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

    @ Kelt Tobunluepop — If I’m not mistaken they have a new lounge, which is apparently quite nice. I wouldn’t arrive too early, but it’s probably worth at least checking it out.

  2. Naveen says

    Hey Lucky, love the blog!

    have a question on booking mileage runs – I found a couple of decent itineraries with 3 segments from EWR-LAS on AA metal through ITA, but I can’t book them using either the carrier site or Kayak. Kayak won’t find them (don’t know how to increase the number of stops beyond 2 while searching, the multi-city option didn’t show anything), and AA site won’t find the same itinerary, but finds a different one for triple the amount.

    So how would you go about booking 3 or 4-segment mileage runs (round trip would be 6 to 8 segments) if you get a good price using ITA?

  3. Jeanne says

    Will this deal for 150,000 airmiles expire in Dec.? We are in the midst of negotiating a refi for our home and do not want to disturb our credit rating?
    Hate to miss this.

  4. grandgourmand says

    thanks lucky. your responsiveness is amazing. try to take some down time over the holidays. merry xmas!

  5. Erik says


    I’m traveling to Bangkok next week via Hong Kong on CX first. I booked a one-way ticket and was hoping to book my return while overseas as my plans might change a little. I’m concerned about the entry requirement in Thailand that you need to show proof of onward/return tickets, which I won’t have. I’ve read a couple reports of folks unable to board the outbound flight or unable to exit the airport in BKK without proof of a return ticket. I unexpectedly ran into similar problems (didn’t print a copy of my itinerary and wasn’t allowed to enter the airport) a couple years back in India which caused me to miss a flight.

    Any suggestions for how to get around this?

  6. Zed says

    Hi Lucky, I’m looking at snagging two Suites on a FRA-JFK SQ flight that departs in the next couple of days. The date I need to fly, however, is only showing “waitlist” at the saver level even though there are at least 7 open seats in F (at least for revenue) that day. Given the large number of open seats just a couple of days out of depature, what do you think the odds are of clearing the waitlist? I am a little scared to transfer all those points from UR for nothing…

  7. Richard says

    Hi Lucky – I had a BA Exec Club award booked on AB through TXL on to OSL. AB cancelled the OSL route, so shockingly BA routed me on AB TXL-CPH, then SAS to OSL. I was surprised this happened as SAS is not a BA partner airline.

    A month later, I checked back in and found that the SAS flight to OSL was removed and the booking terminates in CPH.

    Have you seen this before and is there any way I can get them to add the SAS flight back?

  8. Keya says

    Hi Ben

    Been a while since i bugged you on the blog to answer a query. This time it ain’t a query. Just something I thought you’d be interested in. I remember the article you wrote about the canadian guy looking for a girl with same name as his ex to travel with him around the world. Well he seems to have finally found one. Whats even better is the charity he’s set up to help people take vacations of their dreams. Hope you’ll like this …

  9. lucky says

    @ Richard — That’s odd, they definitely should still get you to your final destination. I’d suggest calling BA — it could be that you’re still booked all the way to OSL and it’s just not showing on the “surface” of the ticket.

  10. lucky says

    @ Zed — Not good at all, unfortunately. In my experience when they do clear waitlists it’s usually a week or so out. Afraid it might be too late now, even if the cabin is wide open.

  11. Abdel Rahim Abdallah says

    I have an Alaska flight landing at 9:04am SFO-SEA and I have to be at the Hilton SeaTac by 9:30am, doable? (0.4 miles)

  12. lucky says

    @ Abdel Rahim Abdallah — If everything goes as scheduled and you take a taxi that should be doable. That being said, it leaves no room for error, which is risky given how frequent delays are out of SFO.

  13. Jordan says

    I’m a Platinum guest with Marriott. I am staying at one of their resort properties next week. I know its going to be busy due to Christmas, so I contacted the hotel to request an upgrade and two adjoining rooms. Basically they responded with ‘Its Christmas, its full, there’s no guarantee of anything.’ In looking at my benefits, there isn’t anything that’s guaranteed or added since I’m Platinum. They do not provide lounge access at resort properties and virtually everything else is ‘as available’ (upgrade, adjoining rooms, early/late check in/out). Is there anything that I can actually do to get any benefit from being Platinum? Or is this just a lesson to dump Marriott in favor of SPG?

