You Asked For It…

I recently asked readers for questions and I’ve been working through several with standalone posts.

There were also questions with fairly straightforward answers, and so just like Monday I thought I would combine a few of them into a single post.

You asked these questions, so here are some more answers.

Reader kirax2 asked,

If I spend $10,000 in the first year of card ownership on the Ritz-Carlton credit card, thus earning Gold status for an additional year with RC/Marriott, then cancel the card, will the gold status be canceled as well?

If you earn a year of Gold status it is yours to keep even if you are no longer a co-brand credit card holder.

Reader Gina asked,

Assuming United allows stop overs on a one-way award, why do they insist you use multi-city, which then codes as two different flights for different award costs?

e.g. [Washington DC – Kuala Lumpur 40,000] miles, has stops in Dubai and [Bangkok].

I called to request a stop over in [Bangkok] and was told that I would have to get one flight from [DC to Bangkok] at 40K miles plus another flight from [Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur] for another 17500 miles..

United does not offer a free stopover on a one-way award. They allow a stopover when booking a roundtrip, however. And that’s in addition to being allowed an open jaw at both the origin and destination.

So their routing rules are quite generous. Neither American nor Delta allow stopovers without spending additional miles any longer. Alaska Airlines, however, does allow a stopover on a one way award ticket (but their awards are somewhat limited because you cannot mix and match airline partners on a single one way award).

Reader Robert M Porter asked,

Can you recommend a reputable seller of discount international business class tickets?

I wrote about this in April. Try International Travel Systems.

Reader promo asked, has a promotion codes blank when searching for revenue tickets. I have never heard of them offering these ie 10% off. How, when, and where do they release these, if ever?

American does occasionally email out targeted promotions, there was one recently for European business class tickets. Very few people got it, but it was a great deal.

Mostly the box has been used for meeting discounts. You’d set up a convention and American would give you a code to give to participants for 5% – 10% off of flights in and out of the city during a set of dates around the event. Those would get spread around the internet, some folks used to pretty reliably be able to take 5% or 7% off of most American tickets they booked. They’ve stopped that program.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Here’s my question. I booked two bus class RT award tickets on United for a total of 140k miles. If I changed my flights to economy seats so the total miles is only 80k, will they refund me the difference in miles? Thanks

  2. I’m confirmed on an LH award from IAH to DRS. My connecting flight from SFO is now available. Can I have it added to my itinerary or is it too late since I’m already ticketed?

    Thanks Gary.

  3. Gary: from your experience/knowledge, how many attendees need to be attending a conference for AA to issue a discount code?

  4. @Holly do you mean you are flying Lufthansa or using Lufthansa miles. Change rules vary by the mileage program you are using (and sometimes on your status in that program)

  5. I used LH miles when I booked this award several months ago. I’m aware it isn’t the best use of miles, but I’m happy to have a first class redemption on the A380. It seems those award seats are now a bit more difficult to come by in advance.

    I’m meeting a friend in Houston and we’re traveling together from there, so that’s the need for an IAH departure.

  6. FYI, there is usually (always?) a promotion code for American Airlines in the Entertainment Books, which can be obtained for as cheap as $6 each. The promo code isn’t usually much, but it’s been 10% in the past, and this year it’s $10 off any AA flight worldwide, for up to 6 passengers on the same itinerary. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  7. I have a question:
    Does it make sense for 2 passengers flying round trips from LAX to HNL 10-11 times each year to chase after an Elite status if we can buy business first between $1,100.00 -$1,300.00./person?
    Total expense per year would be around $25,000.00 which is much less than Elite requirements for both of us, same boarding and luggage privileges as Elites. We have Chase Presidential Plus Card and Mileage Plus Explorer card. I am trying to re-evaluate this whole thing about fee credit cards and satisfying new Elite requirements. We are 1k on United but this year will qualify only for Platinum with having to spend $50,000.00 between both cards. Is there any logic in this? We do not travel much to other places, once in a while to South Pacific, Bora Bora and Morea.
    We have over 1 mill miles between 2 of us. Thank you for your inputs.
    All of your experts input and view points would be greatly appreciated.

  8. Gary,
    Can you please answer this for me: my husband and I are based in East Africa for his job and travel to Oregon and back four times a year. The alliance with the fewest connections is SkyTeam, so we end up flying Delta/ KLM. The problem is Delta’s minimum spend requirement, which it sounds like will get even worse next year. We’re racking up miles and not getting enhanced status. What is your best suggestion for a strategy to get silver status since our flying alone won’t do it, and we can’t use Delta’s credit card in Africa?

  9. @Arminda what benefits do you want from status? You may want to just get Delta’s credit card for some minimum elite-like benefits but not put any spending on it. You also might look at crediting the flights to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, depending on the fares you’re usually purchasing. And consider that you want points not just with Delta but also with another program, so be sure you have a credit card with no foreign transaction fees like Chase Sapphire Preferred where you can get awards from several airlines… including travel on Air France/KLM via Chase’s partner Korean.

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