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Using Chase UR to travel to Asia [Consolidated]

Using Chase UR to travel to Asia [Consolidated]

Old Feb 3, 14, 2:46 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
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Using Chase UR to travel to Asia [Consolidated]

I'm new to Flyertalk and had a question about planning my trip. I recently got my Chase Freedom/Sapphire Preferred Combo and should be racking up the sign on bonus (60000) + around 10000 UR points in the next few months. I also have around 18,000 United Mileage Plus miles, and around 52,000 Delta Skymiles.

I am going to India at the end of the year with a stopover in the Middle East, and I was wondering what the most optimal way to plan my trip would be? I know the United Mileage Plus miles have been devalued and even economy seats to this area have been affected. Also, I know there is no direct UR -> Skymiles conversion, so I may just use up the Skymiles for some domestic travel.

Can anyone provide good suggestions regarding optimal use of my UR points and miles? I can probably sign up for one more card after 3 months, but I am not sure if the bonus on that will kick-in in time to book my trip. I would obviously prefer to travel in business class, at least one way, but if that is not possible coach is also fine. I just want a good bang for my buck (cent/mile).

Any replies will be great! Thanks
Dominator7 is offline  
Old Feb 3, 14, 6:35 pm
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It looks like United is your best transfer partner option, with the 18K in hand, even after the devaluation. The SkyMiles are tough because Delta doesn't let you book one-way awards, and 52K is not enough for a TATL or TPAC round trip. However, if you can only price things out to work in economy, you may be better off with an advance purchase bargain-basement paid fare rather than award travel. You could then use the UR for some free hotel nights, for example.

No matter what, you're going to be better off flying awards on United metal when possible, because of the devaluation. The price increase in coach to fly on partner metal is modest, but business or first can be astronomical.

Here are some questions to answer first:
What is the nature of your stopover in the Middle East?

Can you commit to plans early enough to look out for fares like these >> http://www.theflightdeal.com/?s=india ?
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Old Feb 3, 14, 7:07 pm
  #3  
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I will stop over in the Middle East for a couple of weeks and will be in India for a couple of weeks before returning back to the U.S. The website you pointed out was very good by the way - I'll definitely bookmark it. However, I was really hoping to score a free ticket. In fact, I was hoping to get the United Explorer card, and try to score a Business class on a Lufthansa A380 for the trip. That all seems like a distant dream after the devaluation.
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Old Feb 4, 14, 2:14 pm
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jmw
 
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The award ticket is not completely free. You have to pay taxes on it and they can be substantial. Try some sample award bookings on UA to see the taxes. With a good cash fare in economy, you get the miles as well if properly credited to the right frequent flyer program. LH J seats with the new UA award chart is absurdly expensive.

Skypesos can be good for domestic if one of your destinations is at a Delta hub city since you can get an extra stop for a standard 25k roundtrip. Good luck actually finding a seat though.
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Old Feb 6, 14, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by jmw View Post
The award ticket is not completely free. You have to pay taxes on it and they can be substantial. Try some sample award bookings on UA to see the taxes. With a good cash fare in economy, you get the miles as well if properly credited to the right frequent flyer program. LH J seats with the new UA award chart is absurdly expensive.

Skypesos can be good for domestic if one of your destinations is at a Delta hub city since you can get an extra stop for a standard 25k roundtrip. Good luck actually finding a seat though.
Taxes on UA awards are minimal
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Old Feb 7, 14, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by jmw View Post
The award ticket is not completely free. You have to pay taxes on it and they can be substantial. Try some sample award bookings on UA to see the taxes. With a good cash fare in economy, you get the miles as well if properly credited to the right frequent flyer program. LH J seats with the new UA award chart is absurdly expensive.

Skypesos can be good for domestic if one of your destinations is at a Delta hub city since you can get an extra stop for a standard 25k roundtrip. Good luck actually finding a seat though.
+1
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Old Feb 7, 14, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by Dominator7 View Post
I will stop over in the Middle East for a couple of weeks and will be in India for a couple of weeks before returning back to the U.S. The website you pointed out was very good by the way - I'll definitely bookmark it. However, I was really hoping to score a free ticket. In fact, I was hoping to get the United Explorer card, and try to score a Business class on a Lufthansa A380 for the trip. That all seems like a distant dream after the devaluation.
Probably for the best since business class on the LH A380 is horrendous.
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Old Feb 16, 14, 9:14 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thailand on UR points...Help!

