Author Topic: How I Booked My Brother...  (Read 11932 times)

Offline Dan

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How I Booked My Brother...
« on: May 10, 2011, 12:42:05 PM »
So my brother is going to yeshivas kayitz (summer learning camp) on the Big Island of Hawaii.
I'll play the jealous older brother.

Paid tickets are over $1,000, so miles it is.
Obviously searching CLE-KOA pulls up nothing at saver levels on AA, AS, CO, DL, UA, and US websites.

The trick is to break it down.  Search individual segments. 
You need to search gateway cities.  Meaning on CO/UA search for DEN, LAX, or SFO to KOA. 
On AA search LAX or SFO to KOA. 
On AS search SEA to KOA.
On US search PHX to KOA.
On DL search LAX to KOA.
Of course after that you can also search for flights to HNL, LIH, OGG, or ITO (from all the gateways that serve those cities) and then work on getting from those airports to KOA.

Once you find availability from a gateway you just need to piece together a flight from your home city.  Be willing to take stopovers!

In the end I was able to piece together CLE-DEN-LAX (stopover for shabbos)-KOA-SFO-CLE for 40K CO miles.

Of course CO.com won't book that.  So I booked LAX-KOA-SFO-CLE on CO.com using multiple destinations and then called up CO to add the CLE-DEN-LAX flights to the itin.  The agent didn't see CLE-LAX avaialbility until I force fed her the flights and convined her that they really were available for awards.  Then they wanted to charge 55K miles because "that's what the computer says."  After convincing a manager that this was just a simple itinerary with a stopover (permitted on Hawaii awards) she overrode the computer and allowed it for 40K miles.

It's now bookable online with no phone fee.

Anyway the same strategies apply for flights to anywhere.  Search gateways, be willing to take stopovers, search partners and on as many websites as possible, book what you can online and have an agent edit the itin.

Enjoy the free flying!
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Offline Nitantnel

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 01:23:59 PM »
Thanks dan, your the best!

The trick is to break it down.  Search individual segments. 
You need to search gateway cities.  Meaning on CO/UA search for DEN, LAX, or SFO to KOA. 
On AA search LAX or SFO to KOA. 
On AS search SEA to KOA.
On US search PHX to KOA.
On DL search LAX to KOA.
Of course after that you can also search for flights to HNL, LIH, OGG, or ITO (from all the gateways that serve those cities) and then work on getting from those airports to KOA.



But why not search ALL segments on ALL airlines! Is out of experience that you know that AA, for example, is best to search LAX to KOA, and AS for SEA to KOA, or it is random?

Offline Dan

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2011, 01:25:22 PM »
Thanks dan, your the best!

But why not search ALL segments on ALL airlines! Is out of experience that you know that AA, for example, is best to search LAX to KOA, and AS for SEA to KOA, or it is random?
That is all of the flight segments to KOA on all airlines.
There's no point (well ignoring married segments which opens a whole different can of worms) of searching IAH to KOA on CO/UA because they only fly to KOA from LAX and SFO.  IAH won't help anything it will only hurt the search.
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Offline YOSEF

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2011, 01:35:16 PM »
And before anyone asks, a married segment is a hub-non hub-hub flight. For example, a LGA-CLE-ORD flight on AA; LGA (at least sort of) and ORD are AA's hubs, and CLE isn't but is serviced by both.

Offline A3

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How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2011, 01:48:06 PM »
Would this work for not elites as well? Would they try to charge a $150 change fee? U just got it free Bec ur elite?

Offline Dan

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2011, 02:01:31 PM »
Would this work for not elites as well? Would they try to charge a $150 change fee? U just got it free Bec ur elite?
What change fee?
I just held the ticket on CO.com.  There's no fee to change a held ticket.
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Offline Cholentfresser

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2011, 02:40:26 PM »
well, my brother is also going to the yeshivas kayitz in Hawaii this summer...tickets are very high. Thanx for the advice, Dan! i'll try to hook him up, as well.
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Offline AsherO

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2011, 02:41:22 PM »
well, my brother is also going to the yeshivas kayitz in Hawaii this summer...tickets are very high. Thanx for the advice, Dan! i'll try to hook him up, as well.

LAX should be less of a problem, no?
PGF24BMGS

Offline Dan

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2011, 02:43:45 PM »
well, my brother is also going to the yeshivas kayitz in Hawaii this summer...tickets are very high. Thanx for the advice, Dan! i'll try to hook him up, as well.
Cool!  Keep us posted on your findings.

I heard that they're trying to arrange some cheaper group rates from NYC, but that wouldn't help much for my brother either way.
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Offline Cholentfresser

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 02:56:51 PM »
well, as AsherO noted, my brother is leaving from LAX. so the group rate from NY wouldn't do much for him either.
wouldn't tix be cheaper from LAX?
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Offline Dan

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 02:58:05 PM »
well, as AsherO noted, my brother is leaving from LAX. so the group rate from NY wouldn't do much for him either.
wouldn't tix be cheaper from LAX?
Sure, from LAX it should be under $600 or so, making the case for miles tougher than the $1,000+ flight from CLE.
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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 03:03:03 PM »
that's good.
so does this camp have a visiting day ;) ?
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Offline aussiebochur

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 03:10:42 PM »
Sure, from LAX it should be under $600 or so, making the case for miles tougher than the $1,000+ flight from CLE.
Unless you're benevolent enough to fly your siblings up front...

Offline Dan

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 03:18:47 PM »
that's good.
so does this camp have a visiting day ;) ?
+1 :D
Got some Fairmont Orchid nights to burn!
May get a little busy though in July...

Unless you're benevolent enough to fly your siblings up front...
Economy Plus is all this 16 year old will be seeing!
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Offline aussiebochur

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Re: How I Booked My Brother...
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 03:29:12 PM »
+1 :D
Got some Fairmont Orchid nights to burn!
May get a little busy though in July...
Economy Plus is all this 16 year old will be seeing!
And you don't even get his miles, impressive. :P