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. Hey Lucky,

    I just booked a ticket between Dubai and Austin, thanks for the tip :)!!

    I was able to book Etihad A380 first class but in my travel plan there is some sort of bus service between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Will i have to take that bus or am I able to just show up at the airport in Abu Dhabi?

    Thanks again!!

  2. @ Hannah — Welcome, and congrats on getting into the hobby! Yes, I hope to review Emirates business class soon.

  3. Hey Lucky,

    When do you think we will hear something from BA regarding the Mistake Fares between Dubai and Abu Dhabi? Do you think they will make some sort of statement at all?

    Thanks, Gabe

  4. Hi Lucky,

    I recently booked a night in the Park Junior Suite at the PH Milan for 15k points plus 253 Euro. Do you think this is a good value? The room’s daily rate is ~850 Euro. The lowest category available room for the night I need is a Park Deluxe King for 630EUR, which isn’t bookable using the free night award with the Hyatt card.


  5. I’m new to this whole process. I’m accumulating my cards, and currently have 100,000 points on Capitol Venture. I’m going to switch to Chase Saphire, and will be looking at a few other cards. My travel goal is first class to Bali in Septemeber of 2016. I am also a small business with about 500,000 in purchases a year that I can process through a card. #1 where should I look to stay in Bali #2 which card(s) will help me achieve that?

  6. Hey Lucky—

    I’m excited by the new ten year Chinese visa. I currently have no plans to visit, but would like to get the visa so as to have that out of the way when I do return. Is it possible to get the visa without having a trip planned, or do I still need a “sponsor” to qualify?


  7. Hi Lucky,

    Hope you are enjoying the Maldives.

    I am trying to book 4 business class tickets on Aer Lingus using Avios. I see 4 seats available using United site on a few different dates. BA reps says they only see 2. Any advise on how to guide the BA rep. thanks

  8. Hi, Lucky! I’m new to the miles game. I have read that you should only apply for cards once every 3 months or so and you should apply for 2 or 3 at the same time – churning. End of Feb. and beginning of March I was approved for the CSP, SPG and US Airways MasterCard.I have recently received a targeted offer for the United Mileage Plus card for 50,000 miles. The offer expires 5/31/15, 11 days before I hit my 3 months mark. My question is: should I wait until the last day to apply for this card and use this as my ‘card churning’ day, even though it’s before the 3 month mark? Should I just apply for this card or not apply for it at all?


  9. Thanks for all entertaining reviews and updates and the great heads up deals. My situation is that I new to the points & miles. Use to fly TWA and then only Delta but now with AA honoring the Beijing trip I will fly as well with them. I do not know how to choose a trip with knowing what plane is the better choice. Is a 777 the same with all airlines. I booked the flights from Dubai to Austin but choose British & AA over the other choice I saw. I think it was Etihad or close to it. Should normally choose a certain plane if the price and miles do not matter.
    Thanks Jason F

  10. Hey Lucky, been reading for a bit, great site! Just getting started in the hobby and in a credit rebuilding stage. If I get the Chase Freedom and just stockpile the cashback, points or whatever they are, and then get the Sapphire in a year or so do you know if I will then be able to transfer to stockpiled points/dollars into ultimate rewards? Thanks and glad you’re impressed in the Maldives this go round!

  11. @ Jason — It all varies by airline. There’s not generally one plane that’s better than all the others across the board. I’d suggest looking up reviews of the various plane types you can choose between, or at a minimum going to SeatGuru to look at the seatmap.

  12. @ Marisa — The three month date is totally arbitrary. In general I wouldn’t apply for cards too often, but whether it’s two months or three months or four months really shouldn’t make a difference. I’d apply sooner rather than later. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  13. @ Evan — Sometimes they don’t have access to the same space, so all I can recommend is hanging up and calling again, and hoping to find a date where availability matches. Good luck!

  14. @ Dave — Just print out an itinerary for a routing you could potentially take, and that should do the trick. You don’t need anything to be set in stone.

  15. Ben, I plan to make an award booking on Cathay using my AA miles for a trip next May. I currently have the Citi World Elite Mastercard that I want to cancel because my annual fee is due soon. I also have the Citi Executive Card that I picked up last year that’s due in July. I want to keep one AA card in my portfolio so that I can get the 10% rebate from my award booking. If i end up cancelling both cards this year, is there another AA card I can pick up this year so that I have an AA card when I take my trip next year? As far as I understand, one must possess an AA card during the trip and not just when the booking is made, correct?

  16. @ Luis — In my experience the 10% rebate posts within a few weeks of when the booking is made, so I believe you should be fine as long as you have it when the refund posts, which should be a few weeks after booking.

  17. Dear Everybody,
    does anyone know a great tier point run from Asia (any airport) to Europe or to the US but stoping over in europe?

  18. Hey Lucky,
    Love your site! The past couple years around this time there have been some deeply discounted biz class tix events to Europe for summer travel-I think maybe even a few day airfare war ensued- anything in the rumour mill of another one coming up?

  19. Hi Lucky,

    Need your thoughts on this situation.
    During Etihad mistake fare sale on christmas day, I booked a trip for me and my family to India. After some time etihad sent a modified itinerary since the modified itinerary had too much transit time we called orbitz(from where we booked the tickets) and asked them to give another itinerary and they did provide a modified itinerary. We did even called orbitz multiple time and made sure that the tickets are issues correctly.

    But just a day before travel when we tried to check-in we got an error Message and We immediately called etihad and they told you dont have a e-ticket issued. Even the customer Service person rudely told you cannot travel with itinerary, you can only travel with eticket. After that we called orbitz and after spending whole night (almost 15 hours) on phone with orbitz the problem resolved just 5 hours before the flight.

    During the 15 hours call, each time orbitz said we received a eticket we were not able to check in and the confirmation number showed us our old itinerary in etihad site.

    This was a big pain as i was planning the trip With two infants. And the problem is this could happen to anyone with any itinerary. What can as a customer do to avoid these circumstances..

  20. Lucky,
    I love, love, love your blog! Thanks for sharing so much of your life and experiences with us. It’s also made me realize I need to make some changes to my credit cards. With that in mind, (and I know you’ve answered a ton of these before) would you give your blessing on my card strategy?
    I currently have two Delta Reserve AMEX cards (one for my partner and one for myself). Most of our spending goes here in order to get our MQM bumps with Delta. Yes, I’d rather not be beholden to Delta, but that’s our best option in Memphis for now. I need a second card for those businesses that don’t take AMEX. I’d like to replace my Marriott Visa Signature. I rarely stay at Marriotts and don’t find they have many aspirational properties (not to mention I’ve never been able to use my free night certificate). I should say my primary goal is business/first class award seats to Europe/Asia. Based on your website, it looks like Chase Sapphire Preferred is the way to go? My only reservation is my limited spending on this card for the $95 annual fee.
    Thanks again and I promise to use the link on your website for the card.
    ps. Would you consider slumming it a little bit and give us some Skyteam business class reviews soon?

