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What happened to LH and LX premium award space???

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Recouping taxes if you fly thru LHR on award miles but don’t leave the terminal

1

Disappearing Lifemiles awards

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Large Increases in Award Costs in Delta Skymiles

2

Cashing in Ultimate Rewards Points Instead of Transferring Them – Am I Missing Something?

3

Emirates downgraded flight

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Alaska Airline Miles – British Airways First Class

2

ANA Mileage Club – Can’t book a ticket for my partner?

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Mixed class itineraries no longer available on JAL using Alaska Miles

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LH First award space on partner airlines missing

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Answers (17)

Is this a crazy idea? What would you do?

Is this a crazy idea? What would you do?

  1. SeattleTodd

    So we need to get home to the US from HKG next March. We had been planning on EK F HKG-DXB-LAX but as our travel dates became bookable F award inventory dried up for DXB-LAX.

    So… what do you think of this?

    HKG-DXB in F on EK A380 5:55pm-11:05pm (using JAL miles)
    transfer by chauffeur to AUH
    AUH-JFK in F on EY A380 3:20am-10:10am (using AA miles)

    Is it crazy to think about transferring from DXB to AUX in the middle of the night by chauffeur? It seems like we should have plenty of time to complete the transfer and still have some time to enjoy the EY F lounge in AUH.

    It would be incredible to get to experience both F A380 experiences on EK and EY. But not sure if I’ve gotten too obsessed with things to be seeing clearly.

    An alternative would be to fly:

    HKG-SIN in J on CX A340 2:25pm-6:20pm (using AA miles)
    SIN-AUH in F on EY B787 7:20pm-11:20pm (using AA miles on same award as above)
    AUH-JFK on EY A380 3:20am-10:10am (using AA miles on separate award from above)

    The downside is we’d have to depart HKG 3.5 hours earlier, there’s an extra flight segment, there’s no F on the CX flight, there’s a tight connection in SIN, and we’d miss out on EK F on the A380. The upside is that there’d be no crazy transfer between airports and we’d also get to try the EY B787 (though not sure how much that matters given that we’d be in F on the A380 anyway).

    What are your thoughts? Is the chauffeured transfer a crazy idea or too risky? Do you agree we’d actually have time to enjoy the EY F lounge a little? My husband will no doubt think it’s a crazy idea, so I need you all to assure me it’s not if I’m to go ahead with it. 🙂

    Can’t wait to hear what you all think!

    Thanks,
    Todd

  2. MidSouthSkier

    [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER]

  3. David W

    From gate to curbside at DXB can be quite a haul, depending on which concourse your gate is at and could involve a ride on the people mover. You’d also have to clear immigration at DXB and sometimes there can be a wait, even with fast track. I flew MXP-DXB in econ and cleared immigration pretty quickly but when I flew LGW-DXB in F, immigration took longer, even with Fast Track. Both flights were at night.

    DXB-AUH is a bit over an hour. Assuming you get to AUH at 1am, I feel like that doesnt leave you much time to enjoy the lounge, plus you would need to clear US Customs at AUH before boarding your flight.

    I actually flew your second option – HKG-SIN on CX and SIN-AUH-JFK on EY and enjoyed it very much and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this option. However, I’d also recommend flying out of HKG earlier so you have some time to roam the SIN airport, both land and air sides. SIN also has some free tours if your layover is long enough. You can also go out to the city on your own, the metro is pretty cheap. Just plan your time accordingly.

    If you stick with your first option, I’d recommend planning an overnight in Dubai, and then getting the EY chauffeur to pick you up after dinner so you have more time to enjoy the EY lounge, before and after US Customs at AUH. Further, this also gives you a larger time buffer in case EK HKG-DXB is delayed and you’re on separate tickets. I wouldnt want to deal with a missed connection on separate tickets when in another country where your internet connection could be spotty.

  4. Gaurav

    If I was fond of exploring new equipment and airlines, I’d go with the EK/EY combo, if I just wanted a more reliable itinerary I’d go with option 2 where you don’t have to change airports and are protected in case of a delay. Four hours should be plenty of time to transit in the middle of the night as long as there are no major delays anywhere. Just remember that EK no longer provides complimentary chauffeur service on award tickets although some people have lucked out by walking over to the transfer desk but EYshould be able to provide one.

  5. Anonymous

    I mean, I would do it, but not with my husband. Whenever I’ve tried to do stuff like that in hopes of “securing the best products” he just gets annoyed at the extra logistical hassle.

    My advice: your trip isn’t for a year, so book what you can, and keep an eye on things. Award space is fluid, and you may be able to change your flights in future to something more convenient.

