Using a variety of points programs

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Feb 13, 2018
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#1
Hello. I am seeking advice on any pitfallsas in the following thinking. We want to fly from Phl to sfo on Alaska airlines using points from Amex. Then quantas from sfo to Sydney using Marriott miles, then air New Zealand from Christchurch to Honolulu using capital one miles and from Honolulu to lax and then to Phl using credit card.we would land in sfo at 11:00 am and fly out at 10:00 pm so I imagine they will leave enough time to make the flight in the event of a delay. It does mean using different sites to book the trip given the points are scattered. I know I can transfer them to Amex and have a platinum agent book it all but it could take up to 6 weeks to transfer some points and I would prefer not to wait. Thoughts?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,597
11,962
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
You are opening yourself up to host of problems doing this. You will be totally responsible for missed connections since you will have separate reservations for each flight. And you will have to pick up your luggage after each flight and recheck in for every flight. So you need a few hours in between every flight.

I don’t recommend this.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,257
6,320
113
San Francisco
#3
Paula, it's indeed possible to do what you want if you are a very experienced traveler and if you are a stickler for details. The overriding issue would be tix who are not connected with each other. You will have no protection from the airline if you are delayed. That's easy to overcome if you're going to be in each place a day or two.

For example, if you are flying to SFO on one airline, then catching your Qantas flight to Sydney ... you may not get any help from Qantas if you miss that flight out of SFO. As far as they're concerned, you're starting your trip in SFO, so they'd list you as a no-show. when you don't show up at the gate for boarding. If you were flying from home through SF on to Sydney on the same tix, Qantas would know you're going to miss your connection and might take steps to protect you on another flight.

Another scenario is that your flight from home to SFO is flat-out cancelled and you cannot leave until the next day ... all your other tix will fall like dominoes. And don't forget that if you miss a leg, the airline will probably cancel the rest of your tix.

I am a 'points/miles junkie' with years of experience ... I would consider planning a trip like yours only if I had a day or two in between each flight. Your best bet is to use the AmEx travel desk ... and be sure the agent you're working with is REALLY on top of everything.

We have a couple of other advocates here familiar with award travel, and they will undoubtedly chime in shortly. Please don't hesitate to ask more questions ... I find your situation fascinating and would be happy to help. If some of your questions are a rather private, please send me a personal conversation.
 
Feb 13, 2018
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#4
You are opening yourself up to host of problems doing this. You will be totally responsible for missed connections since you will have separate reservations for each flight. And you will have to pick up your luggage after each flight and recheck in for every flight. So you need a few hours in between every flight.

I don’t recommend this.
 
Feb 13, 2018
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#5
Thanks for the reply and your concern matches mine. That’s why I hesitated and thought best to ask for advice. As for luggage, we only do carry on so having to check and recheck won’t be an issue.
 
Feb 13, 2018
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#6
Paula, it's indeed possible to do what you want if you are a very experienced traveler and if you are a stickler for details. The overriding issue would be tix who are not connected with each other. You will have no protection from the airline if you are delayed. That's easy to overcome if you're going to be in each place a day or two.

For example, if you are flying to SFO on one airline, then catching your Qantas flight to Sydney ... you may not get any help from Qantas if you miss that flight out of SFO. As far as they're concerned, you're starting your trip in SFO, so they'd list you as a no-show. when you don't show up at the gate for boarding. If you were flying from home through SF on to Sydney on the same tix, Qantas would know you're going to miss your connection and might take steps to protect you on another flight.

Another scenario is that your flight from home to SFO is flat-out cancelled and you cannot leave until the next day ... all your other tix will fall like dominoes. And don't forget that if you miss a leg, the airline will probably cancel the rest of your tix.

I am a 'points/miles junkie' with years of experience ... I would consider planning a trip like yours only if I had a day or two in between each flight. Your best bet is to use the AmEx travel desk ... and be sure the agent you're working with is REALLY on top of everything.

We have a couple of other advocates here familiar with award travel, and they will undoubtedly chime in shortly. Please don't hesitate to ask more questions ... I find your situation fascinating and would be happy to help. If some of your questions are a rather private, please send me a personal conversation.
Thanks for the offer to help! I’ll will reach out if this becomes more of a reality.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#7
Related to the risks indicated by Neil and jsn55, you might also run afoul of the availability of awards seats. I've seen a number of cases in this forum where seats are "open", but unavailable to someone looking to use miles/points. All it would take is a change in aircraft or schedule and you could find yourself paying cash and then following up with a request to have the points/miles restored to your account.

Here's a related article ...
Booking Awards Flights