for that.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #121 on: February 05, 2014, 01:13:59 PM »
Okay and this plan is slowly dying... Been on the phone with AA and IB today. It's one thing to find a route that has flights but it's another thing to find one that has award availability as Drago has pointed out. :-/

Offline Ergel

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #122 on: February 05, 2014, 01:20:48 PM »
Start with TLV-MAD 6/23 in business @ 25k avios/passenger
Plenty of flights MAD-BCN @4.5 K avios/pax
Plenty of flight BCN-LHR @7.5K avios/pax
Train LHR-AMS-CDG-LHR
LHR-VCE July 8 7.5K avios/pax
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 01:28:03 PM by Ergel »
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #123 on: February 05, 2014, 01:38:11 PM »
Start with TLV-MAD 6/23 in business @ 25k avios/passenger
Plenty of flights MAD-BCN @4.5 K avios/pax
Plenty of flight BCN-LHR @7.5K avios/pax
Train LHR-AMS-CDG-LHR
LHR-VCE July 8 7.5K avios/pax

I don't have that many avios... and if it really takes 3 months to transfer BA avios to IB avios, you think avail. would still be there in 3 months?

Offline HP58

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #124 on: February 05, 2014, 02:11:42 PM »
I don't have that many avios...
Are you in the first year of your BA card? Then you can earn another 50k bonus by spending 20k/year...

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #125 on: February 05, 2014, 02:15:47 PM »
Are you in the first year of your BA card? Then you can earn another 50k bonus by spending 20k/year...

My card is already inactive. Even that, I have 2 BBs so it would still take 2 months to get 20K + 3 months to transfer points.

Offline SamKey

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #126 on: February 05, 2014, 03:22:01 PM »
It didn't take 3 months the IB account had to be open for 3 months

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #127 on: February 05, 2014, 03:26:01 PM »
It didn't take 3 months the IB account had to be open for 3 months
Oh ok, but I still don't have an IB account. Hmmm.

I could technically start using different points and change the order of the destinations. A little LH here, some BA there....

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #128 on: February 05, 2014, 04:50:34 PM »
Well this is interesting. I called AA again and learned a few things. An agent's award search capacity is much more expanded than yours or mine on AA.com. For ex. on aa.com you can't see IB award availability. Another interesting thing is that the agent can only search 1 airline at a time - I can't really believe that, maybe HUCA will solve that. Anyway, the agent found some flights that the last agent didn't find. So I guess I'll keep calling to see what else can be done.

Offline ckmk47

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #129 on: February 05, 2014, 06:32:06 PM »
[What's IB?  (I did try to back track in the thread, but didn't find it.)]

Offline Marco Polo

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #130 on: February 05, 2014, 06:35:04 PM »
[What's IB?  (I did try to back track in the thread, but didn't find it.)]
Iberia.
Quaerite et Invenietis.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #131 on: February 06, 2014, 12:33:29 AM »
Another phone call with AA and the result was blah. :(

I just want to go TLV-MAD-BCN-LHR-DUB-LHR-AMS-BRU-ZRH-CDG-MRS-NCE-VCE-FCO-EWR why is it so hard to find availability???

 ;D

Offline Drago

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #132 on: February 06, 2014, 12:41:14 AM »
Okay and this plan is slowly dying... Been on the phone with AA and IB today. It's one thing to find a route that has flights but it's another thing to find one that has award availability as Drago has pointed out. :-/
I'm kinda surprised since inter-European flights are often wide open (at least on *A).
Can you tell us of some examples of what you're not seeing available? And are you checking availability on BA.com?

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #133 on: February 06, 2014, 12:43:56 AM »
I'm kinda surprised since inter-European flights are often wide open (at least on *A).
Can you tell us of some examples of what you're not seeing available? And are you checking availability on BA.com?
It seems that BA flies to most of the destinations from LHR but that it doesn't connect one to the next w/o going back to LHR. So, for example, I could find LHR-CDG but nothing after that. No CDG-AMS CDG-BRU CDG-ZRH CDG-VCE.

Offline Drago

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #134 on: February 06, 2014, 01:09:57 AM »
It seems that BA flies to most of the destinations from LHR but that it doesn't connect one to the next w/o going back to LHR. So, for example, I could find LHR-CDG but nothing after that. No CDG-AMS CDG-BRU CDG-ZRH CDG-VCE.
Correct. That's why I wrote earlier that if you want to fly using the Explorer award, you have to do hub based flying.
Ie, TLV - hub - other city - hub - other city - etc
You have 5 OW airlines to play with when doing this.
Otherwise, you can take trains to cover the legs which aren't direct, meaning if you decide to do a non-hub to a non-hub.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #135 on: February 06, 2014, 08:11:33 AM »
Well ya so you definitely said it before, hehe:
Typically, you'd have to do hub - x - hub flying when building your itin.
So the hubs of OW in Europe include VIE, various cities in Germany w/ AB, MAD and BCN w/ IB, and LHR w/ BA.
FinnAir is also in OW.
Guess I just didn't understand it back then. Will try to look into more options today

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #136 on: February 06, 2014, 12:53:52 PM »
Or you can use cheap European airlines instead of trains. Ryannair, Easy jet, etc.  Book your TLV-Europe-USA leg based on availability and then use alternate ways to get around. You may be able to build in one or two connections onto your main flights as well.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #137 on: February 06, 2014, 01:41:03 PM »
Or you can use cheap European airlines instead of trains. Ryannair, Easy jet, etc.  Book your TLV-Europe-USA leg based on availability and then use alternate ways to get around. You may be able to build in one or two connections onto your main flights as well.

Thanks, I'll look into those as alternatives to trains.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #138 on: February 06, 2014, 01:44:23 PM »
New issue: Just told AA to stop and look simply for any flights EUROPE-NYC for end of July and there's no availability...
So, looks like I'm going to have to use other miles. I have LH, but from what I've seen EUROPE-NYC is going to have ~$300 fees per person.

Offline Drago

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Re: @Yehuda's Israel/Eurotrip Honeymoon
« Reply #139 on: February 06, 2014, 02:01:43 PM »
New issue: Just told AA to stop and look simply for any flights EUROPE-NYC for end of July and there's no availability...
So, looks like I'm going to have to use other miles. I have LH, but from what I've seen EUROPE-NYC is going to have ~$300 fees per person.
Stop asking them to find stuff, and check yourself.
A quick check on AA.com found availability almost every day from MAD to JFK, w/ various routings. And that was only one route I checked.

Never rely on them to do the searching for you. You need to speak to them equipped w/ the knowledge of the exact flights you need.