  21. Lucky,

    I spend a lot of my free time reading your site. I signed up for the US Airways Dividend Miles mastercard right around the time that the AA and USair programs merged. Barclaycard has given me a dividend miles number, but no aadvantage number yet, but reports crediting 50,000 miles to the account; I currently have no way to check this. Given the merger do you think this means that the dividend miles account is now an aadvantage account or do I need to wait until Barclaycard coverts the card to the Aadvantage Aviate card before I try to merge my existing AAdvantage account with the one created by Barclaycard?



  22. Hi Lucky – I have been following your blog for about a year and I really like your blog a lot!

    I will be traveling to US in November from Singapore. As I will be entering USA via New York but leaving via San Francisco (as I am unable to get a confirmed ticket on SQ25 using suites saver award), I will need to travel from the east coast to the west coast.

    As this will be my first time taking a domestic US airline, I would appreciate some advice from you. I am looking to travel from Boston to San Francisco but from the ITA matrix, only United has a direct flight. The next best option is Delta flying via LAX (I intend to travel in First as this is an anniversary trip). Unfortunately Delta Business Elite/United Business First only operates from JFK. I would like to seek your advice in terms of comfort and services, which would be a better choice?

    Alternatively should I just try to redeem a United Business First using 20k KF miles from JFK (meaning making an extra trip down from Boston on a separate ticket and connect to the JFK-SFO flight)?

    Thank you

  23. Lucky, When does one get the 10% AA miles given back for award redemptions if you have the Citi AA Platinum card? Is it when 6-8 weeks after you book an award or after you actually fly the award ticket? Thanks.

  24. Maybe we could get a comment from you:

    Also, i had this bug bugging me – How the HELL does Citi or Barclays make money? They gave me 90000 miles (city and barlcyas) and then 10% back so really 81000 miles for a ticket that i got for free and retails at 9000$. Given that they probably don’t pay that much but at least ~3000. I spent only the minimum on Citi and then in the sock drawer…what are the economics behind this?? Please explain if you think it could make a cool post!!

  25. @ Davis — Tough to say, there are lots of great ones out there. I love the liveries of Lufthansa, Qatar, and Etihad in particular.

  26. @ Rachit — Absolutely brilliant, and accurate, response from Etihad. Kudos!

    As far as credit card sign-up bonuses go, ultimately they offer these big bonuses in hopes of you spending lots of money on their cards long term. Obviously they lose money if you only complete minimum spend, take the miles, and then cancel the card.

  27. @ Lee — I guess it depends how long you’re looking at traveling for and which cities you plan on visiting. If you don’t plan on visiting NYC anyway I’d probably avoid going through JFK just to connect. On other routes you’d just get the “standard” domestic first class experience, which isn’t especially exciting, but isn’t horrible either.

    Enjoy your trip!

  28. @ Ari — Have you tried logging into your US Airways account on US Airways’ website? It should show you your AAdvantage number.

  29. @ Barry White — Can’t blame you at all for putting spending on the Delta card to retain status! Ultimately the first “tier” of cards which are worth putting spending on are going to have a $95 annual fee, so I think the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card would still be your best bet. Between the lack of foreign transaction fees and lucrative points earning structure, I think it’s tough to beat for what you’re hoping for.

    Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

  30. @ Ivan — There were quite a few for this coming summer last fall, though I haven’t seen any great ones the past couple of months. Wouldn’t count on it, but also wouldn’t be surprised if they do return.

  31. @ Chris — Thanks for sharing your experience. That sounds darn rough. Happy you were still able to fly in the end!

  32. Hello. I live in the Philly region and I am very worried about the AA/US merger. As you are aware, US Airways gets us where we need to go when we travel out of PHL. With the merger, should I be concerned that the new American will phase out their hub at PHL? If that isn’t the case, will they eliminate the amount of destinations they currently fly to? Shall the new American phase out the PHL hub, is it likely a new carrier swoops in and make a new hub with the same amount of destinations US Airways currently has?

    My second question is regarding the new reservation/pricing system the new American will put in place. Again, as you are aware, American now as it is is much more expensive price wise than US Airways. For example, a flight PHL-LHR in business class on US is around $2400. The same exact flight on is $4300. With that said, will the new reservation system use the high American prices, the reasonable US Airways prices, or an adverage of the two?

    Thank you and please let me know if I am worrying over nothing.

  33. Ben, I have to take a RT to Amsterdam in June. I have a ton (over 1M) of AMEX MR points that I’d like to use… Out of my AMEX transfer partner options, who do you think offers the best business or first product?

    Thanks, Justin

  34. Hi Lucky, I have a question about frequent flyer program which I searched but did not see it anywhere. The question is, for instance, for a one-way trip from ORD to NRT to PEK, NRT is the transit and the whole trip is booked on an OTA, and UA is the carrier for ORD-NRT and ANA is the one for NRT-PEK. Can I provide both of my UA and ANA frequent flyer number to accumulate the UA segment miles and ANA segment miles onto UA and ANA respectively? Or is only one frequent flyer number allowed for one trip? Thanks very much.

  35. Ben, sorry, realized I didn’t give you info on my origin from my first post… IAH to Amsterdam and back.

  36. @ Kira — You can change your frequent flyer number halfway through the journey. Just change it at the gate when you get to Narita.

  37. @ Justin — Purely in terms of price (not value) I’d say Lufthansa first class is probably the best option, though you can only redeem Aeroplan miles (an Amex transfer partner) for that up to 14 days in advance. Otherwise I’d consider British Airways.

  38. @ Philly Flyer — I actually think PHL will remain a popular hub with the merger; I don’t see them downsizing it, so I don’t think you have anything to be worried about.

    As far as the reservations system goes, it’ll probably be a combo of the two. The reason you’re seeing fare differences is due to codesharing, and ultimately sometimes that leads to higher prices, and sometimes that leads to lower prices. I wouldn’t expect the new pricing to be consistently higher or lower across the board.

  39. Hi Lucky – I’m trying to qualify for status on AA this year, and I noticed on the AA website that it says “Must fly at least four segments on American or US Airways during the qualifying year to receive elite status.” Just to confirm, the four segments can be split between American and US? That is, if I flew 2 segments on American and 2 segments on US, would that count? Or would I have to either fly all four segments on American or all four segments on US? Thanks!

  40. Thanks for your reply, Lucky. My question seems a little hard to understand. Let me put it in another way. Is mileage accumulation ticket based or segments(boarding pass) based? Thanks:) If it is ticket based, even I change the frequent flyer number halfway, I will only get the whole journey miles into the updated frequent flyer number, correct? Or I guess you said if I change the frequent flyer number halfway, UA has already recorded my first segment ORD-NRT to accumulate the miles, while the latter segment NRT-PEK will be accumulated into the updated frequent flyer number. Am I right?

