Topic Wiki

Please follow the following rules when posting in this thread. Failure to do so may result in you request being ignored or deleted.

(If you are looking to purchase a paid ticket, please post here)

FAQs:

Q: How can I use my credit card points to book a USA-TLV ticket?
A: Please read Dan's very helpful and informative guides found here and here

Great tool to see the mileage cost for a route http://www.awardhacker.com

Q: Do I have to pay a lot of money when using miles for a ticket?

A: Sometimes. For more information read this

Q: How do I find award availability?
A: For Star Alliance (United, AirCanada, Lufthansa, Swiss, and others) see this guide

For OneWorld (AmericanAirlines, BritishAirways, Iberia, Malev, and more) You can use BA's award search engine (you need to have a free BA account to access the engine). In addition, you can use Qantas' engine (free account needed as well), which will (to an extent) search Elal. As of this posting, the Elal business flights that show up are coach, and vice verse.

For Delta and AirFrance, use their respective sites. While not perfect, they are quite manageable for the casual searcher.

And of course, many of us here will take time out to help someone who is trying to learn.

Q: All this searching is making me crazy. Is there an easier way?
A: Yes, but it might cost you. Check out AwardNexus.com, KVStool.com, and expertflyer.com.

Q: I see AirCanada availability, but when I call AirCanada they say I can't use my United miles with them. Aren't they partners?
A: You can only use miles with the airline that issued them. Through that airline (in our case United) they can issue a ticket on a partner (ie AirCanada). Trying to call AirCanada with United miles, is like trying to use shekels in Mexico.

Q: I can't find availability on my dates. What should I do?
A: You should try to be as flexible as possible. Can you add a stop or 2? Can you be more flexible with your dates? The airports?
If all else fails, keep trying. Availability is constantly opening up.

Q: Can someone please help me find a ticket?
A: No! Find it yourself.  ;D ;D Just kidding. Please copy the following lines, delete the non bolded parts, and fill it out in your post.

One way/Round-trip:
Non-stop/Maximum stops/Any:
From: All airports from which you can depart
To: All airports which you can arrive at. For multiple destinations, just keep adding this line
Departure dates: All possible dates that you can depart on. Please be as specific as possible.
Return airports:If different from 'To' line. Delete this line for One-way tickets
Return dates: Delete this line for One-way tickets
Class: First/Business/Coach/Any
Seats: Total number of people traveling over the age of 2
Alliance/Airline: What airline or alliance are you looking to fly with

IF you have any airline status or credit cards (Ie, United CC or status) that gives extended seat availability, please add that. Would be helpful to find you correct availability.

An additional note about using miles for direct flights from NYC-TLV

NYC-TLV is only served by 3 carriers non-stop, United, Delta, and El Al. Saver availability on Delta is non-existent. Saver availability on United is rare but sometimes available close-in. It is almost never available on or near holidays or holiday weekends, or around yomim tovim. Any award space that opens will be snatched up immediately so you have to constantly be checking if you hope to snag it if/when it opens. El AL awards are more readily available but prohibitively expensive using Matmid points (El Al's frequent flyer program) but may be able to be booked using Quantas points (transfers from Citi & Amex) at a much more reasonable rate.

This leaves the following options if no saver availability:

The Chase travel portal will let you use Ultimate Rewards, or a combination or UR and cash to book flights. If you have a Sapphire Reserve or a Sapphire Preferred, the redemption rate will be 1.5 cents per point or 1.25 cents per point respectively, instead of the regular 1 cent per point without them. (A, Ink cash or Ink Preferred will also give you the 1.25 cpp redemption rate.)

The Amex travel portal will let you redeem points at 1 cent per point towards the cost of air travel. If you have a grandfathered Business Platinum card, you will get 50% of the points you redeem back around a month after you book the ticket. If you have a non-grandfathered card, you will get 35% of your points back. (This is only available when redeeming points for tickets on your selected American carrier in economy class or on any airline in business or first class.)

The Citi travel portal also lets you redeem points at 1 cent per point towards travel and seems to have better pricing on El Al in business class.