  14. Reine says

    Have you noticed that the SkyTeam website is perpetually broken?? I’ve randomly tried to access the site multiple times over the past couple of months and it NEVER works. It’s kind of hilarious.

  15. Joey says

    I see you and other commenters have a photo/thumbnail next to your comment. How do I put that on mine? Sorry I’m not too familiar with wordpress.

  16. charlie says

    Hi Lucky,

    I have an upcoming business trip that will require me to fly from NYC to LAX. Do you have any suggestions for which airline uses the fewest points for a round-trip reward business ticket? I have over 100K Chase and Amex points available.


  17. margaret says

    Hi Lucky–I decided to book my sfo-fco using aa miles on BA F thru LHR and just swallow the charges since the routing is better than other options. The BA flight from LHR-FCO is business, the only option. Doe that mean I can’t use the first class lounge? It’s only a 2 hour between flights but I’d like to get to see it if I can. Also, I fly thru Seattle–what is BA F lounge like there? and Last (sorry!) on my return BA LHR-ORD I arrive 6:45, depart AA 8:15. I booked the flights and then realized that I will have to go through customs in ORD–is this doable to get to AA? And if I miss the flight what happens?


  18. Gabe says

    Hey Lucky,

    So I am currently planning a RTW trip in first class with my dad and one of the segments is going to be between Hong Kong and a city in Europe. I wanted CX first but I have been monitoring their award space very closely and I haven’t seen a single flight with 2 seats available 11 months out. So I was wondering what airlines you would recommend, that release 2 first class seats several months out.

    I have 350K AmEx MR, 300K BA Avios, 175K UA Miles, 140K AA Miles and 60K Chase UR.

    Thanks, Gabe

  19. Tommy says

    Hi Lucky,
    Sorry I know this might be an odd question but why on twitter do you follow AIB, do they have any useful cards?

  20. Siso says

    Hi Lucky. You said Cathay uses Swiss lounge in ord. but since I’m going on a one world business class can we not use British lounge also?

  21. AES says

    Hi Lucky – We are a members of a Food COOP that only takes cash or debit card (must punch in PIN). Do you have any ideas how I can earn points while shopping for groceries? Especially with the 5% grocery bonus category coming in Jan. Thanks so much. Look fwd to your reply.

  22. Scot says

    Hi Lucky…I think Jeanne, yesterday, may have been referring to 150,000 AA miles by combining the bonus points for two Citi AAdvantage cards and the US Airways Premier World Mastercard. I learned about this opportunity in an email on December 9. However, I can’t seem to find the offer for the US Airways Mastercard. Has that opportunity now passed?

    Thanks, Scot

  23. Abhi says

    Hi Lucky,
    I am trying to buy multi destination complicated tickets:
    (Or some permutation of the above airports).
    Choosing “multi-destination” on websites makes the ticket more expensive.

    So I was trying something like:

    Managing the times and dates become very complicated fast with such interlaced ticketing. Any tricks to getting simpler multi destination tickets?


  24. lucky says

    @ Abhi — I’m afraid for that complicated of a ticket there’s probably not much of a trick, especially given how many carriers are involved. You might just be best off booking them as separate one ways.

  25. lucky says

    @ AES — As far as I know not really a way to do that, though I’ll also be the first to admit I’m not an expert on manufactured spend. Sorry!

  26. lucky says

    @ margaret — If you’re connecting same day you can use the Concorde Room. In Seattle BA has a lounge which is okay, certainly nothing special and not worth arriving early for. 90 minutes should be enough in Chicago if everything is on schedule, though it is on the tight side.

  27. John DELTA says


    Been contemplating all that could go [more] wrong with the implementation of SkyMiles 2015.

    Specifically, I am concerned about the one-way award tickets, which allows an open jaw, but no stopovers.

    How do you think DELTA will handle the taxes & fees? Take for example an SEA-AMS with return of LHR-SEA…

    If Delta prices one-ways from Europe with the origination taxes/fuel-surcharges, these new “one-way” awards will turn into expensive “award” flights and another a major devaluation for SkyMiles 2015.

    This is my biggest fear for that move. We can work around the elimination of stopovers with a little effort (and a few more dollars) but the potential for a major disaster may be the “light at the end of the tunnel.”

