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Old Jul 5, 12, 6:24 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Bos-lhr-pek/pvg-lax

New to FlyerTalk; learned so much from everyone on here! Thanks for all your dedication! (Sorry if this is posted in the wrong forum. Let me know, and I'll move it.)

I'd appreciate any advice you all may have about an upcoming trip. Thanks in advance!

I'm looking to book an award trip for December. I'm starting in BOS and ending in LAX, flying in and out of PEK/PVG (into either and out of the other). Want to stopover at LHR for a few days/weekend on either leg.

I usually use BA for trips with LHR stopovers, but was wondering if there're any other options out there, especially deals on flying business on some legs.

I've got plenty of miles on UA, BA, and AA. I'd also pay for some segments if it makes sense.
I
bandeapart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 12, 6:57 am   #2
 
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My first thought is UA miles, BOS-ZRH/FRA/BRU-train/99 euro flight to LON-PEK- HS train to PVG-ICN/NRT-LAX.

Just a quick thought. BRU is easy for accessing London and you'll be able to use LON tax savings to cover the Eurostar. LON won't be a legal stopover post BMI...

Edit: Forgot to mention you'll need to add on a throwaway LAX -BOS at the end
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Old Jul 5, 12, 3:15 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benzemalyonnais View Post
My first thought is UA miles, BOS-ZRH/FRA/BRU-train/99 euro flight to LON-PEK- HS train to PVG-ICN/NRT-LAX.

Just a quick thought. BRU is easy for accessing London and you'll be able to use LON tax savings to cover the Eurostar. LON won't be a legal stopover post BMI...

Edit: Forgot to mention you'll need to add on a throwaway LAX -BOS at the end
Hey, I don't think you can do that because:
1. UA will not allow you to go TATL and TPAC.
2. That looks like 2 open jaws (between ZRH/FRA/BRU and LON and between PEK and PVG), one of which does not include the destination. Double open jaws are permissible on UA but one of them has to include the origin.
3. There is no *A flight from BOS-BRU. There are some EWR/IAD/PHL flights to BRU, but that would add another connection.

What you can do is come back the same way you came. So something like BOS-ZRH/FRA/MUC (stopover)-cheap flight to LON & cheap flight back to ZRH/FRA/MUC (FRA is probably best since both LH and CA fly FRA-PVG and FRA-PEK)-PEK (open jaw, high speed train to) PVG-FRA-EWR-LAX. This uses a double open jaw (between PEK and PVG and between LAX-BOS) and a stopover (in FRA). We are flying through EWR on the way back because I'm pretty sure you can't transit a city twice. The MPM (maximum permitted mileage) between BOS and PEK is 8409 1-way, so round trip that would be 16818. United will allow you to exceed the MPM by 15%, so that bumps the MPM up to 19340.7 miles that you can fly on this award. Unfortunately BOS-FRA-PEK;PVG-FRA-EWR-LAX is at 20363 miles, so unless you get a super nice agent you will not be able to book that itinerary.

However, you can get to EWR under the 19340.7 mileage limit on one award (BOS-FRA-PEK;PVG-FRA-EWR). That award will cost you 65K miles. You can then book another flight from EWR-LAX for 12500 United miles.

Also, here's a start for finding the cheap RT flight from FRA-LON. Good luck! Post a trip report when the whole thing gets underway!
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Old Jul 5, 12, 4:06 pm   #4
 
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Bos-lhr-pek/pvg-lax

Thanks for the advice! I did a quick search and UA seems to allow online BOS-(via FRA)-BRU-stopover-BRU-(via FRA)-PVG-(open jaw)-PEK-LAX-SFO for 65K! Thinking about booking it with a BRU-LHR rt via BA for 9K Avios. I'd never thought of that without your help!

Also, any advice on whether to take a Lufthansa A380 or an Air China Boeing 747 (might have been a 777, actually) from FRA. Air China's depart time is marginally better, but not much so. Also looking into booking business for part of the trip. Never flown Air China before, how are their upper classes?

