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Answers (3)

First Award Booking, Need Advice

First Award Booking, Need Advice

  1. Anonymous

    I am looking to book an award flight to Spain for next May/June with my husband. We are hoping for either business or first class awards. We have enough miles on AA and Delta for one leg each, as well as lots of Chase, Citi, and AmEx points, so we have lots of different options.

    When I look for saver awards from our home airport of Phoenix, all the routing includes 2 layovers. This is true when searching on AA, Delta, and United. Flying from PHX, I know to expect 1 layover, but would prefer not to have 2 if possible. I’ve even searched LAX as an alternative, and still end up with wacky routing with multiple layovers (LAX to San Jose, really?!). However, if I search for Economy saver awards, the routing is much better.

    After doing some research, I feel I have 3 options:

    1) Book a business saver award and hope better routing opens up

    2) Book an economy saver award and hope business availability with better routing opens up

    3) Wait and set some alerts on Expert Flyer (am currently doing so with a trial membership, but willing to pay for membership if need be)

    Any advice on these or other options?

  2. David W

    AA doesnt charge fees for changing an award, as long as your airline, origin and destination remain the same. Changing any of that will incur a fee. Which would you value more – being in business class or a simpler routing? I would book the itinerary you are more willing to travel on and hope for changes. Personally, I dont mind connections so I’d book business class, hope for a better routing but deal with layovers if nothing opens up.

    Try looking for awards on Iberia on British Airways site. You could find awards on them and call American to book, adding in any positing flights to the award if necessary. Surcharges are reasonable, from what I’ve heard.

    With Delta, finding saver space may be hard and I think your best option is to find saver space on partners. Air Europe flies from JFK/LAS/MIA to Madrid. Their tool is decent but search segment by segment and call DL to piece things together.

  3. Donna

    I think the layover situation depends on which airport in Spain you are planning. If you go with Madrid or Barcelona I think you could get there with one layover. The smaller regional airports in Spain would probably require an additional stop. I’ve booked one stop to these airports from San Diego.

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