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Old Jun 27, 12, 5:49 pm   #1
 
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RTW alternatives??

I am trying to plan the best/cheapest way to do LAX-ICN-PVG-Europe hub-East coast US. Ideally the Europe hub city would be close to BCN and the final destination is RDU on the east coast. I know the final destination will be especially difficult so don't mind flying in somewhere on the east coast and getting a seperate ticket.

I figured the Singapore RTW would be perfect, until I found out it only had a 3 month window. The first portion of LAX-ICN-PVG would be in late August and early September. The PVG and beyond would be starting in mid/late December.

I'm open to paid or reward travel, although I'm guessing reward travel with a RTW in coach is probably not the best use of miles. I have ~280k delta miles, ~50k UA miles, ~160k UR points, ~30k MR points with gold status on delta and UA.
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Old Jun 27, 12, 10:24 pm   #2
 
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Seems like your best bet would be to book the entire itinerary on United, transferring your UR points to your account giving you 210 UA miles. You could book the following:

Business Class - LAX ->ICN (Open Jaw), then BCN -> RDU
This itinerary would cost 110,000 UA miles and is bookable on the UA site using the multiple destinations function.

Then book 2 one-way tickets to get to BCN to complete the first ticket.

Business Class - ICN -> PVG
One way ticket booked online on UA would cost 20,000 UA miles

Business Class - PVG -> BCN
One way ticket booked online on UA would cost 65,000 UA miles

Seems to be plenty of availability if your dates are flexible and would cost 195,000 UA miles + taxes.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 6:57 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edotzaue View Post
Seems like your best bet would be to book the entire itinerary on United, transferring your UR points to your account giving you 210 UA miles. You could book the following:

Business Class - LAX ->ICN (Open Jaw), then BCN -> RDU
This itinerary would cost 110,000 UA miles and is bookable on the UA site using the multiple destinations function.

Then book 2 one-way tickets to get to BCN to complete the first ticket.

Business Class - ICN -> PVG
One way ticket booked online on UA would cost 20,000 UA miles

Business Class - PVG -> BCN
One way ticket booked online on UA would cost 65,000 UA miles

Seems to be plenty of availability if your dates are flexible and would cost 195,000 UA miles + taxes.
OP could do LAX-ICN(stop)-PVG//BCN-RDU (connections omitted) on a single UA award and save 20K. (Just pulled it up on united.com to confirm that the stopover and double open jaw are allowed, and it priced at 110K.)

If the OP wants a challenge, I think ICN-PVG(stop)-BCN-West coast (with an overnight connection on the east coast where you forget to fly to the west coast) is possible with that pile of SkyPesos. In particular, ICN-BCN-SFO is a legal open jaw, and a stopover can be taken at PVG. Fly ICN-KE/MU-PVG/SHA-MU-PEK-AZ-FCO-AZ-BCN, taking a stopover in PVG. Looks like SHA-PEK on MU is all economy, but it's a short flight with lots of award space in economy. AZ runs their new A330s with staggered flat bed seats (and food that gets great reviews) on PEK-FCO. Could use a Chinese carrier from PVG to Europe, but then there'd be a fuel surcharge.

The return could be BCN-JFK-RDU-SLC-SFO if award space permits. Since that's depending on DL flights to have award space, it could be really dicy. Easier would probably be BCN-AMS/CDG-IAD-MSP/SLC-SFO. You really don't even need to book a long layover at the gateway (I mention IAD, but JFK and a number of other cities should work as well), since bags will be collected there and walked through customs. Just forget to re-check them and walk away from the last two segments. This should price out at 110K in J with DL, since the unflown bit (SFO-ICN) is shorter than ICN-BCN and BCN-SFO.

If I were sitting on the OP's award balance, this is the route I'd go (using the existing UA miles plus a few UR points for LAX-ICN), as who knows when DL's next devaluation will come.
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Old Jun 29, 12, 12:13 pm   #4
 
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This is why FT is so awesome, I learn things that airlines would never tell us. That sounds very interesting but am I little confused. I thought only 1 open jaw and stopover was allowed??

