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Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

Shanghai, China
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Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

Hi all, I am wanting to redeem a one-way economy ticket on either a) KIX-PVG JL897 on 9/4 or 10/4, or b) NRT-PVG JL877 on 10/4.

I have the following redemption options and I'm looking for input on which would be the best value. None of the miles are expiring in the near future except for QR, where I have a small total balance of almost 26k out of which 10k are expiring on 31/12.

I should add that if I use QR (because of expiring miles) I then have about 9k there which I have no idea how to use. I travel rarely on OW airlines and then when I do so I'd endeavour to put the miles on AA or MU (CX partner).

QR: 15k + unknown amount for fees and taxes (emailed but no response from QR, does anyone know?)

AA: 20k + 57 USD

Flying Blue: 15k + 603 RMB

BA Avios (borrowing from a friend): 7.5k + 59 GBP

In a small part, my decision would also be influenced by the difference, if any, in the catering, seating/aircraft used, and service. Sorry if this sounds lame for a short-haul economy flight, but I don't usually get to fly on JL, and having heard so many good things about Japanese airlines I'd like to maximise my experience.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

You found availability on your dates for all those reward programs?

I wouldn't base my choice on expiring miles. There should be many ways to keep your account active without flying.

Kiama, Australia
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2. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

JAL is a great airline, but as you are flying economy (I assume), then there really is no 'maximising the experience'. The best you can hope for is a more pleasant forced smile and possibly a slightly better standard meal.

As such, for such a short flight, take the best miles/$$ option.

Shanghai, China
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3. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

As long as there's space on JL's award fare class, my guess is that I should be able to use whichever other FFP to redeem miles for it. I do know that it's possible that JL would block access to their award inventory for other airlines, but if it does so for one, then wouldn't they do so for others as well? I could be wrong on this, I guess.

Also, it sounds like you're unfamiliar with QR's FFP. I checked and there's no way to extend the validity of expiring miles. Use them or they're gone once expired. Some other FFPs, for example Flying Blue and numerous other USA-based FFPs, keep your miles there indefinitely as long as you have some spending activity, but this isn't necessarily the case for ALL FFPs in the world.

Shanghai, China
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4. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

As I said in my OP, catering, seating/aircraft used, and service were what I was concerned with. It'd probably cost me about the same or not much more to fly KIX-PVG with a budget airline, but then I won't get any food, and their planes are quite cramped. If I use those miles (eg MU or Flying Blue) to fly on any old MU flight doing this route, I'm sure I would not get the same service nor catering as I would on JL - and I fly more than enough of MU that I don't need to experience it again for this flight.

KIX and NRT are different airports and I'm sure they don't share the same kitchen, so meals wouldn't be the same, though the difference may be small.

As for seating/aircraft, I'm not sure if either route would have older planes, smaller/bigger planes, etc etc etc. That may also be a difference.

Other than those, yes, I'm looking for the most cost-effective option.

Shanghai, China
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5. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

BTW, just to answer the query of availability, other than QR, tentatively the others have already offered availability when I checked these two days. I wrote to QR but they didn't get back to me so I don't know for that one.

AFAIK the award fare class for the flights I'm looking for, are wide open.

Kiama, Australia
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6. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

Ellyse, it seems like you know everything already, a common trait of the younger generation. I cannot see how we can help any further

Edited: 7:03 pm, January 15, 2015
Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

I could be wrong on this, I guess

______________

You guess right about that.

Edited: 7:13 pm, January 15, 2015
Seattle, Washington
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8. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

This is a 3.5 hour flight. A waste of award miles IMO as the cash price is so inexpensive. It's way too short of a flight to obsess about.

You can extend the validity of your QR miles, but am assuming you already know everything about that.

Edited: 7:22 pm, January 15, 2015
Shanghai, China
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9. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

Sorry, I take back what I said about not being able to extend QR miles validity. I got mixed up with EK, where I also have miles expiring this year. However as it costs quite a bit for validity extension, it makes a bit more sense for me to use up expiring miles rather than extend their validity. There's not much chance that I could get a major increase in the total balance to be able to use them for a non-economy redemption.

I checked the price of cash tickets and it'd cost almost 1000 RMB for budget airline, or at least 1300-1500 RMB on a non-budget airline. I don't find that inexpensive or good value, in comparison to international flights to/from international destinations within a similar "time radius" ie around 2-3 hours flight time. A round-trip flight on a non-budget airline to ICN would be around 2000 RMB, for example.

I don't claim to know the best $$/miles option - if I do then why would I be asking?

10. Re: Help with April award ticket KIX/NRT-PVG on JL

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