Routing Advice BKK to/from USA for UA flyers

Old Apr 20, 19, 6:01 pm
  #466  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
That's not how airlines price fares. Fares have nothing to do with distance.

From SFO? I would be surprised, unless they were matching one of the SQ discount fares briefly.
From IAD. IIRC, the outbound took me via SFO and the return via LAX. For whatever reason, it wouldn't price with the nonstop IAD-NRT segment (pushed it up over $5k).
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Old Apr 20, 19, 8:43 pm
  #467  
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
Why does not TPE serve that function more efficiently?
TPE to India?

there are few flights TPE to India, and probably zero from TPE (or from anywhere in N. Asia for that matter, even NRT) to India beyond DEL/BOM. Even on AI, if you wanted to fly them. Despite popular belief by many in the US, there are a ton of other places besides there.

BKK using TG is better because at least you’ve got the option for flights South India (BLR, MAA, etc.). don’t know if they still fly everywhere they used to, but I think TG used to serve about 7 or 8 destinations in India. The potential issue is timing. Most of the BKK-India flights, at least TG (save for a morning DEL frequency) leave in the evening. If any nonstop would land in BKK with the timing that most one-stop options currently does (I.e, via NRT), you’d land too late to catch those, and need to stay until the next evening. Again, assuming early morning departure out of BKK like the one stops now, you’d also need to spend a day in BKK as the typical ex-India flights are red eyes that land at ~6am. So timing wise, that might not work.

Looking for a connection to India, you’d probably do better via SIN (SQ probably serves more destinations than Thai in India, though not entirely sure), though potentially long layover into India. But better than any of these would be the old way, where UA used to allow you to go US-Dubai and onward to India on EK. No PQM on the last hop, but timing works much better, and any of the ME3 have a much better footprint to India than from anywhere else.
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Old Apr 21, 19, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
The other interesting thing about BKK is it could function as an 'outsourced hub' into the Indian sub-continent. UA could leverage TG's and AI's significant presence between Thailand and India. UA doesn't enjoy that dynamic in SIN because it overshoots the region, or with HKG as there is no local *A partner to leverage.
India is a TATL JV market - UA doesn't route pax TPAC, even on its TPAC JV partner NH.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 3:08 pm
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I've found that a good work-around for GS or those who can upgrade award tickets is to book USA-HKG-USA in XN (80K saver level round-trip) plus 2x-GPU, then buy a TG J ticket HKG-BKK-HKG that runs about $535 in J. Two caveats: The outbound connection time is about 90 minutes, and if the UA flight is late, you're not protected on TG. Also, one can't do a same day connection ex-BKK, so you need to do BKK-HKG the prior day and overnight (not a bad thing!). An alternative is to use HX, which as a 4AM departure from BKK that connects in HKG for the UA departures; but it's not *A if that matters to you.

I've had pretty good luck finding both XN and PN on EWR/HKG and ORD/HKG. Less so SFO/HKG.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by wxguy View Post
I've found that a good work-around for GS or those who can upgrade award tickets is to book USA-HKG-USA in XN (80K saver level round-trip) plus 2x-GPU, then buy a TG J ticket HKG-BKK-HKG that runs about $535 in J...
There are so many ways of 'piecing together' two separate tickets to get to BKK. I wonder if this contributes to UA not having clear visibility into actual BKK demand. Just read that BKK is the most visited city in the world (22 million in 2018). I have to believe a USA-BKK non-stop can work. If the latest earnings release is any indication of overall int'l PP demand (89% sold in first two weeks), I think a PP heavy seat configuration would do well to BKK.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
...Just read that BKK is the most visited city in the world (22 million in 2018).
Major airports have 100 million passengers.
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Old Apr 28, 19, 6:49 pm
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I actually just bought Christmas for 2 pax SFO to BKK via HKG, connecting onto Cathay. Wasn't cheap but that is also a busy travel season and there was PZ available so I jumped on it. Overall looked good to me, long stretch TPAC and then 3hr flight over in econ.

