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Paid Business Class EWR-HKG-SIN-EWR - best way to go for Star Alliance miles?

Paid Business Class EWR-HKG-SIN-EWR - best way to go for Star Alliance miles?

Old Nov 19, 2018, 7:20 pm
  #1  
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Paid Business Class EWR-HKG-SIN-EWR - best way to go for Star Alliance miles?

Thanks in advance for suggestions. Looking to book Newark to Hong Kong and returning from Singapore. Will be paying for ticket (i know, its crazy expensive). For once, cost is not the key factor...... goal is to earn a ton of United miles AND to have one hell of an amazing flight. So probably do NOT want to fly United. Coming home, i think we shohld try and use Singapore Airlines. But going there seems to have limited options.....would love to fly Cathay Pacific or ANA or Thai Airlines to experience their phenomenal reputation and service. Willing to fly to Bangkok or Japan or somewhere enroute to be able to use one of those carriers. I have zero experience with Asian carriers......advice or suggestions for this once in a lifetime splurge?!?
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Old Nov 20, 2018, 5:37 am
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Cathy Pacific is OneWorld, so you'll have to rule them out if you want to earn *A points.

From EWR, the flight to NRT is on UA, I believe. Thai don't fly to the U.S. anymore. You could go from JFK to NRT on NH, then continue to HKG, then take SQ from HKG-SIN-EWR.

Or just make it an all SQ affair and go EWR-SIN-HKG-SIN-EWR all on SQ.
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Old Nov 20, 2018, 9:31 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Trvel4fun
goal is to earn a ton of United miles AND to have one hell of an amazing flight
If you want to earn lots of UA miles, your options are basically limited to UA, NH (ANA), or AC. Or you could fly LH/LX via Europe, but neither of those products are materially better overall than UA's IMO. Fly any other Star Alliance carrier and the mileage earnings on UA will be considerably lower. You should start by looking at the UA mileage accrual charts to get a sense of how mileage is awarded on partner flights.

If you fly via either UA or NH via NRT, watch the aircraft type for the connecting flight to HKG/SIN. Avoid the NH 767 and 788, as they do not have lie-flats.

If you're just interested in best combination of convenience and flight quality, forget the mileage earnings, you might consider BR (Eva). SQ is also a good choice, but be aware the business class seat on the 350 they fly EWR-SIN has some serious shortcomings, and is particularly disliked by tall passengers.

Last edited by Kacee; Nov 20, 2018 at 10:15 am Reason: added AC
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Old Nov 21, 2018, 7:11 pm
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I second the above poster that you might want to look at flying BR via TPE, however you'll forego a lot of bonus miles if crediting to Mileage Plus.

Frankly if it were myself, I'd be using UA via NRT and NH or SQ between NRT and HKG/SIN. The new 777-300ER used on EWR-NRT is a really nice plane up front. United's service isn't going to knock your socks off anytime soon, but it's not bad and frankly I don't find NH's biz class service so much better that I'd go out to JFK and take them instead. Also UA's seat is better on the 77W (777-300ER), just don't take the direct UA flight SIN-SFO on your return, it's the old seat on the 787, which is comfortable but not the experience you're looking for, instead take NH back to NRT and UA from there back to EWR.

If you plate all of this on 016 ticket stock (United's) then you'd get a multiplier of the dollars spent for your mileage earning up to 75,000 miles (capped), that's going to be the way to earn the highest number of miles out of your trip. Do you have any United status now at all? Your earning multiplier changes based on the status level, this trip alone should put you close to Premier Gold if you are starting from zero and you stick to only UA and NH metal.
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Old Nov 21, 2018, 7:38 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by dvs7310
Frankly if it were myself, I'd be using UA via NRT and NH or SQ between NRT and HKG/SIN. The new 777-300ER used on EWR-NRT is a really nice plane up front. United's service isn't going to knock your socks off anytime soon, but it's not bad and frankly I don't find NH's biz class service so much better that I'd go out to JFK and take them instead. Also UA's seat is better on the 77W (777-300ER), just don't take the direct UA flight SIN-SFO on your return, it's the old seat on the 787, which is comfortable but not the experience you're looking for, instead take NH back to NRT and UA from there back to EWR.
I basically agree with this. Fly UA/NH if you want lots of miles, or fly BR or SQ if you want a 5* experience. If you fly UA, pick a 77W route for the Polaris seat.

I've had long-haul segments this year on UA, BR, SQ, NH, CX, CI, and KE. IMO UA's 77W is competitive with those carriers when you consider all factors, including the Polaris lounges. SQ has great service and AVOD, but the seat is very hard. BR has excellent service and a good seat but the food is not great and the TPE lounges suck. NH has good food and a nice mattress pad but service I found very impersonal. CX is still very good overall, but the J cabin is understaffed and service was slow.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 7:44 am
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Unless I was interested in nothing but miles Id fly UA. Otherwise Id avoid them completely. Polaris seats are good - food, service and everything else - bad.

