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SFO 1K about to requal, won't get GS - what to do?

SFO 1K about to requal, won't get GS - what to do?

Old Jun 13, 17, 8:19 pm
  #1  
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SFO 1K about to requal, won't get GS - what to do?

Because of several international trips this year, I'm about to requalify for 1K already. I'm not going to qualify for GS (I principally fly LH internationally).

I'm based in SFO, where if you ain't GS, you ain't... My travel patterns are mostly Europe, NY and puddle jumpers on the west coast. I probably have another 30-50K miles to fly this year.

I'm looking for opinions as to whether I should just keep flying UA and "enjoy" 1KMM status, or should I try to do some a status match and get status for next year on DL or AA. I'm not sure it's worth it, but was curious what others in the Bay Area do in that situation.

Thanks!
greg99 is offline  
Old Jun 13, 17, 8:21 pm
  #2  
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Would seem that with your high spend within *A and MM 1K status that even in SF you'll be fine with UA.
aacharya is offline  
Old Jun 13, 17, 8:29 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Would seem that with your high spend within *A and MM 1K status that even in SF you'll be fine with UA.
The only upgrades I can clear out of SFO are to LA. Forget about EWR.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 8:30 pm
  #4  
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The answer seems easy. Fly UA INTL instead of LH and you'll show your loyalty and you'll be GS.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 8:31 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by aacharya View Post
Would seem that with your high spend within *A
I see no mention of spend in the OP, and also no mention of whether the OP flies high-value fares.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Jun 13, 17, 8:35 pm
  #6  
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I'm in a similar boat, should requalify on my next long-haul.

My current plan is to do most of my international flying on *A partners, and credit to UA.

For domestic, I'm looking at mostly buying F and picking the flights that are best value / most convenient. So it will likely be VX to SAN and DL to MSP. Maybe UA for t-cons, but I may try B6 as well.

Additional RPU/GPUs not much of an incentive these days, find RPU worthless, and not sure I'll burn the 5 GPU I still have left.
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Old Jun 13, 17, 8:39 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by milepig View Post
The answer seems easy. Fly UA INTL instead of LH and you'll show your loyalty and you'll be GS.
Actually, I've found that answer's pretty easy, but in the other direction.

When on business, I get to fly international in C. I either (a) fly UA in C and play the lottery (and almost certainly lose) trying to use a GPU to get in GF as a non-GS, or (b) fly LH in C and play the lottery (and almost always win) flying LH in F.

That's why I'm on LH as much as possible.

Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
I see no mention of spend in the OP, and also no mention of whether the OP flies high-value fares.
I'll probably wind up between $30-40K this year, so not enough for GS, especially when half of that is non-UA.

Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Additional RPU/GPUs not much of an incentive these days, find RPU worthless, and not sure I'll burn the 5 GPU I still have left.
This.

If UA does away with LH upgrades to F, I become a freelancer, because the GPU's are nearly worthless on UA metal to me, especially as they move completely to 2 class aircraft.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 6:50 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by greg99 View Post
Actually, I've found that answer's pretty easy, but in the other direction.

When on business, I get to fly international in C. I either (a) fly UA in C and play the lottery (and almost certainly lose) trying to use a GPU to get in GF as a non-GS, or (b) fly LH in C and play the lottery (and almost always win) flying LH in F.

That's why I'm on LH as much as possible.



I'll probably wind up between $30-40K this year, so not enough for GS, especially when half of that is non-UA.



This.

If UA does away with LH upgrades to F, I become a freelancer, because the GPU's are nearly worthless on UA metal to me, especially as they move completely to 2 class aircraft.
Perhaps there is some consideration you may still get for GS so long as you are ticketing all itineraries on 016 stock even when flying LH whether ticketed as a code share or LH flight. I thin UA Mileage Plus is the best loyalty program among the big three US based major airlines.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 7:04 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by chitownflyer View Post
Perhaps there is some consideration you may still get for GS so long as you are ticketing all itineraries on 016 stock even when flying LH whether ticketed as a code share or LH flight. I thin UA Mileage Plus is the best loyalty program among the big three US based major airlines.
There is not. 2 years in a row I had $60k+ PQD (so obviously all on 016 stock) but almost all on LH metal flying LAX-FRA/MUC. Never qualified for GS, even when asking for reconsideration. About as good of a litmus test as it gets.

As Greg mentioned alread, I don't regret it for a second. I was booking J and flying LH F as my GPUs cleared almost every time.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 7:15 am
  #10  
 
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If the OP's travel pattern is principally TATL in J on a relatively high fare class, and enjoying upgrades to F, then I cannot see how flying another airline in another alliance is going to improve that. On another alliance, there will be no upgrades to F (except as EXP on AA, but they're limited to 4 and don't work on BA). Sure the OP will get status on another airline but will not be getting upgrades and will "suffer" the same degradations as he/she would flying UA J.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Jun 14, 17, 7:44 am
  #11  
 
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Wow, there are a lot of first world problems here.