  41. Hi Lucky,
    is it right that there is quite a discrepancy between awards which are bookable on the BA website and on AAavantage? I read that on a german forum and want to know if there is a more reliable method to search OW award space?

  42. Hey Lucky,
    does AAadvantage allow me to mix OW carriers with their other partners? In detail: would it be possible to fly DUS-AUH-DOH on EY, have a 24 hour layover there and then continue with QR to BOM on one award?

  43. Hi Lucky,

    I was trying to replicate your award booking CGK-NRT-JFK in F on JL using AA miles, but for some reason the only shows J seats for CGK-NRT on JL. It’s not that F seats are not available, but the first class option doesn’t even show up. Did they get rid of the first class on this route? Thanks.

  44. Hi Lucky,

    I’m sort of a new follower of your blog, and I have to say I’m really hooked! Good job!

    Now that you’ve tried the gulf’s so-called “big three” airlines (Etihad, Qatar and Emirates), have you considered trying the other less popular brands such as Saudia and Gulf air?

    As a Saudia frequent flier, I can guarantee you that it doesn’t compare to any of the big three, yet if you look closely at their recent developments and future plans, I bet you may consider Saudia as an upcoming brand that might be able to compete at some level. It already has a 4-star Skytrax rating.
    They’ve recently opened up a new airport Hub and will be openening a huge one in Jeddah in late 2015, supposedly to compete with the regions other main players.

    Anyway, is love to see your take on the Saudia product, sorry for the long message and keep up the great work!

  45. Lucky,

    I think it is awesome how helpful you are, and how often you reply.

    I am trying to book a reward flight using Avios. The flight is from PHL to YUL. There are no available rewards on the BA website, but there are awards listed on the AA website. I called BA to see if I’d be able to book it over the phone, and was told that just because there are available rewards flights on the AA website, it doesn’t mean i will be able to book through BA. The rep told me that they limit the amount of flights that are made available to BA.

    I was under the impression that as long as AA lists them, BA should be able to come through. Is this not the case? Do you think there is any chance that something opens up on the BA site?

  46. Hey Ben
    Wanted to see if you had had any issues with SWUs on US Airways flights?? Am an exec plat, booked a US air flight through the AA site, checked on expert flyer that upgrades were available, and as per the instructions on the website ( I called US airways. They have said to me it’s impossible to us SWUs on US aiways. So phoned American, who have said that also it’s not possible unless the flight is booked via US airways (my routing had an outbound US flight and a return AA flight so just not possible to book each segment on each website). Now wasted about an hour of my Sunday speaking to people. Just really angry that the website says one thing and that they are saying another…. Wondering if you or any of your readers have had similar issues?


  47. Hi Lucky,
    I’m planning airfare to Rome from Austin returning from Naples, IT, leaving sept 23 2015 returning a month later. I found a couple united flights for 60,000 miles total but travel times at 19 and 18 hours respectively. Should I book now or wait till 90 days out and see if more options open up with shorter travel times. A United rep told me better options open up sometimes.

  48. Lucky – I have a questions about JAL award booking. Their website states max 2 stop overs is allowed per itenary. Is that true? Also, would I be allowed to book one sector on EK and the rest on CX or Qatar if needed?

  49. Hi lucky,
    Im new to miles so if i want to fly my family of 4 to portland on alaska airlines and the trip is 1200 miles, will I receive just 1200 miles on my account or will i recieve 4800 miles to my account. Thank you!

  50. Hello Lucky!

    I am planning to do a trip around the world with my family next year (we are 3). Would like to stop at London, Egypt, Tokyo and Bora Bora and returning to Florida. Currently I have 350k AA miles and 400k UR points. We don’t care about flying coach. Any idea where to start and what airline program could be best? Thank you!

  51. @ Marcos — For a trip like that you’ll likely end up just booking one-ways, so for many of the sectors redeeming American AAdvantage miles might not be a bad option. I’d approach it segment by segment and just compare award charts for each region by carrier. There’s not going to be a single program which is best across the board. Good luck!

  52. @ robertt — Typically you can only collect miles for your own travel, and not for the travel of others. So generally you’d receive 1,200 miles in four accounts. That being said, some airlines (like British Airways) allow household accounts, whereby you can pool miles between members.

  53. @ AH — Yes, I believe that’s correct. And I don’t believe you can mix Emirates with oneworld partners.

  54. @ doug tune — Better options do sometimes open as the departure time approaches, though you might not be able to do much better than what you have now. Assuming your dates are firm, I’d probably lock in an itinerary now so that you don’t have to stress about it for months.

  55. @ Nick — Is it saver level award space on US Airways? If so, it should be bookable with Avios. But maybe you were looking at a non-low level award?

  56. @ Sam — Correct, JAL is changing planes on the route in a couple of months, as it will no longer be operated by a 777.

  57. @ Philip — Which airline are you actually trying to travel on? Generally speaking, saver level oneworld award space should be the same between all carriers.

  58. @ Kira — It’s segment based. So you couldn’t earn miles for both segments in both programs, but you could earn miles for each segment in a given program.

  59. @ Lucky going there it is listed as an anytime reward (40k aadvantage miles) an returning it is listed as a saver (12.5k aadvantage miles). I’ll call back and try to get the return flight for 4.5 avios, and just pay for the flight there.

  60. Hi Ben
    I’m not sure if you have addressed this question in the past, my apologies if you have. I’m curious how an airline makes money out of a booking that is made using another airline’s FF scheme. To be specific, I have booked a first class flight Mel-Lon with Qantas but am using points I purchased from AA. How does Qantas make anything from that?

    Just curious.

  61. Ben,

    Chase is not advertising this, but they are offering a promotion for current Ink Plus and Ink Cash cardholders to sign up for a promotion for 10,000 UR Points if minimum $5k is spent in 90 days, 4/13-7/12. Chase Ink Plus, and Chase Ink Cash are doing this promo separately. Could you share this with your readers? Thanks

  62. Hey Ben,

    I just made my first ever booking on Emirates (with Alaska miles) so I have a few questions that would really help me and I expect will be easy for you to answer. :-)

    I’m flying SEA-SFO-DBX-LGW; SEA-SFO is AS F and SFO-DBX and DBX-LGW are EK F, both on the A380 with a 2+ day stopover in DBX.

    1. I used 100K AS miles for this. While it’s way more miles than the 62.5K I’ve already got confirmed in AA F SEA-DFW-LHR on the 77W, I went ahead and booked this because (a) it will get me to London a day earlier than AA, which I would really like; (b) I’ve always wanted to see Dubai; (c) I’ve always wanted to fly an A380; and (d) I’ve always wanted to fly Emirates first class. In your mind does this justify the extra 37.5K miles and the $150 AA redeposit fee?

    2. I’ll have 2 complete days in Dubai (arrive at 7:30pm Sunday night and leave at 8am Wednesday morning). Is this a reasonable amount of time to see Dubai and maybe do something in the desert?

