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Road Warrior splitting between two airline rewards

Road Warrior splitting between two airline rewards

Old Apr 10, 13, 10:59 am
  #1  
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Road Warrior splitting between two airline rewards

I've been flying every week from SFO to CHI for work and have been using United for the most part for its Star Alliance network and since I'm currently silver status (which isn't much). However, I'm also an Southwest a-list member and have been booking flights when UA is outrageously more expensive on a given flight (15% of my travel this year). Question to veteran road warriors - is travelling two airlines something you guys/gals typically do for flexibility, cost, or other reasons? I'm not paying for my flights but when I see something that's half the cost, I can't help it but to go with the lower cost carrier. The pros I see is that I can gain mid tier statuses on both airlines but the con is that I'd never make it to 1K on United.

As a side question, how does UA get away with almost charging double over AA, Virgin, and Southwest for SFO - ORD during similar flight schedules?
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Old Apr 10, 13, 11:40 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by traderhen View Post
I'm not paying for my flights but when I see something that's half the cost, I can't help it but to go with the lower cost carrier.
Kudos to you. ^

Far too many people ignore that aspect of the situation.
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Old Apr 10, 13, 12:05 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Kudos to you. ^

Far too many people ignore that aspect of the situation.
I can see both sides. If OP was going on longhaul flights for work, it might be worth taking UA, even if more expensive, to get status and upgrades on the longhauls. But as it's just to CHI, might as well take WN if it's that much cheaper.

I would re-evaluate if you knew you would make 1K and were going on longhauls.
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Old Apr 10, 13, 12:12 pm
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Welcome to FT, OP.

Originally Posted by traderhen View Post
Question to veteran road warriors - is travelling two airlines something you guys/gals typically do for flexibility, cost, or other reasons?
It depends on the travel patterns. But if I were you, I would have all-in to a single program instead.

I assume you qualify by PQS. In that case, you will have at least a AA PLT/UA 1P/WN A List Preferred. You will get more benefits from spitting.

Originally Posted by traderhen View Post
As a side question, how does UA get away with almost charging double over AA, Virgin, and Southwest for SFO - ORD during similar flight schedules?
Network and award.
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Old Apr 10, 13, 2:45 pm
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Road Warrior splitting between two airline rewards

For the exact same reason UA is my primary and SW is secondary. Same with hotels, IC primary, Best Western secondary. Sometimes the price gap is worth choosing #2.
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Old Apr 10, 13, 3:10 pm
  #6  
 
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I split between UA and AA...more emphasis on UA...for several reasons. My focus is on accumulating miles, not achieve status. I'm sorry...I can already hear the gasps among most of you and probably deservedly so. My wife and I are into quantity of trips vs. quality. Now with one-way award bookings available, we do that a lot depending on schedules.

We are flying next week SNA-LHR via UA and returning on AA. Not only a better schedule on the return, but snagged some off-peak AA seats for far fewer miles. We're doing the same in the fall...LAX-LIH on UA and AA return...better schedule and availability.

I still like UA better overall...better award seat availability generally. I also like E+ option. I've been pretty lucky with AA, but feel availability is not quite up to UA at this time. I'm hoping it'll improve once the merger is completed.
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Old Apr 11, 13, 8:55 am
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I'm more of a 'newbie' road warrior, and even though I fly out from DCA (US Hub), I put everything on United for superior award booking even though *Silver is essentially useless on US. (If I need C/F, I'll use instruments or simply pay for it)
As long as I have an exit-row or bulkhead, I don't mind coach.

I have taxi-ed out to BWI to use a $100 Southwest fare vs $800 on US via DCA - I see saving ~$600 is worth losing an hour of my time and <1,000 miles. Even though it is $600 of 'company money'.

Originally Posted by traderhen View Post
As a side question, how does UA get away with almost charging double over AA, Virgin, and Southwest for SFO - ORD during similar flight schedules?
I may be mistaken, but I believe hub-to-hub flights are generally more expensive as the cheaper fare buckets are used by passengers on connecting/positioning flights.
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