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Answers (8)

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  1. Happily Retired

    Lucky,

    We discovered your site about 4 months ago and want to thank you so much. I have some idea of what it must take to process and publish the amount of information that you do. It is an enormous task.

    I am currently retired and when a professional, I flew almost exclusively international trips and logged many miles per year with American and Delta.

    Because of health issues, my wife and I have not traveled international for several years. However, we are ready to get back into travel. For a Christmas gift, I bought my wife tickets to see The Phantom in London. We are planning to fly to London and then Norway and then return home (GEG). Not the kind of adventure travel we used to do, but need to get back slowly.

    Because we have not been reading your site for very long, here are our questions. We want to fly business class or 1st. Is it best to cash in some of our miles in Delta or AA for this trip? Is it better to use USD to buy this trip and receive miles? I have read some of your trips and frankly don’t even know where you begin when planning a trip. I am sure you have already covered what I am asking in some previous blog post. My apologies for not having seen it. But can you give a brief recommendation for the process to follow given our above situation? Or perhaps refer us to a prior-published article?

    Thank you for what you are doing, your efforts are very much appreciated!

    Regards,
    Gary & Karen

  2. No Name

    [USER=1304]@Happily Retired[/USER]

    Welcome Gary & Karen

    First of all, how many miles/what kind do you have now and what kind of miles/points earning credit cards do you have?

    Secondly, when are planning to travel? Are your dates are fixed due to the theater tickets?

    Third, where in the US are you based and would you be willing to take positioning flights to other airports if better award are available elsewhere?

    Are you able/willing to pick up some more credit cards if needed for bonus points?

    Delta does not allow you to book international F, only J sadly. And to Europe the only Skyteam member with F is Air France and they only allow their own elite members to redeem for F awards.

    Burning some of those AA miles might be you best bet frankly.
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/11/18/aadvantage-award-chart-devaluation-2016/[/URL]

  3. Nolan Snoeyink

    Hi, just noticed that this thread has been double posted. Don’t know what OMAAT’s policy is regarding this, but I just thought I would let [USER=4]@Lucky[/USER] and [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] know.

    Anyway, here is what I posted on the other thread:

    Hi Gary and Karen!

    How many miles do you have with American and Delta? When are you planning to travel? We can all give better advice with just a little bit more information.

    Thanks!

  4. Happily Retired

    [QUOTE=”Nolan Snoeyink, post: 10949, member: 1192″]Hi, just noticed that this thread has been double posted. Don’t know what OMAAT’s policy is regarding this, but I just thought I would let [USER=4]@Lucky[/USER] and [USER=7]@Tiffany[/USER] know.

    Anyway, here is what I posted on the other thread:

    Hi Gary and Karen!

    How many miles do you have with American and Delta? When are you planning to travel? We can all give better advice with just a little bit more information.

    Thanks![/QUOTE]

    Thank you No Name and Nolan for responding!
    Here are the answers … on American my wife has 550,000 and I have 200,000 miles left. Between my wife and I we have nearly 100 500-mile segment upgrades (I have found these to be nearly useless because upgrades are rarely available). I am permanent Gold (million miler) on AA. With regard to Delta, I have 280,000 miles remaining.

    The play in London is 7 April. We are flexible as to travel dates with following considerations … only planning to be in London for 3 days and then go to Norway for 3 or 4 days and then return home. Our “home” airport is GEG (Spokane, WA).

    We have AMEX Delta Skymiles credit card and a Citi American Airlines Advantage Platinum Select MasterCard.

    My problem is have been a reader of OMAAT for only a couple of months, so many options … find a “special fare” and just purchase it outright? Use miles? Find a special miles deal? LOL … very confusing.

    And PS, no idea how my question got double posted … my 1st post and it may have been “operator error”. Sorry.

  5. No Name

    Considering that devaluation is coming to AA next year I would spend AA miles if I were you.

    Unless you can find a J class sale across the Atlantic with prices in the 1000-1500$ range off course.

    For the flight to and from Norway consider picking up an BA credit card and use the bonus Avios for short haul. That said paid tickets in Euro-J Norway-London can sometime be reasonable when BA have a sale.

    Where in Norway are you planning to go by the way? If it a bit more out of the way you might have to go with SK rather than BA.

