*A Honeymoon Trip Help

Old Mar 31, 15, 3:12 pm
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*A Honeymoon Trip Help

New to FT. I booked my future wife and I on a *A itinerary to SE Asia for our Honeymoon (our return flight is on a OW award).

Our current itinerary is:

IAD - BRU, UA F
BRU - ARN, SK C (I guess?)
ARN - BKK, TG C
BKK - HKT, TG C

we are going to begin our trip in Phuket. I have been looking around at a more direct routing (even eliminating one plane, if possible) and found one on Asiana out of JFK:

JFK - INC, OZ C
INC - HKT, OZ C

I would use Avios to get from WAS to JFK.

My question is this, obviously I want to make this trip special and fly in first class at least 1 leg. Our current itinerary has us in UA F, but it is tempting to switch to the new itinerary and fly Asiana's a380, albeit in business. Should I keep our routing as-is, or switch to Asiana C class? I've heard UA F is not that great of a product.

For those wondering, our UA balance is very limited. I transferred UR points, and my mom used her miles to book my fiance's ticket. I don't want to ask her if I can have any more. Also, our return trip is on CX C class, but we do have enough miles to upgrade to F should seats become available (I have alerts set).
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Old Mar 31, 15, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by DCMC View Post
New to FT. I booked my future wife and I on a *A itinerary to SE Asia for our Honeymoon (our return flight is on a OW award).

Our current itinerary is:

IAD - BRU, UA F
BRU - ARN, SK C (I guess?)
ARN - BKK, TG C
BKK - HKT, TG C

we are going to begin our trip in Phuket. I have been looking around at a more direct routing (even eliminating one plane, if possible) and found one on Asiana out of JFK:

JFK - INC, OZ C
INC - HKT, OZ C

I would use Avios to get from WAS to JFK.

My question is this, obviously I want to make this trip special and fly in first class at least 1 leg. Our current itinerary has us in UA F, but it is tempting to switch to the new itinerary and fly Asiana's a380, albeit in business. Should I keep our routing as-is, or switch to Asiana C class? I've heard UA F is not that great of a product.

For those wondering, our UA balance is very limited. I transferred UR points, and my mom used her miles to book my fiance's ticket. I don't want to ask her if I can have any more. Also, our return trip is on CX C class, but we do have enough miles to upgrade to F should seats become available (I have alerts set).

IAD- BRU is a short flight - 6.5 hours in air. It would be upto you to decide if OZ C is better on a longer flight. All reports indicate it is. But again it all depends on if you have miles to support it and if there is availability.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 3:18 pm
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If you are looking for one F segment, try to get it NOT on UA. If you are crossing the ocean in C look for BR segments to TPE. They have one of the best BIZ products out there. ^


UPDATE:

IAD-FRA on LH is the 748i which is awesome and upstairs so very special Or look for TK via IST. Great Biz product, and you can go direct from IAD too!

Last edited by Madone59; Mar 31, 15 at 4:22 pm
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Old Mar 31, 15, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by DCMC View Post
New to FT. I booked my future wife and I on a *A itinerary to SE Asia for our Honeymoon (our return flight is on a OW award).

Our current itinerary is:

IAD - BRU, UA F
BRU - ARN, SK C (I guess?)
ARN - BKK, TG C
BKK - HKT, TG C

we are going to begin our trip in Phuket. I have been looking around at a more direct routing (even eliminating one plane, if possible) and found one on Asiana out of JFK:

JFK - INC, OZ C
INC - HKT, OZ C

I would use Avios to get from WAS to JFK.

My question is this, obviously I want to make this trip special and fly in first class at least 1 leg. Our current itinerary has us in UA F, but it is tempting to switch to the new itinerary and fly Asiana's a380, albeit in business. Should I keep our routing as-is, or switch to Asiana C class? I've heard UA F is not that great of a product.