    3. What seat would you recommend on the A380 for a single traveler? I’ve currently booked 3A on both SFO-DBX and DBX-LGW. (1A and 2A were taken, the center section seems better for couples, and several of the right side seats were marked for disabled passengers.) I’m sure you’ve stated your favorite seats in EK F on the A380, but I can’t remember what you said. :-)

    4. I was sure I had read on your blog that Emirates no longer gives the chauffeur service on award tickets, yet when I retrieved my reservation it said I had currently reserved 0 of 1 eligible cars between Dubai and the airport and 0 of 1 eligible cars between LGW and central London. However, when I went to book the car from LGW and my hotel in London, it kept saying something like “Error while saving; please try again”. Is this a cryptic way of saying you can’t book a chauffeur on an award, or has that policy changed? I didn’t expect to see anything about eligible cars in my booking and I was surprised to be able to start the booking process.

    5. Will I have any trouble accessing the EK F lounge before the flight to LGW? I thought I remember reading that there’s a problem doing that with AS awards. Is their F lounge special in DBX? My flight to LGW is at 8am; will the lounge be open early enough to enjoy it?

    I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to answer all our questions. Sorry for the long message, but I just wanted to be sure to give you all the details to answer my questions.

    Thanks again,

  63. Hi Lucky!

    Hope you had a great time in the Maldives. I have an odd question. I made a Dividend miles award reservation that had me routing LAX-HKG-TPE-NRT-LAX on first class. At the time, the LAX-HKG in first class was not available so I booked it in first class. If it becomes available now, do you think I could upgrade the LAX-HKG segment by calling the AA desk? My award is based on the 1st class chart since my NRT-LAX segment is in first class. Thanks for your help and enjoy HKG!!!

  64. Hi Lucky
    Just a question, is Air France La premiere (First) the most expensive award for first class??do you think its worth 130000 miles one way Paris Dubai???

  65. @Lucky…it’s QR on MUC-DOH-MEL. Just read from the admin of this german forum, that BA has very good availability on this route while the AA Agents claim they have very limited availability.

  66. @ Philip — No, they should have access to the same Qatar Airways space. If you get an agent that can’t see the space, just hang up and call again.

  67. @ mohamed — Not sure it’s the most expensive, but it’s certainly up there. I reviewed Air France first class and am happy I did, though I’m not sure it’s worth that kind of mileage unless you’re *really* curious. You can read about my experience here:

  68. @Philip I’m far from an expert like Ben but let me share my thoughts if I may.
    I live in MEL and I search for QR J MEL-DOH and DOH-MEL space all the time. I search using the QF website as well as the KVS tool and can hardly find anything ever.
    So I would say in this particular case maybe its BA that’s showing phantom availability ?

  69. @ Todd — Congrats!

    1) Definitely!
    2) Yep, you should be able to get a good impression of the city in two days.
    3) Any window in row two or three would be my first choice.
    4) I’d try calling. Before it wasn’t allowing the option at all, so maybe it works for your booking for whatever reason.
    5) There shouldn’t be an issue. It might take an extra minute or two, but that’s it. The lounge should be open a few hours before departure.

    Have a blast!

  70. @ Dan — Wow! Where did you hear about this? Is it available by phone, or? Sounds like it might be targeted, in my opinion.

  71. Hi Lucky,

    I’m starting my 2 week trip to Spain and Portugal today… and will be in Porto next Monday. Since I don’t remember seeing a trip report from your time there, is there anything in Porto that you’d recommend me seeing?

    Thanks! Matt

  72. Hey Lucky!

    Now that the ANA award search tool is down, what is the best option for searching star alliance award availability? Do you prefer United or Aeroplan?

    I am trying to plan a family trip from NYC to Copenhagen and Stockholm using AMEX points. From what I have read on your website, transferring to Aeroplan seems to be one of the best options for business class awards. Are there other programs I should investigate which offer one way business class redemptions in the 40K range? Since I will be traveling between Copenhagen and Stockholm via train, I will need to book 2 one-way tickets.


  73. @ charlie — Generally speaking I find United’s site easiest to use, so that would be my go to option. Stay tuned, as I have a post on this topic coming shortly.

  74. @ Matt — Sadly haven’t gotten around to finishing that trip report yet. Don’t have any specific recommendations, but the downtown area is gorgeous. I’m sure you’ll have a blast!

  75. You the MAN !
    Leaving Friday from Houston to Hong Kong for the weekend. I have several of these booked with AA.
    Is this a good way to get miles and status at 620 rt. or am I making a mistake. The week after my family is coming along. Thursday to Sunday. If this is worth it I will book more. I am not sure the miles I earn since it is a low low fare. Thanks for your response .

  76. Just one question about the “moderation” of comments to the blog. This morning I wrote a comment to the article “Babies on a plane!”. As it was not visible a couple of minutes later, I supposed it had been lost (as my internet connection sometimes is a bit shaky). So I posted a second comment later, after which a screen appeared noting that BOTH of my comments were “awaiting moderation”, which led me to post for a third time, requesting to delete the first comment. Surprinsingly, later all three comments appeared in the comments section (and still are visible). If comments are really “moderated”, how come that it was not deleted?
    Another observation: By clicking on one of the “Recent Comments” in the right column of the blog, you directly get to the respective comment. Somehow, this does NEVER work with comments to the “Ask Lucky” page, where you are led to some page displaying comments from 2014

  77. Hey Ben,

    Thanks so much for the super-speedy and helpful response, as always.

    One more question (for now) about Dubai… what area would you recommend for someone who’s only going to be there for 2 days? What are your thoughts on the two Hyatts (my bro works for Hyatt so I can probably get a really good rate)? What are the best hotels without worrying about rate?



  78. Ethiad has openings in First and Biz from DUS to AUH. I know asking is first “worth” the extra 10K in AA miles is subjective… but curious on your thoughts. Thansk!!

  79. Thinking of flying La Compagnie from Newark to Paris in August. What are your thoughts on this airline?

  80. A simple answer is fine but I would enjoy a post on your opinion as to weather or not it is worth buying points / miles strictly to meet a sign up bonus.

  81. Hi Lucky,
    Have you heard anyone report whether they received bonus elite points on AA (2x elite points) for a Beijing mistake fare that was for >$0. I know they said it wouldn’t but still hoping it didn’t get coded in properly.

  82. @ Todd — Dubai is pretty spread out, and there’s not really a best place to be. The Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt are just minutes apart, and are close to the airport. I’d do the Park Hyatt, in your shoes.

  83. @ frank — Sorry for any confusion. I get hundreds of comments a day, and the moderation process is just me going through and batch approving them, for the most part.

  84. @Lucky

    Sorry :)

    What I am asking is if I were to apply for the IHG rewards card that requires $1,000 in spend for the 70,000 points bonus…would it make sense to buy $1,000 worth of points and miles (particularly ones on sale such as the IHG points) to reach that spend because of the value of return?