    What’s your take on the potential to re-classify these one-way awards originating in Europe?

  28. endre says

    Ben, (Lucky),

    I see seldom that some people have their face displayed with their comment. Is there a way I can add my face? thank you

  29. lucky says

    @ John DELTA — That’s a great question, and I don’t have an answer one way or another. Let me follow up with a Delta contact and see if I can get an answer.

  30. Ali says

    When redeeming British Airways Avios for flights on Cathay in First, if you select 1 Adult, it prices out at 100k (LAX to HKG). If you select 1 Adult and 1 Infant, it adds approximately 10k in required points for the infant alone (100k +10k). Do you know if that 10k takes care of the Infant lap fee (taxes and fees), or will I still need to pay that separately.

    Cathay normally charges 25% of the full fare adult ticket (infant lap fee) for tickets to/from North America, so I would save a fortune if the 10k points would be a substitute.

    Thanks in Advance.

  31. Nic says

    What is the best program to do an award reservation on EVA from HKG to TPE in Biz? I am trying to fly in the Hello Kitty jet with my daughter, I missed the opportunity, by one day, last September coming back to the US.

  32. says

    I follow you all the time and really enjoy your site and advice. This time I’m stumped.
    Last month I saw a charge for $439.30 against my Visa credit card for a purchase on American Airlines that I did not make. I called Visa and they reissued my credit card and was investigating. The assumption with both Visa and myself was that someone swiped my credit card number and was brave enough to make a transaction in Seattle. While after 30 days American Airlines charged me for half of a ticket that they say was used after it was refunded.
    Needless to say, I was appalled with my Visa holder for allowing a transaction being made without my consent, and American Airlines for trying to cover up a mistake on their part, without once ever contacting me directly via email, US mail, or phone.
    Last December I was going to a fundraising event in Palm Springs for a long weekend. On Thursday after as I was checking in my flight was canceled. I had a first class ticket and the only thing the agent would offer was coach middle seat to San Francisco and waitlist for a flight to Palm Springs. That wasn’t gong to serve me well, especially if I had to overnight in SFO. So I asked her to cancel the entire trip, which she did. And even provide a refund receipt.
    So speed up to November (almost a year later) when AA charges my credit card for the return portion without asking me. By the way, that afternoon almost all air traffic was being canceled due to a winter storm. So I was actually pleased that I didn’t purse going, especially when my friend told me that a number of people were stuck in Palm Springs for three days because flights were canceled.
    And AA was actually saying that I used the return portion, which in itself is false given the cancellations there on the west coast and nationally.
    Have you ever had the experience of an airline using your credit card without your permission? I’m still fighting the charge through Visa and American. And, I even feel like filing a police report for theft. As you are probably aware, you can’t talk live with anyone at AA, it’s all done through web mail.
    Any words of wisdom?
    Appreciate your insights.


  33. Aussie says

    FYI Qantas chauffeur drive now bookable on FC award tickets again–at least on my DXB-LHR trip next month

  34. says

    Hey Lucky,

    I took your advice and did a mileage run to Florida. I noticed that I was number one on the upgrade list. When I got on the plane, I saw that first-class seat empty and I thought surely, any minute now, they’ll call me. Instead, they called a pilot who was traveling and gave the seat to him. Does crew always get preference over elite passengers? Is it worth politely complaining to them? I don’t want to sound like an entitled and spoiled brat and I was happy with the 2 E+ seats I had to myself. I’m just curious.

  35. D says

    Hi Ben,

    What’s the best Star Alliance carrier to have all my star alliance miles credited to?


  36. Mike says

    Hi Lucky,

    What are you thoughts on those in security lines that ask to jump ahead because they’re late? Just yesterday I was called an asshole by some guy whose family was running behind to catch a flight and I refused to accommodate. Regardless of the reason, I’m late, they’re late, why should I allow another person ahead to increase my chances of misconnecting?

  37. Kenny says


    My girlfriend and I have been discussing a 2015 trip to sub-Saharan Africa (but not West Africa, and we’re not crazy about South Africa…likely Namibia/Tanzania). Which mileage currency would you recommend for this? We are banking a ton of AA/USAir miles for a 2016 SE Asia trip, but I’ve heard they would not be good for an Africa trip.

    Also a friend of mine has asked me about travel to Greece for Fall of 2015. Any recommended currency for this as well?

