MilesBuzz! - Travel to China
Jun 30, 12, 11:20 am
My wife and I will be moving to China in August to teach English for a year. I'm new to the miles game, but I did qualify for the British Airways 50k and US Airways 40k cards. I plan on having my wife do the same.
Between the two of us is 100k on BA and 80k on USAir enough to get us to China?
If not, is there a better way you recommend for us to get these tickets?
Thanks in advance for your help.
You will receive better replies if you include more details:
1. What airport(s) could you use as your point of departure?
2. In which class of service do you wish to travel?
3. Do you intend to book only one-way tickets or also return flights?
4. What research have you already done on your own?
Jun 30, 12, 12:13 pm
Got it thanks for the reply!
1. We will most likely be in St Louis when we leave. Originally I was planning on flying to L.A. and flying out from there, but as I was thinking about it I thought maybe something in the east would make more sense. Last summer when I flew over there, it was from L.A. to Guangzhou on China Southern I believe. We are teaching in Qingdao, which is closest to Beijing. Although last year that didn't mean it was the cheapest flight when we were in the same region.
2. Cheapy cheap. We are still in our 20's and can handle flying economy to save some money.
3. Our contract is 12 months, so I think round trip is out unless we can work something out with the school for a 11.5ish month contract. I know that would help immensely with cheaper tickets. They give us an 8000rmb ($1250 USD) bonus at the end to use however we please. However one ways are so much more expensive, so round trip makes more sense if possible. Not sure on that yet, as we don't have a contract with the school yet.
4. I found threads on here that are along similar lines, but not with my specific miles situation. I'm also looking at the different alliances. I know BA and USAir aren't on the same alliance. It also might make more sense to buy these tickets with cards to get the bonuses, and then use the miles for tickets next year.
Thanks again for your help.
Jun 30, 12, 12:51 pm
Asiana (OZ) flies to Quingdao from Seoul, so if you could find a way to redeem with * Alliance carriers you could fly right there without going to Beijing.
Oneway versus round trip is an important consideration for award booking because some programs offer oneway awards for 50% mileage, but many do not. I believe AA, BA and UA have oneway options, but DL and US do not.
I'm in the same situation as you. You might want to get round trip as you may already know about how some schools may try to cheat you out of the year end bonus/airline reimbursement by making up a student complaint against you, etc.
I currently use AA and UA and fly into PEK. I've used BA but now find that useless for me after getting one free trip from that card. I didn't realize you can use US Air to get to China.
I last used United (actually CO) miles to go Asiana/Singapore Air codeshare from LAX > Seoul > DLC and I think I used 92.5k for business one way and coach back. The codeshare on United is a good deal for that type of travel.
Jun 30, 12, 2:00 pm
I would just look at one-way awards to get you there right now and then you have another year in the interim to sign up for a couple more credit card bonuses each to get you back home for free.
Jun 30, 12, 2:41 pm
OP, hate to disappoint you but both BA and US are not good options for you. Award tickets are valid for one year and so you cannot use US miles to book a flight. You could spend miles for a RT and just take a one-way, but you would be paying double.
BA is notorious for fuel surcharges (YQ). The savings when flying economy is very little. BA miles are great for use on domestic AA and AS flight and all LA fights.
The best miles for you were UA & AA as they both have one-way awards and options without YQ.
Jun 30, 12, 2:55 pm
Unfortunately you are getting awful advice, which is not uncommon on this website. Too many folks misguide. You would do better to look at the BA forum or the AA forum rather than Milesbuzz.
1. You can't get a round trip award as award seats are only available at around 11 months before travel. So if you are there a year, you will be traveling outbound before you inbound is open.
2. You best choice is to Use BA miles, but book a ticket on one of their partners. (cathay, Dragonair, JAL, AA, Finnair, to name a few)
3. You can use USAir points to get an award on a star alliance carrier
You can go US to China for 37,500 points each one way plus about $200 taxes and fees using the BA miles approach. Economy tickets are easy to find because its a horrible way to go(even if you are 20). If miles are plentiful then go Cathay First class at 67,500 each one way.
Jun 30, 12, 9:13 pm
On UA, you can get STL-PEK one-way for 32,500 miles and $5 in taxes/fees in Economy 1-stop. For same mileage, you can also get STL-TAO for $12.90 with 2 stops. Sign-up for the UA Mileage Plus Explorer Visa card from Chase for 50k miles after first purchase and 5k after adding an authorized user. That makes it 55K, enough for an one-way ticket now. You would then need to figure out how to make extra 10k to be able to book the return ticket, when ready to do so (perhaps sign-up for Netflix for 4k miles?).
Jun 30, 12, 9:50 pm
For you, I'd strongly recommend flying in economy, not a premium cabin, however desirable that might be for people with lots more miles than you have. You don't have miles to burn yet, and hundreds of people survive flying in economy every flight. In your circumstance, getting the USAir card wasn't the first choice, for reasons pointed out earlier - their reward program prices round trips the same as one-ways, and you can't buy a round-trip since your return is so distant in time. With your current situation, I'd suggest using the BA Avios to fly on American one way, then later (whenever you're ready to apply for more cards) get your hands on some of the Aadvantage rewards cards from Citibank to obtain the miles for your return one-way on American. Hold on to the US miles for some future round-trip when there isn't as much time between legs.
I agree with the above. However if your total flight time exceeds 27 hours then you might seriously want look into getting a delta club pass at a minimum. My breaking point for these flight is right at 27 hours. It was pretty bad those last 3 hours after being in coach. My last flight was 32 hours in coach and never got a chance to use my lounge pass. Man that was exhausting. To me it seems business is worth paying extra miles for when that flight is more than 27 hours total trip time.