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Just finished booking a Oneworld multi carrier award with Asiamiles
So, I’ve finished booking a oneworld multi partner award on asiamiles:
HKG-PEN Dragon Air business
LHR-FRA BA in business (needed that to have another carrier beside Cathay Pacific and Japan Airlines)
FRA-HKG-HND FRA-HKG is in First with CX, HKG-HND is business class on Japan Airlines
NRT-HAN Japan Airlines Business
TPE-ICN Cathay Pacific Business
ICN-HKG Cathay Pacific First
Total 155,000 miles + 2200 HKD Taxes (about $250)
I needed to have at least 3 airlines including cathay to price the award (otherwise it would have been a mixed carrier award with more restrictions regarding stopovers and open jaws), originally I was planning on getting an award on Malaysian Airlines but with the recent Malaysian Airlines devaluation all of the award availability on Malaysian Airlines in the next 3 month dried up.
I also tried getting an award on S7 but couldn’t either (BA shows availability but American airlines didn’t show any nor did CX). I also tried Air Berlin which showed as available through BA but not on CX so I’m forced to visit London.
It took 5 phone calls and altogether 3 hours on the phone with Asiamiles agent to organize this. Beside that, it took me probably 4 more hours to plan and look for availability. 3 of the agents were helpful and competent (but be ready to spend a lot of time on hold), 2 were really not great.
It’s not the most optimized trip in term of experiencing first class but it gets me to the countries I wanted to visit or needed to go to so that’s the most important 🙂
Honestly, it was good to do myself but next time I’d probably hire Pointspro or similar to save time 🙂
Booking complicated awards for yourself or others can certainly give you an appreciation for the work the pros do. But well done and hope you enjoy your trip!
Yes, I think if I did it again, I’d probably be able to cut the time by half but that’s about it… Especially, I don’t think there’s any way to make the calls to Cathay shorter (in retrospect I should maybe have hung up as soon as I got a bad feeling with an agent as that usually led to wasted time). So, in term of the prices I’ve seen for pros compared to the hours needed, I think it’s really worth asking pros.
For example, I wasted a lot of time trying to find out which direct oneworld routes were available for a given city until I discovered the Oneworld Interactive Map [URL]http://onw.innosked.com/[/URL] which can list all of the direct routes arriving to a given city.
It was very helpful in trying to keep the number of transits under the limit (2 transit max).
I’ve also wasted a lot of time due to Malaysia Airlines’ availability suddenly drying up because of their huge devaluation but that’s not really something that one can control.