I do find it strange that the OP can't use the GPU to upgrade from J to F -- it is extremely rare that I see ON == 0 on any flight I take, although admittedly I book TPAC and not TATL.

That being said, if the choice is UA F or LH F, it's LH F every single time.

I also cringe at the notion regarding "If you ain't GS...." I am understandably curious: as an almost 10 year 1K, with the last 5 out of SFO, just what indignities has the OP really suffered? Not UG on TCONs? Buy F if you want F, but it's nothing to do with being in SFO, it's everything to do with the competition for less seats on the "ps" product. the reason you see all the GS up front is they mostly buy up front, otherwise they wouldn't be GS because they didn't spend as much. Correlation is not causality.

As a 1K, I am routinely upgraded on the short hops up and down the west coast -- as the OP is as well -- even on rock-bottom fares.

As a 1K, my interactions with reservation agents have been mostly good. Can think of only one terrible one in my years of calling. I firmly believe they have been mostly good because I take the time out to ask how they are doing by name at the beginning of the call. I suggest everybody try it -- you will hear a distinct change in their voice to a much happier spectrum.

I'll ask again, what's so "bad" about being a 1K out of SFO?

Back to the spirit of FT -- what should a 1K (or a 1P, for that matter) do when they reach status and can't get to the next level? There are two choices:

1. Don't waste status and fly somebody else. This mainly works only if you have status on another airline, particularly if one is feeling aggrieved with one's main airline. It is unlikely that Joe Q. Public will be treated any better than an elite. But it is worth a test to see if the grass really is greener -- toward a shift in "loyalty".
2. Keep on flying and enjoy the perks of the status. I will add here a rhetorical question: what is the point of achieving status if one does not plan to use the benefits (tangible or not) of said status? I get it that GPU/RPU are hard, but they are far from the only benefits of 1K. Free bags. Much shorter lines in airport. Almost always guaranteed overhead space. Free snack. ...

To actually be constructive: Given the OP flies TATL on LH, and is purchasing LH J, then perhaps the OP should look into [email protected]? Would the OP travel be enough to chase SEN? Is that better than 1K, given the OP flying patterns? It grants lounge access for the TCONs, and I thought better access to LH/LX F awards.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 8:10 am
  #12  
 
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I would recommend that you give DL a try for your domestic travel. Keep your TATL on LH (or LX) and apply these miles to M+.

The DL overall travel experience from beginning to end is really good. I just cannot say the same about UA; with UA, something always goes wrong. To me, DL treats me like how pmUA used to treat its elites.

And, yes, you can make DL work for you out of SFO. I will add that the SFO DL SkyClub is probably one of the best domestic airline lounges. No domestic UA Club comes even close to the SFO SkyClub. I also like that in many airports I have a choice of United Clubs and Delta SkyClubs.

My upgrade percentage on DL (when doing CPU) far exceeds that of UA (when using RPU and GPU instruments on higher econ fares). On UA I have XX RPUs and XX GPUs remaining, and these certs are proving to be worthless.

Yes, others will chime in on how bad the SkyMiles program is. It can be bad. However, I make it work for me. For award tickets many times UA shows no availability, but DL shows availability – and vice versa. So far for 2017 I have redeemed more DL miles than UA miles – mainly because DL had availability and usually at a lower redemption amount than UA.

Yes, if I applied my DL spend to my total UA spend, I would be in GS territory. But, I won’t do that. I really do not want to spend more time on UA (in its current state) than I have to. DL is just a much better overall experience.

Best of luck to you.
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Old Jun 14, 17, 8:19 am
  #13  
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DL is good for ops, but unless you can make top tier status, don't expect upgrades to FC and be careful not to allow DL to give you an "upgrade" into a middle C+ seat (DL's Y+ product). If you have an AmEx regular Platinum charge card or the Centurion card, it gives access to DL lounges when flying DL the same day.

If you're aiming for higher MM status, it could make sense to continue to fly *A and to credit everything to UA.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Jun 14, 17, 8:50 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by greg99 View Post
I'm based in SFO, where if you ain't GS, you ain't...
Amen. To me, UA is Global Services or bust.

Had some recent flights on DL which were pretty smooth. However, if you're using GPUs on LH, then keep flying UA to get more GPUs
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Old Jun 14, 17, 9:26 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post

Additional RPU/GPUs not much of an incentive these days, find RPU worthless, and not sure I'll burn the 5 GPU I still have left.
I burn through mine, and will be really happy to take any unused ones you have ... if anyone has extra I will take em

As for 1K from SFO, all depends where you fly .. going to IAD I clear, going to EWR I do not, going to BWI it is a toss up, RDU help sometimes.

Then again I am used to European carriers where short haul flights business class is just economy with an empty middle seat. For UA in domestic economy I like the small perk of getting a snack box and drink on those 4 hour flights.

So even as a non-GS (and never will be) there are some perks, that being said you can use the time to earn basic status on another airline so if you ever have to fly them you are not at zero.
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