  38. Tomme12 says

    Lucky, with the looming weather next week.. luck has it I have a flight from CLT to ORD on the 24th on UAL. Any tips or tricks to help get tickets changed? I called in to see… and to change my flights for (4) it was $1600.. crazy.. $200 ticket cost different and $200 change fee. Im Silver status, but didnt do anything of course. If I book on another airline to one way to leave a day earlier, how does that impact my UAL reservation. I did this once and they canceled the rest of my trip (return flight).

    Thanks much!

  39. says

    Hi Lucky! I just got back from a trip with VS, (like you said) and loved it! Anyway, I might need to leave for Seoul in about a month, and then continue onto Japan or China, and I’ve got the two most obvious options: KE and OZ. I’m flying first class to Seoul, and Japan/China. But then coming back from NRT/PEK to ICN in Business.
    My questions are:

    1. Which airlines First Class on the A380 is better? I mean food, seat, lounge etc.
    2. Which airlines Business Class on the 777 is better?

    Regarding miles, OZ is (for me) better, for many reasons. Thanks in advance :)

  40. brit44 says


    Do you have any links for instant Accor status or any status matches to that program?


  41. lucky says

    @ Shehryar — That’s a toughie. I’d say it’s a wash, they’re roughly equal in terms of quality. On the 777, I’d say Asiana is better if it’s one of their reconfigured planes.

  42. lucky says

    @ Tomme12 — I’d suggest waiting until they issue a travel waiver. If they do, you should be able to change your ticket for free.

  43. lucky says

    @ Kenny — If you have American and US Airways miles, they can actually be really useful for travel on Qatar Airways, which has fairly direct service there.

    To Greece I’d say SkyTeam miles are ideal, depending on where in the US you’re originating from. But planning in advance, any currency should be fine.

  44. Jacob says

    The admirals club say they accept one world emerald and saphire. Also doesn’t aavantage platinum make one world saphire so does aa platinum get u int the admirals club?

  45. lucky says

    @ D — All depends on where you’re mostly flying, how much you’re flying, and what your goals are. I’d say Singapore KrisFlyer is a great option, in general.

  46. lucky says

    @ Jim — Non-revs on domestic flights definitely don’t get preferred upgrades over elite members. I’d send an email.

  47. lucky says

    @ John — Ouch, sorry to hear about the situation. Unfortunately really don’t have any insight there. Just an all around crappy situation. Sorry. :-(

  48. lucky says

    @ Nic — Hmmm, can’t think of any great options. Unfortunately MileagePlus and LifeMiles might just be your best options.

  49. Jacob says

    Also have you reviewed any AA 737s with the built in IFE and leather seats? If not, are you planning to?

  50. lucky says

    @ Jacob — I’ve flown them a few times but haven’t reviewed them. I’ll try to write one next time.

  51. Auspointer says

    Hey Lucky

    Can you please review the comments on your post about your lost luggage – there is a particularly racist comment from “Danny” that I think should be removed.


  52. Nic says

    MileagePlus is a horrible redeem for HKG to TPE. South Asia to North Asia. Lifemiles is better, but I was looking for maybe a distance based program. I so wanted the Hello Kitty jet but it looks like 9k Avios on CX is tough to beat.

  53. lucky says

    @ Nic — I guess ANA would be the only good distance based program, but even that isn’t such a great deal, and it requires a roundtrip.

  54. Lea says

    I’ll be flying Fiji Airways in business, connecting in LA to a AA domestic first flight on the same ticket. Will I be able to use the AAdmirals club in T4?

  55. Oliver says

    Hi lucky,

    I hate to do this because I am a massive fan of yours and have been reading your blog for years but, I feel like your blog has become worse recently, for example I love reading your trip reports and you’ve had several big trips recently none of which you have written about despite writing that you will write about them soon many times and also yesterday when you wrote “it’s going to be an exciting day on the blog” you wrote this regarding your American Airline issues and told us to refresh every 5 minutes, thanks to this I was refreshing Twitter, instragram and your blog throughout the day for there to be only one past on the matter. Is there a reason for this, or have you just lost passion for the blog? Once again I’m really sorry to winge because I do love you and your blog and I don’t want to sound like a troll I just want the blog back to how it used to be when there was usually near enough one trip report a day compared to now when it’s just boring news.