  85. @ Nick — Is that simply because you couldn’t otherwise reach the minimum spend? If so, I figure you’d be better off just sending someone $1,000 through Paypal and eating the fee rather than spending it on points. I wouldn’t let meeting minimum spend requirements dictate which points you purchase.

  86. Hi Ben,

    What’s the best frequent flyer program to post flown miles from an Emirates flight to? Thanks :)

  87. I noticed that you mentioned that there is a free Priority Pass Select membership with the Citi Prestige Card and I just have a quick question about it… which Priority Pass membership does the card include? There are 3 different memberships, some you pay for each lounge visit and some you don’t.

  88. Hi Ben,

    As I previously mentioned, I’m new to the EXP rules being Chairman’s from US. Anyway, I used my miles to book an award ticket on American for my mom to Europe. She wants to change her date and origin. I’m thinking about just booking a whole new award ticket and canceling the original award. Can I cancel the original award and have the miles redeposited back to my account without incurring any fees/charges? Is this approach the best way in this scenario?


  89. Hi Lucky,

    I’ve never held status, and it appears if I keep going at the current rate, I’ll just barely qualify for AA Gold by the end of the year. My question on this would be whether it is worth it, getting to Gold, or is Exec Platinum really the only status worth holding?

    I don’t travel enough to get to EXP, so I’m trying to learn about the various benefits that are within reach, to determine if it is worth it to go for the status, or just earn miles and burn them throughout the year.

  90. Hey Ben,
    I was just wondering, what hotel would you recommend for heathrow terminal 3, I dont really care about quality, club lounge etc, just somewhere easy and close.

  91. @Ben

    Regarding the Chase promo 10,000 pts for $5k min spend in 90 days for Ink Cash/Ink Plus. It may be targeted, but it doesn’t hurt to ask or call in to sign up.

  92. @ Tommy — T3 doesn’t have any directly connected hotels, so the closest you can do if you want convenience is the Hilton T4 and then take the free Heathrow Express connector between terminals.

  93. @ Kenny — There are definitely some useful perks for Gold, and if your travel patterns will get you Gold status anyway, then it’s definitely worth picking up. I certainly wouldn’t go too far out of my way to earn it, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

  94. @ John — If you’re just changing the date and origin but the regions are staying the same then you can just outright make the change — you don’t have to actually redeposit it. But either way works.

  95. @ Patrick — It’s Priority Pass Select, which gets you free access to all the Select lounges, and you can bring guests.

  96. @ tim — It all depends where you’re based and what you’re looking for, but in general I’m a big fan of Alaska Mileage Plan.

  97. Hey Lucky,

    Haven’t you reviewed Air Berlin business class? I was looking for the review but I couldn’t find it.

    Thanks, Gabe

  98. Hey Lucky,

    Has BA still not released some sort of statement regarding the mistake fare?

    Thanks, Gabriel

  99. @ Lucky
    Just a heads-up, it looks like CCarlson has started to charge fees for cancelling your reservation as of May 1st. Perhaps it just happened to be my hotel, but I tried a few bookings thru Apr. and I could cancel up to 6pm the day I check-in, w/ no fees. Come 5/1, it’s the full cost of the stay. I did try 3 different price points, not just promotional ones as well….

    yet another thing for CCarlson to go down the drain faster…

  100. Hey Ben, I just picked up probably one of the last US Airway cards and noticed that it comes with a $99 companion pass. I’ve never heard you mention this benefit as part of the selling point of this card. I did noticed that it’s only valid on economy tickets in the 48 states and Canada but do you have to book a ridiculously high fare for these passes to work to negate any actual savings? Can you share some insight as to how to maximize this companion pass?

  101. Ben,

    I still have the $150/$150 for ATT (expires tomorrow) If you’d want to split it, you’re welcome to use it on my card…as I have VZ. Let me know via email

  102. Ben,

    Do you know of any sign up bonuses going on for HiltonHHonors or Starwood Rewards? need to start accounts separate from my parents. Thanks!

  103. Hey Ben,

    Thanks for all the Dubai info. I had mentioned that I was presented with the ability to book chauffeured rides online even for an AS award on EK, but it kept erroring out when I tried to save it. I called as you suggested and played dumb — but the agent pretty quickly said, “Oh, you’re on an Alaska award — this will never work.” He agreed it was pretty silly for the website to let you start booking the chauffeur only to then mysteriously error out, but it sounds like it’s not going to happen. Oh, well.

    On another note — have you ever been to Dubai in August? Obviously it’s not the best month to go, but for someone who’s never been and doesn’t know when they’ll get another chance to go, would you still recommend it for a few days? My understanding is that the beaches are totally unsufferable and the sea is way too warm — but can one do enough sightseeing, afternoon tea-ing, and pool lounging to make it fun and worth it?


  104. @ Todd — I have. It’ll be REALLY hot, though the good news is that there’s lots to do indoors in Dubai, so I wouldn’t necessarily avoid it. So while it’ll be rough to be outside, inside it should be nice enough, and there are lots of good deals to be had that time of year.

  105. @ Luis — Nope, it’s actually fairly straightforward/valuable. Should work on almost all fares. Quite a nice perk!

  106. Hey Ben — thanks for the speedy reply. I don’t expect I’ll want to spend much time shopping, except maybe once just to get a sense of the mega-malls. :-) As we discussed earlier, my hope would be to “see” the city — would I be able to do any sightseeing? Will the hotel pools be comfortable, or will they also be steam baths?


  107. @ Todd — They’ll be cool. And a lot of the stuff to “see” in Dubai is malls. There’s not all that much substance to the city!

  108. Hi again Lucky

    And thanks for your previous comments, and for your patience with this here relative newbie.

    This question’s a bit long – my apologies – but it is no doubt relevant also to other folk who, like me, are based in Europe (rather than US) and looking for a decent points program strategy.

    I am looking to buy a business return Paris-Syd for later in the year and am seeing good prices on Korean, Etihad, and Singapore.

    Part of what will drive the choice is the quality of the cabin experience. But another part will be what can get me (or at least kick start) good points and status level/tier in a decent program.

    I know Air France Flying Blue, given my base location is France, is the obvious frequent flyer program. You intimated this previously.

    However I do fly once or twice from Paris to Sydney each year; never on Air France, although sometimes on Korean, so finding another program on a decent airline/alliance could be a good thing (especially if I can grow the balance via credit cards). I will also, eventually, relocate to Australia, but unsure when. (So rough strategy is to use Flying Blue to bank flights within EU paid for by my client, but find another program for my long haul flights.)

    I have AmEx, which I currently credit to Flying Blue. But AmEx in France allows you to also choose Etihad, Cathay, Singapore, Qatar, Alitalia, and other potential places to credit those AmEx points. If interested, full list here:

    I have got more points through AmEx in recent months than through actual flights (since I have had to use a mix of carriers for my flights, rather than just one alliance).