I was hoping to get some help on routings from Cleveland to Thailand August 11-August 23 using Chase Ultimate Reward points. It used to cost 65k points through United but post deval its about 80k. I was waiting on some points to post so I couldn't take advantage of the lower rates. This is for my Honeymoon and fiance really wants to go to Thailand (Phuket). Any help/suggestions would be apprecciated! I have about 73k UR points and she has around 60k...

LukeRoz
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Old Feb 16, 14, 11:07 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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There are a lot of ways to get to Thailand from US using UR points. I recently booked IAH-PEK-BKK over this upcoming New Years. I found that Air China has a lot of award availability. I used the United tool to do my searches.

-Bryan
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Old Feb 16, 14, 12:51 pm
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Definitely use United's website to search for availability. Air China and Thai Airways will be good bets! Might be worth a look at Korean Air's award chart as well!

Sounds like a great trip!
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Old Feb 16, 14, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by LukeRoz View Post
I was hoping to get some help on routings from Cleveland to Thailand August 11-August 23 using Chase Ultimate Reward points. It used to cost 65k points through United but post deval its about 80k. I was waiting on some points to post so I couldn't take advantage of the lower rates. This is for my Honeymoon and fiance really wants to go to Thailand (Phuket). Any help/suggestions would be apprecciated! I have about 73k UR points and she has around 60k...

LukeRoz
I suggest also using ANA's website to find star alliance availability. It may show airlines and/or routings that United will miss. Then you can book the trip with United miles (this is probably your best option)

Korean Air might be an option if you could book an award from Chicago to Seoul to Bangkok. You'd probably have to buy a ticket from Cleveland to Chicago to start that trip.

Another possibility might be British Airways Avios. You can use their own website to find availability on one-world and see the cost. I'm not sure how many avios it would take to complete your trip; their award prices are distance-based.
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Old Feb 16, 14, 4:33 pm
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Using Avios to get to BKK will cost you significantly in fuel surcharges.

We are heading back to BKK in a couple weeks and it will be our 5th trip in 13 months. Just remember that UA will not show you all possibilities, but does a pretty good idea and we have always been able to find availabilty in dates we want. We usually fly TPAC on the way over and TATL in the way home. UA lets you route about anywhere as long as you stay under 4 connections in each direction. You may have to piece it together and call to get ticketed...I always do, but mine are often more than the multiple city search can handle. Here's our March trip:
SPI-ORD-PVG-BKK, BKK-FRA-ORD, ORD-IAH-GUA-FRS
Remember that you can have an OJ and a Stopover on a RT UA award. We are getting a free OW to see Tikal in May all for only 65k, well now it would cost 80k.
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Old Feb 16, 14, 4:55 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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So if i found flights that word work with Korea Air and Asiana Air, where do i go through to book? Pretty much all my miles are still in UR Points....

THanks again!
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Old Feb 17, 14, 9:18 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Just a quick update:

Thanks for all of the help! I eventually booked through United online and was able to put together an itinerary for 70k miles and $78. Although the first day of travel is rough (very limited saver award options) I am pretty happy that i was able to find routes back home in our miles price range. Here is how it looks....CLE-YYZ-PEK-HKT...and for the return....HKT-BKK-NRT-ORD-CLE...For only my second award booking i think i did ok....any thoughts?
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Old Feb 17, 14, 12:23 pm
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Originally Posted by LukeRoz View Post
Just a quick update:

Thanks for all of the help! I eventually booked through United online and was able to put together an itinerary for 70k miles and $78. Although the first day of travel is rough (very limited saver award options) I am pretty happy that i was able to find routes back home in our miles price range. Here is how it looks....CLE-YYZ-PEK-HKT...and for the return....HKT-BKK-NRT-ORD-CLE...For only my second award booking i think i did ok....any thoughts?
sounds about right, i had booked our phuket trip for last december via united before the deval . we had several connections that i had to piece together . we went IAH->LHR->BKK->HKT...for the return it was bit more connections..HKT->BKK->HKG->PEK ( stayed in beijing for two days), PEK->JFK then IAH...was a long trip back but thats what ya gotta do when u book on points !

August will be rainy season, but don't let that scare you, hopefully not alot of rain. we honeymooned in phuket in July and it wasn't rainy at all, just some rain at night..august might be a bit more.

enjoy and have fun !
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