For those wondering, our UA balance is very limited. I transferred UR points, and my mom used her miles to book my fiance's ticket. I don't want to ask her if I can have any more. Also, our return trip is on CX C class, but we do have enough miles to upgrade to F should seats become available (I have alerts set).
First off, congrats!!!

Sticking directly to the questions:

UA C/F products are simply about the hard products - The C seats on the 767 (both the 200 and 400) are nice, and also on the CO 777 and the upstairs of the 747, but aside from that, I'd avoid. That said, the F seats are nicer of course, but in my opinion, you'd be better off by all respects and ESPECIALLY the ground and soft product side of things by avoiding UA at all costs. That does mean OZ and JFK-ICN, without a doubt.

If you are trying to have a 'fun' way on getting to the destination, ~23 hours or so in Seoul would be great experience if you haven't been to Korea and want the experience/excitement - or the same in any other city, then you get your choice of course on the major connection points of *A. If you stick with Europe, I'd say to try to get LH/LX/TK/SN if you need to stay on *A.

That said, once you get to Phuket, you'll have a good experience! About three years ago, while my wife was 6 months pregnant with our first kid we did: SEZ-DOH (~23 hours)-ARN (~23 hours)-BRU (2 days) -MAN-IAD after first doing EWR-BHX-FRA-JNB-PLZ-JNB-DOH-SEZ (yes, my wife is a trooper) and by far the worst segments were the EWR-BHX on UA C (Upgraded with SWU) and MAN-IAD on UA C (again on a SWU), where the other flights were LH, SA and QR in C.

Again, congrats and enjoy the honeymoon - may it be your only one and have a great time for every minute!

-jeremy
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Old Mar 31, 15, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by DCMC View Post
My question is this, obviously I want to make this trip special and fly in first class at least 1 leg. Our current itinerary has us in UA F, but it is tempting to switch to the new itinerary and fly Asiana's a380, albeit in business. Should I keep our routing as-is, or switch to Asiana C class? I've heard UA F is not that great of a product.
I would switch to the OZ flights based simply on routing. That BRU/ARN/BKK transit is going to be long, difficult, and fatiguing. Certainly not worth a single, relatively short flight in UA GF.

The ICN transfer, by contrast, is super easy. J on the OZ 380 will be in some ways better than UA GF (certainly the food will be better), although you will have less personal space. I've done that ICN-HKT flight and while the food and service are great, the seats are not the best. The 2 a.m. arrival is also challenging; strongly recommend you arrange airport transport with your hotel in advance.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 3:46 pm
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My personal rule is simplest itinerary wins unless there is something really special to make the other itinerary worthwhile.

In this case go with the simple itinerary.

If you are burning miles for F on one segment then make sure you are getting more value out of the reward. Try to route through Frankfurt for the first class terminal with Lufthansa for example or get the long leg in F not a 6 hour segment through another routing.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by ExtonUS View Post
If you are burning miles for F on one segment then make sure you are getting more value out of the reward. Try to route through Frankfurt for the first class terminal with Lufthansa for example or get the long leg in F not a 6 hour segment through another routing.
OP has told us his UA miles balance is "very limited."

*A F is 50,000 more miles each way than UA GF (130,000 miles vs. 80,000 miles). The UA GF award costs the same as the *A J award (80,000 miles).
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Old Mar 31, 15, 4:00 pm
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Other options could be:

TG A380 CDG-BKK
OS B777 transiting VIE to BKK (although this may only work JFK-VIE-BKK?)
UA IAD-NRT, then your choice of carriers from there.

TG between NRT and BKK is a fantastic experience. I've only flown that segment in the other direction (departing BKK), so I don't know how the experience departing NRT will compare.

Of course, you could go TPAC one one leg and TATL on the other.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I would switch to the OZ flights based simply on routing. That BRU/ARN/BKK transit is going to be long, difficult, and fatiguing. Certainly not worth a single, relatively short flight in UA GF.

