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Answers (5)

Dilemma: wait to see if mileage awards open up or pay in cash now

Dilemma: wait to see if mileage awards open up or pay in cash now

  1. Anonymous

    I’m going on a family vacation in September to Greece. I was able to get my parents and my sister RT business class tickets to/from on the same flights using united miles (they are all flying austrian business – I know – miracle to get three seats both ways), but I am the only one who doesn’t have a ticket yet. I have a few options:
    [*]Pay cash for the same flight legs they are on, in economy, it’s ~$1200. There is a business class option, but that is $6000 and not worth the cost to me
    [*]Wait to see if the same flight opens up in econ or business (I’m using expert flyer to track the flights)
    [*]Book a totally separate flight on miles on United/Aeroplan/delta/american (also using expert flyer here to see what seats open up)
    Does anyone have any opinions on the probability that I will get a mileage seat on the same flight that they are on (both ways)? Note that mileage availability for other flights is also pretty bad (e.g. long connections, no saver awards, etc). My concern is that the longer I wait, the cash price of the flight will keep increasing beyond $1200 and then there won’t be any mileage seats either so I will be an SOL. Also open to any other tips/hacks you may have.

    Thank You!

  2. David W

    Might be tough considering you already have 3 seats. I’d book different flights (that you have no issue taking) in econ or biz that works and then hope to switch if it becomes available.

  3. Daniel B

    Another thing to consider is that Austrian airlines offers the opportunity to bid for an upgrade. So in theory (and only in theory), you might get a business class seat upgrade if you set your bid amount appropriately. [URL][/URL]
    If not, then of course you are stuck in economy, albeit at the same flight as your family.

  4. Jyoti

    Thank you both, very helpful. I didn’t realize Austrian lets you bid on any open seats – good to know.

  5. Jyoti

    Update: I ended up paying cash to book a separate flight on Delta One, I did save about $300 with the amex international air program.

    I used expertflyer to set alerts for the OS flights and nothing opened up, unfortunately. About a week before departure, there was a flight that opened up on United in Economy. A week before my return flight back, a non-stop ATH>>>EWR flight opened up.

    I didn’t want to risk booking an economy ticket on OS and then not being offered to bid on a seat upgrade/not win the bid.

    Thank you for your input!

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