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  1. I tried to book a new rewards ticket on Luftansa last night through USAir. I had no problem getting business class. However, I called Luftansa and they told me there was 1 first class seat open for reward ticket. Called US air back and explained to the agent what I wanted to do. She checked and came back saying that USAIR can only book “I” award seats on LH and the one that was open was an “O” award seat.

    Have you run into this?

  2. ive tried multiple times to book for family of four in j from anywhere in us to lhr and cant get anything. try doing this for next may/june/july…. tried from nyc, wash dc, ord, yyz, yul, iah etc all nothing. found one day in april via frankfurt on lh crappy product. *a miles are worth less than dl miles to me (who have quite a bit of availability on their own metal for 4 on jfk/bos-lhr with nice flat bed product)

  3. Ben, will the new combined United Mileage Plus/One Pass go with the old United search tool or the better Continental tool for Star Alliance searches?

  4. @ Stacey — The agent wasn’t correct. US Airways does block quite a bit of Lufthansa first class space (which is “O” class), though they’re allowed to book it if it shows as available. It’s simply billed as a first class award, which it is.

    @ Phil — What are you using to search?

    @ John — While I don’t have any confirmation on it, I would assume they would use Continental’s system. Who knows, though.

  5. What’s the best way to find ANA mileage redemption availability on non-Star Alliance partners like Etihad, Qatar, etc? Is it even possible to use ANA’s search tool for this purpose?

  6. @ tpat — It really depends on the partner airline. For Emirates I use ExpertFlyer, Virgin Atlantic I use their own website, Etihad I use their own website, and for Qatar, you have to call.

  7. @ben – using continental.com, aeroplan.com, expertflyer.com and kvs tool. i am “well equipped” lol. i challenge yoy to find any way of doing this on star alliance. anywhere at all in the usa to lhr for 4 in biz on *a. its impossible. the closest i found was virgin often have 4+ seats soin theory could use continental points but co only ever see 2 of virgins seats at any time. also dont think you can use us air for virgin in biz.

    when you havr kids, *a is infinitely worse than deta or oneworld

  8. @ben also for etihad whose points are you using? ana? they seem to have very good availability i am looking forward to when we can redeem aa on them

  9. @ Phil — I’m going to have to disagree with you there. When are you looking at traveling? Next summer, for example, almost every single day has four business class seats between Chicago and Frankfurt on Lufthansa. The same is true for many other routes. As far as Etihad goes, I am using ANA miles.

  10. @Ben – ah the Frankfurt “get out of jail free” card 🙂 Seriously via Frankfurt is all fine and dandy but nothing directly to Heathrow from any reasonably accessible east coast/mid west/south gateway. With DL plenty of availability to LHR via JFK and BOS and MIA at 100k level. With OW virtually unlimited availability on BA from all their gateways. So all I can do with these crappy US points is go on Luthfansa’s torturous angled flat beds to Frankfurt and then have to connect? I’m still seeing my DL points as more valuable.

    Now the REAL challenge is ANYWHERE in NA to LHR direct for FOUR any time next summer. Any *A carrier. Air Canada, US Air, Co, UA and whatever other ones I may be missing. Go for it 🙂

  11. @Ben vis-a-vis Etihad do you find ANA can access the same rewards you see on Etihad’s own web site? As I am finding JFK-AUH is wide open in both biz and first (can even get four of us for 1st) but not sure if that is translating over to partners. ANA web site shows as on request to the airline

  12. @Phil:
    What’s wrong with making a connection in FRA or MUC?

    Alternatively, check UA’s IAD-LHR flights . They are usually wide open – particularly the morning flight.

  13. @Eugene – we live in a non-major-hub city so we’d already need to make one connection to get to ORD, JFK, BOS, IAD, IAH, YYZ or wherever. While connecting in FRA or MUC might not be the worst thing in the world, it is not like I am trying to find availability to some obscure airport. I think it’s a genuine that you basically cannot get to Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports, directly on *A from pretty much any North American gateway for more than two people at a time. The fact I can do it so easily on Delta even on their own metal is IMHO a testament to this gaping hole in *A.

    In fact unless you are prepared to go pretty much everywhere in the world via Frankfurt, *A is useless for those of us who travel in parties > 2

  14. @Eugene – also just checked IAD-LHR. On this monster route with 3 x daily where I am sure UA sell out every single seat every single day (NOT!!!) there is nothing available as far as the booking schedule allows for 4 people.

  15. @ Phil — Out of curiosity, how is Delta award availability out of your non-hub to your North American transatlantic gateway? And if it’s good at the “low level,” pray tell what city that would be!

  16. @ Phil — I can’t guarantee it always is the same, but in my experience what Etihad shows is also available to ANA.

  17. @ben – rdu. wide open in coach to jfk, dtw, atl and bos all of which have plenty of seats on to lhr.

    i will give that domestic availabilty is not nice. would have liked to use virgin oz to oz or af to tahiti but cant find availabilty to lax (that said cant find on *a either but aa is wide open via jfk) this despite dl having a direct service that they struggle to fill

    but at least i can use my dl points for something useful. those who rave about *a have never had to deal with > 2 travellers

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