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Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

Raleigh, North...
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Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

I have about 250k FF miles with AA. I've lost faith in their quality over the years (lots of transatlantic business travel) so would like to book codeshare flights using miles (and some cash) for 4 business or prem-econ tickets on an airline that does a better job on long-haul flights. I'm especially leery now with the work slowdowns and aging equipment American is flying.

We're on the east coast in a minor city. Happy to fly into Shanghai, Beijing, or wherever. Trip would be June 2013. Any advice?

Garden Bay, Canada
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for Air Travel, Business Travel
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1. Re: Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

You are probably looking at Cathay Pacific as the main Chinese airlines seem to be dominantly SkyTeam. You can always check out the Oneworld website, www.oneworld.com for your options. Be aware that BA codeshares can hit you with substantial fuel surcharges and taxes.

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

If you're using AA miles to book a codeshare, you may need to call their FF department to actually complete the booking.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

Just a clarification. "Codeshare" is a specific term referring to a flight where an airline places its flight number on a flight actually operated by another airline. AA doesn't book award travel on "codeshare" flights, but it will book seats on flights operated by partner airlines and carrying that airline's "native" flight number.

To get from the US to China using AA miles, your choices will be AA "metal" into Beijing or Shanghai, Cathay Pacific (including possibly subsidiary DragonAir) via Hong Kong, or AA or Japan Airlines via Tokyo, depending on where you want to go in China.

Flights on AA planes can be booked online at aa.com; all the other carriers will require you to phone AA. Look at the mileage charts on aa.com to see how many miles you'll need; at present you'd need 55,000 miles for business class in each direction, or 110,000 round trip, so with 4 persons traveling you'll need on the order of 440,000 miles. (China is in AA's "Asia 2" region.)

Since AA doesn't have a premium economy product of their own, they don't offer premium economy as a redemption option, even with partners that have it. So it's either coach or business (or first.)

Nashville, TN
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4. Re: Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

"Since AA doesn't have a premium economy product of their own"

They are however working on it and plan to introduce it this year.

www.aa.com/i18n/urls/mainCabinExtra.jsp

Seattle, Washington
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5. Re: Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

>> They are however working on it and plan to introduce it this year. <<

MCE isn't a premium economy product like those offered by the likes of British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Air France, Qantas, Cathay Pacific and numerous others. MCE will be similar to United's "Economy Plus" and Delta's "Economy Comfort" - basically increased seat pitch, while the European/Asian carriers' seats are wider, have more recline, better in-seat amenities, and are generally in a separate cabin.

Edited: 02 October 2012, 23:58
6. Re: Advice needed: booking trip to China with AA miles

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