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UA vs another airline for SFO-HKG monthly roundtrips?

UA vs another airline for SFO-HKG monthly roundtrips?

Old Apr 25, 18, 11:05 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by polar8 View Post
The points accrual multipliers are the main thing pulling me towards UA right now, since I think I can get to the high multiplier levels within a few months of my travel schedule. Does Asia Miles have a similar feature?
1.25x of miles flown in J for Asia Miles. So roughly 14k roundtrip. You would earn a lot more from the UA multipliers, plus redemption options are a bit better with *A partners.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 11:12 pm
  #17  
 
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I suggest flying Cathay or Singapore in J to HKG and credit miles to AS. Fly AS between SFO to BOS. Once you hit MVPG 75k you earn 125% bonus before class of service bonus. AS miles are very valuable and also transpac experience on CX and SQ are miles ahead of UA.

For miles earning calculation, you may earn more if you buy $8k J tickets on UA and have 1k status. I think you need to put some value on flight schedule and flying experience.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 11:24 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by polar8 View Post
The points accrual multipliers are the main thing pulling me towards UA right now, since I think I can get to the high multiplier levels within a few months of my travel schedule. Does Asia Miles have a similar feature?
If you expect to be spending close to $60k (total, not PQD) on UA metal tickets, you should also familiarize yourself with the "secret" Global Services redemption benefits. Some nice features include:

- If you fly on a paid premium ticket, you can force award or upgrade space for one companion (possibly requires 3 or more remaining seats)
- You can use your upgrade instruments on Economy awards
- Dramatically better access to upgrade inventory in general (PN versus R)
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Old Apr 25, 18, 11:43 pm
  #19  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
the "secret" Global Services redemption benefits
Yes, T or R inventory can be converted into a business class seat:

1. T=>XN + GPU = cleared into PN
2. R=>IN
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Old Apr 26, 18, 12:16 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by IWontRegretThis View Post
Honestly, I like Polaris over Cathay's J, plus cooler cabin and better bedding is nice, but the more flexible timing on the Cathay flights options and WAY better lounges on the HKG side may swing it that way for you. I have OWE and *G so I am covered either way, but imho UA is not that bad in J.
I share your thoughts almost exactly to a tee. CX's J seat has not aged well. CX will introduce revamped J service this summer, but there won't be a new J seat for at least three or four more years. That said, I prefer CX's evening departures from both ends of the Pacific -- exactly the opposite of UA's schedule. CX's HKG lounges, particularly The Pier first class lounge, are far superior (presumably) to the new SFO Polaris lounge.

Assuming everything else being equal, I would go with CX and bank the miles on Aadvantage. Elite status from CX flying is wholly mileage based, with EQD determined by multiplying the SFO-HKG distance (6,927 miles) by 25% (based on J, so, $1,731 each way). After you reach EXP, you will be able to use OW first class lounge even when flying business class or economy.

UA does offer SFO-BOS nonstop, which may be important to OP. If connecting flights are not an issue, AA does offer a better J hard/soft seat/lounge product on the LAX-HKG run with a similar late-night departure. That might be something to consider as well.

Caveat: I too am *G by virtue of 1MM, so I no longer fly UA/*A to accumulate status, yet am able to still enjoy *G benefits when I do fly UA/*A.

Last edited by sinoflyer; Apr 26, 18 at 12:22 am
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Old Apr 26, 18, 1:09 am
  #21  
 
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Friends dont let friends fly UA
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:08 am
  #22  
 
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~ 6 years to make 1MM @13,800 round trip (just over 4 if doing the SIN gambit) two of the nicest parts of current MM are a) you can share it and b) the recipient gets your higher status (think that even applies to GS)

Even if you (or your company) don't last 6 years (less if you do other UA flying ... as you will from SFO) you'll make a sizable dent in MM.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:48 am
  #23  
 
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1. If you can make GS, go for United. (For a first year out of SFO, you'll need to spend at least $60k in one year. They take some kind of weighed average of your last few years of flying.)
2. If you end up choosing CX, credit to AA. American, unlike United, has generous partner airline crediting rules. (Even if you book on CX directly, you still get EXP bonus miles and EQD. This is a huge deal because on United you can only get PQD when booking directly on UA, one of the reasons I never buy a paid ticket on SQ unless I have to.)
3. If GS is unattainable, do a mix of CX and United. You'll have significantly more flexibility in choosing your flights and more opportunities to redeem your miles (e.g., CX, JAL, LH are all great redemptions and AA transcons are way better than UA ones). OW Emerald is awesome for F class lounge access, and the 4 SWUs you get with AA EXP can be used on any fare class. (Personally, I use my GPUs only to upgrade from J to F on work tickets, or to J on expensive economy work tickets when J is too expensive. Otherwise, if it's for leisure, I'd much rather use a SWU than have to upfare a United ticket.)

