Best Practices for Searching Oneworld Availability

This post is about the best practices to use when searching oneworld availability when you want to use your American Airlines miles.

American Airlines miles can be used on any oneworld airline and on its non-oneworld partners. For a list of oneworld airlines, see Free First Class Next Month: Airlines’ Codes, Hubs, and Alliances.

The best part about using partner award availability is that partner award availability always prices at the sAAver level, so you are always getting the best miles price you can.

Surcharge Info on All Delta SkyMiles Partners

The Delta SkyMiles program has a lot of drawbacks. One of the most annoying is that it charges fuel surcharges on award redemptions on several of its partners. For this post, I've compiled a list of SkyMiles partners that fly to the US, and I've priced out a roundtrip award from the US to their hubs in either economy or business class.

Delta miles can't be used for three-cabin first class redemptions. Awards cost the roundtrip price whether you fly oneway or roundtrip.

I've noted which awards incur surcharges and how much those surcharges are.

Award Space on American Airlines’ Brand New Routes

A few weeks ago, One Mile at a Time was all over the new American Airlines international routes:

Dallas (DFW) <-> Seoul (ICN)
Dallas (DFW) <-> Lima (LIM)
Chicago (ORD) <-> Dusseldorf (DUS)
New York (JFK) <-> Dublin (DUB)

Those flights went on sale yesterday, meaning that they were added to the award calendars. I decided to take a look at the award-space picture, and I found some surprising results.

Anatomy of an Award: Routing West to India on an American Airlines Award

This is a guest post from Chase Tajima. Chase is a tax attorney in Honolulu--Aloha! He writes about Hawaii tax law at TheTaxTable.wordpress.com. Anyone is welcome to submit a guest Anatomy of an Award post, so we can all learn from interesting award bookings.

I started following MileValue because I wanted to find a cost effective way to get from Honolulu to Delhi, India to attend my college roommate's wedding. Roundtrip flights from from Honolulu to Delhi ranged from about $1,600 to $2,000+ in economy.

Anatomy of an Award: How to Book an Award on Southwest

Update 10/13/14: Southwest awards now cost 70 points per dollar of the cash fare instead of 60. Taxes are now $5.60 per direction within the United States instead of $2.50 per flight. Everything else is the same.

The other day I helped a friend book a roundtrip Southwest award from Los Angeles to Denver for 11,761 Rapid Rewards and $5, taking advantage of a 1,000 Ultimate Rewards transfer to make up a shortfall of points in her account. For some people, this post will be very basic.

I Don’t Know United’s Award Rules

I've got a thriving Award Booking Service. I hold myself out as an expert on the nuances of award-booking rules, and yet I don't know United's award booking rules. Let me explain.

On February 10, 2011, someone believed to be a United employee posted on FlyerTalk that the new routing rule for United awards would be that the actual routing you choose can exceed MPM by no more than 15%.

For those who don't know: MPM (Maximum Permitted Mileage) is the maximum length that a routing on a paid ticket between an origin/destination city pair can be.

Trick to Hold Delta Awards

Delta only allows you to hold an itinerary if you don't have enough miles in the account to ticket at that moment. (If you sweet talk the right agent, you might get a hold even if you have enough miles, but it's not easy.)

Here's a trick to avoid this annoying policy if you have enough miles in your account to ticket the award you want.

Call Delta at 800-323-2323.
Instead of giving the SkyMiles account number you'll be using, give the account number of a friend that has very few miles.

How to Get to Australia and New Zealand with American Airlines Miles Part 2

This is Part 2 of my two-part post on using AA miles to get to Australia and New Zealand. Read Part 1 first.

Here are a few more ways to get to Australia and New Zealand with American miles.

Air Tahiti Nui and Air Pacific: Connect in the Middle of Nowhere

One horribly annoying rule when redeeming AA miles is that your award cannot transit a region other than the origin region and destination region unless explicitly permitted.

Free Domestic Circle Trips on United Awards

Last month, I got an interesting email from reader Ed that started:

Scott,

Please consider if this is viable, albeit challenging to book:

[UA]  DCA-BOS-YYZ-ORD-CLE-EWR // EWR-ZRH-IST, IST-IAD

The answer is yes it is possible, and what it means is that you can add a free circle trip onto roundtrip international United awards.

Hopefully readers of this blog are well acquainted with Free Oneways on United Awards, the most-read post I've written.

The central idea of free oneways is to take your free stopover at your home airport, then start a second trip from there on the same award.

Choosing Between a Free Stopover and a Free Oneway on United Awards

United allows one free stopover on roundtrip awards. I've discovered and posted extensively on how this free stopover can be turned into a free oneway. See Free Oneways on United Awards.

A free oneway is a oneway trip to your home airport before your main award or from your home airport after your award. To unlock a free oneway, you need to conserve your United award's free stopover.

Why? Because you need to take that free stopover at your home airport.