  6. David W

    Plus the new EY F lounge would have opened by then (hopefully……..) so you might want to plan more time for that

  7. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 16325, member: 29″]From gate to curbside at DXB can be quite a haul, depending on which concourse your gate is at and could involve a ride on the people mover. You’d also have to clear immigration at DXB and sometimes there can be a wait, even with fast track. I flew MXP-DXB in econ and cleared immigration pretty quickly but when I flew LGW-DXB in F, immigration took longer, even with Fast Track. Both flights were at night.

    DXB-AUH is a bit over an hour. Assuming you get to AUH at 1am, I feel like that doesnt leave you much time to enjoy the lounge, plus you would need to clear US Customs at AUH before boarding your flight.

    I actually flew your second option – HKG-SIN on CX and SIN-AUH-JFK on EY and enjoyed it very much and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this option. However, I’d also recommend flying out of HKG earlier so you have some time to roam the SIN airport, both land and air sides. SIN also has some free tours if your layover is long enough. You can also go out to the city on your own, the metro is pretty cheap. Just plan your time accordingly.

    If you stick with your first option, I’d recommend planning an overnight in Dubai, and then getting the EY chauffeur to pick you up after dinner so you have more time to enjoy the EY lounge, before and after US Customs at AUH. Further, this also gives you a larger time buffer in case EK HKG-DXB is delayed and you’re on separate tickets. I wouldnt want to deal with a missed connection on separate tickets when in another country where your internet connection could be spotty.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks David. We’ll be starting our trip with a 4+hr layover in SIN en route to BKK, and then we’ll actually be in Singapore itself for a few days right before the start of our cruise (that ends in HKG). So there won’t be much need to spend additional time in SIN or Singapore.

    It’s funny — at the moment, I’m more worried about the 1-hr connection in SIN (assuming they’ll actually ticket that — Tiffany confirmed for me that the MCT *should* be an hour) than the drive between DXB and AUH. But I think that drive will feel like more of the logistical hassle that Tiffany describes. I’ve flown EK F in the past, but I was excited for my husband to have a chance to experience it. That was our original plan (all the way from HKG-DXB-LAX) but that availability dried up (as Murphy’s Law would have it) 5 days before our travel date, even though there’s tons of availability for months beforehand — so I’ve recently been excited about EY as an alternative, which would be new for both of us.

  8. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 16327, member: 7″]I mean, I would do it, but not with my husband. Whenever I’ve tried to do stuff like that in hopes of “securing the best products” he just gets annoyed at the extra logistical hassle.

    My advice: your trip isn’t for a year, so book what you can, and keep an eye on things. Award space is fluid, and you may be able to change your flights in future to something more convenient.[/QUOTE]

    Thanks so much Tiffany.

  9. David W

    If you’re flying EK there, then I would do EY back. Or if you want maybe fly CX HKG-BKK and QR BKK-DOH-AUH. Or KA HKG-CAN and QR CAN-DOH-AUH, assuming QR still operates CAN-DOH with the A380, all before connecting to EY F on the A380 to JFK

  10. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 16342, member: 29″]If you’re flying EK there, then I would do EY back. Or if you want maybe fly CX HKG-BKK and QR BKK-DOH-AUH. Or KA HKG-CAN and QR CAN-DOH-AUH, assuming QR still operates CAN-DOH with the A380, all before connecting to EY F on the A380 to JFK[/QUOTE]

    Hi David,

    We’re flying SQ Suites LAX-NRT-SIN and then SIN Business SIN-BKK.

    We had planned to fly home EK F HKG-DXB-LAX, but at the moment they’ve stopped releasing F seats DXB-LAX starting March 16, 2017 (we’re flying home March 21, 2017). So I began considering alternatives.

    As a back-up we’re holding KE F HKG-ICN-LAX (A380 from ICN-LAX).

    I don’t have the stomach to wait and pray for 2 CX F seats just days before we fly, and while I understand the service is great, it just doesn’t sound as fun to me as EK, EY, or even KE. 🙂

    So, with KE HKG-ICN-LAX as backup, we have the other options I posted about. Given that we’ll already have been gone for 3+ weeks, we don’t have any additional time to spend at stopovers on the way home. A few hours to enjoy a special lounge, yes, but that’s about it.

    One other possibility that is actually bookable now is EK F HKG-DXB-DFW. At the moment there’s no availability on our final AS connection DFW-SEA, but I’m willing to believe that will come available over time. The downside is that it will get us home an additional day later given the time that DXB-DFW departs vs DXB-LAX. But that would be true of the EY flight AUH-JFK too.

