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UA vs another airline for SFO-HKG monthly roundtrips?

UA vs another airline for SFO-HKG monthly roundtrips?

Old Apr 30, 18, 4:41 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Given the OP's previous statement that CX already wins based on schedule, does it come down to crediting AS or AA?

If that's the case, I still think it's a no-brainer, others will vociferously disagree, I'm certain!
NoLaGent is online now  
Old Apr 30, 18, 5:39 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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I'll repeat myself one more time with a slight change: Do CX (credited to AA) for SFO-HKG. As soon as you hit EXP on AA, do a status challenge to 1K on United and use that for SFO-BOS which is often sub-$1k in J. (You may have to throw in one SFO-HKG trip on UA to help you complete the challenge.)


Having both statuses is extremely handy when redeeming miles. (Sometimes only OW has availability going somewhere, but United has it coming back.) Once you have EXP/1K, you'll also be earning points on both programs and will have twice the systemwide upgrades.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:25 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by UAflyer93 View Post
I'll repeat myself one more time with a slight change: Do CX (credited to AA) for SFO-HKG. As soon as you hit EXP on AA, do a status challenge to 1K on United and use that for SFO-BOS which is often sub-$1k in J. (You may have to throw in one SFO-HKG trip on UA to help you complete the challenge.)


Having both statuses is extremely handy when redeeming miles. (Sometimes only OW has availability going somewhere, but United has it coming back.) Once you have EXP/1K, you'll also be earning points on both programs and will have twice the systemwide upgrades.
This is good advice. But correct me if I'm wrong. This will only work for one year, right? I don't think UA will keep status matching.

Also, and I only bring this up b/c OP seems relatively new. If your company will let you handle your own bookings and pay with your own credit card, make sure you get that sort out. At roughly $70k spend (internationals plus domestic), that's another 210k points on Chase with a CSR or 350k if you're booking at American Express with a Platinum. And Amex has the International Air Program if you book through them. Cathay is part of that program. I was able to get an additional $500 off an already discounted La Premiere ticket. Its only useful for Biz and F tickets so worth a call to have them price it.

If you're bound to corporate travel dept, then at least get the hotel credit card sorted out. Plenty of good options in HK to be racking up some points.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 7:29 pm
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by th14 View Post
This is good advice. But correct me if I'm wrong. This will only work for one year, right? I don't think UA will keep status matching.

Also, and I only bring this up b/c OP seems relatively new. If your company will let you handle your own bookings and pay with your own credit card, make sure you get that sort out. At roughly $70k spend (internationals plus domestic), that's another 210k points on Chase with a CSR or 350k if you're booking at American Express with a Platinum. And Amex has the International Air Program if you book through them. Cathay is part of that program. I was able to get an additional $500 off an already discounted La Premiere ticket. Its only useful for Biz and F tickets so worth a call to have them price it.

If you're bound to corporate travel dept, then at least get the hotel credit card sorted out. Plenty of good options in HK to be racking up some points.
The status challenge will only work the first year, but it will help him get up to speed to the 11x multiplier as quickly as possible. After the first year, it sounds like he does enough travel to maintain status on both airlines.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 8:54 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by UAflyer93 View Post
I'll repeat myself one more time with a slight change: Do CX (credited to AA) for SFO-HKG. As soon as you hit EXP on AA, do a status challenge to 1K on United and use that for SFO-BOS which is often sub-$1k in J. (You may have to throw in one SFO-HKG trip on UA to help you complete the challenge.)


Having both statuses is extremely handy when redeeming miles. (Sometimes only OW has availability going somewhere, but United has it coming back.) Once you have EXP/1K, you'll also be earning points on both programs and will have twice the systemwide upgrades.
While I completely agree with you about dual-status, I think there may be two problems with your theory.

#1 . Challenges to 1k are almost non-existent these days, unless you have a really good corporate account. I'm pretty sure the highest is Plat.

#2 . Given OP's mid-year start and only 1x month to BOS, it'll be difficult to complete that challenge, and may not even be possible (even for EXP on AA) if splitting the HKG trips between AA & UA.

This scenario probably requires a spreadsheet to confirm, but I'm too lazy for that. OP should consider it though.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 9:09 pm
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by UAflyer93 View Post
The status challenge will only work the first year, but it will help him get up to speed to the 11x multiplier as quickly as possible. After the first year, it sounds like he does enough travel to maintain status on both airlines.
I don't follow. The 11x multiplier is only good for RDM and won't help the OP retain his 1K status the next year. So, year 2 (or maybe 3 if the challenge is requested late enough) he'd be back to trying to figure out how to get the UA 1K without option for a challenge. Monthly SFO-BOS will not get you back to 1K alone. What am I missing?
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Old May 4, 18, 12:47 am
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
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.
Wow, in an airport with a TG and SQ lounge, and the United Club is the best of that bunch, can't imagine how bad the TG and SQ lounges are then! From what I've heard, the SQ lounge doesn't even have restrooms...
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Old May 4, 18, 12:57 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
While I completely agree with you about dual-status, I think there may be two problems with your theory.

#1 . Challenges to 1k are almost non-existent these days, unless you have a really good corporate account. I'm pretty sure the highest is Plat.

#2 . Given OP's mid-year start and only 1x month to BOS, it'll be difficult to complete that challenge, and may not even be possible (even for EXP on AA) if splitting the HKG trips between AA & UA.

