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Airfares from San Francisco to Milan and then home from Rome

We signed up for our tour in October. We want to start in Cinque Terre then start our R.S. Tour in Venice 4 days later.Our tour ends in Rome. I have tried both United and American Frequent flyer miles weekly to no avail. I have checked all the major travel websites and can find flights no cheaper than $1500. We leave June 25th and come home July 12th. Any ideas on when to break down and purchase airline tickets? I have a family of 7 going and am concerned about the airfare. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Mark, we went on our United mileage points in May/June of last year. We went business class which chews up an additional 20,000 points per person but well worth it. We live in the Sacramento area and United could fly us to Florence but could only fly us home from Zurich. Thus, we switched our plans to include Switzerland and the whole trip was fabulous. The best benefit of the business class to Florence is that United will fly you on Lufthansa out of LAX on a 10.5hr. non-stop to Frankfurt where you change planes for Florence. What a great ride.

Next, are you trying to redeem online or are you calling directly. Online just doesn't seem to do it. We had to call and work something out. Also, I'm guessing that the airlines have limited seats for frequent flyers and you have 7 people.