award bookings

Tag Archives for award bookings.

Booking Hawaii: Part 3 – Hilton Hawaiian Village and Tending Reservations

a water slide and palm trees and a beach

Also see: 

I’ll go ahead and tell you the moral of this story: tend to your reservations.

After booking 4 flights to Honolulu, then adding my little brother into the mix, the final piece of the puzzle was to book the hotel rooms.

Step 1: The paid stay

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Booking Barcelona: $747 Round-trip in AA Business Class

a colorful tiled rooftops of Park Güell

Like many peeps, I got in on the fantastic British Airways business class fares to Europe.

There were so many ways to stack that it was hard not to.

And, without a trip planned, I was starting to feel weird.

October is the time of year you have to be on alert for a really good deal. And you have to be ready to jump. I knew this one would be fast-moving, and man, it was.

Here’s how my flight plans came together.

1. Messed around with fares

These fares were not kidding around. I casually typed in JFK to BCN not expecting to find much. But wow. The prices were incredible.

Exhibit A

Exhibit A

JFK-BCN was pricing out at $436 round-trip in business class!

Exhibit B

Exhibit B

Literally every date I tried was turning out fares for ~$450, after the AARP and Avios discounts. Just insane.

Your pick of routes, airlines, and connections, too.

2. Gathered Avios/AMEX EFFED ME

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Is United allowing discounted 1-ways and stopovers on award flights?

I was poking around the United website and messing with the award search cuz duh that’s an awesome way to spend a Saturday night.

I noticed something weird. I’m not sure if it’s a glitch or pricing error or a legit award booking or what.

But I wanted to share it with you guys in case someone has a better answer.

Here’s what I found.

United is discounting First Class round-trip award flights with a one-way added

Here’s what I searched:

  • LAX-NYC-LAX (round trip)
  • LAX-IAH (after a stopover)

Pricing at 65,000 miles.

Now, United isn’t supposed to allow free one-ways or stopovers on domestic itineraries any more according to Milevalue (although you can still get a free one-way on international itineraries and mainland US to Hawaii award flights).

So following that logic, 50K is the standard price for a round-trip First Class award.

And a one-way would be 25K.

But instead of pricing as 2 tickets, it’s letting me book all 3 flights for 65,000 miles. A 10K discount.

Round-trip First Class award with a discounted one-way LAX-NYC-LAX-IAH

Round-trip First Class award with a discounted one-way LAX-NYC-LAX-IAH

It gets weirder when I mix cabins. A free one-way?

When I book the 1st flight in economy and the next 2 in First Class, the price it spits out is 50,000 miles.

That means I’m paying for 2 legs at the price of 25K for a First Class one-way.

But what about the leg in economy? It’s free.

A free one-way after a stopover on a domestic award booking?

A free one-way after a stopover on a domestic award booking with mixed cabins?

Also weird was that I was able to replicate the pricing with partner awards on European award flights.

When I looked into it, I can book something like:

  • AMS-CDG in economy
  • CDG-AMS in business
  • AMS-somewhere else in business after a stopover

It prices at 45,000 miles. 

Round-trip awards in business are supposed to be 60,000 miles.

Partner award flights are pricing weird, too

Partner award flights are pricing weird, too. Instead of 60K round-trip it’s 45K

So not only do I get a free one-way, but I get a 15K mileage discount, too.

What else is glitching?

This is as far as I’ve gotten. But I’m wondering if you can add the free economy one-way after a round-trip First Class award flight (I couldn’t find any examples… yet.)

FWIW, I can replicate the discount from the all-First Class example with all-economy flights, too:

This "should" price as 37,500 miles, but

This “should” price as 37,500 miles

But it’s more like a 2,500-mile discount.

On the beta website, it prices the 1st leg at 17.5K miles. And then the next 2 at 8.8K miles each.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Same results on the beta site

Bottom line

I haven’t actually booked any awards, so it could all error out before the final pricing screen.

I tried to find info about this on the ye olde interwebs but couldn’t find anything, so apologies if this is old news.

It seems United is pricing 1-ways and stopovers as either free or with a discount. I can force this with partner metal, mixed cabins, and all-domestic itineraries.

Is this a known error… or a new glitch?

Anyone know anything about this?