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Illogical Itineraries Dog FFs?

Illogical Itineraries Dog FFs?

Old Jan 6, 99, 2:29 pm
  #1  
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Illogical Itineraries Dog FFs?

Been thinking about this for a while.

I recently actually considered flying to Tampa from Houston via Chicago in order to stay within United routes. Instead, I flew non-stop via Continental. As a result, I was feeling ever so smugly rational until I realized I missed making Premier Exec on United by just about the same number of miles I would have gained on the IAH-ORD-TPA route.

So, I've been pondering the irrationalities inherent in being a sensible Frequent Flyer . . . figuring out the 'right' course turns out to be tres complex. For me, it's very much in the same vein as coming up with perfect rejoinder two days after a provocative comment. With frequent flying, I'm most likely to determine the wisest choice after having initiated the least personally advantageous course.

Perusal of this board seems to demonstrate great collective acumen on determining the 'most advantageous' course -- any chance y'all FF gurus will share your tips, tactics, strategies . . . ?

Cheers,
KatW
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Old Jan 6, 99, 3:15 pm
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pgupta011
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Is this a fishing expedition?
I looked on United connection to get an itinerary from IAH to TPA. It did not list any connection though ORD (nor did it list any itinerary which included solely United flights).
 
Old Jan 6, 99, 3:22 pm
  #3  
pgupta011
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If its tips, strategies etc. you are looking for, you may want to consider reading the existing postings (you may have to set your settings to read more than the default of 20 days of postings).
 
Old Jan 6, 99, 3:58 pm
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pgupta011 -- Nope, not a fishing expedition. A genuine query from a genuine FlyerTalker. I expect we've all had our consciousness reaised recently in this regard and that way explain your reaction.

The way you'd book this is IAH to ORD, then ORD to TPA; you wouldn't ask a search engine to do something as illogical as route one through Chicago to go to Tampa from Houston.

Oh well,
KatW

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Old Jan 6, 99, 4:08 pm
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If you're looking for segments and don't really care how long it takes, you could do a lot of imaginative things with the IAH to TPA itinerary. Like, on Delta: IAH-DFW-IAD-ORD-CVG-DFW-ATL-TPA. You could probably even do better.
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Old Jan 6, 99, 4:22 pm
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Ok, then accept my apologies KatW. But doing it this way more than doubles the fare, which is not something that I would do. It is probably wothwhile considering on international flights where one has to go through a hub, sometimes the choice of which hub to connect through makes a difference in the miles and does not affect the price.
 
Old Jan 6, 99, 4:35 pm
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Here's the deal, though:

I think it may have been worthwhile to spend the extra bucks (especially if I could use miles to upgrade) in order to get miles sufficient to qualify for United's Premier Executive program. I currently am Premier status lacking a mere 2K miles for the 50K necessary for Executed Premier.

The input I'd like from this forum has to do with value received . . . maybe it makes sense to go out of my way and spend a bit more in order to qualify for better FF status. I expect most programs have different levels so, although United is on interest in my particular case, I'm interested in the input of all.

Thanks,
KatW
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Old Jan 6, 99, 6:13 pm
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Judging from my previous encounters with you, KatW, you, like me, have simple tastes: you like the best...

I know that you're not on a student's budget, and that you like to travel in comfort, so your retrospective self-assessment may be right: in your case it may have been better to spent the extra time and money in order to gain PremEx benefits for the coming year.

However, I am not a United ff, so perhaps others can shed light on the relative benefits of PremEx vs Premier, and whether it truly would have been worth it. Since you are interested in all airlines, I can say that getting elite (i.e. Silver vs Blue) membership on British Airways is *definitely* worth it - easy check-in, lounge access and discretionary upgrades being the big carrots in terms of comfort (there is also mileage bonus, etc)
Of course, the higher up the elite ladder you go on any airline, the better things get, but in my opinion, leaping that first hurdle away from the common horde is well worth doing...
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Old Jan 6, 99, 6:15 pm
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PS - pgupta - I can vouch for KatW being real. Though she may read more than she posts on the Buzz, she contributed to a spirited discussion about Virgin some time ago, and had Merry rolling over and purring like a pussycat.
She could be dangerous... but I think that we converted her to the BA faith!

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Old Jan 6, 99, 6:51 pm
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Once again my apologies for not taking her seriously.

I fly United, in my opinion there is a significant difference between premier and premier executive. Premier gives 25% bonus and premier executive gives 100% bonus. So if you are flying a lot next year, that is a difference of 37,500 bonus miles on the first 50,000 miles. Also upgrade situation is better with PE, and in general airlines will give better perks the higher you are in the elite chain. Similarly between PE and 1K, there is a significant difference. I would be willing to pay a little more to get to the next level. If you have some spare time, consider an extra vacation towards the end of the year (flights to Europe offer a good ratio of flight miles/airline ticket cost if one shops carefuly). If you do not have spare time, then adding an illogical itinerary in such a situation as KatW describes makes sense.

I have always advised that one should try to maximize their flight arrangements with one airline. Forget what anyone tells you about alliances, partnerships etc. Stick to one airline (and not its partners/allies) as much as possible. If you are flying internatonal, try to maximize your flights with your main carrier, take the transatlantic or transpacific route with them and then connect on shorter partner routes (rather than take the longer flight on a partner).
 
Old Jan 6, 99, 7:16 pm
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kat, you are absolutely right. my favorite one that I do is...I work in TPA, and have a house in Arlington Heights, IL (NW suburb of CHI about 11 miles from ORD, 80 miles to MKE). I travel there about once every 3 weeks or so. The 14 day fares to ORD are about equal to the 7 day fares to MKE, even with the connection. I frequently end up (on UA) going through ORD to MKE (adds about 2 hours to the trip, but 2 more segments/1000 miles etc etc, but rental cars are cheaper there too). Second was a trip I took earlier this year--TPA/AMS through ORD and FRA on the way out, FRA and IAD on the way back. Got extra miles (on LH), got to fly a new kind of aircraft that I'd never been on, and got a super fare. So there are lots of reasons to take weird routings.
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Old Jan 7, 99, 9:26 am
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Kat's story is valid. As mostly a short-hopper myself, I relish the chance to rack up miles. I've done IAD-ORD-DFW, IAD-DEN-MCI, IAD-DEN-San Antonio and, my personal favorite, IAD-ORD-MCO!!!!

But nothing will beat (in terms of racking up points and suffering for UA loyalty) as my March San Juan. Evening flight IAD-ORD, overnight at ORD (at my own expense) then 7am ORD-San Juan. Call me nuts, but somehow staying on UA and racking up the over-4,000 (RT) miles seems like its worth it to me...
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Old Jan 7, 99, 9:59 am
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Matt: instead of your Port, let's have a Rum (either at the Baccardi-site or at some small distilleri) and in the evenings at the /Mallorquin" in Old San Juan a "Planters Punch".
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Old Jan 7, 99, 1:07 pm
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I'm with Matt and everyone else. Even though I can fly CO direct to many places in the U-S, I prefer to take UA and get my PremEx status (even if it means changing planes once or twice.)

And if I have to pay a few extra dollars to put a lot of miles away from special trips (Like November's Party and Paradise) then in the long run TO ME it's worth it.

While UA recently tested my loyality (read the DFW-ORE-EWR post under UNITED) it's still my preferred airline and I will alwasy go to them first for fares. CATMAN
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Old Jan 7, 99, 2:03 pm
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KatW ... try calling UA and explain your story, especially if you plan to do a lot more UA flights this year. They may give you the status anyway even though you are a few miles short.

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