    Additionally, I just got back from a Paris to Syd Virgin Australia / Etihad route (economy), so – given I could bank those with Etihad – perhaps that is a small factor in favour of joining Etihad and taking their business class product for above-mentioned flight at end of the year.

    Incidentally, the Etihad business class ticket alone, according to the customer rep, would put me immediately in Silver status with them, and give some decent benefits, including lounge access.

    Singapore’s ticket would likewise put me in Silver, but their Silver level does not seem as good as Etihad’s.

    The Korean business fare would, on its own, give/maintain me silver on Flying Blue, but Flying B’s silver status is likewise pretty poor.

    Maybe Virgin Australia’s Velocity program is something I should consider even, given I will eventually relocate to Australia, and given their points swap arrangement with Singapore Airlines?

    Any thoughts on which business fare and which (long haul) program might be good, given my aim of points-based upgrades and other perks?

    Sincere thanks, once again! And compliments on the blog – it’s had me transfixed and it’s had me learning loads!

  109. I’m Exec Plat and was looking to use my swu’s for family of 4’s roundtrip from ORD to Europe this summer on US Air metal for the long leg. I know you talked about codeshares possibly messing with swu’s clearing and was hoping you can explain it to a laymen. I’m looking at a connection in PHL, where I could take an AA flight, but am not sure how that would effect the SWU clearing at time of booking? I want to make sure I book it properly for the upgrade to clear. Thanks

  110. Hi Lucky,

    I’m going to join the chorus of folks asking about the BA ‘fare sale’ :)

    My positioning flight award hold using AA miles expires tomorrow, and I’d really rather not eat the $150 redeposit fee if BA up and cancels my reservation. My gut is saying that since they’ve not come out and even acknowledged the problem, they just might leave the tickets as-is…

    Is this wishful thinking?


  111. Ben–Thanks to you (and AirBerlin) I was matched to OW Sapphire from Delta Gold. So far so good.
    My question is about understanding whether that status automatically “deploys” to all OneWorld carriers, or do I have to have bookings credited to my AirBerlin FF number when I book in order to take advantage of benefits such as seats/baggage/boarding? Is it enough just to flash my AB card when I show up at check-in at the airport?
    Thanks & Happy Birthday!

  112. Hi,

    So this is the case: I bought som Avios to get a business class ticket on the new Finnair A350 in october on one of the intra-european crew training flights before it starts its longhaul activity on OSL-HEL. I have to be back in Oslo by sunday night, but until then I thought I would try to have some fun by flying widebody A/Cs (maybe even fifth freedom routes) around Europe.

    In mind I had the Ethiopian B787 ARN-VIE on saturday and Air China A330 VIE-BCN on sunday (both Star Alliance with open award space on the 10th/11th of October) or to leave Helsinki towards AGP saturday evening with the new Finnair A350 and then catch the LAN Chile B787 MAD-FRA on sunday or get to MAN and try the SQ B777 MAN-MUC.

    I am zeroed out in terms of points and miles as I recently blew away my entire balance with SAS on two LH F flights between the US and Europe, and I am wondering if you have any advice on how to get the price down on either of these alternatives utilizing the miles. So far all I have found is that Avianca does not allow the booking with an overnight stop in VIE, and BA Avios is more expensive than the ticket it self. The Star Alliance ticket in business is not more than 30k United miles, but they are so d… expensive.

    Thanks in advance!


  113. Thanks for the reply Ben. My mom just can’t make up her mind so she wanted me to ask you. She’s currently booked in F on AA from MIA-MAD. But she’s now thinking maybe doing JFK-LHR on BA F and LHR-MAD on BA/IB J. She wants to know which one is better: F on AA from MIA-MAD or F on BA JFK-LHR then J on BA/IB? I haven’t flown F on AA or BA long haul so I couldn’t help her on her question.

    Thanks and my mom thanks you too. :)

  114. Ben, I forgot to add that my mom is originating in NYC. Her fist segment is LGA-MIA in F on AA with a 4 hour layover in MIA before her MAD flight.

  115. @lucky re: CCarlson cancel fees

    I did sample bookings today and did faux bookings for may 1-2 and may 1-3. Just before I finalized it said there was a fee for ALL cancellations. That’s why I tried different types of rooms/promos/non-promo/etc. If I booked apr. 29/30, no fee for same promo.

  116. Hi I recently got the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard and I’m wondering when do the bonus miles show up, after the $3000 spent or 3 months. Also how long does it take for the miles to post for my account? Also I think they gave me a new AAdvantage number instead of linking it to my current account what is the easiest way to fix that(I don’t know my new number). Thanks!

  117. Hi Lucky. I’m currently planning a trip from SIN-LHR, and am deciding between the SQ Business Class and SQ First Class. Looking at the 777-300ERs, is there a comparable difference? Because apart from the food, the spaciousness looks quite the same to me! I know you’ve flown both before (on various routes), so I’d appreciate your insight here :)

  118. Hi Lucky – quick question on Singapore suites class….how come when I search for award flights from JFK to MLE, thru FRA and SIN, it only shows awards in business class the way even though it is an A380 to SIN. Why won’t it price an award with Suites to SIN and then business class to MLE?


  119. Dear Ben,

    I do have a questions about cathay pacific from HKG to YYZ (Toronto), do they offer first class on that route?If so, can your pointpros team help me to redeem the AA Miles from CGK to YYZ? Does AAdvantage miles have to be connected to USA destination, either departure or arrival cities? Thank you

  120. I Have 1 dying question that needs to be answered.

    What the heck is a codeshare and how does an airline benefit from it?

    Why do they need codesharing if their part of an alliance already where you don’t need a codeshare to book that flight.

    And how do the codesharing airlines contribute to the airline operating the flight

  121. Hi Lucky

    Not sure if this is the right place to contact you about a random thing, I thought you might be interested in this court case appeal from YouTube in the US Ninth Circuit about bargaining agreements and seniority lists between US Airways East pilots and America West pilots (USAPA). It concerns which seniority lists will be allowed to be merged with American.

  122. Hi Ben,

    I’m a longtime fan of your blog. I been moving a bit so I haven’t been able to read every article, but I noticed one you wrote a few days ago regarding Taylor Swift tickets.

    I actually was able to purchase the SPG one, and would be happy to give you the tickets. A friend and I were going to go, but we’re honestly not the largest fans, and I’d like to do something nice for you as well. Let me know if you’re interested. We could always trade for points or just general travel help.

    Thanks buddy

  123. @ Luckyfan — That’s far too kind! Wish I could have made it to the Taylor Swift concert to begin with, but sadly I had a schedule conflict. Hope you’re able to go and that you enjoy! And thanks again for the kind offer.

  124. @ Peter — Codesharing is basically a way for multiple airlines to market and sell a flight. In some cases airlines that belong to the same alliance codeshare, while in other cases they don’t. They’re basically two different kinds of arrangements. A codesharing is generally a more “advanced” partnership than just belonging to an alliance, at least on a flight-by-flight basis.

