Ask Lucky

Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
If you have questions about how to search for award space or how to redeem miles I’ve probably already answered it in a more detailed post, so check out the “Tips & Tutorials” page for some quick references.
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!


  1. lucky says

    @ Matt — Yes, usually it’s much cheaper, in my experience. More like $150 or so that time of year. It could be that there’s a convention in town the days you’re staying, which explains the higher rates. That’s the only explanation I have, at least.

    Otherwise the Grand Hyatt is very similar and in the same area. The Westin and Sheraton are also in the same general vicinity. Don’t like them quite as much, but if they’re substantially cheaper I’d consider them.

  2. lucky says

    @ Patrick — Heh, interesting. Over the years I’ve learned the answers to most of these types of questions, so not sure there’s anything I’d personally ask. I find that for the most part, especially at mid-range hotels, GMs won’t proactively be very “revealing,” so either way I wouldn’t really count on all that much insight.

    What do I think is interesting? How do hotels decide whether they want to be included in the global SPG promotions, how do hotels allocate upgrades, etc. But that’s largely because I’m more interested in SPG than hotel operations as such.

    Sounds like a nice gesture on the part of the GM!

  3. lucky says

    @ Michelle — You can transfer the points to your Alaska or British Airways account, and then from there can without problems book for your parents.

  4. lucky says

    @ Todd — It’s a good herringbone product anymore. As far as North American airlines go, I find that Air Canada has among the best service and food, so I wouldn’t hesitate to fly with them.

  5. lucky says

    @ TheRealBabushka — There are often married sectors for these routes. Which city pairs are you looking at?

  6. marty says

    Hi Lucky
    I have been offered some Sheeba miles and was going to use them to travel from Melbourne to LHR on TG J class. Do they charge ridiculous taxes and fuel surcharges like BA and QF. Thanks

  7. says

    Hi Lucky,
    You recently flew the KLM World Business Class ORD-AMS. How did you determine which routes were flying the new lie-flat business class? I want to try it out, but am challenged with determining which routes are being serviced. Vancouver-Amsterdam would be a winner for me.

  8. Andreas says

    Hey Lucky,
    I followed your guides and tutorials and managed to get really good fares using the SPG preffered guest in the Sheraton Maldives and I will be going there next summer :) however I didn’t have as much luck when booking the flights (MUC-MLE). I was just having a look at the different options and I have two questions:
    1- I saw in wikipedia BA does the LGW-MLE route seasonally, do you know when in the year do they operate and which aircraft they use?
    2- I was having a look at the other airlines and I like more the option of flying QR, however it is 600 Euro more expensive per person (would be +1800€) than EK is it worth for me paying this difference?

    Thank you for the help! Auf Wiedersehen

  9. lucky says

    @ Shannon M. — I asked them on Twitter, since I wasn’t sure. I believe all the 747s now feature the new product, while none of the A330s do.

  10. lucky says

    @ marty — Yes, I believe Ethiopian does impose fuel surcharges for travel on partner carriers.

  11. says

    Cheers. Thanks. Yeah, I asked them via a FB message. Their website is not clear. They have a sale going on for some of the 747 routes that expires in the next couple days.

  12. turgutbey says

    Hey Lucky,

    I’m booked on a fairly complicated mileage plus itinerary this Dec in Biz. The return looks like this CMB-SIN-ICN(stopover)-SFO-SEA. I’m on SQ to ICN and then UA the remainder. I have a 7 hour layover in SIN b/c the only UA bookable SQ flight (an A333) leaves at that time.

    My question is do you think the SQ airport agents in CMB or SIN would consider moving me to the earlier SIN-ICN flight on a 777-300 if I ask at airport? And if they do agree, is there a chance that doing so would screw up my flights on the ICN-SFO-SEA portion? Thanks for your help!!

  13. jim says

    Hi Lucky

    Does Aeroplan not allow one-way awards if not travelling to/from N America?

    It won’t allow me me any one-ways within Asia 1.

    Or is it a case it must be called in?


  14. lucky says

    @ turgutbey — It’s highly unlikely they would, since United issued your ticket. If they do you’d want to call United to make sure the ticket looks good on their end. That being said, highly doubt they would do it.

