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Old Jul 14, 17, 3:27 pm
  #14  
ermintrude
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: dark side of the moon
Programs: papa card, UA 1K
Posts: 707
Originally Posted by telescopic View Post
My priority is to accumulate over several years and redeem as cheaply as possible (hence the title), without ridiculous surcharge fees, taxes, etc. on mid/long haul in Economy.....

Status would be a bonus, not a primary objective. I would be flying just enough to earn Gold on most programs, however flying benefits such as free checked bags and lounge access are not important as these are business trips which I can expense. Status would only be valued if it brings significant bonus earnings on award miles or frequent free upgrades from Economy Plus to Business on UA transatlantic.
UA is currently a good choice if you can match to/maintain gold. Alaska (strong partnership with AA) is also a good choice and has arguably the best FF program of all US carriers. I would have thought those would be your two main choices considering your criteria.
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