    The codesharing airlines don’t “contribute” to the flight being operated, other than hopefully booking passengers on it. In exchange, they get some of the revenue for the people they booked.

  125. @ Ernest — Cathay Pacific doesn’t offer first class on their Toronto route, though if you wanted first class you could connect through another city in the US.

  126. @ Ryan — The seat itself is only marginally better, but the food, service, drinks, lounge access, etc., are all better. If redeeming miles, I do think it’s worth the premium.

  127. @ John — Given that she’s originating in New York, I’d probably say BA is better. The seat will be quite a bit better, and the food and service will be marginally better. That being said, that also means there are fuel surcharges involved. Still, I’d probably go for BA. I hope she enjoys the trip!

  128. @ Ole — That’s a toughie without a current balance. With Star Alliance there really aren’t any good options for buying miles anymore other than LifeMiles, so unfortunately that may still be the best option, despite the fact that they don’t allow overnights. Or if you’re doing it all shortly after one another, United will allow overnight connections in many cases, so if you can get a moderately good deal on buying those miles, it will be the best option. Good luck!

  129. @ TOM — Thanks! Showing the card should be enough for lounge access and all the other benefits, though if you want to make seats, etc., easy, you can just add your airberlin number to the reservation at the time of booking, so you get all the perks. Then when you get to the gate just ask to change the frequent flyer number to wherever you want to credit your flight.

  130. @ theBOAT — Could go either way. Unfortunately don’t have anything further to add. Reasonably I think they have a duty to say something by now if they weren’t planning on honoring it, but it’s also BA. I’d feel fairly comfortable booking, and worse case scenario $150 isn’t *that* much downside.

  131. @ Douglas — Simply put, if you want your systemwide upgrades on US Airways to clear, then book through US Airways’ website. If you book through American’s website you’ll get a US Airways codeshare flight, and that won’t be eligible for an upgrade in advance. Hope that makes sense!

  132. @ neo74 — Given those choices I would probably book Etihad and credit my miles to them. They’re going to offer the all around best business class product, and they actually have a fairly lucrative frequent flyer program in terms of the value of their miles. And if you’re going to Australia a couple of times per year, those miles will add up quickly.

    So it’s probably one of those cases where there’s not a black-and-white best answer, though I think Etihad would be a great option.

  133. I don’t have a question to ask you Lucky, rather I have a quote from a travel blog called “Above The Clouds with Krissy” that I came across today (Krissy is a FA), that I thought you’d really like:

    The famous quote from Leonardo Da Vinci is “For once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” And it’s true. Being in this industry is an addiction. It’s an expensive addiction, but definitely one of the best addictions you can have.

  134. What would you recommend if the positioning flight on the same ticket was going to be on American metal and the long international leg was on us airways?

  135. @ Douglas — You’re better off booking through US Airways then, since presumably an upgrade on the longhaul sector is more important than an upgrade on the shorthaul sector.

  136. Ben: Was able to capitalize on a 50k bonus points offer for Amex Premier Rewards Gold Card. It is especially appealing due to 3x on travel, 2x on gas and groceries and, as of June 1, dining. Plus they will start offering a $100 travel credit as of June 1 as well. All-in-all a great deal. However, I do not like to keep multiple cards (especially those with fees) unless they can be well utilized. Chase Sapphire Preferred is my go-to travel card for obvious reasons. But Chase BA Visa now seems superfluous. No category bonuses except 3X on BA tickets (which is now covered by Amex Gold Card) and Avios is devaluing at of 4/28. Other than 10% discount on BA tickets, I see no reason to keep it all. What do you think?

  137. Hi Lucky,

    Currently I don’t have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Freedom Card. I would like to get both cards in the near future. If I sign up for the Sapphire Preferred right now, how long do you recommend I should wait before getting the Freedom? I currently have no other cards with Chase, and an excellent credit score.



  138. Hey man you are traveling to Madrid?
    Hope you have fun it is a great place! By the way I was there last summer and it was fantastic and was willing to go again this summer. I planned on doing this “Al Andalus” tourist train for 5 days and if you pay with AmEx you get a giant load of miles! I don’t know exactly how many but it is such an exaggerating amount! Well hope you have fun and enjoy

  139. Hi Lucky,

    A friend of mine (AA Gold) is holding a RT award ticket originally issued by US Airways for travel between LAX and SVQ (Sevilla, Spain). The outbound routing is LAX – PHL – ZRH – PMI – SVQ on US and AB; the return is SVQ – PMI – ZRH – PHL – LAS – LAX on AB, US, and AA. He wants to keep the same outbound but change the date and routing of the return to SVQ – MAD – LHR – YYZ – LAX on IB, BA, and AA. Several US Airways agents have advised him this is not allowed because the combination of carriers has to be consistent in both directions — i.e., if he changes the return, he needs to change the outbound as well.

    My questions: (1) Is this true? (2) If he is indeed permitted to keep the same outbound and change only the return as described above, should there be a $150 fee, or does it qualify as a free change per current AAdvantage rules? (3) Does such a change require the ticket to be reissued? I know he will need to pay fuel surcharges on BA, but he is OK with that.


  140. Hey Lucky,

    I’m spending two weeks in Abu Dhabi on vacation, and I decided to take a few days to either head up to NRT in Qatar Business on a 772, or go out to HKG in Cathay Business on the A330, (flat beds, not the new domestic business). In terms of service and hard product, Cathay seems better, is that what you’d recommend?


  141. Hi Lucky,

    I booked my 1st premium award ever last week w/ AA for a Cathay flight (JFK-HKG) for my gf and I (One in first and one in biz, with the hope of grabbing another first seat if they open it up later), and in my excitement, I forgot about contesting the phone booking fee! So afterward I tried emailing customer relations about refunding the fee since you can’t book CX awards on, and received some crap form letter from them on why they will not refund it (citing needing my fee for them to remain competitive…blah blah blah). Is there any alternative to getting that fee back, or is it something that can only be done by the agent at the time of booking?

  142. I was thinking of applying for the Fidelity 2% cash back card, but I’ve been reading reports all over the place that accounts are being frozen left and right due to fraud alerts, even when people are just charging at local businesses or establishments where they’ve frequented many times before. That’s kind of scaring me off from the card – has anyone else had that experience or likes the card? I’m thinking maybe I should apply for Citi Double Cash instead, or Arrival? The thing that scares me off about Arrival is even though I have a good credit score (800+) I already have USAirways Mastercard, and I’ve heard of people being denied a second card from Barclay’s even with excellent credit.

  143. Hi Lucky,
    i seem to remember tha you posted in the past that Delta would be charging 1/2 the price of a roundtrip ticket for a one way trip, did this go into effect? Also, as US airways will no longer allow someone to ie. fly from FLL to NYC stay in NYC for 48 hours then continue the trip to LA for no additional cost, is there any other airline that allows for stopovers for more that 24 hours.