Alternatively, you can sell your points (not here on DDF) and use the cash to buy regular tickets. This is usually the best option for people without either a Chase Sapphire Reserve or grandfathered Business Platinum who are flying economy.

Those are your only options for nonstop travel. For options with a stopover and more information in general, see https://www.dansdeals.com/points-travel/milespoints/the-ultimate-israel-mileage-award-chart/

This keeps on getting asked over and over. Besides Dan's comprehensive list of how to get to, or from, TLV here is a short list of options for travel to or from NYC in Y:
Lowest point per RT is FB 50K (less with promo, but YQ of ~$500 unless you can find unicorn DL availability), AA 80k (AA metal for transatlantic), AC 80k (LX or LO for low YQ) and UA 85k. Half that for OW.

Please add any other information to this wiki that you feel might be useful.



Author Topic: Need help finding a ticket? Post here! Award ticket edition (Master thread)  (Read 900913 times)

Offline john

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I have always found Hawaii award travel very difficult to find. I need 5 tickets for my family. my home Airport from IAD (DCA, BWI ok as well) to Hawaii - any airport. preferred time Dec 22nd to Dec 29th. dates flexible few days. I have US/UA for *A enough miles for saver economy or Business, whichever we can get. Also BA/AA enough miles for 5 for Saver economy of Business whatever we can get. Any help to find tickets is appreciated.

Offline Ergel

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I have always found Hawaii award travel very difficult to find. I need 5 tickets for my family. my home Airport from IAD (DCA, BWI ok as well) to Hawaii - any airport. preferred time Dec 22nd to Dec 29th. dates flexible few days. I have US/UA for *A enough miles for saver economy or Business, whichever we can get. Also BA/AA enough miles for 5 for Saver economy of Business whatever we can get. Any help to find tickets is appreciated.
Especially when you are traveling at the most desirable travel dates to Hawaii of the year
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Dan

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Especially when you are traveling at the most desirable travel dates to Hawaii of the year
+1
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline moto

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I'm looking from nyc to Los angles from august 26 to September 27 non stop thanks

Offline Daniel

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Like many people, I'm trying to get to TLV (one-way) anytime the last two weeks in August. I'm willing to make a stop-over anywhere but I can't find any availaility with *A or OW.

On *A I tried:
LAX
YYZ
EWR
PHL
ZRH
FRA
MUC
BRU
IST
WAW
VIE
Athens
Thessaloniki (SKG)
Dubrovnik Coratia (DBV)
Zagreb Coratia (ZAB)
Slovenia (LJU)
Berlin TXL
CPH

On OW I tried:
JFK
EWR
YYZ
LHR
CDG
Milan
FCO Rome
Zurich
SXF Berlin
BRU Brussels


On OW, there is alot of availability to Europe, but ElAl doesn't have one seat in August from any European city.

I'm at a loss here. Any ideas? Any routings I missed?

Offline Galitzyaner

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Like many people, I'm trying to get to TLV (one-way) anytime the last two weeks in August. I'm willing to make a stop-over anywhere but I can't find any availaility with *A or OW.

On *A I tried:
LAX
YYZ
EWR
PHL
ZRH
FRA
MUC
BRU
IST
WAW
VIE
Athens
Thessaloniki (SKG)
Dubrovnik Coratia (DBV)
Zagreb Coratia (ZAB)
Slovenia (LJU)
Berlin TXL
CPH

On OW I tried:
JFK
EWR
YYZ
LHR
CDG
Milan
FCO Rome
Zurich
SXF Berlin
BRU Brussels


On OW, there is alot of availability to Europe, but ElAl doesn't have one seat in August from any European city.

I'm at a loss here. Any ideas? Any routings I missed?
Via DUB, using Aer Lingus with BA Avios from BOS

Offline Daniel

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Has anyone seen an issue when using flying blue/ Air France's website where the award calander shows a low milesge award but once you click into the date it's nowhere to be found?

Offline Engreeks1

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  • Location: SFO
Round trip
Any # of stops
From: SFO, LAX
To: MPN (In the falkland islands!)
Departure dates: Feb 5-Feb 8, must arrive on or before Feb 9
Return airports: SFO
Return dates: Mar 11-16, must depart on or after Mar 11
Class: Any
Seats: 1
Alliance/Airline: One world

Hi there! 

