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 766953 times)

Offline fdg9

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  • Location: NY
One way/Round trip:
Non-stop/Maximum stops/Any: up to 1 stop
From: All airports from which you can depart NYC
To: All airports which you can arrive at. For multiple destinations, just keep adding this line tlv
Departure dates: All possible dates that you can depart on. Please be as specific as possible. around june 19
Return airports: If different from 'To' line. Delete this line for One way tickets
Return dates: Delete this line for One way tickets end of week june 27
Class: First/Business/Coach/Any first
Seats: Total number of people traveling over the age of 2 2
Alliance/Airline: What airline or alliance are you looking to fly with almost any airline. I have enough amex, spg, united, ba, but I would like to use not more than 200,000 per person

don't mind a heathrow stop or zurich.

Offline sleiter

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Dan,
you graciously offered (earlier this afternoon via dansdeals comments) to help me figure out how to find award ticket via BA for a flight available on AA's website but not on BA's - if I post the itinerary I'm looking for.  The following flight lists as available for 50,000 miles in business milesaaver.  This works well for me because my 12 year old son (and if it works, a few other campers heading to cgi ranch camp) will use the ticket to travel to camp and will need the two allotted suitcases.  If I transfer from Amex now, the ticket only costs me about 32,000 avios for a ticket selling coach for aprox. $500.
Thank you so much!!!!
Yehudis

The flights I'd like are: July 23 = LGA 8:25 am #719, connecting to #1465 at 12:50 in DFW arriving RNO at 2:10 PM
Returning: August 20 = RNO 11:05 AM, 1 connection, arriving in LGA at 10:10

One way/Round trip:  Round Trip
Non-stop/Maximum stops/Any: 1 (I haven't found a direct flight)
From: nyc
To: rno
Departure dates: tuesday july 23, 2013 - must arrive by 2:00 PM
Return airports: If different from 'To' line. Delete this line for One way tickets
Return dates: tuesday august 20, 2013 - will be at airport for an 11:00 AM flight and on
Class: First/Business/Coach/Any
Seats: 1
Alliance/Airline: avios points

Offline Dan

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Welcome to DDF!

Unfortunately BA considers domestic AA 2 class business flights to be first class, thus that itinerary will cost a whopping 112,500 Avios.
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 se30

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Need Ideas: I only checked United - found a ticket for the way there United/Swiss but way back can't find.

Any other airlines I can check and if so who would I book on to get the best value.
I know for United it would be ANA for an international flight.

From; NYC
To; Milan. Italy
Coming home from Rome to NYC
Date; July 17th to July 24/25
Non-stop/Maximum stops/Any: 1 stop
Class; Economy; Business
Seats;2
Alliance/airline; Amex Membership Points

Offline Amusch

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  • Location: Queens, New York
From: NYC (preferably Newark)
To: Kauai (LIH)
Round trip for 1 (plus 1 for return)
Date: Aug. 4 (Sunday morning) - Aug. 8 (Thursday am/early pm)
Non-stop/Maximum stops/Any: Any stops, as long as we're back before Shabbos
Class: Coach
Seats:1.5
Alliance/airline: I am getting 55,000 United, and have 40,000 (soon to be 80,000) UR

Anyone know/have experience getting a United flight to Hawaii for 40K round trip?
I don't see any dates near when I'm going with the Saver point deals; all I see is 40K EACH WAY. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Offline smew911

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Looking for help:

Flight (coach) from New York City area to Virginia (Richmond, Norfolk, Newport News Area).  Working with UR points.  Can't seem to find SouthWest Flight nonstop that makes sense, or availability with BA or AA on dates departing 5/9, returning 5/12. Any help would be much appreciated.

May just go with Amtrak....

Offline htg123

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Hi.
What's the best option to fly to Australia via amex points

Offline AJK

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Hi.
What's the best option to fly to Australia via amex points

Probably MR-->DL for booking on VA.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

Offline mclovin

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From: NYC
To: TLV
one way
Date; next week tuesday 4/30 and on
any stops
Class; business or first
Seats;1
Alliance/airline; any
cant miss a minyan

Offline kangarruu

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  • Location: New York
One way/Round trip: Round trip if if arriving in Venice, two one way tickets if arriving in Rome (return departure must be from Venice)
Non-stop/Maximum stops/Any: up to 1 stop
From: All NY Airports (JFK Preferred)
To: Rome (FCO) or
To: Venice (VCE)
Departure dates: July 25th, 2013
Return airports: All NY Airports
Return dates: Aug 5th/6th (5th preferred)
Class: Any but business/first preferred since we've never had the pleasure!
Seats: 2
Alliance/Airline: See bullet below

