Upgrd 54: Award Bookings

In this first podcast of a series on airline award bookings we discuss the basics of how we use our miles and an overview of different award types. In future podcasts, over the next few weeks, we will discuss specific reward programs and alliances in greater detail.

In addition we discussed JAL's decision between SkyTeam and OneWorld, although that dicussion seems a bit dated now.  Please send in your recent award redemptions stories and questions for our next few airline award booking shows.

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Josh February 9, 2010 at 03:47 pm

I was late to signing onto the podcast and so I wasn't around for the conversation on priority baggage. But I would have added the following:

Since AA started advertising priority baggage handling as a perk for elite members (wherein they attach an orange "Priority" tag to your checked baggage so that it will, supposedly, pop out on the carousel before the peasant baggage), I've checked bags to ORD, IAD, JFK, SFO, HPN, YYZ, and LAX. In all those cases (except for YYZ) my baggage was among the first bags to emerge. (Yes, even IAD, Matthew and Gary!)

I have no idea if that's luck, or if AA's "system" is working. When they first started marking bags, I was a little concerned that the bright orange "priority" tags would make my luggage a more appealing target for behind-the-scenes luggage thieves. But so far, no problems.

EE February 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm

This was a very informative an interesting podcast compared to some of the recent ones. I would like to out myself as one of the few listeners who has never traveled in a Premium cabin on an international routes. Sadly, BA World Traveler Plus has been the height of my aviation luxury. 2011 will likely see an end to this dark predicament and my entry into the world of flatbeds, edible food and maybe even hot nuts. This a great topic and I am pleased you are planning a number of shows on addressing it. I would be very grateful if you could include what are the best tools to find and monitor award availability for the various alliances. For example, if I wanted to fly to Sydney on One World using either AA or BA miles, how best to find the seat availability and possibly some quirky routing (LAN via Chile, BA via LHR and HKG, South African via Joburg). Cheers!

HunterSFO February 15, 2010 at 01:52 am

I have had a different experience with the priority baggage thing. I typically fly UA or CO, and my bags are always in the first 5 or 10 that appear on the carousel. Airports I have picked up checked bags at include SFO, IAD, MSY, LAX, SAN, and ORD.