I have the good fortune of being able to go on a month-long trip to Antarctica in Feb of 2013.  The boat departs from the Falkland Islands, so I need to get to Mount Pleasant (MPN), which is quite challenging, as the only flight there is through LAN and it only flies once a week!  I am trying to use the following variety of points to get there:

AMEX Membership Pts: 84K
SPG: 126K
United: 100K
Capital One: 96K

The specific airports I'm trying to fly from are SFO to MPN. I'm struggling to find good options, but here's what I've tried so far.

Option 1: Book LAX-MPN directly through LAN, use united/cap one to handle round trip to SFO-LAX

It turns out the LAN itinerary from LAX is only 285KM! Compared to 350K from SFO!

60K +15K bonus SPG = 150LAN KM
57.5K +10K bonus SPG = 135LAN KM
285LAN KM

~$200 to do the round trip from SFO to LAX.

Option 2: Book any other flight (using united or Amex rewards) to Santiago (SCL), then use the LAN points to book the remaining legs to MPN.

The problem with this is that it's 175K LAN KM to do just the SCL-MPN round trip!  So I think this is a no go.

Can any of you suggest another option that uses fewer points or avoids the LAX-SFO leg? I'm leaning towards just pulling the trigger on option 1 since the kayak price for the SFO-MPN flight is $2400, which means i'm getting about $0.019/SPG point.

Thanks in advance!
Eric

Offline Dan

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Wow, Antactica...awesome, and a good way to catch my eye and get me to work for you (#jealous)
Please post a trip report here when you come back!

Option 1:
-You can book SFO-LAX on AA or SJC-LAX on AS for 16K LAN kms by calling LAN.
-You can book LAX-PUQ on LAN.com for 63K kms on 02/07 (there is a 43K option on 02/08 but that won't work)
-You can book PUQ-MPN on LAN.com for 20K kms on 02/09
-You can book MPN-PUQ on LAN.com for 16K kms on 03/16.
-You can book PUQ-LAX on LAN.com for 106K on 03/17 or 86K on 03/18

Total=16+63+20+16+86=201K kms

You get 1K kms for signing up on LAN.com that and 80K SPG will give you the 201K, or about 3cpp for your SPG.

Option 2 would be to use 60K UA miles for SFO-SCL and then 20K kms for SCL-PUQ-SCL and 36K for PUQ-MPN-PUQ.
Total for that would be 60K UA+56K LAN.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2012, 06:41:14 PM by Dan »
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Engreeks1

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Whoah thanks for the quick reply Dan! 

Quick question on booking each of these legs - can I use the online tool to book them, or do I need to call their phone booking service (hopefully they speak english!).

Also can I subscribe to this thread?

Offline Dan

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Whoah thanks for the quick reply Dan! 

Quick question on booking each of these legs - can I use the online tool to book them, or do I need to call their phone booking service (hopefully they speak english!).

Also can I subscribe to this thread?
I found all of those on lan.com besides SFO-LAX which must be booked over the phone.
Click "notify" to subscribe.
And don't forget you owe me a trip report ;)
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Engreeks1

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Haha will do - the trip report is yours.  It will have lots of photos of baby penguins :).

Thanks again.


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looking for 2 tickets from nyc-ogg,best dates would be august 5 till the 9 or 10,i want to use ba avios points

Offline yid

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looking for ticket from ny- tlv leaving 6/19-6/21.  best date is 6/20.
return 6/26 at night or 6/27 or 6/28. best is 6/27 at night or 6/28 am.
I have chase ur, Amex, us air, aa,and  united points.
economy or business class or mixed.
Thanks
« Last Edit: June 13, 2012, 09:43:02 PM by yid »

Offline Daniel

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I'm trying to book a Swiss award on United.com. Expert Flyer shows availability. I keep getting the following error:

Due to rapidly changing partner availability the following flights are no longer available. Please choose another flight or modify your search criteria.


Any ideas why?