Now that acceptable flights were booked, I scheduled time on my calendar to regularly check availability on more ideal routes. Remember that your ideal itinerary is often not available at first, but you have opportunities to make adjustments later. The important thing is to book something that works.
Today, I went on AA to check on my outbound flight and sure enough, a Saturday departure became available ORD-DUS. However the DUS-HEL on Finnair was not available and the only availability on the final leg was a DUS-LHR-HEL which nets two hours longer.
I also found a SFO-HEL via PHL, but that AA750 segment is on an ancient 752 which has not been updated since the end of the cold war. That statement might not be an exaggeration since that airplane still has overhead screens for movies!
Thus, no cigar today.
Availability changes frequently, but free route changes is one of the best benefits of AA awards. You can change the flight/dates as long as the departure and origin airport stays the same.
I’ll keep checking occasionally and will share with you when I find something. And I will find something!
When was the last time you changed a flight for a better itinerary?