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-   -   Air miles for booking flights? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3024920)

Tinkershelly 11-23-2012 07:11 PM

Air miles for booking flights?
 
Has anyone here had experience using Air Miles to book flights? I've been collecting them for, well forever, and I just realized I have enough to get return flights to Orlando. :cool1: My question is how easy is it to get decent flights and what airlines will I be allowed to book with.

I used my Continental/United points for our last trip and it was very easy, even easy and free to rebook when they changed schedules around, but I know that's not the case with Aeroplan.

sechelt 11-23-2012 07:19 PM

Love Airmiles! Used them twice to WDW and even more to DL, always on Westjet. Never had a problem getting decent flights although coming from the West Coast, we always arrive late at night. To Orlando we went through Toronto or Montreal so that added extra time but still pretty sweet. We booked online and it was pretty easy to do.

Disney Bound Mommy 11-23-2012 07:29 PM

We've used Air Miles 3 times to book flights to Orlando. The first time was from Toronto, on Westjet. Second time was out of Buffalo (I'm not sure how that was allowed because I'm pretty sure there is a rule that you need to start your trip in Canada). Last time was out of Toronto on Air Canada. It was really easy all three times. Booked the trips on line and had a good choice of flights. When we booked out of Buffalo it was a lot less miles required, and the taxes were a lot less too. But when we tried that for the 3rd trip, Buffalo was no longer an option. The whole process was very simple, very pleased with the results, and are currently saving for our next trip.

Happy 2 B Me 11-23-2012 08:58 PM

Books as early as possible to get the best seats and best travel times. I use Alaska Airmiles to book airfare to DL. As long as I book early enough I can get non stop flights both directions. There are only so many seats available per flight times and flight schedule. So this is one time the early bird does get the worm :) Have fun.

Tinkershelly 11-23-2012 09:10 PM

Thanks everyone! The flights for October/November 2013 aren't available yet so I can't pull the trigger yet, but soon enough. :thumbsup2

DisneyRookie2007 11-24-2012 07:49 AM

Keep checking periodically to see what flights become released and when the departure times are acceptable - buy it! There's no guarantee that the next day the same flights will be available...that's been my experience.

Also, the available flights seem to alternate from WJ and AC (from my departure city anyways).

I checked out flights in early September for a planned Orlando vacation in February. Well, since that time, I haven't seen the same flights since - and sometimes nothing is available at all....so buy it when they are available - cause you can never tell if and when the same flights will be available again.

mkmommy 11-24-2012 03:43 PM

I just came back from an Airmiles flight to Orlando. They seem to use Westjet now, and the fees are getting out of hand. It was $227 for taxes and fees, plus the 1800+ points from Toronto. I work close to Pearson so it was nice leaving after work and getting into Orlando by midnight, but the value is certainly not there when you can get a flight for almost the same price and save your points out of Buffalo. I booked in April for a Novermber trip and I could not get flights back on Sunday so I had to adjust my trip to return on Monday, so book early for the best times, if you are not flexible.


If it was not for the good annual travel insurance plan they offer I would be done with Airmiles as the value for flights is not there anymore, fees are just too high.

DisneyRookie2007 11-24-2012 07:11 PM

Taxes and fees from Moncton is approx $190 - but not direct - always have to pass through Toronto or Montreal. I find that price acceptable - the issue I have is that the flights offered are never ideal...either I depart @ 530am or take a later flight and get in @ 1130 pm.

CdnCarrie 11-24-2012 09:04 PM

Remember you can also use Airmiles for redeeming of WDW, Univeral and Sea World passes plus car rentals.

Or you book a WDW package with Marlin Travel and redeem with vouchers from Air Miles.

Price it all out first and see if it's best use of Air Miles for flights or other parts of the trip.
With the taxes on the flights I sometimes find it better to get a seat sale or fly from the U.S. and pay for the package with Marlin then use the miles for flights.

Either which way I Love Air Miles!

Tinkershelly 11-25-2012 08:17 AM

Aaah, I hoped someone would chime in about the taxes and fees. We booked with Continental/United points for flights in September and paid $50 each for the Halifax-Orlando flights but $5 each for the Orlando-Halifax flights. I'm not as keen to pay $200 each. :scratchin

And can anyone confirm that I will have to use Westjet ro Air Canada? I'm not a fan of connecting through Montreal or Toronto, we prefer to utilize US customs pre-clearance here in Halifax, not needing to deal with that and reclearing security in the middle of our flights.

Thanks for all your information, it really helps me think things through. :wave2:

sechelt 11-25-2012 10:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tinkershelly (Post 46782078)
Aaah, I hoped someone would chime in about the taxes and fees. We booked with Continental/United points for flights in September and paid $50 each for the Halifax-Orlando flights but $5 each for the Orlando-Halifax flights. I'm not as keen to pay $200 each. :scratchin

And can anyone confirm that I will have to use Westjet ro Air Canada? I'm not a fan of connecting through Montreal or Toronto, we prefer to utilize US customs pre-clearance here in Halifax, not needing to deal with that and reclearing security in the middle of our flights.

Thanks for all your information, it really helps me think things through. :wave2:

I'm on the opposite coast but when we went to book to DL, we were given options of WJ or United. AC wasn't even mentioned. The United fees and taxes were less by about half but weren't direct flights. We opted to pay the higher amounts to have a direct flight.

To me, AM is still the way to go. I'm able to get the flights I want, when I want, without lurking on the airlines' websites, waiting for sales, hoping for seats. I've used AM for Hawaii, Orlando, and DL. Driving to the U.S. for flights isn't an option for us.

mkmommy 11-26-2012 08:00 AM

As of right now I don't think Air Canada is an option for Airmiles flights.

In 2011 I used Airmiles for a flight to Barcelona and got an Air Canada direct flight, so it was great. When I tried to book a flight last week to Barcelona, only Lufthansa flights were an option, so I used my miles to book flights to Vancouver and only Westjet was an option.

tgropp 11-26-2012 11:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mkmommy (Post 46778299)
I just came back from an Airmiles flight to Orlando. They seem to use Westjet now, and the fees are getting out of hand. It was $227 for taxes and fees, plus the 1800+ points from Toronto. I work close to Pearson so it was nice leaving after work and getting into Orlando by midnight, but the value is certainly not there when you can get a flight for almost the same price and save your points out of Buffalo. I booked in April for a Novermber trip and I could not get flights back on Sunday so I had to adjust my trip to return on Monday, so book early for the best times, if you are not flexible.


If it was not for the good annual travel insurance plan they offer I would be done with Airmiles as the value for flights is not there anymore, fees are just too high.



I plan to book seven flights at Christmas time next year. It will cost 2350 airmiles each for that time of year (with the 25% discount) so the $225 in taxes fees are not bad considering that flights usually cost around $800.00.......but I know what you mean when you say that fees are getting out of hand as if you fly at other times of the year you can get flights out of the U.S. can be had for $275-$325.00 so I would never use airmiles for that

mkmommy 11-26-2012 01:19 PM

Just remember every year they increase the points needed for rewards too. I always seem to have enough points and then when my booking window opens up the amount needed has gone up and I am short miles.

DisneyRookie2007 11-26-2012 05:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mkmommy (Post 46789079)
As of right now I don't think Air Canada is an option for Airmiles flights.

For my dates (Feb 24 - Mar 3), and from my departure airport (Moncton or Halifax), the only option I have is Air Canada.


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