Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

out of GRR. Skymiles or Mileage Plus? Goal is redeem miles for vacations

out of GRR. Skymiles or Mileage Plus? Goal is redeem miles for vacations

Old Nov 16, 11, 1:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: GRR (Grand Rapids MI)
Programs: Delta Skymiles
Posts: 2
out of GRR. Skymiles or Mileage Plus? Goal is redeem miles for vacations

I am a recent grad at a new job where I will be flying around 70,000 mi/yr domestic for work. Goal is to redeem reward miles for international and dom. vacations. Delta and United/Continental seem to have the best selection for flights out of GRR. Which airline/reward program should I go with? Thanks

Last edited by DVnGRR; Nov 16, 11 at 9:50 pm
DVnGRR is offline  
Old Nov 16, 11, 1:55 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP (0.425MM), AS MVP 75K, National Executive Elite, Marriott PPE, UA Silver, DL Gold
Posts: 1,093
Get A3 + UA

my experience as a *A FO and DL (long time) dirt is that the award availability/value of *A miles is superior to DL Skypesos. What you should do, IMO, is fly United/*A, and get both an Aegean Airlines (A3) and United FF account. b/c A3 gives you * gold status at only 24,000 miles, and it lasts for 3 years (or so the theory goes, not entirely sure based on T&C). Credit the first 24,000 miles to A3, and then credit the remaining miles to United. With the A3 *G, you get access to all *A lounges in the US, and don't need to be flying internationally, plus you get the other benefits of being *G w/ United. Congrats on the job, BTW.
PaceLaw2012 is offline  
Old Nov 16, 11, 4:11 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: GRR
Programs: UA - 1K, DL - Plat
Posts: 149
Tough Call

I'm a GRR based CO Plat.

Here's my thoughts...

DL:
Flys direct to more destinations out of GRR.
ATL/CVG/DTW/JAX/MEM/MSP/LGA/OKC/DCA.
Most of the flights to their large hubs are on mainline gear or E175/CR9's.
The DL staff at GRR are very nice.
The security line for the A concourse is FAR worse than for the B concourse.
SkyPesos are worthless.
SWU's are worthless.
If you're a fan of AMEX cool, if not, well you're stuck for CC mileage.

UA:
Flies direct to many of the UA/CO Hubs.
ORD/CLE/DEN/IAH/EWR
Mainline service only on a few flights a day out to ORD/DEN.
CO operated flights are all on ER4's or DH3's.
Far better redemption options for your travel
SWU's are moderately useful depending on the route you're flying
If you're a fan of Chase coo, if not, well you're stuck for CC mileage.

Having said all of that, if I had to start all over with no status, I might be more convinced to try DL. The domination over UA in terms of mainline flights would be a big factor. If you're going to have your butt in a seat for 70k+ miles a year, I'd rather it be in an upgraded seat at the front than sitting on the jungle jets. With UA out of GRR you're going to have to plan your flights early and fly via ORD or DEN to do that.

I've been a loyal CO flyer for years. I started when I was based out of MSN, mainly because I really disliked NW. I like what I see for the new Mileage Plus in 2012, but, I'll have 1k status It's a really tough call! Good luck with whatever choice you make! If you need a companion upgrade out of GRR on UA, I'll hook you up!

-Chris
mustangthz is offline  
Old Nov 16, 11, 8:17 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: MBS/FNT/LAN
Programs: UA 1K, HH Gold, Mariott Gold
Posts: 9,104
Originally Posted by mustangthz View Post
DL:
Flys direct to more destinations out of GRR.
ATL/CVG/DTW/JAX/MEM/MSP/LGA/OKC/DCA.
GRR-JAX/OKC/DCA?????

Really?
jhayes_1780 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 10:41 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: GRR
Programs: UA - 1K, DL - Plat
Posts: 149
It's in the DL timetable

Originally Posted by jhayes_1780 View Post
GRR-JAX/OKC/DCA?????

Really?
Read the timetable wrong! DCA yes, JAX/OKC are one stops.