    Thanks, and sorry ;) Oliver.

  56. Mohamed says

    Dear lucky
    I ve been royal ambassador for the last 10years and spent over 100nights with IHG this year.
    I checked inn at intercontinental park lane today and was upgraded to london executive room(equivalent to club room)but was told no free club access as club lounge over commited.
    As you know royal benefit stipulates where a club room is given,club access should be given also,i called the IHG guest relation but the hotel was inflexible and ask for payment to access club.
    As i considered this my benefit i refused and asked the hotel to move my luggage out of the room since i was out and check me out,which they did,i was left in the middle of christmas week end searching for an alternative,any advise how i can raise my complaint to someone else than the incompetent ambassador or guest relation???shall i take this as misleading advertisement as the benefits advertised are declined???

  57. liam says

    hey ben I been trying to book a flight for me and my mom flying out of hare to Paris I really want to try to get it on Lufthansa first class which credit cards and mileages methods would you suggest so I can get the flight the cheapest way possible

  58. Justin says

    Hi lucky

    My friend was is a motorbike accident yesteday in the middle of a trip to Asia. He needs to get home early but is on a U.S. airways award ticket. Have you ever heard of anyone having any success in changing the return flight because of a medical emergency?

    So far, every one seems to say there is no exceptions for this policy.

  59. Patrick says

    Is there any way I can upgrade me and my travel companions on an upcoming AA flight from ORD-LHR booking code T without buying a new ticket? I am executive platinum with a good amount of miles. Thanks

  60. Oksun says

    I’m trying to book award travel next summer to Prague, Budapest, and a few cities in Croatia from Washington DC.

    How can I know if I can add a stop over and do an open jaw reservation?

    Hoping to fly into Prague then train down to budapest. Fly Budapest to Croatia. Then, Croatia back to home in DC.

    Any tips would be appreciated! Thank you!

  61. lucky says

    @ Oksun — Which program’s miles are you trying to redeem. Stopover policies vary based on which airline you’re booking with.

  62. lucky says

    @ Patrick — If business or first class award space opens then you can upgrade by just paying the difference in miles. It’s a pretty straightforward process.

  63. lucky says

    @ Justin — I’ve definitely heard of exceptions, but it does take some hanging up and calling again. Possibly in theory for sure.

  64. lucky says

    @ liam — Your best bet is redeeming Aeroplan miles, in my opinion, so I’d try accruing Membership Rewards points.

  65. lucky says

    @ Michael — Depends where you’re flying out of. Either the Flagship Lounge in American’s terminal, or the oneworld lounge at TBIT.

  66. lucky says

    @ Mohamed — While I agree it’s frustrating for a hotel to be that stingy with RAs, I have a different read on the situation. If you look at the description for the room type, Executive rooms state that “Club InterContinental access available for a fee.” So even booking an Executive room wouldn’t come with club access. And the RA terms do state that RAs receive upgrades to executive rooms or suites.

    So I agree that it’s frustrating when a hotel is stingy, though I don’t think they’re actually violating any terms here.

  67. lucky says

    @ Lea — No lounge access, sorry. Since Fiji Airways isn’t in oneworld, you don’t get lounge access when connecting to American.

  68. lucky says

    @ Oliver — Thanks for reading and for the feedback. Absolutely haven’t lost my passion, this is what I do all day every day, not because I have to, but because I want to. Had an especially busy weekend trying to get to New York, then dealing with lost bag, then I had some appointments in New York, and now I’m in Europe. Should have more updates shortly.

  69. Mohamed says

    Intercontinental Park lane have 2types of executive rooms
    Executive with access for a fee to the club
    London executive which have complimentary club access.
    I was upgraded to london executive room.
    The Royal ambassador T&C mentioned clearly where a guest been given a club room,access to the club lounge should be given also.

  70. Keya says

    Hi Ben

    A quick question. I’m planning a trip with family from Dubai to NYC in February. How’s the upgrade award availabilty on that route from J to F. Recently I’ve read reports and reviews stating that Emirates rarely releases any Z space on that route. Is that correct. I’m looking for 2 Seats to upgrade from J to F. What do you think are my chances on that ?

    Thanks as always :)

  71. lucky says

    @ Keya — I’d say chances aren’t horrible. Emirates has been fairly good about releasing “Z” space lately, so with some flexibility it should be possible.

