View Full Version : Award travel at Christmastime?
02-04-2012, 01:57 PM
Wow, this is the first I've seen the new site. Hope I'm doing everything right.
Anyway, we (4 of us) are planning to go to Australia for Christmas this year and will have enough miles for at least 2 (maybe 4) award tickets.
For those of you who traveled to Oz this past Christmas on award tickets...how hard was it to book your flight and how far in advance did you book it? (on Qantas) I was planning on booking in September (which is still earlier than I usually book tickets) but one agent I spoke to advised that I should not wait that long.
02-04-2012, 03:26 PM
If you can help it I wouldn't wait too long. Even domestic flights aren't as easy to book with points as they used to be. In saying that if you have to purchase some tickets it will be much easier to get them later on.
02-04-2012, 07:26 PM
It depends upon many factors, but when I worked in the airlines, many people would call 364 days prior to their travel date so they could get the days they wanted. BUT if you are flexible, you might be able to get it later in the year. Also it will depend upon how many people are travelling, the more people, the more difficult it becomes!
02-05-2012, 04:14 PM
Thanks. There are 4 of us and we are pretty restricted on dates because our older son is in school. He will be missing about a week but not concerned about that. We have enough miles for 2 tickets, but might have enough for four soon...though not sure it will be possible to get four award seats at Christmastime.
One agent I spoke with said she rarely sees award seats from Dec 15-23, but not sure if that's true or not. We've not had problems booking award travel before but never have we tried with dates so close to Christmas.
Guess I will just keep calling to see if any award seats open up when we are ready to book. Very nervous about the price of tickets that close to Ch
02-05-2012, 04:27 PM
One agent I spoke with said she rarely sees award seats from Dec 15-23, but not sure if that's true or not.
That's because they were snapped up as soon as they opened! Are they there now, on the days you want? If not, your only chance is if they were unusually slow with only a couple of weeks to go, then the airlines do sometimes open up more for award travel, but again, very rare at any holiday.
02-06-2012, 05:20 PM
I booked award tickets with Qantas for Christmas 2010 BUT i flew home on Dec 24 and had only one segment (LAX to SYD) each way. I got D on a flight out Dec 30 (he missed NYE!) and we returned together on Jan 21.
I think the earlier you book the better your chances. Adding domestic legs on either end will reduce your chance of success.
I booked in July (i used Alaska Air miles on a Qantas flight - booked over the phone with Alaska).
We used award miles on Qantas when we moved back to Oz December 2007, the only day we could get was leaving Dec 29th arriving in Brisbane 31st that year..
I would book as early as you can plan it. I couldn't even book a single award flight for a trip home in March, in December. I ended up having to do the points plus pay. I also tried to use points on my two trips home when Mum was sick but didn't stand a chance. Of course these were last minute things but I still wouldn't wait. If you know your dates, what have you got to lose by booking early?
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