Trust me on #3 . I was wed to UA for the longest time. It took me an AA loyalist friend to talk me into also flying AA, and I wish I'd seen the light sooner!
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Old Apr 26, 18, 7:12 am
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by polar8 View Post
The points accrual multipliers are the main thing pulling me towards UA right now, since I think I can get to the high multiplier levels within a few months of my travel schedule. Does Asia Miles have a similar feature?
A couple of options that might help you get to that point more quickly:

1) See if United will offer a status challenge, which can allow you to get at least some multiplier more quickly.
2) If your budget and travel policy allows, United Pass Plus (United (UA) Pass Plus Secure/ Flex -- Benefits, Value, Questions .... [Consolidated]), which is essentially prepaid travel, comes with elite status
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Old Apr 26, 18, 8:33 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
This is what I was thinking, particularly if you throw in $12K in SFO-BOS flights.

ETA: Also, with UA you'll get the new Polaris lounge in SFO and the (quite nice) United Club in HKG. I understand that CX's flagship lounge in HKG is quite nice, but what lounge do they use at SFO?
I don't agree with your usage of the phrase "quite nice". If the CX flagship lounge in HKG is "quite nice" then United's Club is a dump. CX has the best lounges in HKG. They are beyond nice.
In SFO does anyone prefer to use the UA Club if they can use the Centurion lounge? I guess the crowdedness may be a turn-off.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 8:45 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingstudent View Post
I suggest flying Cathay or Singapore in J to HKG and credit miles to AS. Fly AS between SFO to BOS. Once you hit MVPG 75k you earn 125% bonus before class of service bonus. AS miles are very valuable and also transpac experience on CX and SQ are miles ahead of UA.

For miles earning calculation, you may earn more if you buy $8k J tickets on UA and have 1k status. I think you need to put some value on flight schedule and flying experience.
If not achieving GS ($60k spend out of SFO is probably close to the minimum for a 1st timer), I agree w/CX and credit to AS. Even with recent devals, it's still a better program than AA, in my opinion. Especially since they fly SFO-BOS nonstop, versus having to connect on AA.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 11:58 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
I don't agree with your usage of the phrase "quite nice". If the CX flagship lounge in HKG is "quite nice" then United's Club is a dump. CX has the best lounges in HKG. They are beyond nice.
In SFO does anyone prefer to use the UA Club if they can use the Centurion lounge? I guess the crowdedness may be a turn-off.
I think he meant the United Club at HKG no the CX flagship lounge.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 12:59 pm
  #28  
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Originally Posted by markmho View Post
I think he meant the United Club at HKG no the CX flagship lounge.
I used the same phrase for both, which was probably a mistake, but I've never been to the CX lounge so I'm not really qualified to comment on it.

One way to look at it is that in either case you'd have access to a flagship lounge in one direction -- the Polaris lounge at SFO and the CX lounges at HKG. If you fly CX, you also have access to their lounge at SFO; if you fly UA, you also have access to the United Club at HKG, which, in my opinion, is among the nicer United Clubs. (You'd also have access to the other *A lounges at HKG, but I think the UC is probably the best of the bunch). How that measures up is in the eye of the beholder.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 1:10 pm
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by polar8 View Post
.. but I like the idea of leaving SFO at midnight, sleeping for a while, landing at HKG at 6am, and going straight to work.
..
YMMV of course but i see this sched as rather painful. You sleep perhaps 5-6 hours then it's gonna be 6-8 hours of being awake followed by a full workday - not the most productive setup for me personally. Leaving around noon, getting a few hours of nap/sleep along the way followed by full night rest in a normal hotel bed after evening arrival seems much better to me.
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Old Apr 26, 18, 2:10 pm
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingstudent View Post
I suggest flying Cathay or Singapore in J to HKG and credit miles to AS. Fly AS between SFO to BOS. Once you hit MVPG 75k you earn 125% bonus before class of service bonus. AS miles are very valuable and also transpac experience on CX and SQ are miles ahead of UA.

For miles earning calculation, you may earn more if you buy $8k J tickets on UA and have 1k status. I think you need to put some value on flight schedule and flying experience.
+1. The CX 359 aircraft are great. Minimal jet lag and numerous flights on CX.
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