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Old Jul 30, 12, 4:54 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Irvine, CA
Programs: UA Gold, Hilton Diamond, National Executive Elite
Posts: 5,069
Award ticket to LHR while not using UA

I want to book a business or first ticket to LHR from PHX, but I don't want to redeem my MP miles on UA. I'd like to fly another SA partner (excluding US). I've seen UA list some US rewards, but have yet to see any LH, SK, options.

I'd even be willing to fly another segment. Say phx-lax-fra-lhr on LH for example. Any way to do this? I rememeber a few years ago using the ANA tool but don't know if that is still a way to find these flights.

Any recommendations?

Thanks
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Old Jul 30, 12, 5:03 pm   #2
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SFO/DXB/BOS
Programs: UA GS *G
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I'd recommend using expertflyer (you can set up a free 5 day trial) to track current award availability if UA site is not proving helpful. It's also worth calling UA and explicitly asking for LH or SK segments.

F award space is going to be hard to come by and especially difficult on LH. IME they generally release F awards within 2 weeks of departure.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 5:17 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
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Unfortunately, LH availability is not supported by EF.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 5:24 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Irvine, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smichelm View Post
I'd recommend using expertflyer (you can set up a free 5 day trial) to track current award availability if UA site is not proving helpful. It's also worth calling UA and explicitly asking for LH or SK segments.

F award space is going to be hard to come by and especially difficult on LH. IME they generally release F awards within 2 weeks of departure.
Thanks. Do you know if you can still use the ANA website?
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Old Jul 30, 12, 5:48 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Thanks. Do you know if you can still use the ANA website?
Yes ANA has availability for LH on Star Alliance Inventory. You will need to register for an ANA account
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Old Jul 30, 12, 6:05 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: PIT
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, UA 1K, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold
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ANA tool is more accurate than united.com when it comes to LH F availability. As smichelm said, however, LH doesn't release F award until ~2 weeks before departure. The good news is that this is pretty consistent. So I'd suggest to book decent flights available right now and look for LH F later (no change fee for 1K/Plat).

If you don't mind connecting in Canada, AC out of YYZ or YVR may be an option. Their biz product is quite good too.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 6:09 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtRoot View Post
ANA tool is more accurate than united.com when it comes to LH F availability. As smichelm said, however, LH doesn't release F award until ~2 weeks before departure. The good news is that this is pretty consistent. So I'd suggest to book decent flights available right now and look for LH F later (no change fee for 1K/Plat).

If you don't mind connecting in Canada, AC out of YYZ or YVR may be an option. Their biz product is quite good too.
BTW Aeroplan will also show star alliance inventory but again it is not as accurate as ANA
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Old Jul 30, 12, 6:47 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Try UA or US PHX-LAX with connection to NZ for LAX-LHR
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Old Jul 30, 12, 6:58 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Seattle, UA Gold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indelaware View Post
Try UA or US PHX-LAX with connection to NZ for LAX-LHR
This would be a great option, but I have never seen C award availability on NZ flight LAX-LHR.

Try Air Canada via YVR, YYC or YYZ. YYC-LHR could the easiest to get on miles.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 6:59 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Los Angeles
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I would also recommend Air NewZealand LAX-LHR as an option. Availability shows in Expert Flyer.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 7:24 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Don't forget the other *A carriers: LO via WAW, SN via BRU, SQ JFK-FRA (but likely not available), LX via GVA or ZRH
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Old Jul 30, 12, 8:09 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Irvine, CA
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went back on the ANA sky tool. Totally useless. I'll sign up for the 5 day free trial and EP and see what I can find. Yes I'd like to fly LOT, SK, LH, etc. I have time and the miles. UA is offering me a AC ticket and it looks good.

Thanks for the input guys.
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Old Jul 30, 12, 8:22 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indelaware View Post
Don't forget the other *A carriers: LO via WAW, SN via BRU, SQ JFK-FRA (but likely not available), LX via GVA or ZRH
those are great options, but for the OP that means a double-connect
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Old Jul 30, 12, 9:15 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
went back on the ANA sky tool. Totally useless. I'll sign up for the 5 day free trial and EP and see what I can find. Yes I'd like to fly LOT, SK, LH, etc. I have time and the miles. UA is offering me a AC ticket and it looks good.

Thanks for the input guys.
Dont underestimate the ANA tool. I have had the EP subscription for over two years but I still find the ANA tool better for star alliance. It is a pain to use but once you know the little tricks it makes things easier.

Here is a good review on the tool

http://thepointsguy.com/2011/06/how-...-availability/
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Old Jul 30, 12, 9:16 pm   #15
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 787fan View Post
those are great options, but for the OP that means a double-connect
Yes, but OP didn't indicate that double-connections were to be avoided. Indeed, s/he even suggested that they were fine:

Quote:
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post

I'd even be willing to fly another segment. Say phx-lax-fra-lhr on LH for example.
I do not know why some are disdainful about double connections; I like them. They add to the flying experience, allow for more possibilities for VDB, and can break up long times in the tube. I have had my share of tripple connections and would not rule out a quadaple connection in certain circumstances. The only downsides to double connections are a) that they may increase total travel time, but not always, and that is not always a downside and b) that they increase the number of times one is at risk during takeoff/landing operations. But, then if one must go, why not go in plane?
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