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Buying P class or V class with copay+miles?

Buying P class or V class with copay+miles?

Old Jun 13, 16, 12:12 am
  #1  
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Buying P class or V class with copay+miles?

I plan to travel to Taipei this December. I have to fly back on either the 2nd or 3rd of January, which does not give me much flexibility for cheap ticket.

The cheapest economy seat class now is V class on these two days. I would like to upgrade myself to Polaris Business with 30K miles and copay $500, although R class is not available at this moment.

If I book myself to P class in return segment without playing upgrade game, I have to pay additional $1320, comparing with returning on V class.

I am debating if there is a significant difference between "30K+$500+standby" and $1320.

Any suggestions? Thank you very much.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by sfo3388 View Post
... I am debating if there is a significant difference between "30K+$500+standby" ...
Using 1.5 to 2 cpm for miles, equivalent to $950 to $1,100 and possible chance of upgrade.

Originally Posted by sfo3388 View Post
... and $1320. .
GUARANTEED seat
earns x2 PQM
Earns $1320 PQDs and therefore more RDMs (assuming you are a 1K - 14,520 RMDs -- and at 1.5 to 2 cpm -- worth $200 to $300)


So roughly $1000 and a chance of an upgrade vs roughly $1000 net and a Guarantee seat & PQMs + PQDs

The P fare is a no brainer.

Originally Posted by sfo3388 View Post
....upgrade myself to Polaris Business ....
However thinking Polaris seat is a sure thing in your timeframe is a risk.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 12:56 am
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Originally Posted by sfo3388 View Post
I plan to travel to Taipei this December. I have to fly back on either the 2nd or 3rd of January, which does not give me much flexibility for cheap ticket.

The cheapest economy seat class now is V class on these two days. I would like to upgrade myself to Polaris Business with 30K miles and copay $500, although R class is not available at this moment.

If I book myself to P class in return segment without playing upgrade game, I have to pay additional $1320, comparing with returning on V class.

I am debating if there is a significant difference between "30K+$500+standby" and $1320.

Any suggestions? Thank you very much.
Personally, I would go for the P fare at that price differential (which is minimal if as WineCountry UA notes you price the miles at 1.5 - 2 cents each). Advantages are:

1. You're certain to sit up front vs. possibility of upgrade.
2. More likely to keep the business seat if UA has to rebook you due to IRROPS.
3. Extra PQM.

I don't think you're going to see the Polaris seat in December.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 6:36 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
Using 1.5 to 2 cpm for miles, equivalent to $950 to $1,100 and possible chance of upgrade.

GUARANTEED seat
earns x2 PQM
Earns $1320 PQDs and therefore more RDMs (assuming you are a 1K - 14,520 RMDs -- and at 1.5 to 2 cpm -- worth $200 to $300)


So roughly $1000 and a chance of an upgrade vs roughly $1000 net and a Guarantee seat & PQMs + PQDs
Not quite the correct analysis:

Guaranteed *chance* for UG (V fare) vs. $1320 (P fare)
If the UG does not happen, the OP has to chase down a refund, but otherwise has $1320 more in their bank account.
IF the UG happens, then it's ~$800-1000 (but a lousier seat) vs $1320 and came out ahead.

NO matter what:
The P fare gives 2x the EQM -- which can be a bit deal
It's also $1320 more in the EQD -- which is actually a bit more appealing.