Plus, if anyone else has some creative strategies, I'm all ears! Thanks!
bandeapart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 5, 12, 7:25 pm   #5
 
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Well damn, would you look at that. I didn't get it to route through LAX onward to SFO but I did see a number of flights from PEK-ICN/NRT-SFO. That is awesome, well done sir!

In other crazy routing news, I got it to also route through Toronto (YYZ) on AC. Check this nonsense out: http://i.imgur.com/ax45L.png. That itinerary clocks in at ~18402 miles. United ftw!
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Old Jul 5, 12, 8:35 pm   #6
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If the website allows you to book, book it but be prepared if you ever need to change anything, you would most likely be unable to, because this is what is dubbed "Circle Trip" - going thru both oceans, and is an "illegal" routing per UA award rules - though due to the system glitch, one can price this out online.

The above incidents have been reported / discussed in UA forum and actually happened to an FTer friend. He only found out the "illegal" and "Circle Trip" part when he tried to change date and flights to a more optimal routing (United 1K thanks to CO LT Plat, hence no fee to change anything.)

Your call whether you want to go this way, or...
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Old Jul 6, 12, 1:55 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy View Post
If the website allows you to book, book it but be prepared if you ever need to change anything, you would most likely be unable to, because this is what is dubbed "Circle Trip" - going thru both oceans, and is an "illegal" routing per UA award rules - though due to the system glitch, one can price this out online.
Crossing both oceans is not a "circle trip". A circle trip is the combination of more than two fares on a single ticket, so on an award ticket it would come down to taking a stopover somewhere that's on a non-sensical routing between origin and destination. I believe UA prohibits flying between the US and Australia/New Zealand by crossing the South Pacific in one direction and the North Pacific in the other. (In fact, this is the example given on the UA site of a prohibited circle trip.) However, other than some agents who like to invent rules, the circle trip prohibition should not prohibit crossing both oceans.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 5:28 am   #8
 
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Bos-lhr-pek/pvg-lax

Booked BOS-YUL-CDG-stopover-CDG-PEK-stopover-PVG-LAX. Business on AC and CA B777-300ER planes on both legs before the second stopover in China. Total of ~90K on UA (65K was also available on all coach). Never thought something like this is allowed (still think something is bizarre here)... Thanks, everyone!

P.S. Maybe this is of some interest to someone here -- only a small subset of available flights were available when I book online thru all these stops (i.e., versus looking at Saver awards for each leg separately). Just curious, but does anyone know why this is the case? I also got the following note in the restrictions section:

RESTRICTIONS: RWD YB76 YC76/NONEND/-TRAN;VALID UA/AC/CA

Anyone know what this means?
bandeapart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 16, 12, 1:31 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bandeapart View Post
Booked BOS-YUL-CDG-stopover-CDG-PEK-stopover-PVG-LAX. Business on AC and CA B777-300ER planes on both legs before the second stopover in China. Total of ~90K on UA (65K was also available on all coach). Never thought something like this is allowed (still think something is bizarre here)... Thanks, everyone!

P.S. Maybe this is of some interest to someone here -- only a small subset of available flights were available when I book online thru all these stops (i.e., versus looking at Saver awards for each leg separately). Just curious, but does anyone know why this is the case? I also got the following note in the restrictions section:

RESTRICTIONS: RWD YB76 YC76/NONEND/-TRAN;VALID UA/AC/CA

Anyone know what this means?
Hi, I tried booking the same route through United website. However, I get this message. "! united.com could not find any available flights for award travel meeting your requirements. You may modify your search criteria or review the MileagePlus Travel Award Rules. If you need additional assistance, in the U.S. and Canada call 1-800-396-1751; the U.K., phone 0800 028 5003; elsewhere contact your local United Reservations Office for assistance."

Am I doing something wrong? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Jul 17, 12, 6:17 pm   #10
 
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I've seen that message when I was booking my trip. Booking such a routing, I think, restricts you to only certain flights. For example, there may be 12+ economy saver flight options for BOS-CDG on Dec 1. But, when I looked at availability doing the multi-leg search, only 1 of those 12 showed up. I'm guessing United puts restrictions on which flights are available for long routings like this.
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