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Is this a situation I should call for award help?
The recent AAdvantage sale had me thinking… I come from a country (the Philippines) where acquiring points is much, much harder than it is in the US. I was planning a trip to the US in (paid) business class for sometime in February 2016, when the recent AAdvantage sale hit… I did the math and saw that Cathay Pacific First Class was in reach for similar money if another bonus sale dropped (which is almost certain by year-end)
Unfortunately, I’ve been looking at the availability just to see if the seats would be there if I needed them. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, but availability seems to be almost non-existent. Granted, I was only looking at one route (HKG-LAX in First), but even then I was surprised by how difficult availability seemed to be… which makes me wonder if this a) this is a sane plan at [I]all[/I] and b) if I need award help for it.
So, the basic scenario is:
[*]160k available AAdvantage miles (courtesy of the next bonus sale, more if needed at next )
[*]I want to travel in First from MNL to the US, round-trip
[*]Travel date(s) are in February 2016
[*]I have a (relatively) firm itinerary planned in the US (i.e., I need to be at these cities on these dates), but beyond that, I’m flexible.
So, is this something I should even try with miles, and if I should, do I need professional help (given that my own attempts at research seem to be failing miserably)?
Keep in mind that you can only buy 100K miles per calendar year per AAdvantage number so if you don’t have 60K already you could do paid travel in one direction and award travel in the other.
[USER=184]@MidSouth Skier[/USER], that was my first thought too. But at least during the last bonus sale the bonus miles didn’t count towards the 100k limit. So in theory you can buy 160k in one go.
[USER=73]@leops1984[/USER] — Great question, and searching for availability can be pretty frustrating.
Cathay Pacific tends to release a ton of space right before departure, so your best bet might be to book a more complicated routing, or even business class, and then improve the itinerary just prior to departure.
But I don’t think you need to pay a service, realistically. If your goal is Cathay First and you have fixed dates, you should definitely be able to put this together yourself with a bit of work.