Friday, January 11, 2008

Still trying to figure out Award availability.

Ok, so Dave and I are going to Cape Town at the end of February. Originally we were going to try and go to Sydney for the Gay Mardi Gras at that time. I looked for award seats on any Star Alliance carrier going west to Sydney. Couldn’t find any availability. So I changed tactics and decided to go through Europe instead. We would get an extra cheep ticket to London and then to through Singapore to Sydney.

This kind of worked, anyone who has tried to get start alliance award tickets on Singapore air in the premium cabins knows that it’s next to impossible. Never the less I got two Business class tickets from London to Singapore and then two coach from Singapore to Sydney. Business all the way back to London.

Mind you this was going to be a three day trip just to get there. All of our friends where going to try and be there because it’s the 30th anniversary of Mardi Gras. Unfortunately Dave and I just never felt the love for it and just couldn’t get excited over it. So, one day when I had a little extra free time I did a search for award tickets to Cape Town for the same time we were thinking of going to Sydney.

I was shocked to see First Class availability for two from IAD(Washington, DC) to FRA(Frankfurt, Germany) and then only Coach from FRA to JNB(Johannesburg, SA) and then Business class (that’s all the rest of the world does internally, no first class like in the states) from JNB to CPT(Cape Town) On the way back I got all first class home except for the CPT to JNB which was business. The big flights are on Lufthansa and the enter SA flights are on SAA.

Ok, this we could work with. We also love Cape Town. So I change the award tickets to South Africa and then did some research. Seems that Lufthansa opens up its premium cabin for award travel seven days out. So if you check now for the 16th you will see anywhere from two to four seats available for awards in first. Having figured this out I wasn’t too worried about the coach leg of our flight. I was pretty sure that a week before travel I could get us into first class for that leg. I also found out that Untied will not let you change the ticket if it’s less than three days before travel begins. So there is only about three to four day to make the change.

But I, being the persistent person I am, have been checking everyday to see if first class opened up for that leg. And today it DID!!!!!

For one person…. :-(

So I called and got Dave’s Itinerary changed so that he was in First Class, alas I’m still in coach. But I haven’t given up hope for me yet. I’ll keep checking every day until I get it.

Our ultimate plan is to push the trip back two days and leave on Friday night instead of Sunday night that week. So I’m also checking the flights from FRA to JNB( this is the bad one to get the award tickets on) on the Saturday before. If it opens up for first, I will pay a change fee and get us to Cape Town two days earlier. I’ve already talked to the lady we’re renting from and she says it looks fine for us to come early.

Keep your fingers crossed.

So, going back to the title of this blog entry, I have yet to figure out how and why they open up seats. Today is no more special then yesterday which had to seats. It’s 6 weeks and 3 days out from our trip. Why did one seat open up today? It’s so strange.

Oh, and the diet is still going well, I’ve come to the conclusion that I will only weigh myself on Saturdays. That way I can see the trend. Everyday fluctuates too much.


Andy's Life said...

Got the drama just trying to get tickets! :-P It'll be worth it though. Glad to hear the diet is goign well. i need to start doing something about my balloning wasteline.

Anthony said...

Ah, the principles of yield management :p

It is a science which I do not think we will ever get the trick of. I know one thing, SQ will never release 2 F class seats for non SQ FF until 3 days before the flight. You will never be able to do SQ if you book in advance :-(

Good luck with getting the new seat!

Anthony said...

So, has it all been sorted yet?