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Old 01-18-2010, 08:40 PM   #41
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Is it 100k miles or 30k miles? Website link does not say 100k miles...
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:44 PM   #42
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Is it 100k miles or 30k miles? Website link does not say 100k miles...
Someone else posted they reduced it from 100K to 30K, you missed the boat..
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:54 PM   #43
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That's what I'm afraid of. Apparently Japan Airlines is filing bankruptcy Tuesday. They are the major asian carrier on the oneworld alliance that includes BA and American Airlines. Rumor has it that Japan Air may leave oneworld and join Delta's international alliance. Meaning my plans to use the BA 100,000 miles for asian travel may be severely limited.
Cathay Pacific is still part of oneworld and they fly to a lot of places in Asia.

Jimnjana, we were able to sign up for the 50K+50K card by calling 888-593-5212. There is no working web link for the 50K+50K card, only the 30K card.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:00 PM   #44
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We were able to use BA points to purchase our Cathay Pacific FF flights at Xmas time without any problem. Also their fees are low, unlike BA.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:25 PM   #45
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We were able to use BA points to purchase our Cathay Pacific FF flights at Xmas time without any problem. Also their fees are low, unlike BA.
Good to hear about Cathay Pacific. I'll have to look more into where they fly for my BA points. From a quick read a while back at flyertalk forums they made it sound like JAL leaving the oneworld alliance would really hurt potential rewards flights in Asia.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:45 PM   #46
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Well I would assume that it would become more difficult as there will be less seats available for flights to Asia. I know that on the West Coast Cathay goes out of both SFO & LAX to Hong Kong. From there you can connect to virtually anywhere in Asia.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:16 PM   #47
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Cathay Pacific is still part of oneworld and they fly to a lot of places in Asia.

Jimnjana, we were able to sign up for the 50K+50K card by calling 888-593-5212. There is no working web link for the 50K+50K card, only the 30K card.

Thanks! Just called, got the card! Now wondering if I should have gotten two...
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:42 PM   #48
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Well I would assume that it would become more difficult as there will be less seats available for flights to Asia. I know that on the West Coast Cathay goes out of both SFO & LAX to Hong Kong. From there you can connect to virtually anywhere in Asia.
I just checked and had a really hard time finding round trip flights even to/from Hong Kong, Cathay's hub. And that was from JFK and LAX, not even my own home airport.
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Old 01-19-2010, 10:10 PM   #49
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Hmm, there are a bunch of flights from LAX (my home airport) to HKG, or are you saying that you had trouble finding award tickets for that? In fact, I know people who are flying to HKG using Cathay next month.

I had an unnerving call with Chase about 10 mins back. I received my card in the mail and called to activate it, the CSR activated it and congratulated me on "30000 miles". I informed him that I should have been awarded 50K and he told me that offer ended Dec 11th. We went back and forth and eventually he said he wasn't sure I signed up for this card using the 50K web link around Jan 9th, when it was working so who knows! If I only get 30K, I'm canceling the card right away. We'll see what happens, I'm going to make my first purchase tomorrow.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:02 AM   #50
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Hmm, there are a bunch of flights from LAX (my home airport) to HKG, or are you saying that you had trouble finding award tickets for that? In fact, I know people who are flying to HKG using Cathay next month.
I had trouble finding reward tickets.

Seems like flights through American Airlines (using BA points) are fairly easy to get. No problem finding East Coast to Hawaii flights with just 1 short layover. Seem to recall AA flights to South America were similarly available.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:11 PM   #51
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One thing I have found with frequent flyer flights, is often it is the first leg that causes the problem. For example, when we lived in San Diego, if I tried to get a FF flight from SD to Australia on Qantas there would never be any availability. However, for those same days could always get availability on the LAX to Australia leg. Even though the flight from SD to LAX would have a Qantas flight number, it was a codeshare with American and they never seem to have availability on that leg.

Other thing I have found is it is often the class of travel. Normally I will find seats in economy or first but nothing in business.

Oddly enough, for us, we can find flights to Asia from West Coast but can never get flights we want to South America.
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Old 01-20-2010, 12:22 PM   #52
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I have read about that strategy - that is, book a cheap domestic ticket to the Cathay/Qantas/other hub, then book the reward ticket from the hub to your ultimate destination.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:00 PM   #53
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I often found the first leg would be so inconvenient if you were able to get the FF booking. For example, Qantas would leave LAX at 11.30 p.m. but the FF flight would leave SD at 2.00 p.m. which is ridiculous as they would have flights going empty every hour.

If you do book your ticket separately make sure you leave plenty of room for the connection and try and do it on the same airline that your FF flight is with.
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:55 PM   #54
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Hmm, there are a bunch of flights from LAX (my home airport) to HKG, or are you saying that you had trouble finding award tickets for that? In fact, I know people who are flying to HKG using Cathay next month.

I had an unnerving call with Chase about 10 mins back. I received my card in the mail and called to activate it, the CSR activated it and congratulated me on "30000 miles". I informed him that I should have been awarded 50K and he told me that offer ended Dec 11th. We went back and forth and eventually he said he wasn't sure I signed up for this card using the 50K web link around Jan 9th, when it was working so who knows! If I only get 30K, I'm canceling the card right away. We'll see what happens, I'm going to make my first purchase tomorrow.