  72. Mangoceviche says

    Now that CX have retired their last 747, is there no more F to Johannesburg? I searched July and August 2015 and didn’t see any.

  73. lucky says

    @ Mangoceviche — They could very well operate a four class 777 to Johannesburg in the future, but right now the route is indeed operated by a 777 without first class.

  74. Eric says


    I’ll be starting a new job in Chicago this summer (less than 30 min from both ORD/MDW). Being my first time living by a hub airport, I’d like to start being more loyal to an airline. I’ve been a big Delta/NW fan in the past, but realize there are bigger opportunities with AA, UA, or SW where I will be. Traveling will be about 10-25K miles per year for business and leisure.

    What are your recommendations? Thanks!

  75. James says

    Hi Lucky!

    I’m flying J on AA and BA in a couple months and I’m planning what to put on my carry on and such (getting some special spring Italian clothes) and I always pack slippers for J. Anyway a friend of mine recently givted me these panda slippers with a large head and leg and it’s quite the most comfy/stylish/useless thing I’ve even had. But do you think it would be silly or as outrageous as say wearing pajamas in an airport…? I usually try to look slick when flying a premium cabin, but what my question boils down to is: what kind of dress do you think is proper/suitable for premium cabin journeys, and what is over the top and unacceptable for premium cabin flying?

    Thanks! James

  76. John says

    Hi Lucky. Here’s my question, prompted by the recent discussion on the etiquette of cutting in line. I was flying with my family (4 kids + wife) LAX-SEA-PEK. Our flight from LAX to SEA on Alaska was an hour late in taking off/arrival into SEA. We found ourselves running like crazy to catch our Delta flight from SEA to PEK, only to find out upon arriving at the international gate that they wouldn’t let us board, since they just closed the doors. Of course they remarked ‘what took you so long in getting here?’ (I guess we didn’t run fast enough with the kids?) They knew the Alaska flight was late, they knew we were on it, but they didn’t hold the door open for us. Incidentally, we were sitting at the back of the Alaska flight, and therefore had to wait for everyone to disembark before we could. Here’s the question(s), then….would it have been appropriate to try to cut in line and be the first off of that Alaska flight, as that’s the only way we would have made the connection? Should we have asked the Alaska FA to help us? Should we have expected more communication between Alaska and Delta so this could have been avoided? Ok. Sorry this is long. Appreciate your thoughts!

  77. JW HPN says

    Hi Lucky,
    Enjoyed your segment on Fox News the other day. I have a question I hope your experience as an AA Exec Plat can help me with. I’m trying to book one way return for my wife and I for vacation, the travel there has already been taken care of. Right now there’s No Saver level space for me to book. What are the rules for cancelling/changing an AA Anytime award? I have no status with AA. It looks like i could make changes to the award without paying a fee, but if I cancel it, would i have to pay the redeposit fee?


  78. lucky says

    @ JW HPN — Thanks! Yes, you’d have to pay the change fee if saver space opened up and you switched to it from a standard award. So there is a cost to doing that, unfortunately.

  79. lucky says

    @ John — Many times flight attendants will announce that passengers without connections should stay seated, but often people don’t listen. Keep in mind that many passengers may have been connecting as well, so it might not have made much of a difference. Also, airlines do know where passengers are connecting from, but in many cases they’ll decide it still makes sense to leave on-time. Keep in mind people could have been connecting in Beijing, and if the flight left late, it might have arrived late, causing a further domino effect.

    So probably not much that can be learned here, maybe aside from booking longer connections in the future, especially on international itineraries.

    Hope the rest of the trip was good!

  80. lucky says

    @ James — In general I don’t think there’s really a dress code for premium cabins. If you’re comfortable wearing it in public, you should be comfortable wearing it on a plane. That being said, I’m having a hard time envisioning panda slippers with a large head and leg. I’m intrigued, though. Have a pic? :D

  81. lucky says

    @ Eric — It all depends where you plan on flying mostly. Generally speaking you’re looking at low tier status at most, so I’d base the decision mostly on which airline has the best schedule and price for where you need to go. Congrats on the new job!

  82. lucky says

    @ steven k — Many will do status challenges, but in terms of straight matches I know that Kimpton does. Not sure of any others off the top of my head.