1hr15 connection time onto the last Cathay to BKK, HX was pricing similarly but left 2hrs later so I preferred to just run the risk
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Old Apr 28, 19, 6:51 pm
  #473  
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
India is a TATL JV market - UA doesn't route pax TPAC, even on its TPAC JV partner NH.
We’re getting OT here, but at a minimum, that’s because unless your definition of India is ‘only DEL/BOM’, Then it’s a horrible place to send India connecting traffic. NH only flies to DEL/BOM, and if you want a reasonable UA connection, only DEL would really work (NRT-BOM leaves before noon, well before the earliest UA arrivals from the US, and the return to NRT arrives at like 8 in the morning, leaving probably an 8 hour (or so) layover to the UA flights).

LH, in terms of connecting timing, as well as number of destinations served in India makes way more sense. If you had a UA flight into BKK that arrived, say, mid-late afternoon, with a departure in the mid morning back to the US, that might work for a BKK connection. But probably only from the west coast, otherwise, something going east over EU is much more efficient.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Major airports have 100 million passengers.
Sorry, you misunderstood. BKK gets 22 million tourist visitors a year. The '100 million passenger' airports you're referring to (LAX, ATL...) don't even make the top 10 list globally. In fact, the only North American city to make the list is NYC at 13 million tourist visitors per year.
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Old Apr 29, 19, 2:22 am
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
Is that hilarious chart also from the Economic Times? What language was it translated from?

I'm not sure whether I look forward more to trying Spicyjet, or Etihadity Airways

(I'm sure the numbers are reasonably accurate though)
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Old Apr 29, 19, 7:15 am
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Originally Posted by MKE-MR View Post
Is that hilarious chart also from the Economic Times?
That looks like wikipedia.

The idea that UA should elect to partner with TG for connections to India is completely unrealistic, for multiple reasons.

I've personally finally reached peace with no UA to BKK, and now enjoy trying various other routing options. Just did EK F via Europe, which may have ruined me for life.
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Old May 1, 19, 12:52 am
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Needed a return from BKK-SFO early June, best UA option was a RT HKG-SFO (W/R), pricing at $18xx. No PZ, but both flights looked like a decent chance of clearing the upgrade. For BKK-HKG RT, best option was EK for $614 RT. This would have required an overnight at HKG on the BKK-SFO leg. And also a daytime SFO departure / late night BKK arrival. So total price of $24xx, no confirmed upgrades on the long-hauls, and a less than ideal schedule which basically wastes a night at each end.

Option two was CX for $3214 RT, with a wide range of flight times, including what I consider ideal departures (6:55 pm from BKK, 1:15 am from SFO). Accruing 20k AS elite qualifying miles and approx 54k redeemable AS miles. Not to mention excellent CX lounges at BKK, HKG, and SFO. (By comparison, the NH/UA combo, with significantly less convenient timing, prices at $5497.)

This is why I still have seven unused GPU.
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Old May 1, 19, 2:10 am
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This is why UA needs to hit BKK non-stop from SFO. Later this year Thai will get their safety certification and Vietnam will launch non stop service to US west coast. At that point it may be too late...
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Old May 1, 19, 5:52 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Needed a return from BKK-SFO early June, best UA option was a RT HKG-SFO (W/R), pricing at $18xx. No PZ, but both flights looked like a decent chance of clearing the upgrade. For BKK-HKG RT, best option was EK for $614 RT. This would have required an overnight at HKG on the BKK-SFO leg. And also a daytime SFO departure / late night BKK arrival. So total price of $24xx, no confirmed upgrades on the long-hauls, and a less than ideal schedule which basically wastes a night at each end.

Option two was CX for $3214 RT, with a wide range of flight times, including what I consider ideal departures (6:55 pm from BKK, 1:15 am from SFO). Accruing 20k AS elite qualifying miles and approx 54k redeemable AS miles. Not to mention excellent CX lounges at BKK, HKG, and SFO. (By comparison, the NH/UA combo, with significantly less convenient timing, prices at $5497.)

This is why I still have seven unused GPU.
I soo get this. I am becoming quite the contortionist, twisting my travel plans to get value out of GPUs, ensure I hit PQM / PQDs, etc.
I have actually been using United just to get to HKG, then using HX quite a bit for the HKG<->BKK legs. Good timings for connections. Big risk for irrops.

At some point though, the Advil isn't going to be enough, and I will branch out more from United / *A.

It is a bit harder from non-hub cities though...
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Old May 1, 19, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by spartacusmcfly View Post
Later this year Thai will get their safety certification...
Don't hold your breath. They failed their most recent audit in February with 26 findings. It's been 4 years since they last were certified Category 1 by the FAA.
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