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Is it me or is it pointless to collect miles?

Is it me or is it pointless to collect miles?

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Old Jan 13, 19, 2:49 pm
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Is it me or is it pointless to collect miles?

I've got 270,000 UR points, which I thought would be good for something. Turns out, they are almost good for a single business class round trip ticket to Europe this summer, plus $600. I know that I don't know much about hunting around for award flights, and that airlines probably deliberately make it difficult to do so, but this seems like a case of "what's the point". Not very useful for a couple wanting to get a couple of business class fares. Am I missing something? Or did I just have unrealistic expectations?
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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:04 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I've got 270,000 UR points, which I thought would be good for something. Turns out, they are almost good for a single business class round trip ticket to Europe this summer, plus $600. I know that I don't know much about hunting around for award flights, and that airlines probably deliberately make it difficult to do so, but this seems like a case of "what's the point". Not very useful for a couple wanting to get a couple of business class fares. Am I missing something? Or did I just have unrealistic expectations?
It's you.

Seriously, trying to get premium-cabin seats on certain routes during high-demand seasons is often challenging.

You'll want to avoid redeeming through British Airways because of their hefty carrier surcharges. But Iberia -- which is also a UR transfer partner -- has more modest surcharges when you travel on IB metal. Have you checked availability with IB?
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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:11 pm
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My personal opinion is that since I only fly for leisure, I am not going to fly enough to get a lot of point redemptions. When I get them I enjoy them. But I am not choosing the carrier for that reason. But I am going to use them when I can. Collect them? Not really.

I don't fly enough to get status. My AA Platinum was an anomaly, and I am going to free fall to no status at the end of this month.

I get a lot more out of hotel points and hotel status.

But, when the planets align, and I finally get enough points to score one J class TATL, I am pretty excited. Which has happened exactly once.

Besides that, I usually just use them for some economy domestic redemptions. I somehow accumulated enough United miles (14K) to buy a needed one way economy trip from Denver to Cleveland this summer. It saved me a few hundred dollars and I got them by flying a TATL on Air Canada. So, take the wins when you can.

I'll jump on a Southwest flight in a second if it is cheaper than a legacy airline. And I earn and use those points too.

I think they sell you on the big score and then set up too many obstacles to get to the big score.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
It's you.

Seriously, trying to get premium-cabin seats on certain routes during high-demand seasons is often challenging.

You'll want to avoid redeeming through British Airways because of their hefty carrier surcharges. But Iberia -- which is also a UR transfer partner -- has more modest surcharges when you travel on IB metal. Have you checked availability with IB?
Heh, thanks. I had been looking on KLM's website for AF/KLM redemptions. At least it showed me results. Iberia's website just kept saying that nothing was available until I entered Madrid as a destination...and then it said the lone IB flight was not available but showed me a bunch of BA flights.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 3:36 pm
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It used to (even just a few years ago) be way simpler and more worthwhile.

For a domestic roundtrip, 25k miles was the "saver" (off-peak) price and 50k miles was the "anytime" (peak) price.

Now it's routine for DL domestic awards to price in the hundreds of thousands of miles.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 4:20 pm
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It's you. For 240k UA points (transferable from your UR), you can get two round trip business class seats from North America to Europe.

Yes you have to do searching and work what you can with availability and this has certainly been made more difficult over the last few years, but you can still get lots of value if you learn the system and work it.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 4:33 pm
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Its you. Weve had some extraordinarily good redemptions in BA F and J to YVR, LAS, CPT, MRU, NRT and IAD through use of our BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers.

As ever, gen up on the scheme and see if it works for you first.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
I've got 270,000 UR points, which I thought would be good for something. Turns out, they are almost good for a single business class round trip ticket to Europe this summer, plus $600.
I'm planning a trip to Barcelona this summer, so I used that to check prices. A single business class round trip is $3600. How much did it cost you for the points worth $3000?

fwiw, I'm flying my entire family of 4 for fewer points and less money. The horror is we need to read, listed to music and sleep in a smaller seat for abut 8 hours.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 6:06 pm
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IMO, ALMOST pointless. I'm single so the cost of a Business Class TATL trip isn't as catastrophic as it is when a couple or a family of 4 is traveling. I choose based on whatever airline has the best price and itinerary and hasn't had bad headlines lately. So, I end up with small piles of points on a few airlines. Typically they accumulate faster on AA because I have LT Gold status and I use them when it makes sense for the free checked bags, etc. I just got the AA MC for the sign-on bonus and because the "pile" was getting big enough that adding a sign-on bonus would get me very close to a Business Class TATL to Europe. I may drop that card and do that with DL (about 50,000 miles in the account) next.

I'd thought of trying to use miles to Australia in Business. What a joke. My brother, who still flies a lot on business, managed to get tickets for my SIL to accompany him on a business trip there. For 400,000 miles. Same for Hawaii. I just booked Hawaii and paid for it outright because the number of miles they wanted was so crazy.
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Old Jan 13, 19, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
It used to (even just a few years ago) be way simpler and more worthwhile.

For a domestic roundtrip, 25k miles was the "saver" (off-peak) price and 50k miles was the "anytime" (peak) price.

Now it's routine for DL domestic awards to price in the hundreds of thousands of miles.
Oh, for the days of the old Northwest "write fly" certificates!
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Old Jan 13, 19, 9:52 pm
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That gives you 8 nights in Paris at the Vendome...that's worth about 5K...correction, about 7K.

I just flew to Europe for the first time in years...going there I redeemed for business, going back I paid for coach. While it certainly is much nicer flying business, it is not worth it, IMHO. I had no issue flying coach. And this was from LAX to CDG. Take some Xanax, crash, get a massage the next day and a great meal...you'll save thousands and have a great time.

Last edited by manku; Jan 13, 19 at 10:04 pm
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Old Jan 13, 19, 11:46 pm
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Did you try every single one of the CUR transfer partners?
Did you check to see what it would cost just to purchase tickets using points on the CUR travel site?
Did you check to see if you could use them for hotels instead, thus allowing more room in your budget for airfare?

Doesn't sound like you've investigated the full versatility of these points. At any rate, I'll take them if you don't want them anymore.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 12:07 am
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Originally Posted by manku View Post
I just flew to Europe for the first time in years...going there I redeemed for business, going back I paid for coach. While it certainly is much nicer flying business, it is not worth it, IMHO. I had no issue flying coach. And this was from LAX to CDG. Take some Xanax, crash, get a massage the next day and a great meal...you'll save thousands and have a great time.
Same, ish. I just can't justify J/F to Europe. I'll just build it so I fly from the east coast, so either PHL/JFK, it's short enough that I don't want to spend double the miles, especially with how cheap cash Y fares are nowadays. I'll save my miles to fly J to Asia which is twice the length.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 2:59 am
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Judging by the amount of people who are active in these forums, I would imagine most people find some use in collecting miles/points.

How much use you get out of miles is largely dependent on your travel and spending patterns. It is also about having the right expectations. You are not likely to get multiple F/J Tickets per year without some serious effort or a ton of flying. For relatively little effort I manage to earn a long haul J ticket around every 18 months which is fine for me considering I don't ever fly for business.
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Old Jan 14, 19, 3:16 am
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It depends on what your expectations are. I travel quite a bit for business and collect the miles, our travel policy is all economy. By saving up my miles, I can usually manage to upgrade to business every few trips, which for me is well worth it.
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