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View Full Version : Freq. Flyer Miles - Need to Vent


Amy
08-21-2002, 02:15 PM
Why do airlines have frequent flyer programs if you can't use the miles? DH has enough miles to get 2 free tix on USAir; we're planning a trip to WDW next June. I'm a planner, DH is not, so it's been like pulling teeth to get him to sit down and say "yes, these are the definite days we'll go". He thinks I'm crazy for planning so far ahead.

So on my lunch hour today, I called USAir, a little more than nine months before we want to travel. Guess what? No free seats AT ALL the day we want to travel, unless we want to arrive in Orlando after midnight! Plenty of seats available if we want to pay for them. Grrrrrrr :mad:

So if you're married to someone who doesn't like to plan ahead, tell them what happened to me.

momoftwins
08-21-2002, 03:25 PM
We have enough for 3 free flights with Northwest. I can tell you, not the most direct way to go from Providence to Orlando. I can remember once, I happen to find some flights from:

Providence to Cleveland
Cleveland to Detroit
Detroit to Orlando

I think it would have taken us 9 hrs to get to Orlando. Now I realize these are free tickets, and I could see if I wanted until the last minute to book, but I look 11 months out - and I look a lot. This is as far out as Northwest goes.

I called them last week to complain. And while they agree it is difficult to use their miles, they said there are arrangements - like I referenced above as long as you:

Do the hokey-pokey, hop on one foot with your eyes closed, when you wish upon a star, ...as much chance as being struck by lightening, promise them your first born- hehe that's how I felt when I talked to them!:p


Anyway, we will probably have these miles forever. I just wish I could cash them in for anything at this point.

A kid at heart
08-21-2002, 04:32 PM
Understand that those seats to popular destinations go as soon as they are loaded into the system. They only allot so many for the FTP seats as it is. My suggestion is to keep checking back and its possible that a seat or two will open up. If you can be flexbile on dates and times, its possible that you might get something. Its a game just like airfare.

allforpooh
08-21-2002, 04:34 PM
Don't lose hope, for NWA you can go online every couple of weeks and see what is opened for the dates you want. Once I found some spots opened I was even able to change the time and dates several times (without cost) to get the time and dates I really wanted. When I first called they also said there wasn't any space and putting my name on the reserve list didn't really do anything.

Customer service told me they will continue to open or move spots between flights.

Denise

erikthewise
08-21-2002, 07:17 PM
I sympathize, as do millions of other air travelers.

You can cash them in for Hilton HHonors points, which CAN be used, not only at Hiltons, but also at Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Hampton Inn, etc.

I don't know about Northwest, but on Delta there are two classes of awards. By using double the number of points, you can get tickets in (so they say) any available coach seat. Having made a couple "dry runs" online, it seems to be basically true. Not a good deal perhaps, but better than never using any points.

momoftwins
08-21-2002, 07:31 PM
Can you tell me how to convert Northwest into HiltonHonors?

That would be great if I could do that.

erikthewise
08-21-2002, 09:14 PM
Oops! I apologize. Northwest is not supported under this program, though several other major US airlines are, including American, Continental, Delta, and United. I just assumed Northwest was also included. I guess they're just being snotty about it, but that will come as no surprize to you.

Anyway, for those interested, further info is available at http://www.hilton.com/en/hhonors/rewards/exchange_2.jhtml

BrentonAFox
08-22-2002, 03:51 PM
I have frequent flyer accounts for a number of different airlines (my job requires that I travel a lot). From my experience United is probably the best for having frequent flyer seats available.

My wife and daughter are coming with me to a conference in Orlando in September. I booked their tickets just over 4 weeks out and I had a few different choices for flights.

I know it isn't much consolation for people in other frequent flyer programs, but if you are deciding which one to use United is a good choice.

Disney845
08-22-2002, 05:26 PM
Does this remind you of that poor guy in the movie Duets?

ncligs
08-22-2002, 06:04 PM
I just booked 3 round trip tickets using our Continental One Pass FF miles. They are having a special until Sept 30.....if you book it by then, you can fly for 20,000 miles per person(instead of 25,000 FF miles). So we were planning on going to San Antonio any way next June to visit relatives so I figured why not try to use it then and save 15,000 miles (3 tx).
We are going friday-friday (June 27-July 4th) with very good times. I tried 2-3 different departure days in order to get the Continetal.com special (20,000 miles per person). You only get this special by booking on-line yourself.
This is one of the reasons we charge everything (pay in full when bill arrives)in less than 1 yr we accumulated over 100,000 miles so far. We should be able to fly for free at least twice a yr!!!!!;)

ceecee
08-23-2002, 11:12 AM
We have used USAir FF miles for 6 free tickets...not a hitch. Until this year!!! Started five months in advance, no seats. We did however finally get three FF tickets. We arrive Friday night at 10:40 p/m and leave the following week at 5:55 AM--------that's all we could get. She said we could keep checking back, but I am not hopeful since they are cutting 13% of their flights. I just hope ours isn't cut. The reservationist did say that United will start taking USAir miles soon- so you may still be in luck.