I was assuming I'd have to make a purchase of some sort since I need to "stop" in 3 different cities.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 4:48 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duke2013 View Post
This is why FT is so awesome, I learn things that airlines would never tell us. That sounds very interesting but am I little confused. I thought only 1 open jaw and stopover was allowed??

I was assuming I'd have to make a purchase of some sort since I need to "stop" in 3 different cities.
DL and UA allow a stopover and an open jaw on a single round trip award. Thus you could fly out of ICN to PVG, have a stopover there, continue to BCN as your destination, and then continue n to the US to your destination (or something like it) as a single award. You will need a separate award (UA best option) for LAX-ICN.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 6:02 am   #6
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280 K is enough for a RTW on DL in J.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 9:12 am   #7
 
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I have recently booked on UA the following for 127,000 miles in business: USA-SYD, SIN-Europe stopover-USA. I am sure OP can do USA-ICN-PEK instead of my USA-SYD.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 11:21 am   #8
 
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Couldn't OP do his desired itinerary for only 75k aeroplan miles in economy? OP would just have to wait for one of the amex promotions and then transfer the miles when he's ready to book.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 4:01 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by 2stepsbehind View Post
Couldn't OP do his desired itinerary for only 75k aeroplan miles in economy? OP would just have to wait for one of the amex promotions and then transfer the miles when he's ready to book.
The problem with Aeroplan is the fuel surcharges. I guess the TPAC and TATL bits could be done on UA or US, which should reduce the YQ impact. However, ICN-PEK, PEK-BCN, and perhaps part of the BCN-RDU bit would have to be done on carriers for which Aeroplan will collect YQ.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 4:04 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
280 K is enough for a RTW on DL in J.
OP isn't planning enough stops to make a RTW worth it, IMO. Using DL and UA, this can be done for 170K in J, which is a much better use of miles than just booking a RTW without intention to take full advantage of the allowed stops.
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Old Jul 1, 12, 9:49 pm   #11
 
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What about non-award flight options?
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Old Jul 1, 12, 10:10 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
The problem with Aeroplan is the fuel surcharges. I guess the TPAC and TATL bits could be done on UA or US, which should reduce the YQ impact. However, ICN-PEK, PEK-BCN, and perhaps part of the BCN-RDU bit would have to be done on carriers for which Aeroplan will collect YQ.
he couldn't go through Istanbul through turkish air or fly on air china?
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Old Jul 2, 12, 4:36 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by 2stepsbehind View Post
he couldn't go through Istanbul through turkish air or fly on air china?
I'm not fully up on which carriers Aeroplan collects YQ for. I'd assumed TK and CA were on the list, but if they're not, then there might be some creative options. Looks like the two stopovers (ICN and BCN, with PEK as destination) are allowed only if there's no open jaw, so it would require the same trick as DL (routing back to SFO) but could be done as a single award. Here's the list of YQ/non-YQ partners for Aeroplan.

All that said, OP doesn't have enough points that can be transferred to Aeroplan to make such a trip happen, since there are only 30K MR points. Perhaps via a foray into coupon connection, however, something might be arranged. Looks like Aeroplan would only want 125K in J for the mini-RTW, which beats the 170K DL + UA/UR combo that's been posited.
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Old Jul 2, 12, 7:59 am   #14
 
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Well I'm assuming he can get either wait for and apply for one of those fly by night 50-75k amex deals or get someone to trade him amex rewards for his ultimate reward points.
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Old Jul 2, 12, 10:25 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtkeller View Post
DL and UA allow a stopover and an open jaw on a single round trip award. ...
UA allows 1 SO and 2 OJ ... though you may have to convince agents of rules on their own website. In April, even after insisting that UA allowed 1 SO OR 1 OJ, and after confirming she was right by "checking with a supervisor" upon my insistence .... I was forced to call back and speak to another agent, who also thought it was 1 or 1, but she actually was willing to check:
Quote:
...
-Two open jaws are permitted per roundtrip award. For example, you can fly from Newark to London and return from Paris to Washington Dulles.

-A stopover is permitted on roundtrip award travel only. One stopover is permitted, unless otherwise noted. Additional mileage may be required for Saver Awards within the mainland U.S., Alaska and Canada.
...
http://www.united.com/web/en-US/cont...airawards.aspx
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