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Booking reward tickets through sapphire points (UR)_

Booking reward tickets through sapphire points (UR)_

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Old Aug 7, 15, 8:04 pm
  #1  
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Booking reward tickets through sapphire points (UR)_

Looking to book 2 business class seats for SFO-NRT-HKG-SFO. I checked through united, korean, BA, and SQ and this is what I ended up with. We are 2 adults and 1 infant.

It seems that transferring my points to UA and flying through SA partner may be the best route. Flying on UA metal uses a bit less miles but I get charged the 10% infant fee. Flying with a partner uses a bit more miles(60k vs 75k) and it seems like no infant fee. i may be mistaken, but from pricing one way awards, i only see the infant fee on UA metal.

So total trip cost will be 320k miles and about ~$150 in fees. I just searched through awardnexus as well and not much different. Am i missing any other options? Any way this could cost less? Any pointers would be great.

Travel is in mid march and return in april. weekday travel.

sfo-yzr-nrt
AC1845 and AC3

hnd-hkg
NH859

hkg-icn-sfo
AI310 or OZ746 or OZ750 and OZ212
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Old Aug 7, 15, 9:20 pm
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I wouldn't be too sure about the lack of 10% infant fee on partner airlines. I believe the majority of airlines assess the fee for a lap infant.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 9:43 pm
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United will collect the 10% fee no matter which airline you fly on, I'm pretty certain. BA charges 10% of miles, so it may be worth evaluating the higher mileage cost with BA. Particularly for the SFO-TYO segment, which BA charges 75K for J, not much more than UA. HKG-SFO is 105K, but it is direct. UA may win that one even with the 10% infant fee.

http://mommypoints.boardingarea.com/...h-lap-infants/
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Old Aug 7, 15, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by dukerau
United will collect the 10% fee no matter which airline you fly on, I'm pretty certain. BA charges 10% of miles, so it may be worth evaluating the higher mileage cost with BA. Particularly for the SFO-TYO segment, which BA charges 75K for J, not much more than UA. HKG-SFO is 105K, but it is direct. UA may win that one even with the 10% infant fee.

http://mommypoints.boardingarea.com/...h-lap-infants/
And doesn't Mileage Plus offer a free stopover on an SFO-TYO-HKG-SFO itinerary? With BA Avios, you must pay for every flight flown. Also, there will be some surcharges when redeeming Avios on JL and CX; no surcharge ever when redeeming UA miles.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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And doesn't Mileage Plus offer a free stopover on an SFO-TYO-HKG-SFO itinerary? With BA Avios, you must pay for every flight flown. Also, there will be some surcharges when redeeming Avios on JL and CX; no surcharge ever when redeeming UA miles.
Yes, all valid points, though surcharges on CX and JL are very low. Just pointing out it's worth comparing. Could be looking at $1,000 (more?) in infant fee with UA miles.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 11:48 pm
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so i miscalculated earlier. when checking fees and all, it did not count my lap child. after rechecking everything, booking through UA will cost be about ~$800 in taxes and child fees. this includes my stopover as well.

I tried to work with Avios, but its a bit weird. Will give it another shot.
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Old Aug 8, 15, 12:32 am
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Originally Posted by just_me_13
so i miscalculated earlier. when checking fees and all, it did not count my lap child. after rechecking everything, booking through UA will cost be about ~$800 in taxes and child fees. this includes my stopover as well.

I tried to work with Avios, but its a bit weird. Will give it another shot.
BAEC would cost 100K more UR points (converted to Avios) for the two adults and one infant, plus at least a couple of hundred dollars in taxes and surcharges. 100K UR points are worth a lot more than what you'd be saving in cash by redeeming Avios for this trip.
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Old Aug 8, 15, 8:21 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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BAEC would cost 100K more UR points (converted to Avios) for the two adults and one infant, plus at least a couple of hundred dollars in taxes and surcharges. 100K UR points are worth a lot more than what you'd be saving in cash by redeeming Avios for this trip.
Agreed. If taxes, fees, and infant fee total $800, UA is the winner easily.
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Old Aug 8, 15, 12:26 pm
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thanks for the tips folks. i think going through UA it is.
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Old Aug 9, 15, 3:26 pm
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another question, what happens if i need to cancel the trip? do i pay a penalty with reward redemption travel? what happens to the taxes and fees i pay?

thanks again
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Old Aug 9, 15, 11:19 pm
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Follow up:

After reading more threads, I started to dig more into SQ/Kris Flyer. I found with the 15% off when redeeming online, i was able to come out a bit ahead and have less flights and a better carrier.

SFO-LAX-NRT SQ, 131,750 miles for 2
NRT-HKG CX, 42k miles?
HKG-SFO SQ, 127,500 miles for 2

Comes out to 259,250 miles for 2 pax on 2/3 legs of the trip.

What I am confused is with the CX leg through Avios. Avios quoted 42k miles for my search criteria of business and 2 pax. Does the number they show a representative for both pax or is that each? If it is total, this may be a better way to go thanmy original plan. Still need to figure out the fees.

Thoughts and thanks again



Last edited by just_me_13; Aug 9, 15 at 11:26 pm Reason: moving pictures to the bottome
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Old Aug 9, 15, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by just_me_13
Follow up:

After reading more threads, I started to dig more into SQ/Kris Flyer. I found with the 15% off when redeeming online, i was able to come out a bit ahead and have less flights and a better carrier.

SFO-LAX-NRT SQ, 131,750 miles for 2
NRT-HKG CX, 42k miles?
HKG-SFO SQ, 127,500 miles for 2

Comes out to 259,250 miles for 2 pax on 2/3 legs of the trip.

What I am confused is with the CX leg through Avios. Avios quoted 42k miles for my search criteria of business and 2 pax. Does the number they show a representative for both pax or is that each? If it is total, this may be a better way to go thanmy original plan. Still need to figure out the fees.

Thoughts and thanks again
BAEC charges 10% of the adult-ticket Avios for a lap infant. So 42K Avios is the charges for two adults and one lap infant for the NRT-HKG nonstop in Business (20K + 20K + 2K).

Last edited by beckoa; Aug 10, 15 at 2:09 am Reason: removed image
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Old Aug 10, 15, 9:39 am
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thanks guv1976.

Just wanted to confirm that. Did not want to assume and get caught in a jam.

I think this itinerary works better than what I had planned with united. 1 less connection and flying on 2 of the better carriers around. I save a few miles as well. Now I just need to confirm fees and determine what happens in a refund scenario.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 11:48 am
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"Now I just need to confirm fees and determine what happens in a refund scenario"

Don't know about SQ, but with BAEC, current policy is that if the cancellation fees exceed the cash component of the reward redemption, you will merely forfeit the cash component ($89 in your case). BAEC does not make any additional collection in the case of reward flight cancellations.
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Old Aug 10, 15, 12:25 pm
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With BA search, since it always tells you how many seats are available, you dont need to put in more than 1 traveler in your search. This way you get an easier read on how much it costs PER traveler than trying to do the math if you are not good at it nor understand it.

The taxes and fee are shown when you select the flight. And you can go to the booking page then click the ? to get the detailed breakdown of the taxes and fees.

SQ has a very reasonable change / cancellation fee, but SQ charges YQ on award tickets. The YQ is the same as the pay ticket so you could find out how much by doing an IATA search.

BA as guv1976 points out, if you change / cancel ONLINE, you pay the less of the 2 between the cash you paid before and the $40 fee.

Always do the math to see if a cancellation actually works out better than a change when it comes to "lose" the previously paid cash portion. If the previously paid cash portion is a low number, you would be better off to outright cancel and rebook.
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