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Points for ticket or upgrade?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Franny, May 2, 2019.

  1. Franny

    Franny New Member

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    We are trying to plane a 2 wk vacay phx to London, return from Barcelona for 3 ppl. We have almost 700k amex reward miles. We'd hoped we could use pts for business airfare...we don't have enough. What's the best way to use them? Do we pay for economy and use pts for upgrade maybe? Or pay for one ticket and use points for the other two?
    I used to travel alot but haven't for years, I'm out of practice, out of ideas :-(
    Thanks!!!
     
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  2. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    That seems like more than enough points. What options have you looked at to make you think you are short?
     
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  3. Franny

    Franny New Member

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    That's what I thought. I used Amex travel reward site. It said we need over 1 million pts. I tried British Airways and American, neither had "upgrade" available.
     
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  4. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    You could potentially book BA round trip and transfer the Amex points to BA Avois for an upgrade. Their upgrade rules are pretty decent (paying the difference in points between econ-business, plus taxes and fees). Call BA to see if there's upgrade space and which fare class you need to book to be eligible. Read more here https://onemileatatime.com/how-to-upgrade-british-airways-flight/

    Singapore flies Houston-Manchester, you may be able to find 3 seats in either direction. If United has award space, you can tack on the PHX-IAH leg, though you'd probably need to purchase MAN-LON/BCN tickets separately.

    You can also transfer the points to Air Canada Aeroplan - Star Alliance has decent options to Europe and you may be able to find 3 seats in both directions. 55k per person one way for business class. ANA Mileage Club costs 88k round trip, though you must book round trip.

    If you find award space on Delta's own flights, you can book via Virgin Atlantic to save some miles.
     
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  5. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    @Franny - were you looking at booking your flights via the Amex portal and using points or transferring them to BA? Also, are you ok with buying positioning flights if needed?
     
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  6. Franny

    Franny New Member

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    absolutely, I can be flexible. I'll do whatever works best, hoping points will cushion the price of business.
     
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  7. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Then I'd use the BA tool to find flights between the US & London and then Barcelona back to the US. As you may know, BA charges points based on the distance flown and they do impose fuel surcharges. So a business class flight using Avios may still cost several hundred dollars. If you don't mind routing through Madrid, you can fly on Iberia and it should cost you less cash.

    AA flies to Madrid from DFW, Miami, JFK, PHL and, seasonally, Charlotte

    Iberia files from Madrid to :Chicago, LAX, JFK and even Mexico City.

    All of those should have connecting flights to PHX. If you don't see an AA flight between one of those hubs and PHX you may have to buy a positioning flight.

    Routing via MEX likely won't show up on any of the search engines and - as with any of these - I have no idea about the timing of the flights but it's worth a look if nothing else works.
     
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    OCTinPHL likes this.
  8. Franny

    Franny New Member

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    I just realized I can't transfer Amex points to American [email protected]# Shoot! My 60 year old brain is not working well on this task! LOL
     
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  9. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    No, you'd have to transfer them to BA.
     
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