In this youtube video a guy named Adam from Adam vs. The Man does some excellent filmaking to inquire of the TSA how many terrorists the TSA has caught. Their answers are amusing and disturbing. This website considers them a violation of our natural right to travel, and will be a common theme on this blog. It is 100% legal to film in a public place, including airport security checkpoints. However, over and over again the TSA will tell you that you cannot film, another violation of your natural rights.
This morning I was trying to book an award ticket for my mother-in-law to fly from Lima to Cusco and back in August so she could go to Macchu Picchu. Normally, this is a $300 each way flight, so it is a tremendous value at 4,500 British Airways Avios per person. She got 50,000 Avios just for getting the British Airways credit card!
Nevertheless, when you type in Cuzco to Lima one way in their search, the website returns all the valid flights.
Search from Cusco to Lima
And you get valid results. However, if you type in Lima to Cuzco (as below), it says it can’t find Cuzco and gives you the option of Chico California or somewhere in Greece.
And the website errors out
I called British Airways to try and book this on the phone, however since I am not an authorized user on her account (yet), they wouldn’t work with me. I then asked to be transferred to their website IT support desk to report the issue and to see if there was a workaround. The (surly) agent noted that there was not an IT support desk and he has noted the issue for management to resolve. I highly doubt he noted it. He was not a sympathetic agent.
In any case, for those of you trying to get to Cuzco, you may have to call until they fix this issue.
I have signed up for a great webinar on Freedom of Travel sponsored by The Foundation for Economic Education.
It will take place Wednesday, March 06, 2013 from 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM.
Here is free registration information. This will be a great resource on the freedom of travel. I will share any insights I learn here.
Krieble Webinars: Economic Freedom and Travel Visas
Start Wednesday, March 06, 2013 12:00 PM
End Wednesday, March 06, 2013 1:00 PM
The Foundation for Economic Education presents the Krieble webinar series for international students. Our goal is to provide quality education and expand the reach of the freedom philosophy beyond national borders. Although these webinars are intended for international students, they are open to all FEE students.
The first installment of this series is Economic Freedom and Travel Visas with Robert Lawson. Professor Lawson is one of the economists behind Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World Index and a member of FEE Board of Scholars.
Last month I booked two award tickets for my in-laws. They have only been out of the country on a couple occasions, so this trip to 3 destinations in South America, and 1 Caribbean destination, in business class, would be an incredible experience for them. The best part, it only cost 90,000 American AAdvantage Miles per person. Normally, a North America to Argentina award in business class on American costs 100,000 miles per person. And you only get one stopover, which has to be the gateway north American city. So compared to this my in-laws trip is a significantly better value
American has the Oneworld Explorer Award. It is an award that charges you points in proportion to how many miles you fly on American or their partners. You have to use at least two of their partners to qualify for this award. It is available as an open-jaw, round-trip, or one-way. You can have up to 16 segments.
However, to use this, they would have to fly two partner carriers. LAN and American serve South America from Miami, but no other Oneworld partner airlines. So somehow I had to add another partner carrier to the trip, but wasn’t sure how.
Here in lies a well kept secret for Oneworld Explorer award bookings.
British airways flies a few fifth-freedom flights in the Caribbean. Head For Points does a great job examining these. Two examples are Nassau to Grand Cayman Island, and Nassau to Turks & Caicos. Basically the plane comes in from London to Nassau, stops, and then finishes the flight to one of these destinations. This is an amazing tool to enable a Oneworld Explorer award where you only have 1 partner carrier and need a 2nd to qualify for all the rules! Just add one of these British Airways fifth freedom flights to your trip.
If your Oneworld Explorer award is a one-way, you can potentially add one of these legs as an open-jaw at the end of your trip. Or you can add a Carribbean vacation on the end of your Oneworld Explorer award.
In the case of my in-laws, the booking went like this:
Tampa – Miami – Lima (3 day stopover in Lima)
Lima – Santiago (3 day stopover in Santiago)
Santiago – Mendoza (5 day stopover in Mendoza)
Mendoza – Santiago – Miami (3 month stopover in Miami. My in-laws would drive home 3 hours from Miami airport, and resume their lives as normal)
Nassau – Providenciales, Turks & Caicos (4 day stopover in Providenciales. Basically, I have made this ticket as an open jaw, where it goes from Tampa to Miami via South America, then has surface travel, and resumes again in Providenciales back to Tampa. My in-laws have to buy Tampa/Orlando to Nassau ticket themselves, which are only $85 on BahamasAir. The Nassau to Providenciales is on BritishAirways, making it become a valid Oneworld Explorer award)