The ICN transfer, by contrast, is super easy. J on the OZ 380 will be in some ways better than UA GF (certainly the food will be better), although you will have less personal space. I've done that ICN-HKT flight and while the food and service are great, the seats are not the best. The 2 a.m. arrival is also challenging; strongly recommend you arrange airport transport with your hotel in advance.
Do what Kacee says.

Also with the extra connections what a drag your honeymoon will become when you misconnect and it throws everything into chaos.
I would rather have a small issue at ICN trying to get to HKT than for it to happen at BRU or ARN.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by kmfdm91 View Post
...The C seats on the 767 (both the 200 and 400) are nice...
No 767-200s left...you are likely referring to the 2-class 763s, which have better C (business-class) seats than the 3-class birds.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 10:31 pm
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The strength of UA F is the seat allows you to sleep well. IAD-BRU isn't really long enough to have a good rest, so I don't think the extra stops are worth the designation of F on one leg.

It sounds like you don't have the miles to do this in partner F (some of which--like LH--are worth the extra stops over OZ C). In that case, OZ C with the longer flights is a really good way to use the miles you have, a more relaxing and more enjoyable way to go. You're way ahead of me: I saved for years as a grad student to get the miles to go PVD-SYD for our honeymoon…in Y.

Beware that getting a separate ticket from IAD to JFK does not provide you any protections on your award flight if for some reason the separate IAD-JFK is late or cancelled.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 10:33 pm
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Definitely take the OZ option. I think C on their A380 > F on the UA flight. The whole thing will be a better experience not to mention a Seoul visit is icing on the cake as is avoiding BKK (which is a fine airport, but ICN-HKT wins hands down).

See if you can get award availability from was; even IAD-EWR or IAD-LGA. I agree about not risking separate ticket.
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Old Mar 31, 15, 11:00 pm
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I personally don't like OZ's ~midnight arrival in HKT. On my trip to Vietnam last autumn, I avoided flying UA to SGN and instead took OZ to DAD just so that I could arrive at a more reasonable evening hour. But I presume that Phuket locals are used to the early am flight arrivals, so getting a taxi to the hotels shouldn't be an issue.

I really like OZ's C product; the soft product is way better than UA's F in many respects, with one big exception being IFE. Also, the one-stop connection via ICN is a plus vis-a-vis the transatlantic routing. But given OZ's ~midnight arrival time, I can only begrudgingly recommend it.

Anyway, congrats!

Last edited by sinoflyer; Mar 31, 15 at 11:05 pm
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Old Apr 1, 15, 12:30 am
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I can confer that arriving at HKT (as westerners) at midnight is just fine.

On my two trips to HKT, i've arrived on TG (in C) around midnight and all was just fine, including this past August during the World Cup, with our almost 2 year old daughter.

No issues, all was good, and the roughly 50 minute taxi ride down to Kata beach was just fine, and gave our daughter a bit of a time to sleep in very air conditioned comfort.

My honeymoon was a complete blur, but I (and my wife would agree) wouldn't trade it for the world.

It was:

DCA-ORD-LAX (UA F) // LAX-SYD (QF Y) // [Start of a *A RTW] SYD-AKL-NAN // NAN-AKL // AKL-SIN-BKK // BKK-HKG // HKG-MUC-CDG // CDG-ORD-BWI /// Stop for 3 Months // BWI-YYZ // Columbus Day Weekend //YYZ-IAD // Stop for 2 Months // IAD-SFO-HKG-SGN // Day after Christmas // SGN-SIN-MEL [End of *A RTW] New Years' // MEL-AKL-LAX (QF F) and LAX-IAH-BWI ...

Our very first RTW, but we got a lot of usage out of the RTW, which was nested in a ridiculously cheap QF R/T ticket from LAX. We were definitely up for the 'challenge' of mini-stops and connections and not only earned a ton of miles, but had a nice time with each of those flights!

Congrats again - enjoy your honeymoon!!!

-jeremy
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Old Apr 1, 15, 3:43 am
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I personally wouldn't even risk flying from DC to NY and would just take the train or fly up the day before.
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