Hmmm, when I called, I specifically asked for the 50/50 card and the guy said wait a second, and came back on the phone and said yes... that is correct and he also said it several times during the discussion. Hope I'm not in the same boat.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:29 PM   #55
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A tip for others looking at potential itineraries. I think one of the reasons I was having a hard time finding available flights using rewards points was that I was looking really far out (like September 2010) thinking availability would be best really far out. Apparently, just looking at some example cities, the availability around March-April seems to be the best (2-3 months out), then tapers off further out. I think it is something to do with them releasing more seats as the flight date gets closer, after they know how full the flights will really be during that time. Yield management. Hard to do accurately 9 months ahead of time. I had always heard it was easiest to book FF tickets way out, but that may not necessarily be true.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:49 AM   #56
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Hmmm, when I called, I specifically asked for the 50/50 card and the guy said wait a second, and came back on the phone and said yes... that is correct and he also said it several times during the discussion. Hope I'm not in the same boat.
Yeah, I'm not worried. It looks like it was just that one uninformed CSR since I got an introductory email from Chase with my name on it that said 50k miles will be deposited into my account.

BTW, I think you were stating earlier that you wanted to get a second card to get more miles? FYI, the terms of service of the card states that the 50K award is only for first time card holders.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:05 PM   #57
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Yeah, I'm not worried. It looks like it was just that one uninformed CSR since I got an introductory email from Chase with my name on it that said 50k miles will be deposited into my account.

BTW, I think you were stating earlier that you wanted to get a second card to get more miles? FYI, the terms of service of the card states that the 50K award is only for first time card holders.
Thanks. The more I thought about it, the more I figured I wouldn't bother with another one.
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Old 03-08-2010, 07:20 PM   #58
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My 100K miles just got deposited about 2 weeks back and DW had 50K deposited 1 week ago. We haven't spent 2K yet on her account, so we have another 50K coming.

So we got busy and got LAX->MVD and SCL->LAX in June for 3 people for 120K miles + $150 in taxes! This has saved us around $3K in this trip alone. Incredible deal, especially since we still have another 80K miles left!

In case anyone is wondering, we are flying into Montevideo (MVD) instead of Buenos Aires (EZE) to save on the Argentina $130/per person reciprocity fee. The idea is that we will travel east from Buenos Aires to Santiago before flying home.
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:10 PM   #59
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My 100K miles just got deposited about 2 weeks back and DW had 50K deposited 1 week ago. We haven't spent 2K yet on her account, so we have another 50K coming.

So we got busy and got LAX->MVD and SCL->LAX in June for 3 people for 120K miles + $150 in taxes! This has saved us around $3K in this trip alone. Incredible deal, especially since we still have another 80K miles left!

In case anyone is wondering, we are flying into Montevideo (MVD) instead of Buenos Aires (EZE) to save on the Argentina $130/per person reciprocity fee. The idea is that we will travel east from Buenos Aires to Santiago before flying home.
Awesome! I wish I would have saved my AA miles for our trip to Uruguay and Buenos Aires, and used the BA miles for that trip instead (AA miles are more versatile generally speaking).

I guess we lucked into flying into MVD and out of EZE, since we booked before the $131/person reciprocity fee was implemented, but traveled after it was implemented.

My trip report (in brief): Montevideo and Colonia did not impress. Prices were higher than I expected (roughly equivalent to US prices in general, maybe a little less). People were friendly. LOTS of mosquitoes in Montevideo and colonia - bring bug spray.

The argentine (or rioplatense)dialect of spanish left me a bit baffled. I'm a proficient speaker of Spanish, but of the mexican dialect. I often times thought these folks were speaking portuguese or something else to me, and I would have to ask them repeatedly to talk slower and repeat themselves. Same language issues in Uruguay and Buenos Aires. Also there are a number of differences in vocabulary that left me with some awful stares like I was speaking some foreign language (not spanish), even though it would have been perfectly valid in the US and Mexico.

I would minimize time in Uruguay and maximize time in Argentina and Chile if I could re-do my vacation.

Buenos Aires was a breath of fresh air. Very nice city in general. Extremely pretty and upscale in some parts, and really awesome architecture in many parts. There are slummy, unsafe parts, but in general it just seemed nicer than Uruguay. And cheaper! Maybe 20-40% cheaper I'd say.

For Buenos Aires hotels, check out the Best Western Monumental (also called Best Western Central) on Calle Junin. It is in the Congreso district, 2 blocks from the subway. We got it for a steal, now rooms are running $64 a night or so. It never showed up on the American search sites, but we used thomascook.com (a british site, affiliated w/ travelocity/expedia??), and booked there using a coupon. EXTREMELY nice hotel for the price, and a good location not too far from the downtown sites, but a little quieter (with cheaper restaurants and groceries nearby).
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:39 PM   #60
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My trip report (in brief): Montevideo and Colonia did not impress. Prices were higher than I expected (roughly equivalent to US prices in general, maybe a little less). People were friendly. LOTS of mosquitoes in Montevideo and colonia - bring bug spray.
Thanks for the info Fuego. That's good to know. We were going to go to Colonia anyways so flying into MVD wasn't a big change. We won't be spending a lot of time in Uruguay; just 3 or 4 days. We have about 3.5 weeks total, so we plan on spending about 2 weeks in Argentina and a week in Chile.

Quote:
The argentine (or rioplatense)dialect of spanish left me a bit baffled. I'm a proficient speaker of Spanish, but of the mexican dialect. I often times thought these folks were speaking portuguese or something else to me, and I would have to ask them repeatedly to talk slower and repeat themselves.
This worries me because DW and I were thinking about taking a short Spanish immersion course while we are in BA. DW is decent with Spanish (US/Mexican), but I'm terrible (with any dialect). Hopefully it won't be a waste while we are there.

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Buenos Aires was a breath of fresh air. Very nice city in general. Extremely pretty and upscale in some parts, and really awesome architecture in many parts. There are slummy, unsafe parts, but in general it just seemed nicer than Uruguay. And cheaper! Maybe 20-40% cheaper I'd say.
Yeah, BA and Mendoza sound wonderful. Appreciate your tips. I might ping you for more help as we get closer!
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