If the OP will need the EQD, then the P fare is likely the way to go. Otherwise, it's low business travel time, so the chance for UG is likely high, especially if one is observant day of travel. I'd still go with the P fare, but YMMV.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
However thinking Polaris seat is a sure thing in your timeframe is a risk.
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
I don't think you're going to see the Polaris seat in December.
OP didn't say anything about the new seat, just 'Polaris Business'. This is actually the correct terminology - what is now called BusinessFirst is being branded as Polaris Business Class for flights departing December 1. That means it will be Polaris Business - even if the new seat isn't installed yet, and the new lounge i. SFO isn't finished yet. UA has clearly said new seat will be debuting in 2017, but Polaris service will start on Dec. 1.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 8:23 am
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I'm flying in the same timeframe, and the first thing I checked was the airframe on that route. Right now it's served by a 789, which is NOT on United's launch list for Polaris service. That could change, I suppose, but as of now you have to assume that it's going to be the current 2-2-2 BF hard product.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 8:26 am
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I think you'll be able to count on the new "branding" for post 12/1 flights in J/F (menus, wording on tickets/website, etc.) but I would not count on the soft product being avail/consistent, regardless of the route.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
OP didn't say anything about the new seat, just 'Polaris Business'. This is actually the correct terminology - what is now called BusinessFirst is being branded as Polaris Business Class for flights departing December 1. That means it will be Polaris Business - even if the new seat isn't installed yet, and the new lounge i. SFO isn't finished yet. UA has clearly said new seat will be debuting in 2017, but Polaris service will start on Dec. 1.
We don't know what OP meant so I thought it prudent to let him know the much-hyped seat is not likely to be part of the package.

Using the term "Polaris" in the interim will simply cause confusion as to whether one is referring to the hard or soft product.

This whole idea of branding "business class" is rather silly.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post

Using the term "Polaris" in the interim will simply cause confusion as to whether one is referring to the hard or soft product.

This whole idea of branding "business class" is rather silly.
^IMO, UA knows this, but confusion is not their enemy in this case.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 9:09 am
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Another possibility is to find a GPU from your friends, which can be less costly. If one has to sit on BF seat, the P fare is no brain. If one does not care whether or not it is economy or business seat, the GPU upgrade request is the way to go. Good luck.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
We don't know what OP meant so I thought it prudent to let him know the much-hyped seat is not likely to be part of the package.

Using the term "Polaris" in the interim will simply cause confusion as to whether one is referring to the hard or soft product.

This whole idea of branding "business class" is rather silly.
Thank you all for the suggestions. I am aware that "Polaris Business" is just a new name for BusinessFirst starting December.

From the aircraft thread, four of the new 77W are coming to SFO but I don't think TPE will get 77W anytime soon. However, from AirlineRoute, ancient 744 may fly to TPE starting May next year. Are they kidding me? (http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/...ghlight=United)
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Old Jun 13, 16, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
More likely to keep the business seat if UA has to rebook you due to IRROPS.
For me, this is always the clincher. I assume they'd even put you on another airline's biz class if that happens? But no way with a mile UG or GPU.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by sfo3388 View Post
However, from AirlineRoute, ancient 744 may fly to TPE starting May next year. Are they kidding me? (http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/...ghlight=United)
Very poor Y experience no doubt, but the 744 UD is arguably the best business class UA currently has.

Originally Posted by chavala View Post
For me, this is always the clincher. I assume they'd even put you on another airline's biz class if that happens?
Yes, they are supposed to rebook in your booked class of service, so a P on UA should translate to business class on BR.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 11:18 am
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Originally Posted by sardonic View Post
I'm flying in the same timeframe, and the first thing I checked was the airframe on that route. Right now it's served by a 789, which is NOT on United's launch list for Polaris service. That could change, I suppose, but as of now you have to assume that it's going to be the current 2-2-2 BF hard product.
What are you talking about?

Polaris is UAs new branding for it's long-haul premium service - 'Polaris Business Class' is what is now called BF. The new seat, which will be rolled out to different aircraft over several years (and yes, 789 is not going to have this for a while), is only 1 part of this (and according to the launch information, won't even be on a single aircraft until next year).

The service, amenities, lounges (in hubs/key locations), meals, etc. all together make up what is referred to as 'Polaris'. I'm not sure why people aren't understanding that Polaris is not solely about the seat.

The soft product should be changing to Polaris standard for any flight Dec. 1 and beyond. The seats don't get done overnight, and I'm sure there will be a transition until even the soft product is brought up to the level announced (as with anything), but that not withstanding, the Polaris service will be on 788/789, too.
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Old Jun 13, 16, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
I'm not sure why people aren't understanding that Polaris is not solely about the seat.
Perhaps because UA's marketing is deliberately vague, and highlights the seat as the prime feature of "Polaris"? And because much of the rest is just marketing-speak to which savvy UA flyers long ago became inured?

Certainly see no need to berate members for not being 100% on top of the differing roll-out schedule for hard and soft product.
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