  15. Reine says

    I’m taking advantage of the American Airlines-Cadillac test drive promo and I was told by the rep who scheduled my test drive that they’re scheduling appointments out to the 30th of December, BUT that slots are filling up very fast and it’s a limited quantity promotion and told me to advise any others who want to take advantage of this promotion to act fast. Just thought you and the readers want to know. I’m going for a test drive next week during my lunch hour at work.

  16. Hasse says

    Hi Lucky,
    Have you heard anything about Lufthansa enforcing a new revenue management methodology to seat assignments?. Have recentfly booked a number of lufthansa long haul flightst and seat assignment at time of booking have been rather problematic. Finally our corporate travel agency told us today that Lufthansa is now including the ticketed class as a decision factor IF you can select at certain seat. Some ticketing classes now longer allow seat at aisle seats, some only allows for middle seats etc.
    The rule was enforced on was enforced on all 6 out of 7 flight segments when booking, forcing the change of ticketed class on all those 6 segments.

  17. says

    Hi Lucky- I have a question about using Miles and More for LH F awards. You wrote in the past about being able to place a 5-day hold on award tickets but can you do that without the miles? I’m wondering if you can hold a ticket and then transfer points from SPG. Thanks! Our schedule isn’t flexible which is why I want to use M&M instead of Aeroplan.

  18. Hasse says

    @Lucky, that’s what is puzzling to me – Usually I would get my flight booked and then pay for the advance seat assignment choosing my desired seat (if fee apply). However I have lately experienced difficulties and after 3 hours on the phone today with the travel agency , having issues with the seat assigment, the reply was that lufthansa is now also saying that some fare classes are not allowed to sit in certain areas of the cabin – forexample aisle seat. A change to higher fare class is necessary AND then pay for the assignment as well. – I have not heard about this change before and was very surprise.
    Makes corporate travel on client bill even more complex than ever.

  19. Mark says

    Ben, any help for choosing the best MCE seat on American Airlines newly refurbished 767-300? Also any ideas about the best one in the new business class?

  20. Reine says

    I just heard that American Airlines is adding daily non stop operations to LAX! Direct competition with Delta on a major route! I think I smell mileage runs and cheap fares! Do you think this has the potential to turn into a “Battle in Seattle”-type situation?

  21. lucky says

    @ Reine — I definitely think we’ll see some promo fares and maybe bonus miles. American is dumb for entering this market, in my opinion, so it will surely lead to some good fares.

  22. lucky says

    @ Mark — Hmmm, haven’t flown that specific plane yet. In business class I’d choose any of the window seats which are “closest” to the window, as they’re much more private. In MCE I’d do the bulkhead if at all possible.

  23. Reine says

    You think they’re dumb because Delta has pretty much owned Atlanta for decades and their grip around the neck of the city is about as relentless as a starved pitbull on a steak? lol. If so, I definitely see your point. When you’re flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson, it’s the same as flying out of Charles De Gaulle with the lines of Air France jets. There’s nothing but lines and lines of Delta jets (at the domestic terminal, at least). Taking on Delta on their home turf is pretty risky, but I will enjoy promo fares/bonus miles for as long as they’re available. I’m keeping a close eye on this one. I live ATL and hate being hub trapped. It will be nice to see some “competition”.

  24. lucky says

    @ Reine — Well I think it’s not a smart move because:
    1) Even with three flights a day they can’t even begin to compete with Delta’s 10+ daily flights.
    2) LAX isn’t even *really* a hub for American. LAX is in general a city which confuses airlines. They all sort of have a big presence there, but not enough to truly be a hub. It’s one thing if they started this route out of one of their “real” hubs, where passengers might on average have more of an allegiance to American than Delta. But that’s not the case at LAX.

  25. lucky says

    @ Hasse — That’s the first time I’ve heard that. Will do some research, and if I figure something out I’ll let you know.

  26. says

    Hey Ben,

    Ok, today I am just trying what you say about checking cx availability through JAL website as you said that they have bunch of seats on business class. I am looking from Jakarta to Chicago, on the business class, however it never come up all the segment, or if it come, the return trip always show no seat availability. However, if I break down the segment into Jakarta first to Hongkong, then another segment from Hongkong to Chicago, I can make the trip more reasonable and it shows for both round trip. Do you think AAdvantage miles CS can book on that segment if I check this on separate segment? Thank you very much.

  27. lucky says

    @ Ernest — If they see availability on the individual segments you should be able to book by phone.

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