    Have you considered a creative routing on you way to or from Europe? You do have quite a bit AA miles that will be worth less next year. Cathay in F or J to HKG onward to Dubai on one award and then a second award for Etihad A380 AUH to LON or in reverse?

    Don’t have time to replay more now. Will try later.

  6. Happily Retired

    [QUOTE=”No Name, post: 10997, member: 268″]Considering that devaluation is coming to AA next year I would spend AA miles if I were you.

    Unless you can find a J class sale across the Atlantic with prices in the 1000-1500$ range off course.

    For the flight to and from Norway consider picking up an BA credit card and use the bonus Avios for short haul. That said paid tickets in Euro-J Norway-London can sometime be reasonable when BA have a sale.

    Where in Norway are you planning to go by the way? If it a bit more out of the way you might have to go with SK rather than BA.

    Have you considered a creative routing on you way to or from Europe? You do have quite a bit AA miles that will be worth less next year. Cathay in F or J to HKG onward to Dubai on one award and then a second award for Etihad A380 AUH to LON or in reverse?

    Don’t have time to replay more now. Will try later.[/QUOTE]

    Thank you. It looks like the best way to get to London is going to be to use some of those miles before they devalue; unless I can find a smoking deal for paid tickets. Not sure yet of the Norway destination, however probably smaller city and appears to be about USD 200 for that airfare.

    Your around the world suggestion has me so wanting to do that. Have done around the world before for business trips to India. We used to live in Tokyo and want to get back to visit very much … and UAE is on my short list of places to visit that I have not been to. Unfortunately this subject trip is constrained to a week or so. But you have planted the seed … just substitute NRT for HKG. 🙂

    Thank you for your advice!

  7. Happily Retired

    [QUOTE=”Happily Retired, post: 11024, member: 1304″]Thank you. It looks like the best way to get to London is going to be to use some of those miles before they devalue; unless I can find a smoking deal for paid tickets. Not sure yet of the Norway destination, however probably smaller city and appears to be about USD 200 for that airfare.

    Your around the world suggestion has me so wanting to do that. Have done around the world before for business trips to India. We used to live in Tokyo and want to get back to visit very much … and UAE is on my short list of places to visit that I have not been to. Unfortunately this subject trip is constrained to a week or so. But you have planted the seed … just substitute NRT for HKG. 🙂

    Thank you for your advice![/QUOTE]

    PS Looks like we will be flying to Bergen, Norway.

    Regards

  8. No Name

    I might have lead you a bit astray with the Cathay to Dubai, It’s not possible to do with AA miles. I was think about Alaska miles for flying on Cathay, sorry. :oops::(

    I assume you read all about the March 22 award chart changes?
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/11/17/2016-aadvantage-program-details/[/URL]
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/11/18/aadvantage-award-chart-devaluation-2016/[/URL]
    Might want to get as many award booked as you can before then, and rather cancel if you don’t need them.

    Before booking reading these post by Lucky might be a good idea. [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/04/12/how-to-redeem-american-aadvantage-miles/[/URL]
    A bit of inspiration of what you can use your AA miles for.
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/10/27/10-best-uses-of-american-miles/[/URL]
    AA award trends on their own metal
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/11/24/american-award-availability/[/URL]
    And finally AA routing rules if you are planning any complex awards.
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2014/06/08/american-aadvantage-award-routing-rules/[/URL]
    Think you can forget F from the West coast to Europe on Oneworld or Skyteam
    [URL]http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.com/2015/07/27/flying-first-class-to-europe-from-the-west-coast/[/URL]

    AA: J is nice if you can find award space
    BA: J is probably one of the worst TATL and there is high surcharges.
    IB: New J on some planes. Surcharges, but not as high as BA
    Airberlin; Nice J without fuel surcharges, but AB is pure Y LCC inside Europe.
    Finnair: OK J on A330, great on A350 and bad and old on A340, don’t think they have fuel surcharges. Also the TATL is longer than the other some more chance to sleep.

    If you are going to Bergen read this trip report by SFO777
    [URL]http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1709900-bergen-oslo-paris-via-sas-all-business-737-home-via-air-france-la-premiere.html[/URL]

    He does seem to to have gone to some of the tourist traps when it comes to restaurants down in the Bryggen area.

    Are you going to see the fjords? Start of April might be a bit early in the year, there is good chance of bad weather. Best time for the fjords is June to August, but even then there is no guaranty of good weather.

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