Bullets:
- Cruising with Kosherica to Greek Islands 7/29-8/5
- Would like to arrive prior to port departure day, so would fly in (departing 7/25) and stay in Italy over Shabbat
- Willing to stay in Venice or Rome over Shabbat
- Recently approved for 7 cc to cover flights for this trip but haven't received cards yet so haven't met the minimums (2 Starwood Preferred Guest Amex (25k bonus each), 2 Business Gold Rewards Amex (50k bonus each + potential for 25k more with upgrade to Platinum), 2 Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature (40k bonus), 1 Chase United Explorer Visa Signature (30k bonus + potential 25 if they'll match).
- Have not been able to find flights cheaper than 50k miles pp each way. Since we will have both MR and UR points we are flexible in terms of Airline/Alliances...I guess we would meet minimums for the cards we need for the flights first

Best departing we've found: 50k and $23.30 pp First/Business to Rome through Lufthansa using United Miles transferred from UR
Still not sure about return flight. So far finding similar awards amounts for coach.


First time we're attempting anything like this so thank you so much for any assistance!

Offline myblay

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Dan,

I'm wondering if you can help me find the best to take my family to Israel. I've got points, but I'm not sure I'll be able to use them when I want to go. Here are the details:

From: NYC
To: TLV
Round trip
Date: July 23 - Aug 13 (dates flexible by a few days on either end)
2 Adults, 6 children under 11.
Nonstop Preferred (given the kids), but will take a stop if significant savings.

Class: Economy
Rewards Miles: Amex 354K
Other Rewards (not sure if usable): USAirways 242K, Citibank 100K
Checked: Google Travel. Nonstop via El Al, United or Delta on the dates specified were all in similar price range. Stopover did not seem to save much (~$50/tkt).

What's your advice?

Offline Yehoshua

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My boss wants me to find a way to get tickets for him this summer.

One way/Round trip: RT
Non-stop/Maximum stops: doesn't matter
From: NYC
To: TLV
Departure dates: beginning of July 2013
Return airports: NYC
Return dates: end of July 2013
Class: Coach
Seats: 2
Alliance/Airline: any, based on how the points he has:
                       UR: 142k
                       MR: 75k
                       SPG: 79k
What I've checked so far: UA.com, USAir.com, BA.com, AirBerlin.com, & FlyingBlue.com. I've also checked on UA for return flights to other cities, like PHL, ORD, etc. with no luck.

Getting there is not a problem (UA on 7/7) it's getting back that I'm having trouble with.  He'd prefer to avoid flying during the 9 days (7/8-7/16)

Offline MEIR613

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Dan,

I'm wondering if you can help me find the best to take my family to Israel. I've got points, but I'm not sure I'll be able to use them when I want to go. Here are the details:

From: NYC
To: TLV
Round trip
Date: July 23 - Aug 13 (dates flexible by a few days on either end)
2 Adults, 6 children under 11.
Nonstop Preferred (given the kids), but will take a stop if significant savings.

Class: Economy
Rewards Miles: Amex 354K
Other Rewards (not sure if usable): USAirways 242K, Citibank 100K
Checked: Google Travel. Nonstop via El Al, United or Delta on the dates specified were all in similar price range. Stopover did not seem to save much (~$50/tkt).

What's your advice?
On the way there you can stopover in Turkey.

For the way back, if you leave a week early you can do the same(stop over in turkey)

You will need to transfer Amex to Aeroplan and book US on the same flights.

Offline 3yummyboys

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I have at least 165 Amex MR points and want to go to israel with my family, possibly next summer. 2 adults, 3 kids and an infant IY'H. Does it pay to transfer the MR points to AVIOS now since they are offering a 35% bonus? I will need a flight with minimal or no fuel surcharges.

Offline MEIR613

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I have at least 165 Amex MR points and want to go to israel with my family, possibly next summer. 2 adults, 3 kids and an infant IY'H. Does it pay to transfer the MR points to AVIOS now since they are offering a 35% bonus? I will need a flight with minimal or no fuel surcharges.
You have to make sure there is availability on your flights.

The bonus transfer is good until June 7th.

Maybe wait a little longer to finalize your plans and see if the flights can fit your schedule and then transfer.