  83. Chowder says

    Hi Ben,

    So… starting Jan 2015 I’ll stop accumulating my star alliance miles on United and switch over to Singapore. That said… I’ll likely still have gold from United from 2014. Will I have trouble getting access to the star alliance gold benefits (airport lounges, priority check in / boarding) if my ticket will show KrisFlyer non-status… but I still hold the United gold card?

    (Not sure this question makes sense, I’m having a hell of a time trying to articulate what I’m thinking… haha)



  84. Louis says

    Hey Lucky,

    Quick question for you in regard to revenue mileage earning on UA.

    I understand that award miles will be given based on cost of ticket ($500=2500 miles for general member), but what about earning status? It is going to be the same as currently, correct, where I have to actually fly 25,000 (50, 75, 100) miles and meet a revenue requirement to get status? Or if I spend $10,000 dollars in a year, I would reach Gold for hitting 50k miles?

    Thanks for the clarification, and sorry if this has come up before.

  85. Matt says

    Hey Lucky,

    We’re currently onboard a flight from JFK-LAX and then connecting to the overnight Cathay Pacific flight from LAX-HKG. We’re in First Class and have a 9 hour layover in LAX so we’re looking forward to spending time in the new Qantas F lounge but it looks like there’s a problem. We were not given our LAX-HKG boarding passes in New York and according to their website the Cathay Pacific Check-In does not open until 7:30PM at LAX.

    I was hoping we could just get our boarding passes printed at the Qantas Lounge, but I realize that if we have to leave the secure area transferring from Terminal 4 to the Tom Bradley Terminal we’ll never get back through security without boarding passes.

    So, I wanted to ask, first, is it possible to get from Terminal 4 to the Int’l Terminal without leaving security, and without a boarding pass?

    And if it’s not, what do you suggest we do? Other than waiting 5 hours for the Check-In Counter to open.


  86. Louis says


    Quick question about elite mileage earning with UA:

    Award miles are earned based on your flight price ($500=2500 miles for no elite status).

    Are elite qualifying miles earned the same way, or is it still based on how far you fly? So, for a JFK-LAX itinerary that costs 500 dollars, you would get 2500 award miles and have ~6000 PQMs and 500 toward the revenue requirement for silver status? Or would it be only 2500 PQMs for the trip? Which is right?

    Thanks as always for the help and sorry if this has been discussed before.

  87. San Ramon Dad says

    Hi Lucky—I am looking at booking for 3 of us from the LAX-DEL business class. On Etihad, I see that 2 bus. class seats are available on EY170/EY218 and 2 seats available on EY170/E228. Is it possible to snag the 2 bus seats on EY170/EY218 and snag 1 seat going business class EY170 and coach on EY218? Probably not but wanted to check with you. Thanks!

  88. Kevin says

    Hey Lucky,

    I was wondering if you have also observed the pattern that on certain routes(not only tatl) LH has stopped releasing partner C award space?

    I was using the ANA-tool for the route PVG-MUC 300+ days out and haven’t seen any availability in C…

  89. Zach G says

    @Lucky I just booked my first Lufthansa first class award on the new A330. Which first class seat do you recommend for two friends traveling together?

  90. Buddy M. says

    Hey Lucky,
    I have an award flight next June from CDG to ORD and then PHX that was originally scheduled to leave Paris at 12:15pm and has been changed to depart at 10:00am. This flight in on one of the 763’s that hasn’t been upgraded and has the almost flat seats at the Biz Milesaaver award level. Do you think I could get the itinerary changed to a different flight at the regular Biz level without having to pay additional miles? There’s a flight on a 777 leaving from Paris a little later into DFW where I could still connect to PHX. Also, my brother and his family are leaving the same day but on Lufthansa and a schedule change there has decreased their connection time in FRA from 1hr and 35 minutes to 50 minutes. Is that enough time to catch their flight to ATL or should I call to get it changed? There is an earlier flight that leaves CDG at 6:20am (1.5 hours earlier) but I don’t want them to have to get up that early if they don’t have to.

  91. Rich (arizona) says

    So if I have the AmEx Platinum and US Airways was my airline choice for the $200 credit. Will I get anything back if I buy any $50 gift cards from American Airlines (since US Airways doesn’t sell them anymore)?

    Thank you.

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