N-Reagan National; D-Dulles
5:15 7:10N 4283z 0 X6 CR

-Chris
mustangthz is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 6:31 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Here Today, There Tomorrow
Programs: 2MM DL DM, HA Premier, AA Plat,Ex UA 1K, HH Diamond, Marriott TE
Posts: 1,156
Definitely CO/United. You have access to ORD where I assume the majority of your connections will be. The A3 connection is an interesting recent hookup with *A but you have to analyze your travel destinations and whether your employer will pay for a United Club membership. If so, no advantage. There are not that many *A lounges around the US outside of the major gateways so if your travel is not primarily to places like LA, Detroit, NYC, etc., that strategy may not do you much good. Whatever you do, when flying out of GRR avoid the TSA cancer machine at all costs. The "twin ice box" scanner has been condemned by many physicians as emitting way too much radiation. Fortunately, the way the checkpoint is set up, there are two lines, one of which is the good old WTMD. Just get yourself into that line and you are good to go. Also, if your goal is to earn bennies for international travel, *A wins hands down!
Aloha1 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 9:51 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: UA GS>1K>Nothing; DL GM 2MM; AS 75K>Nothing
Posts: 8,434
DL 2MM. Currently UA 1k. Fly in and/out of GRR couple of times a month.

Definitely UA. DL has a lousy FF program.... SkyPesos are worthless, SWUs are worthless, MM program is an insult.

That being said, security is a disaster at GRR. Avoid the airport entirely if you can.
5khours is offline  
Old Nov 17, 11, 10:46 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SAT / MAA / BOM
Programs: CO Plat; UA 1K; EK Gold
Posts: 5,110
Originally Posted by PaceLaw2012 View Post
my experience as a *A FO and DL (long time) dirt is that the award availability/value of *A miles is superior to DL Skypesos. What you should do, IMO, is fly United/*A, and get both an Aegean Airlines (A3) and United FF account. b/c A3 gives you * gold status at only 24,000 miles, and it lasts for 3 years (or so the theory goes, not entirely sure based on T&C). Credit the first 24,000 miles to A3, and then credit the remaining miles to United. With the A3 *G, you get access to all *A lounges in the US, and don't need to be flying internationally, plus you get the other benefits of being *G w/ United. Congrats on the job, BTW.
With A3, you need 20K elite miles to reach Star Gold. They give you 1K miles for registering. Therefore you need to fly 19K miles.

When crediting to A3, the cheaper CO/UA fare buckets earn only 50%
Whereas all cheap buckets on US earn 100% on A3.

If using lounge based on A3 Gold, then A3 expects you to credit the flight miles to them. There have some anecdotal reports that A3 disqualifies pax who get 20K miles just for gaining lounge access through system, and then credit miles elsewhere.
snod08 is offline  
Old Nov 20, 11, 3:08 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Big Sky Country
Programs: CO PLT, DL GM, Hertz President Circle, SPG Platinum
Posts: 450
Wow

WOW . . this is the easiest question I have heard lately.

US/CO & Star Alliance . . . hands down.

Redemption is far superior in terms of availability and value in Mileage Plus v. SkyPesos. I fly to Asia often and 65K gets me where I need to go on MP and that is usually onboard an SQ flight.

Long time elite in both programs and likely MM ion both with a few years. Given the choice I fly UA/CO because of the FF program benefits.
idriveuride is offline  
Old Nov 20, 11, 4:21 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Honolulu, HI
Programs: UA 1K 1MM, AA Exec Plat
Posts: 1,224
For redemption UA/CO, hands down. Also, you have access to COPA, which is big in Latin America and provide complementary upgrades to Brazil.
1KHI is offline  
Old Nov 22, 11, 7:53 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: GRR (Grand Rapids MI)
Programs: Delta Skymiles
Posts: 2
Thanks!

Thanks all for the great and useful advice. Going into the new calender year I'm going to give UA/*A a shot and probably grab one of their CCs to help rack up miles. Any advice/ways to earn PQMs w/o flying? e.g. CCs?
DVnGRR is offline  
Old Nov 22, 11, 10:10 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: New York City, Northern NJ
Programs: AS, B6, HA, SPG, Hilton
Posts: 1,001
Originally Posted by DVnGRR View Post
Thanks all for the great and useful advice. Going into the new calender year I'm going to give UA/*A a shot and probably grab one of their CCs to help rack up miles. Any advice/ways to earn PQMs w/o flying? e.g. CCs?
Use the Chase CC instead wherever you would use your debit card and just pay it at the end of the cycle or more frequently if you also use Chase as your bank. This will help you maximize your spending into miles.
rubbernyc is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: