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Routing Advice BKK / Southeast Asia to/from USA for UA flyers

Old Feb 19, 22, 12:47 pm
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Routing Advice BKK / Southeast Asia to/from USA for UA flyers

Old Feb 18, 20, 5:45 am
  #256  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
For a while, the actual rule was that intra-regional flights could be in J, and if you were on UA metal for the inter-regional flights, you’d get the UA saver price for the whole thing. So, UA I/IN space to HKG or SIN, and you’d be able to take J to BKK for no additional miles. Of course, you can also do this with the Excursionist Perk. However, if you ended up transiting somewhere else (e.g., China, Taiwan, Korea), then the last leg would make a material difference — you’d get the partner J fare for the whole trip because the last leg was inter-regional.

That said, with the new all-dynamic system, there’s already been some evidence that UA is working to increase the fares for partner flights, including possibly charging extra for flights operated by certain partners. I don’t know if they’ve backed off of it for now — I haven’t seen any reports in a couple of weeks — but it’s coming. I suspect 180K RT will look like a steal by this time next year.


OP: Price actual business class tickets from LAX to BKK for your preferred dates, and compare the cost through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to the number of MileagePlus miles required. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, 180K points is worth $2700 in travel. If you can find a $2200 ticket for the dates that you want, you’ll come out way ahead. There are no guarantees, but it’s possible.
Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
i have the CSP and the Ink Preferred so only 1.25 points for me.

I am not savvy enough with booking partner award flights to completely understand your first paragraph. I have heard of UA's excursionist perk but am unsure how I'd apply it. If you could explain this like I'm 5 years old, I would appreciate it. 😀



thank you. This is the kind of information I'll need when my daughter nails down her actual dates. I need to learn all I can to help her make the best decision not just in using points/miles to the best redemption but also with best hard products, layovers, and routing/airports.
Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That makes a MileagePlus redemption relatively more valuable -- the break-even point moves to $2250. (If the fare is higher than this, you get a better value by moving the points to MileagePlus than buying the ticket in the rewards portal).


Sorry. The current state of the MileagePlus redemption world is very much in flux. Prior to November, UA had three award charts: two (saver and "everyday") for United-operated flights and one for partner-operated flights. The partner flights were in between saver and everyday prices. To figure out which of the charts applied, you had to know the MileagePlus regions involved in the trip. Thailand is in the South Asia region, along with Hong Kong and Singapore -- but China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are all in different regions (Japan is its own region; the others are in North Asia). The practical effect of this was that if you could find a Saver business class award on a UA-operated flight to HKG or SIN, you could book all the way to BKK in J for the lowest rate; but if you could only find UA-operated flights to TPE or ICN, e.g., you'd have to pay more miles.

The Excursionist Perk only comes in if you wanted to add an additional destination in the South Asia region -- but if you found Saver space on the UA-operated flight to SIN/HKG, and the computer wasn't pricing the connection properly to BKK, trying multi-city search (and thus using the excursionist perk) might help.

Unfortunately, in November, the MileagePlus system became fully dynamically priced -- there are no longer any charts. So far, most observations are that the separate inventory still exists, and the old charts are being used in certain circumstances -- but UA appears to be in the process of changing things, and I don't think any of us really know what the program will look like 6 months or a year from now.

Hope this is a little clearer.
My understanding of things is,

$2700 - $2250 = $450,

CSR annual fee = $550,

CSR 'effective' annual fee = $250 with $300 in other travel purchases.

(Not necessarily relevant, but something to keep in mind.)
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Old Feb 18, 20, 7:39 am
  #257  
 
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
I've been looking at BKK reward tickets for a while, and the only way you can score 75K miles is if partner flight is in coach. So the only "short" final leg is via HKG, and I have found only ridiculous flight time So for all intents and purposes, 90K it is.

EDIT to add: SIN is also a short flight, but UA web site has never offered me a Biz flight to SIN and connecting coach flight to BKK, which I would probably do to save 30K miles on a roundtrip ticket.
I would love to route my daughter through SIN if only for her to see the airport. I didn't see that as an option.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 7:47 am
  #258  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That makes a MileagePlus redemption relatively more valuable -- the break-even point moves to $2250. (If the fare is higher than this, you get a better value by moving the points to MileagePlus than buying the ticket in the rewards portal).


Sorry. The current state of the MileagePlus redemption world is very much in flux. Prior to November, UA had three award charts: two (saver and "everyday") for United-operated flights and one for partner-operated flights. The partner flights were in between saver and everyday prices. To figure out which of the charts applied, you had to know the MileagePlus regions involved in the trip. Thailand is in the South Asia region, along with Hong Kong and Singapore -- but China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan are all in different regions (Japan is its own region; the others are in North Asia). The practical effect of this was that if you could find a Saver business class award on a UA-operated flight to HKG or SIN, you could book all the way to BKK in J for the lowest rate; but if you could only find UA-operated flights to TPE or ICN, e.g., you'd have to pay more miles.

The Excursionist Perk only comes in if you wanted to add an additional destination in the South Asia region -- but if you found Saver space on the UA-operated flight to SIN/HKG, and the computer wasn't pricing the connection properly to BKK, trying multi-city search (and thus using the excursionist perk) might help.

Unfortunately, in November, the MileagePlus system became fully dynamically priced -- there are no longer any charts. So far, most observations are that the separate inventory still exists, and the old charts are being used in certain circumstances -- but UA appears to be in the process of changing things, and I don't think any of us really know what the program will look like 6 months or a year from now.

Hope this is a little clearer.
Much more so thank you! But when you discuss a UA-operated flight to SIN/HKG, do you mean on United metal? I didn't see that in my search. I appreciate your taking the time to type that out.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 8:24 am
  #259  
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Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
I would love to route my daughter through SIN if only for her to see the airport. I didn't see that as an option.
That is why I pointed that out in my post.

Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
Much more so thank you! But when you discuss a UA-operated flight to SIN/HKG, do you mean on United metal? I didn't see that in my search. I appreciate your taking the time to type that out.
Yes. UA metal. Coach for short hop to BKK for fewer miles.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 8:28 am
  #260  
 
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
That is why I pointed that out in my post.



Yes. UA metal. Coach for short hop to BKK for fewer miles.
I didn't see UA metal to HKG/SIN on the UA website - maybe there just isn't availability right now, but this is all a practice search right now anyway so I know what I should do when she nails down her dates. Would I book the UA metal LAX - HKG/SIN leg separately from the HKG/SIN to BKK coach leg? What airlines should I look at for the coach leg?
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Old Feb 18, 20, 8:41 am
  #261  
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Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
Much more so thank you! But when you discuss a UA-operated flight to SIN/HKG, do you mean on United metal? I didn't see that in my search. I appreciate your taking the time to type that out.
Happy to help. And, yes, UA-operated flight means United metal. I considered "metal" to be jargon, so I said "United-operated" for clarity.

Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
I didn't see UA metal to HKG/SIN on the UA website - maybe there just isn't availability right now, but this is all a practice search right now anyway so I know what I should do when she nails down her dates. Would I book the UA metal LAX - HKG/SIN leg separately from the HKG/SIN to BKK coach leg? What airlines should I look at for the coach leg?
This is the problem. It can be very difficult to find saver-level award space on United metal at all, especially 11 months in advance. While UA has started opening some seats on some flights -- for a while, it was basically none -- they still prefer to sell them, so they tend to hold back inventory until they've lost faith in their ability to do so. And, they'll clear all upgrades from economy or PE before they'll open saver award space.

If you can find space routing through TPE on EVA at 180K round-trip, personally, I find that a good deal. SIN is going to be difficult to find unless she's stopping somewhere else in Asia first -- and, since that's two hours past BKK, it's going to add considerably to the length of the trip. If she has some extra time and wants to visit Singapore in addition to Bangkok, that's when the Excursionist Perk comes into play -- she might be able to find something like LAX-TPE-BKK // BKK-SIN // SIN-ICN-LAX for 180K total miles.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 18, 20, 9:21 am
  #262  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Happy to help. And, yes, UA-operated flight means United metal. I considered "metal" to be jargon, so I said "United-operated" for clarity.


This is the problem. It can be very difficult to find saver-level award space on United metal at all, especially 11 months in advance. While UA has started opening some seats on some flights -- for a while, it was basically none -- they still prefer to sell them, so they tend to hold back inventory until they've lost faith in their ability to do so. And, they'll clear all upgrades from economy or PE before they'll open saver award space.

If you can find space routing through TPE on EVA at 180K round-trip, personally, I find that a good deal. SIN is going to be difficult to find unless she's stopping somewhere else in Asia first -- and, since that's two hours past BKK, it's going to add considerably to the length of the trip. If she has some extra time and wants to visit Singapore in addition to Bangkok, that's when the Excursionist Perk comes into play -- she might be able to find something like LAX-TPE-BKK // BKK-SIN // SIN-ICN-LAX for 180K total miles.