  144. Hi Ben – I’m unclear on how some of the same day flight changes are working now on AA and US and was thinking it could make an interesting post (or even just a good answer for me!). As an AA EXP, I know I’m entitled to free confirmed same day flight changes, something I’ve used frequently on direct flights, but how does that work for connecting flights? If I want to fly later than originally planned, do both the originating and a theoretically new connecting flight need to be available? And what if the original flight is out of the country (Mexico)? Does the new schedule have to be through the same connecting city or is it okay if just the origin city and final destinations are the same? And does it work the same way on US as it does on US? Can I change carriers if there’s availability since all the flights are code shared now? I’m trying to fly DCA to CUN for a weekend and my preferred flight schedule is significantly more expensive than other flights on the same day – I’m considering booking the cheaper tix and then trying to same day flight change but I don’t want to make assumptions about what would work. Help! :)

  145. Hi Lucky,
    I just got the email announcing Singapore Airlines as a new transfer partner for Chase UR. Will you/can you do an updated overview of how to redeem Krisflyer points and a snapshot of miles needed for various flights? Thanks!

  146. Hi again,
    Scratch my previous post. Apparently I’m a year behind on the Singapore news! I knew it sounded familiar!

  147. Question on MR(mileage runs), being based in HK i have limited options BUT can you explain why when looking at options, (after reading about your Male – NY via HK and the price you paid, if i were to fly direct from HK-NY and return within 24hrs it would cost me us$13k BUT if i originated my trip from say TPE and connected in HK, it would cost me us$4k, but regarding this routing, if i were to drop the last leg of the retun trip, ie: the HK-TPE would they refuse to credit my acct with the miles that i have already flown, i wasn’t able to read abt any restrictionson the ticket – just curious and thanks in advance

  148. @ stuart — Airline pricing does indeed greatly vary based on which market you originate in, as I’ve explained in this post:

    Throwaway ticketing (whereby you skip the last segment of an itinerary) technically violates the rules, but if you do it in moderation it shouldn’t be an issue. Just remember if you’re checking bags they’ll have to go to your final destination.

  149. @ GloverParker — I’m working on a post about exactly this, as American’s same day confirmed changes are damn complicated. I can’t make sense of them either! You can’t switch carriers, though in theory you should be able to switch your connecting point (though you can’t add a connection). Stay tuned for the post!

  150. @ Elly — Correct, Delta now allows one-way awards for half the cost of a roundtrip. I can’t think of any US airline which allows stopovers on domestic awards anymore.

  151. @ Greg N — Haven’t heard about that, but for what it’s worth you should have no trouble picking up a second Citi Card. I have way more than two of them.

  152. @ Alex — Yeah, if all that matters is the onboard experience, then I’d say Cathay is definitely better.

  153. @ Kenny — I would just try calling reservations, as a supervisor there might be able to process a refund over the phone.

  154. @ Ethan — I’d probably wait a bit over 30 days, though you shouldn’t have any issue being approved for both in the near future. Good luck!

  155. @ Jerry — There might not be much value for you in the card unless you value the 10% discount or the companion certificate after spending $30,000. A combination of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Premier Rewards Gold Card might be a better match for you.

  156. Hi Lucky, for all of the hit-or-miss experiences you have had on Etihad, I wanted to share one more data point of a recent A380 flight LHR-AUH. It. Was. Life. Changing. I am not sure if Etihad staffs their more experienced/top talent crew on the A380, but every member of the crew could not have been friendlier, warmer and more helpful. A few examples:

    -My wife and I were traveling on our (11 month belated) honeymoon and mentioned this to the F&B manager Eren as we were boarding. He would have been working the Residence had there been anyone in it (which he mentioned had only sold 6 tickets to date….but I digress). Within minutes, several other members of staff came by with amenity kits, champagne, the usual kit and every single one congratulated us on our honeymoon and seem genuinely excited about our upcoming itinerary (DXB,MLE,AUH).

    -In talking us through the menu, Eren asked about wine choices. We hesitated for a second, so he asked our preferences and then organized a blind wine flight with each of our courses. It felt like he was a sommelier at a 5* restaurant.

    -Gupreet the onboard chef threw the menu out the window and just asked our food preferences. She made me the chicken Biryani which is the best thing I have eaten in years. Truly. Before landing, while my wife was (giggling) in the shower, Gupreet snuck by to ask how she could surprise my wife with a off-menu dessert.

    -The dessert (above) was a chocolate cake that was absolutely delicious. What topped it off was that that they wrote on the plate ‘Happy Honeymoon’ in chocolate, but that was too plain for Eren. He muddled mint leaves with melted chocolate, strained the leaves through a piping bag and then wrote on the plate in chocolate. So unnecessary and yet so amazingly delicious!

    We are not the most seasoned premium cabin travelers, but even compared to the reviews I have read of SQ,CX,QF,EK,NH,etc. this blew me away. Miles better than my CX F, BA F, AA F experiences.


  157. Hey– do you know if the delta sky club one day passes are good for multiple visits on one day or just one time entry to a sky club?

  158. Does anyone know how many of their 777-200s American has refitted to date. I was in HKG last month and I saw 3 of them outside the Haeco Engineering hangars – London flights including Christmas period still seem to reflect the old seat map with 7 abreast seating in Business and the 16 seat first class cabin – seems very slow given the ancient seating in business?

  159. Hey Lucky,

    I have a 12 hour layover in Abu Dhabi in a couple months and I am debating whether or not to get a hotel. I am traveling in EY First Class from Abu Dhabi so I could stay in the lounge if there is some sort of dayroom where I could nap for a couple hours. Or I could get a hotel, I have the Hyatt Credit Card so I could have a free night at the Hyatt Capital Gate, or I could just book a stay at the airport hotel. What option would you choose? How far is it to the Hyatt and what would a taxi cost?

    Thanks, Gabe

  160. @ Peter — So thrilled to hear! Sounds like an awesome flight. Hope I have a crew that great on my next A380 flight. With a great crew, the Etihad A380 is just about unbeatable.

  161. Hi Lucky,

    Great site, and I have already booked LHR/MEL using AA miles on QF First, thanks for tips..

    I am planning on coming back on EY, at the moment I can book the AUH/LHR sector in Guest Business but leaving my options open what Australia port I leave from till I see the availability . Can you add the OZ/AUH sector to the same locator/PNR as the AUH/LHR at a later date so it will show as a through connection, even though it will be 2 seperate rewards?.

    Thanks for a great site and advice.


  162. hi Ben

    I’m up for another round of cc apps soon and had questions about a couple of AmEx products. Given that you can’t earn multiple bonuses on the same personal cards types can you tell me if the following are considered separate types of cards and eligible for full bonuses or if having one of the cards in the “family” preclude you from a bonus on another card?

    1. DL Gold, Platinum, and Reserve and
    2. AX Everyday and Everyday Preferred?



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