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Emirates F space opening?
I’m looking for Emirates F space around Christmas (25-27 Dec) and returning after 1st of the year. There are currently 0 F seats on any of the flights from the east coast to DXB and 0 flights on the return.
There is availability on Etihad (though not on the 380). I could book that now.
I’d rather book Emirates since it will cost me far fewer SPG points as a round trip – but I’m afraid if I don’t book the Etihad flight and Emirates doesn’t ever open, I’ll be stuck.
What’s past experience say to do? I have expert flyer alerts set for all Emirates flights as of now.
That is a very heavy travel period. If you see EY, book it ASAP.
Sure enough – the 2 seats are gone (I only need one). I’ll keep an eye to see if they show back up. A couple of questions:
1. If I’m going to need to transfer points in to EY to purchase the ticket will they hold the ticket while they transfer them in (if not, then this would have been a case of me getting caught – as I would have transfered them in and not been able to purchase it in time).
2. How much does capacity in EY vs EK fluctuate, and any sense of when it is most likely? I will keep checking the ex-US flights and returns daily – but would love any input.
3. Any other tips I am missing for finding either EY or EK in F. I have SPG and Citi and Chase points I can transfer in plenty if needed.
Thanks so much.
Verify EY space before transferring. Amex transfers instantly (though over one particular weekend I had an issue and had to wait 3 days). Not sure about the transfer time from Citi TY.
Hard to say what the trends are, it comes and goes. At one point there was almost zero EY F and then there was a ton of space which a lot of people snapped up. Trick is to check constantly and be flexible with dates.
Okay, if I can push my luck a little here as I’m waiting (hoping) for space to open.
If the outbound opens in EK but I’m waiting for the return, can I book the outbound through JAL and then later add the return if it opens? I know the JAL chart is based on round trip mileage and it saves a significant amount of points if I can book the return. But if the outbound returns I don’t want to miss the spot.
In the mean time I keep checking EY several times a day and am also considering LH as a close-in option if I need to.
Not sure about JAL but I would check with them. Seems like a reasonable strategy, just make sure you know what change fees would be involved.
You can also use wandr.me to set alerts for EY space.
Thanks, I’ll look into that. The struggle with EK through JAL is that I will need to transfer the miles in from SPG and then take the risk that availability is still there when they transfer. Any sense on the timing for SPG to transfer in to JAL?
Finally, Expert Flyer is showing availability on two EK flights in F, but JAL says there is none.
Based on [URL=’http://rapidtravelchai.boardingarea.com/2014/12/03/transferring-spg-points-japan-airlines/’]this post by Stefan of RTC[/URL], it looks like JAL processes transfers weekly on Tuesday nights Japan time. His research indicates you need to initiate your transfer by Friday so that your points will show up on Wednesday.
Thanks – this is all so helpful.
From what I see then – flying either EK or EY over when I have pretty specific dates will always be a gamble. Is there any way to book with either airline that allows a hold while points are transferring? Or will it always be a calculated risk of hoping the seats are still available?
The fear of course is I transfer to EY or JAL (for EK) and then seats open on the opposite airline by the time they’re sent.
Will AA do holds for partner airlines? Even if it costs me more, that may be my only option.
AA will let you hold an award for 5 days. You can hold the award, then initiate a transfer of points. If you buy points from AA, points usually post instantly. In either case, I put the award on hold before i transfer/buy points.
Just wanted to update to all and close the loop.
Ended up grabbing Etihad on the outbound when a space opened through AA (so I could hold the award and then transfer).
Secondly, I transferred SPG and TY points to Etihad directly and will wait for them to complete and then obsessively check EY availability on the return between now and January. Praying it works out okay. But thanks all for the suggestions.
I will pose one more (unrelated) question about EY and EK.
If someone is hoping to fly 3 seats in F in either of these two airlines, which one – generally speaking – is more likely to have availability. Would be a year in advance, and with great flexibility in dates. I’m just curious which would more likely open up 3 seats (or open 2 and then have a good chance of another single opening on the same flight).
I don’t know that there is any absolute determination in this area [USER=2411]@Mr WD[/USER]. It’s too variable to make a call.
You might get lucky – I think Ben was able to snag 3 seats on EY F Apartments albeit at different times since availability fluctuates.
If all 3 passengers must travel together, I’d probably book first class even if it was one seat and then the rest in business class and then hope to upgrade if more awards become available.
Going to push another question:
If I’m having trouble getting an F seat on the return AUH-JFK, and I book Business instead, can I later change it to an F seat if it opens (even if there is a fee)? This would be booking with miles directly with EY – not through AA.
Further, if I book Business on day x but then F opens on day Y, can I change not just the cabin but the actual flight?
Yes, both should be possible, but again check on change fees. EY is not a program most of us use very often so make sure of how much changes will cost. Sometimes they can really add up!
Here is some more information: [URL]http://www.etihadguest.com/en/spend-miles/cancellation-policy/[/URL]
Okay, just to follow up for the few of you who are following along (and offering great help).
Outbound: I booked the EY award in F on Christmas Day on the 77W because the A380 wasn’t available and the time didn’t work for me. I booked it by using AA miles, which let me hold the award. At the time, my positioning flight into JFK wasn’t available, but I waited the five days while it was on hold, checking constantly. The positioning flight I needed opened one seat at T-1 of the AA hold, and I snagged it. Of Note: Expert Flyer alert for that positioning flight did not trigger (perhaps because I likely snagged it within a few hours of it opening). F Seat in AA for XXX-JFK and F Seat on EY on the 77W to AUH.
Return: This was trickier. Flights coming back just after the new year were very full in F. Many didn’t have seats for sale with cash. I wanted to try to get on the A380 since I hadn’t tried it. I took a risk and transferred TY and SPG points to Etihad to take advantage of their bonus. SPG posted 5 days later, TY points posted 6 days later. Bonus has not yet posted.
Looking at the seats available, it began to look like the A380 is not nearly as likely to open up AUH-JFK on the couple of days I could fly. But I found 1 seat on AUH-LHR. It’s 1-2 days later than I want, but I’ll keep looking for inventory to open the two days prior. Because there are several flights each day on the A380 AUH-LHR, I think I’m likely to be able to grab one earlier with only a $25 change fee. I went ahead and booked it while it was available, and booked back ups on DL from LHR-JFK-XXX to get home a day later. To be safe, I booked a DL flight two days before as well. I’m DM on Delta and can cancel that award with no penalties.
I’m comfortable, but will keep an eye with two considerations.
On an EY award, you can’t change the destination (you can on a revenue ticket). If a seat opened AUH-JFK on the A380, I’d have to cancel my AUH-LHR seat in order to have enough Etihad miles to book the AUH-JFK. Cancellation of an EY award costs 10% of mileage spent. I could take that hit. BUT according to EY, it could take 10-15 days to get the other miles back in the account. He said they can send a manual email but that it may still take two days to get them back. By then, my AUH-JFK seat would be snagged, I’m sure. The only other option is to transfer more points into EY and I don’t have any other travel that way planned and would prefer to try EK if I did. So that seems the toughest option.
The most likely is that I will keep an eye to grab a seat a few days earlier and still do the LHR routing. Not as much time in the Apartment, but still not a bad way to get home.
Glad to hear its coming together!