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UA alternative in SMF (Sacramento)

UA alternative in SMF (Sacramento)

Old Jul 31, 14, 11:24 pm
  #1  
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Question UA alternative in SMF (Sacramento)

Hello fellow Flyertalkers,

I have been flying UAL for 20 years out of SMF as it has been the best airline option for me with direct flights to DEN, LAX, SFO, ORD, IAD and IAH and plenty of ongoing connections to Asia, Europe and South America. With the ongoing devaluation of flyers' perks value, I've tried to see what other alternatives might be available. Unfortunately, I haven't found anything satisfying
- DAL and AA have limited options out of SMF
- I have flown Southwest for some short haul to LAS, PHX and various LA airports. However I wouldn't fly them for flights longer than 2 hours

Has anyone been successful at finding an alternative from this specific airport (SMF) for both domestic and overseas travel? I wouldn't consider flying out of SFO, OAK or SJC on a regular basis due to the commute involved (I am just 20' away from SMF). I'll take a few more UA flights this year to reach 2MM. After that I'll be ready for a switch.

Thank you in advance for any insights you might be able to share.

Cheers!

Szbenny
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Old Jul 31, 14, 11:50 pm
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According to statistics published by the Sacramento County Air System for June 2014, http://www.sacramento.aero/scas/about/reports , the heaviest service out of SMF is on Southwest. Looking at total passenger enplanements reported in 2014 (from http://www.sacramento.aero/download....planements.pdf ):

WN logged 2.3 million passengers at SMF year-to-date.

In second, third, fourth, and fifth place for 2014 year-to-date comes US+AA (481k passengers together // 239k+242k separate), UA (369k passengers), DL (284k passengers), and AS (233k passengers).

If you want to fly a legacy carrier (by which is meant "not Southwest") and you want more service than UA, your current best option looks like US+AA. However, I don't know to what extent their merger will bring consolidation or service reductions.
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Old Jul 31, 14, 11:53 pm
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Old Aug 1, 14, 12:05 am
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What about splitting your travel with SWA for domestic and a legacy for international?

I'm mostly domestic, but I now split my hotel stays between SPG and HH, and my car rentals between National and Hertz. I'm top status in all four, and enjoy all the perks and much greater freedom in the process.

I wish I could do this with air travel, but I'm a segment guy.
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Old Aug 1, 14, 12:12 am
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You pose a very good question. I fly out of SEA, and travel to SMF on UA 10-15 times a year for business, and that's likely going to continue for 5 years. Right now I'm in Sac, and just rec'd a message that due to ATC my flight to SFO tomorrow evening is cancelled, and I'm re-routed thru LAX, getting to SEA at 2346, which makes it damned hard to get a ferry home. So why do I keep putting up w this, when I could be on AS or WN, non-stop? Psychological counseling is welcome :
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Old Aug 1, 14, 4:44 am
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Originally Posted by tkc98110 View Post
EQM in 2014: 77,909; LFM 1.83MM
SMF <--> SFO flights are among the most delayed and cancelled in the system. Achieve 2MM LFM and then become a Kayaker.


SunLover
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Old Aug 1, 14, 6:09 am
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When you find that help let the rest of us know.


Originally Posted by tkc98110 View Post
You pose a very good question. I fly out of SEA, and travel to SMF on UA 10-15 times a year for business, and that's likely going to continue for 5 years. Right now I'm in Sac, and just rec'd a message that due to ATC my flight to SFO tomorrow evening is cancelled, and I'm re-routed thru LAX, getting to SEA at 2346, which makes it damned hard to get a ferry home. So why do I keep putting up w this, when I could be on AS or WN, non-stop? Psychological counseling is welcome :
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Old Aug 1, 14, 7:14 am
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I've switched to AS and DL and I'm very happy. With AS I can bank my occasional AA travel and get decent seating with my MVPG status. This year while testing the waters I also banked all my DL travel there but soon starting a plat challenge with them. Delta has plenty of options with flights to SLC, ATL, and MSP and great connections from all 3. They also have higher frequency to LAX than UA, and you can use AS to connect to the new network developing in SEA.

So, this AS and DL thing is working for me so far. Next year I'll be heavier invested in DL than AS, but expect to maintain status in both.

US has good lift but both eastbound transcons are seasonal and redeye which is awful.
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Old Aug 1, 14, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by tkc98110 View Post
You pose a very good question. I fly out of SEA, and travel to SMF on UA 10-15 times a year for business, and that's likely going to continue for 5 years. Right now I'm in Sac, and just rec'd a message that due to ATC my flight to SFO tomorrow evening is cancelled, and I'm re-routed thru LAX, getting to SEA at 2346, which makes it damned hard to get a ferry home. So why do I keep putting up w this, when I could be on AS or WN, non-stop? Psychological counseling is welcome :
Get UA to rebook you on AS due to the IRROP.
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Old Aug 1, 14, 1:49 pm
  #10  
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As this thread involves SMF (Sacramento) and flying airlines other than United, I'm moving this thread to the California forum. Please continue the discussion there.

Thanks

goalie
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Old Aug 1, 14, 2:33 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by COSPILOT View Post
What about splitting your travel with SWA for domestic and a legacy for international?.
Exactly what I have done also with SMF as nearest airport. Works well. The free rebooking/cancel is a great perk.

To the OP I would stick with *A for INtL for the Gold benefits of 2MM (and I think Plat on UA?).

The main reason to combine all on one is if you need the miles for status. Lifetime status renders that moot

The other would be for domestic upgrades. I decided free WiFi and no penalties on WN trumped the chance to get an upgrade now and then.

The last remaining benefit of UA at SMF is being in a ghost town Terminal A and closest to the garage...
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Old Aug 10, 14, 9:05 pm
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Originally Posted by uastarflyer View Post
The last remaining benefit of UA at SMF is being in a ghost town Terminal A and closest to the garage...
Heh, this is why I've moved a lot of my SMF flying to US from WN. Count me as not a fan of the new terminal.
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