UA Status on Air China? Mileage?

Old May 21, 14, 7:41 am
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UA Status on Air China? Mileage?

Seriously thinking about booking an MXP-MNL R/T via PEK for June. They've got the best prices at US$900 for the itinerary.

Wondering how UA Status applies. Currenly, I'm *G. What kind of treatment can I expect? Meaning, are there special lines or sections for *G? Can I use miles to upgrade to B?

Any thoughts on service or comfort of the flying experience compared to UA?

Thanks!
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Old May 21, 14, 7:43 am
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You should be fine. As long as you aren't booking with miles then I don't think you have to worry about some mysterious cancellations.

As to the Airline, the soft product will be much better than UA.
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Old May 21, 14, 7:46 am
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Thanks Tom. Appreciate the thoughts. I'm figuring that the with service we're accustomed to on UA - it would take a special airline to be worse!
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Old May 21, 14, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by onocoffee View Post
Can I use miles to upgrade to B?
Presuming you mean upgrade to Business, the answer is no.

The only exception is if you actually have a B or Y ticket (ticket class, not cabin), in which case you can probably try using a Star Alliance upgrade to get into business, but given the price of your trip you almost certainly don't have B/Y but something lower.
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Old May 21, 14, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by onocoffee View Post

Wondering how UA Status applies. Currenly, I'm *G. What kind of treatment can I expect? Meaning, are there special lines or sections for *G?
You can expect lounge access as *G and probably some level of non-general check-in, most likely at the Business Class counter.

You'll probably be relegated to a 'normal' economy class seat, as CA doesn't have an Economy Plus equivalent, but maybe (and a big maybe) *G might help you grovel your way into an exit row at check-in...Certainly nothing you're entitled to, but asking as a *G may help a tiny bit.
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Old May 21, 14, 1:05 pm
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*G usually boards with First class if its a 2-class plane. It's often a separate line or entry point at the gate, at least in China itself (don't join the general boarding crowd in this case if you want to take advantage). IME, FAs are typically very professional.
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Old May 21, 14, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by subspacetom View Post
*G usually boards with First class if its a 2-class plane. It's often a separate line or entry point at the gate, at least in China itself (don't join the general boarding crowd in this case if you want to take advantage). IME, FAs are typically very professional.
You are assuming there are actual lines for the domestic flights in China. More like a free-for-all.
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Old May 21, 14, 1:11 pm
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http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/mark...spx?ItemId=312

I was looking into this for a trip to BKK, and there are some gotchas with Air China fare buckets. A lot of the discount economy fares only get half PQMs/FFMs and 0 PQS.
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Old May 21, 14, 1:13 pm
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Be aware discount economy fares are not 100% mileage earning (appears 50% for most) on CA

http://www.united.com/CMS/en-US/mark...spx?ItemId=312
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Old May 21, 14, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
You are assuming there are actual lines for the domestic flights in China. More like a free-for-all.
+1. Recently flew out of PEK and check-in was a total mess. However, you will get to board with business class and have lounge access.
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Old May 21, 14, 2:19 pm
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CA has the same line for First, Business, and *G at many airports, however, it usually isn't that crowded. F, C, and *G board ahead of economy, but at smaller stations without separate lines, regular economy passengers board when they are not supposed to. I've never ever seen CA staff turn someone using the F/C/*G line away even if they are obviously not F/C/*G.
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Old May 21, 14, 4:07 pm
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Thanks everyone for the updates. I did notice the 50% or 0% mileage accrual, depending on the fare rate. That's something I'll have to review closer, but the airfare is quite a bit lower than others.
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Old May 21, 14, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by onocoffee View Post
Seriously thinking about booking an MXP-MNL R/T via PEK for June. They've got the best prices at US$900 for the itinerary.

Wondering how UA Status applies. Currenly, I'm *G. What kind of treatment can I expect? Meaning, are there special lines or sections for *G? Can I use miles to upgrade to B?

Any thoughts on service or comfort of the flying experience compared to UA?

Thanks!
As a *G the Air China lounges I've been to are quite nice. There is priority check in but no priority boarding. That said, even when I was almost the last to board there was still overhead space for my carry on bag. FAs have all been excellent, the food in economy leaves a lot to be desired. Went in first one time and the meal was very good.
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Old May 22, 14, 8:36 am
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I recently flew CA SFO-PEK. On the outbound they did board *G/C/F first however on the return everyone started boarding at the same time. The thing they did not make very clear IMO is that there was a separate line for *G/C/F passengers, though they were boarding both lines at the same time there were less people in the priority line.

I also had the same experience with overhead bin space in all of my intra-china flights. No matter how full the flight was there always seemed to be bin space. I think it's because all the airlines I flew (including CA) have a policy of only one carry on or personal item so people seemed to be bringing less stuff on the plane. They didn't seem to enforce the policy very well since I was able to bring my small rimowa and my laptop bag without problems on the way home.
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Old May 22, 14, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by Acornragazzo View Post
I recently flew CA SFO-PEK. On the outbound they did board *G/C/F first however on the return everyone started boarding at the same time. The thing they did not make very clear IMO is that there was a separate line for *G/C/F passengers, though they were boarding both lines at the same time there were less people in the priority line.
This seems to be normal behavior - IMO in PEK they have typically formed two lines and board mostly at the same time while announcing F/C/*G first. Since there is less gate space (in general) the return flights from the US are more of a free-for-all boarding... Sometimes I enjoy just sitting there and watching the spectacle - Asians in general (the japanese are masters, the chinese, not so much) know how to queue - Americans typically don't....
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