    So as I see it, the most preferred options are:

    EK F HKG-DXB-LAX (Problem: no availability DXB-LAX at the moment)
    CX J HKG-SIN, EY F SIN-AUH-JFK
    EK F HKG-DXB, EY F AUH-JFK (Problem: uncertain about the wisdom of the DXB/AUH transfer)
    EK F HKG-DXB-DFW
    KE F HKG-ICN-LAX

    Love to hear what you think!

  11. David W

    ooo SQ Suites! Nicely done!

    Have you looked at availability for EK to SFO? Out of your options, I think my order of preference would be:

    EK HKG-DXB-LAX/DFW/SFO and maybe even JFK. Keep checking for space!

    CX HKG-SIN EY SIN-AUH-JFK, if you extended the SIN layover just a bit so the connection isnt as tight.

    KE HKG-ICN-LAX.

    EK HKG-DXB EY AUH-JFK – this would be a last resort. If EK is delayed, the EY chauffeur may not wait around and you may not be able to get another complimentary chauffeur at all. EY’s chauffeur service says if you’re a no show they will not send another cab. You’d then be stuck paying for a cab and maybe missing the EY flight as well. That situation wouldnt be something I want to deal with after a flight, in the middle of the night, in a foreign country.

    Have you considered JAL at all? CX and JL operate a bunch of daily flights between HKG & NRT/HND and fly to LAX from NRT and SFO from HND. I’d look in to this option before the EK/EY combo.

  12. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 16347, member: 29″]ooo SQ Suites! Nicely done!

    Have you looked at availability for EK to SFO? Out of your options, I think my order of preference would be:

    EK HKG-DXB-LAX/DFW/SFO and maybe even JFK. Keep checking for space!

    CX HKG-SIN EY SIN-AUH-JFK, if you extended the SIN layover just a bit so the connection isnt as tight.

    KE HKG-ICN-LAX.

    EK HKG-DXB EY AUH-JFK – this would be a last resort. If EK is delayed, the EY chauffeur may not wait around and you may not be able to get another complimentary chauffeur at all. EY’s chauffeur service says if you’re a no show they will not send another cab. You’d then be stuck paying for a cab and maybe missing the EY flight as well. That situation wouldnt be something I want to deal with after a flight, in the middle of the night, in a foreign country.

    Have you considered JAL at all? CX and JL operate a bunch of daily flights between HKG & NRT/HND and fly to LAX from NRT and SFO from HND. I’d look in to this option before the EK/EY combo.[/QUOTE]

    Hi David,

    Thanks so much — I really appreciate your thoughtful replies. Sometimes it’s too easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of what really makes sense. 🙂

    DXB-SFO has had the worst availability of all — even during the times there’s plenty of DXB-LAX availabilty, there is zilch for DXB-SFO. So I’ll keep watching and waiting, but I’ve been more optimistic about DXB-LAX resuming availability. It’s crazy — for each of the previous 8 or 9 Tuesdays, there’s 4 F seats on *both* DXB-LAX flights, then of course starting with the Tuesday I need there’s none, zero, zilch.

    But it’s weirder than that — starting Thursday, March 16th there’s nothing but coach on every EK DXB-LAX flight to the end of the schedule. This is what’s making me optimistic that they’re just holding them back for some reason and will eventually load them up. Does that make sense? But even so, why go cold turkey from 4 per flight to 0 per flight?

    Finally, I’m curious why you put the CX/EY combo behind the all-Emirates flights. Does this reflect your opinion about EK F vs EY F on the A380, or is there something else?

    Thanks!

    Todd

  13. David W

    EK [I]could [/I]be limiting awards for AS members. You could sign up for EK Skywards and check for awards thru their program and see if any seats come up. If seats [I]do [/I]come up, I’m not sure you can call AS and book them but it’s worth trying.

    I think that for an overall great experience, EK is a fantastic way to fly, especially when traveling with a companion. I believe they have a dedicated lounge at HKG and they have ginormous lounges at DXB. Furthermore, since you’re traveling with your husband, EK is more fun overall, especially with the bar in the back. That’s why I’d put them ahead.

    With the CX/EY combo to JFK via SIN and AUH, I ranked it second behind EK because while CX’s lounges are fantastic at HKG, it’s not the case at SIN. EY and CX use contract lounges and theyre meh. I preferred spending time roaming the 3 terminals. EY’s F products on the B789 and A380 are fantastic and loved both my flights – SIN–AUH-LHR. I’m booked for SIN-AUH-JFK this October and I’m absolutely excited!

  14. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”David W, post: 16350, member: 29″]EK [I]could [/I]be limiting awards for AS members. You could sign up for EK Skywards and check for awards thru their program and see if any seats come up. If seats [I]do [/I]come up, I’m not sure you can call AS and book them but it’s worth trying.

    I think that for an overall great experience, EK is a fantastic way to fly, especially when traveling with a companion. I believe they have a dedicated lounge at HKG and they have ginormous lounges at DXB. Furthermore, since you’re traveling with your husband, EK is more fun overall, especially with the bar in the back. That’s why I’d put them ahead.

    With the CX/EY combo to JFK via SIN and AUH, I ranked it second behind EK because while CX’s lounges are fantastic at HKG, it’s not the case at SIN. EY and CX use contract lounges and theyre meh. I preferred spending time roaming the 3 terminals. EY’s F products on the B789 and A380 are fantastic and loved both my flights – SIN–AUH-LHR. I’m booked for SIN-AUH-JFK this October and I’m absolutely excited![/QUOTE]

    Yeah, I’ve already checked EK availability through Skywards — it’s actually the same or LESS than AS.

    For us, this trip is definitely about the destinations, but we’re trying to make the journeys as special as possible without detracting from our time at the destinations. KE in both directions would probably be the most direct, quickest way to get there in reasonable style/comfort, but we’re wiling to spend several extra hours to go SQ outbound. EK and EY both take considerably longer to get home, but again are worth it within reason.

    For example, for HKG-SIN-AUH-DXB the 1-hr connection between CX and EY would be best if we knew we could make it. The alternative to get a longer connection time is to fly 3 hours earlier, giving us a 4-hr layover. That represents a large percentage of the time we have in Hong Kong at the end of our cruise, so the CX/EY combo becomes less attractive the earlier we have to leave HKG. For us, on this trip, spending more time in Hong Kong city is preferable to spending more time in SIN airport.

    Which brings up a possibility I didn’t mention earlier. Maybe the best option (for us) regarding EY is to fly EY all the way: HKG-AUH-JFK. The flight from HKG-AUH is on an A332 with J but no F. We have two options for travel dates. On Monday March 20 it’s an Etihad aircraft. But on Tuesday March 21 it’s an Air Seychelles configured aircraft. I’ve actually read good things about J on the Eithad A332, but I can’t find any reviews/pictures about the Air Seychelles configured aircraft. The obvious advantage of this flight is that it leaves HKG at 6:00pm for AUH instead of 2:20pm (or even 11:35am) if connecting through SIN on CX. It *is* a 9.5hr flight so I admit F would be nicer. I wonder if there’s any chance they’ll upgrade that aircraft before we fly, but I certainly wouldn’t count on that.

    I was worried that even though EY F on the A380 looks incredible it might keep the two of us traveling together more separated unless we make an effort to hang out together, whereas the middle seats on EK would make it easy to visit together.

    As always, love to hear your (and others’) thoughts on all this.

    Thanks!

  15. David W

    A 1 hour connection just makes me feel uncomfortable because of possible delays which could really be a pain. Though if it looks like a delay is coming up on the day of travel, maybe you can call AA right away and switch you over to the direct HKG-AUH on EY? I was originally booked on that flight first but switched to fly via SIN since they had an F cabin and a newer plane. I dont think it’s a bad choice tho, if you’re on EY aircraft.

    EY’s A380 F seats have dividers that can be lowered between seats, and when sleeping, youre basically face to face from the waist up. You can also be in the same apartment and share a table when dining since there are seat belts on the bench.

  16. SeattleTodd

    [QUOTE=”Tiffany, post: 16327, member: 7″]I mean, I would do it, but not with my husband. Whenever I’ve tried to do stuff like that in hopes of “securing the best products” he just gets annoyed at the extra logistical hassle.

    My advice: your trip isn’t for a year, so book what you can, and keep an eye on things. Award space is fluid, and you may be able to change your flights in future to something more convenient.[/QUOTE]

    Hi [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] — hope you can help with a quick question! I was sure I remembered from reading the blog and posts that Guest seat availability on Etihad’s website should reflect the availability that AA sees. But I just called AA and they see no biz of first availability on any of the Etihad flights I was interested, while Etihad’s website shows 2 Guest seats on each on the flights SIN-AUH and AUH-JFK and an unspecified number of business seats (I’m assuming that means more than 2) on HKG-AUH.

    The AA rep said there’s controlled inventory and that what they can book is different than what Etihad releases to their own members. Is that really true? As I said above, I thought Guest seat availability was the same across both airlines.

    Thanks,
    Todd

  17. Gaurav

    Todd, you’ll need to call the Australian office. Check the sticky post on the Ask Lucky page for details.

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