ceecee
08-23-2002, 11:12 AM
We have used USAir FF miles for 6 free tickets...not a hitch. Until this year!!! Started five months in advance, no seats. We did however finally get three FF tickets. We arrive Friday night at 10:40 p/m and leave the following week at 5:55 AM--------that's all we could get. She said we could keep checking back, but I am not hopeful since they are cutting 13% of their flights. I just hope ours isn't cut. The reservationist did say that United will start taking USAir miles soon- so you may still be in luck.

welovespacemoutain
08-23-2002, 03:38 PM
I have been trying to book FF flights from Philly to Orlando on US Airways for December for weeks and weeks now - keep checking for something to open up, but it seems the options are fewer and fewer. At one point we considered flying into Tampa, but the departure times we so early it was impossible - we would already have to rent a car to get to Orlando, it wasn't worth the cost of the car and an extra day's worth of hotel and food expenses to get the "free" tickets (Those seats are gone now anyway). We were flexible on our dates to a point (willing to depart up to 2 days before or after our chosen date and we offered to even take separate flights as long as they were the same day and the arrival times were within a few hours of each other), but there is only so much we can give! It really is outrageous - we have enough miles for 3 tickets plus I have a voucher because I got bumped (same category as FF miles when you go to redeem it - not what they tell you when you get bumped) - and we cannot find anything to remotely suit us. DH is a silver preferred (almost gold) member - that does him no good either. I would rather more miles be required for a free ticket and actually be able to get a flight when I need one - heck - they could say it only takes 1,000 miles for a free ticket and it wouldn't matter because they don't have the seats anyway!!! We were looking at flying down the weekend after Thanksgiving and returning a week later - we could get seats down there, just not back!

If anyone hears when United will start taking USAirways miles- please post it - though I would imagine they will be booked up by that point.

Debby7
08-24-2002, 08:48 PM
The only way I got our tickets using USAir FF points was to call at midnight on the day the flights are put into the computer(I think that it was 331 days ahead). Even so, the flight I got won't arrive until 8:30 p.m. I agree that they make it very hard to actually use those points.

DebbieB
08-24-2002, 09:09 PM
I feel lucky that we were able to get FF seats for December. I called mid-May for Saturday Dec 7, PIT-MCO, 2 seats. All they had non-stop was leaving PIT at 8:55pm. No way. Then I asked about Friday Dec 6 thinking we could take a late flight that day and get an airport hotel. I was shocked when she said I had the choice of any flight, so I took 11:35am. I booked a night at CBR at $94 incl tax. Of course, that's another story, they will probably be closed....

Lewisc
08-24-2002, 09:26 PM
Southwest FF seats ARE NOT capacity controlled. A few blackout dates otherwise if there is a seat on the plane it's yours.

A kid at heart
08-25-2002, 07:59 PM
As for the voucher for flying, I always get the voucher for the dollar amount, this way you can get any flight you want, and get your FTP miles as well!

jcanary
08-27-2002, 11:53 AM
I just called USAir to see about availability on July 9, 2003 for FF miles free tic and guess what, there are none available. The earliest is July 12,2003. I can't believe it. I have been supporting USAir but not anymore. I still can't believe it. This is almost 11 months away.:mad:

Amy
08-27-2002, 02:05 PM
jcanary - I bet if we wanted to fly to Bismark, ND in the middle of January, USAir would have plenty of seats! :) :)

Unfortunately, living in Pittsburgh, we don't have much choice of airline - it's USAir or nothing. Sigh............

ralphd
08-27-2002, 03:25 PM
Airlines allocate seats on each flight to frequent flyers based on formulas that check the normal unsold capacity on the flight and past frequent flyer demand. Sometimes if there is unsold capacity as they get closer to the departure date, they will add ff seats and give them to people on the wait list.
The airline will not allocate the same number of seats on every flight. This will be determined by normal supply and demand.
Most airlines have a set percentage of seats that they are willing to give to ff during a year.

ralphd