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Award Redemption Am I missing something important (or just confused)?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Old Dog, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Old Dog

    Old Dog New Member

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    Lucky, & everyone,

    First, thanks so much for the terrific information on this site. I've been using it for some time, and it has been very helpful for some domestic travel.

    I think I may be overthinking things, or perhaps I'm missing something. I'm trying to plan award travel for myself and a companion from US East Coast to Italy for May 2018. I do realize that not all availability I will need has yet been released. The idea is to fly to Venice (preferably in Business) and return from Rome (Business would be nice, but if I'm short of points, we can deal with that).

    I have about 160K Chase UR, a bit over 100K UA, and 70K+ BA. Reading posts about Aer Lingus, Iberia, and other combinations makes me think this should be feasible.

    Looking at the UA award tables today, I see no Saver awards posted, at least not yet. Looking at Aer Lingus and Iberia sites, I can't seem to figure out what the cost (in miles/points) would be for all segments. I suppose I'm saying that I can't seem to validate whether the posted distance award price covers the entire trip to Venice, or from Rome, or whether there are additional miles/points needed for the segments from Dublin or Milan onward.

    Also, am I right in thinking that the idea would be to transfer Chase UR to BA, then transfer Avios from BA to either Aer Lingus or Iberia, to book the reward flights? That is the sense I've been getting from the articles I've seen.

    Thanks so much for all the help!
     
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  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @Old Dog - you're on the right track!

    You've actually got a couple of options as URs transfer to both BA and United. United is also partners with Aer Lingus.

    The advantage of doing this would be that UA doesn't pass along fuel surcharges and for one price you can get US-DUB-Europe and Europe-DUB-US for another price.

    Avios are distance-based so each leg is priced separately. Seth, of the Wandering Aramean blog, has built an Avios calculator (https://wandr.me/avios-calculator/) or you can use the one on the BA site.

    So EWR-DUB is 73.5K in business and DUB-VCE is 15K for a total of 88.5K Avios.

    By contrast UA requires only 57.5K each way for saver awards in business when flying partner airlines.

    The downside to this is that Iberia can't be booked with UA miles, only with Avios, though availability has been good in the past because most people in the US would be booking with AA miles and since Iberia was not supported by AA's website until last week, many people did not know it was an option. We may see that change in the future. However if you're booking with Avios you may find additional award seats that are available only with Avios. There will be fuel surcharges, however. But if you book with IB Avios those surcharges should be less than with BA Avios.

    Hope that helps but if I've just confused you, let us know and we'll try to clear it up.
     
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  3. Old Dog

    Old Dog New Member

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    Thanks so much for the reply, @MidSouth Skier, it is very helpful.

    You have confirmed much of what I had understood from reading, and clarified also that UA could be the best priced option, if Saver seats are available. Otherwise, the other options are viable, but have some gotcha's to be wary of.

    Thanks!
     
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