I would go with NH or SQ. Both are fantastic. Id avoid SQ if your tall 510-ish or taller... in this case Im glad Im not. The angled footrest isnt the best. Otherwise its a awesome experience.

The Polaris Lounge is nice. But you can visit it flying any of those airlines in J. Otherwise the Virgin Club lounge in B that SQ uses is great as well. Polaris maybe slightly better space and bigger menu. But Virgin does very well especially on the cocktails!

In short unless its miles above everything and youre not too tall - SQ. Otherwise NH. With earning miles & experience being key criteria.

Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Nov 22, 2018 at 7:51 am
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 10:45 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn
Unless I was interested in nothing but miles Id fly UA. Otherwise Id avoid them completely. Polaris seats are good - food, service and everything else - bad.
How many long haul UA flights do you have in the past 12 months?
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 1:41 pm
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At least 1 in J and around 5-8 in Y every year for the last 5 years... BOM-EWR-BOM. And about 20-30 in UA DOM Y with maybe 3-4 in J every year.

I suck it up for *G and non-stop long haul flights.

And I know a lot of frequent UA travelers like UA. I think they suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome! (Let the bashing begin!)

The only thing I find great about UA is MP. But there’s a good reason for UA being last in every worthwhile customer satisfaction surrvey even amongst US3. And there’s a good reason why SQ tops them everytime.

Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Nov 22, 2018 at 1:49 pm
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 1:51 pm
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I ask because I really don't agree UA is so much worse. I have six Polaris flights in 2018, and at least twice that number on other carriers. IMO UA's food ranges from okay to very good, and is certainly better than BR. The Polaris seat is considerably better than SQ's (and more private than BR or CX). The service can be inconsistent, but I run about 50-50 between good crews and excellent crews. I haven't had a "bad" international crew in years and years (though I did have one on my last BR flight, and service was extremely slow on CX due to understaffing). The one area where UA falls way behind the Asian carriers is keeping the lav clean.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 2:02 pm
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Never flown BR so I can’t compare. Also I’ve never faced too much of a problem with the SQ seats... somehow I don’t find them uncomfortable in padding or length. Length mostly because I got bulkheads thanks to my infant. But I’ve tried the others and managed to sleep in those as well.

I can talk about SQ and NH... and in my experience they are consistently excellent. I can’t remember when I had a wine glass 3/4th empty for more than a couple of minutes without SQ ladies running up to top it up. The SQ BTC menu and NH’s Japanese menus are usually great. And if I don’t like my BTC choice or find the inflight menu to be more interesting I just ask for it. And I’m rarely disappointed.

I’ve not flown other long haul routes on UA... maybe they are for some reason better. But why is UA ranked so low even among US carriers.... forget about competing globally.

I can say UA - excellent IT & FFP. But I never recommend UA to someone looking for a great experience.

Last edited by PiperAtGatesofDawn; Nov 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 2:09 pm
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Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn
I never recommend UA to someone looking for a great experience.


Well it kind of depends on what's most important. If you value seat over all else, UA (with Polaris seat) is a solid choice. If you want top shelf wine and liquor, I agree you'll do better on the Asian carriers.

But I'm not sure anyone offers a consistently "great experience" in J these days (though I've not flown QR). You need to fly F for that.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 2:24 pm
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Yups... agree the NEW Polaris seat is good. But UA calls everything Polaris and they haven’t changed all of them as yet or hadn’t for a very long time.

Seat is one consideration for sure on a long haul. But food, service, addressing you by your name, going out of the way to do little things for you etc. does make for an overall great experience. Sure none of them are perfect. But overall SQ and NH does come pretty darn close. And I’m not saying the experience is as good as F. It isn’t. But it’s by far the best among all Js and yes consistently good.

Have you been disappointed with a lot of SQ flights you’ve taken apart from the seat?

And QR service is quite ordinary as is the food. The QSuites and Al Mourjan are very very good.
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Old Nov 22, 2018, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn
Have you been disappointed with a lot of SQ flights you’ve taken apart from the seat?
SQ Suites SIN-HKG earlier this year was perhaps the best service I've ever experienced. I had two long haul J this month, and one was better than other. It didn't help being in row 12, right behind PPS, on SQ1. They got fawned over, I got very rushed service that was borderline second rate. Several shorter SQ/MI segments this year, service was very good on all.

Overall I enjoy flying SQ, but I find the J seat very hard. They really need a mattress pad.

Last edited by Kacee; Nov 23, 2018 at 2:07 am Reason: clarifying all flights this year
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Old Nov 23, 2018, 4:57 am
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See... consistently excellent. Just avoid those damn PPS types! And waaaayyyyyy better than UA.
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Old Dec 5, 2018, 5:40 pm
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Interesting discussion. I had forgotten about the 75,000 max earnings on UA. We are planning a *A first RTW trip ( I know, call us crazy ) and want to try SQ 380, Thai F, LH 747-8 and 380 plus FRA FCT and Private Club in SIN. Can we assign different flights to other programs so as to maximize our earnings beyond the 75,000? Ticket will be by UA stock 016. Thanks for any input
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