This scenario probably requires a spreadsheet to confirm, but I'm too lazy for that. OP should consider it though.

#1 Hmm... I know several people who have recently done 1K challenges. I think you just need to call MileagePlus or e-mail in. It's usually 35K PQM and $4k PQD in 3 months.

#2 Again, OP could throw one SFO-HKG to United to complete the challenge. A single roundtrip to HKG is 27706 PQM and certainly over $4k PQD. Just two SFO-BOS roundtrips will help him complete the challenge.

#3 Just because OP generally prefers CX timing, doesn't mean he can't do a couple SFO-HKG roundtrips on UA each year...

12 roundtrips to BOS alone would be 64,896 PQM in economy and 129,792 PQM in business. (OP mentioned that if SFO-BOS is under $1,000 in J, he can book that. SFO-BOS in J is often $399-599, so he should at least be able to book one way in J, thereby increasing his total PQM from SFO-BOS to roughly 100,000 PQM)

To requalify for 1K (in addition to EXP), he might not even need to do a SFO-HKG roundtrip on UA. But if that's not the case, he can certainly do 1 or 2 of his monthly SFO-HKG roundtrips on UA. The extra certificates and OWE/*G combo alone are worth it.

Last edited by UAflyer93; May 4, 18 at 1:27 am
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Old May 4, 18, 1:02 am
  #69  
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I think OP has to take other factors into the consideration:

1. AS status is the worst among all discussed. OP can't get any value out of AS other than miles earned. On the other hand, a AA EXP can at least use CX F lounges even with J class ticket (as OWE).

2. CX IRROPS and CS handling is worse than UA IMHO. CX practically does not provide compensation. So if you have an in-flight incident of any kind. Good luck with CX.

3. OP could choose SQ, which is *A option of the SFO-HKG midnight flight. However, SQ's programs (KF and PPS) suck.

Again - what's more important - miles or personal comfort? This can only answered by OP.

Also - FWIW - midday departure may not be such a bad idea as it seems.
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Old May 4, 18, 1:40 am
  #70  
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Originally Posted by matrixwalker2012 View Post
Wow, in an airport with a TG and SQ lounge, and the United Club is the best of that bunch, can't imagine how bad the TG and SQ lounges are then! From what I've heard, the SQ lounge doesn't even have restrooms...
The SQ lounge isn’t bad by any means, and there are nice bathrooms along with separate showers. Also, can’t forget about the Movenpick ice cream

The only real downside is that it’s a bit of a dungeon with no windows.
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Old May 4, 18, 2:03 am
  #71  
 
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Few more UA points:
  • once you make 1K/GS on UA you'll be pulling in more RDM than you will know what to do with
  • Polaris lounge at SFO is better than what CX has to offer @ SFO, although both airports have a Centurion lounge
  • UA SFO-BOS flights are all lie-flat and non stop which neither AS nor AA offer.
Someone else alluded to this, if there is a way for you company to use PassPlus (i.e. essentially buying a $50K UA gift card) you'll be GS off the bat.
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Old May 4, 18, 3:07 am
  #72  
 
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And even if OP does not take my 1K/EXP suggestion into account, please do not go for AS. One World Emerald and Star Gold are far more valuable and you will earn far more miles with either AA or United.

I rest my case.
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Old May 4, 18, 5:10 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post

Also - FWIW - midday departure may not be such a bad idea as it seems.
I like midday departures. I wake up, shower, have light breakfast, go to airport.

Evening departures is a problem in the inbound direction because I have to check-out of the hotel at noon (sometimes I do get an extension but it's not sure).
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Old May 4, 18, 7:29 am
  #74  
 
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If I had a way to get to GS such as this I would jump on it. Let's also not forget bringing in the CC spend on UA Explorer/Club Card woudl yield 2 miles per dollar on UA. Thus let's say you are at 5k per ticket that is 60k plus 12k for bos-sfo for 72k which is another 142k miles. I value UA miles at 2cpm although others have them at 1.5 cpm so at the high end you have $2,840 in value and on the low end you have $2,130, just off using the UA cc.

If there were some stops needed I would absolutely go with CX, but both are non-stop although I don't relish departing midday agreed, but traffic is less of a factor potentially.

The new polaris lounge in SFO is a long overdue addition as well. The service and food on CX really is better than UA without a doubt.

Your priority was FF program and non-stop which UA wins for the GS possibility alone IMO.

Best of luck and enjoy.
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Old May 4, 18, 11:04 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by HawaiiO View Post
Friends dont let friends fly UA
If all you are flying is SFO-HKG and SFO-BOS, making GS after a year makes it the obvious choice.

UA has a terrible reputation for service but when you are GS you are properly looked after.

Better award and upgrade possibilities. They throw miles at you for buying premium cabin.

773 SFO to HKG is sweet in Polaris.

Wifi available mostly so leaving SFO at 130pm still make you workable, and arriving into HKG at night and getting a night's sleep v a 5-6am arrival on CX and then going to work is brutal.

If I was advising someone who flies once a year, then yes maybe I would not recommend flying UA. But you have have the chance to earn GS, fly nonstop on your main routes, UA is the way to go.

CX is in crisis mode with front line v management, cutbacks on service. Agree they have better lounges in HKG but if you are SFO-based UA is your best option.

In your case, friends do let friends fly UA!

Adam
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