Good luck!
Awesome. Exactly what I needed to know. I never looked at a map and am bad a geography so I didn't realize SIN was out of the way. Thank you again!
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Old Feb 18, 20, 10:41 am
  #263  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
That makes a MileagePlus redemption relatively more valuable -- the break-even point moves to $2250. (If the fare is higher than this, you get a better value by moving the points to MileagePlus than buying the ticket in the rewards portal).
I would also note that breakeven is always a little bit higher than the exact number, because a revenue ticket will earn non-zero status and award credits which are worth something (highly situation dependent though).
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
I didn't see UA metal to HKG/SIN on the UA website - maybe there just isn't availability right now, but this is all a practice search right now anyway so I know what I should do when she nails down her dates. Would I book the UA metal LAX - HKG/SIN leg separately from the HKG/SIN to BKK coach leg? What airlines should I look at for the coach leg?
yeah again depends on dates but SFO-SIN is for sure everyday you would have to connect to SFO to stay on UA.

I just booked SQ (singapore airlines) on my trip from SIN-HKT (Phuket) and it was 200 CAD (150USD) per person that way I believe I am able to get UA to check my bags all the way through even though its on seperate tickets, and SQ to do the same on the way back
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:40 pm
  #265  
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Originally Posted by Graciecatt View Post
I would love to route my daughter through SIN if only for her to see the airport. I didn't see that as an option.
You can transfer Chase points to Singapore Krisflyer. LAX-BKK will cost the same or a little bit more than a UA redemption. SQ is much more generous with award availability. Note that while the SQ service is excellent, the seat on the A350 they fly to LAX is controversial, to say the least. Personally, I would choose BR over SQ. NH via TYO is also excellent, but the award seats can be difficult to find.

I would suggest you not mess around with separate tickets given that you can book a connecting J itinerary via TPE right now.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:44 pm
  #266  
 
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Originally Posted by whitethunder View Post
yeah again depends on dates but SFO-SIN is for sure everyday you would have to connect to SFO to stay on UA.

I just booked SQ (singapore airlines) on my trip from SIN-HKT (Phuket) and it was 200 CAD (150USD) per person that way I believe I am able to get UA to check my bags all the way through even though its on seperate tickets, and SQ to do the same on the way back
Maybe that's why I never saw it - I was only searching from LAX because she lives outside of LA. Getting to SFO wouldn't be too much of an issue though if that turned out to be best.

I was wondering about booking things separately but still within *A. She and I never check bags ( we did 15 days in the different climates of Zurich and Egypt with carryons and backpacks) but it is still good to have the option to check if you get tired of lugging stuff, especially on the way home.
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Old Feb 18, 20, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
You can transfer Chase points to Singapore Krisflyer. LAX-BKK will cost the same or a little bit more than a UA redemption. SQ is much more generous with award availability. Note that while the SQ service is excellent, the seat on the A350 they fly to LAX is controversial, to say the least. Personally, I would choose BR over SQ. NH via TYO is also excellent, but the award seats can be difficult to find.

I would suggest you not mess around with separate tickets given that you can book a connecting J itinerary via TPE right now.
Thank you - this is exactly the kind of info i need. I am still learning about booking partner awards and totally unfamiliar with which is the better plane/product/seat/service, etc, as I have never been to Asia and so have never flown any of those airlines. I agree that booking one ticket is best if I can find something without crazy long layovers.
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Old Feb 22, 20, 10:46 am
  #268  
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Originally Posted by username View Post
...Sounds like OP's ICN plan is good. Let's hope the situation does not change (we know the numbers will get worse but hopefully BKK and ICN stay relatively stable and the airlines don't cancel).
Well, now that Korea is getting out of control, I wonder what OP's plan is. Japan is looking scary too.
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Old Feb 22, 20, 12:37 pm
  #269  
 
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Originally Posted by username View Post
Well, now that Korea is getting out of control, I wonder what OP's plan is. Japan is looking scary too.
So far, flights haven't been cancelled, and I'm not going to leave the airport in Seoul. Fear of catching the virus is still not a factor, but I'm worried Korea will soon join the list of suspended cities. I might try to make my flight sooner to at least catch it before a potential suspension.

My primary fear right now is of being stuck in Asia if the situation continues to get worse for who knows how long...
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Old Feb 22, 20, 4:04 pm
  #270  
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This is definitely not a good time to be travelling. You have to worry about the flights operating and all the quarantine rules at your destination(s), and things keep changing.
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