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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, 8:55 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 15
UA vs another airline for SFO-HKG monthly roundtrips?

Some more thoughts in addition to the questionnaire below
-I'm mostly interested in which FF program is going to net me the most value in terms of points I can use to redeem for personal airfare. UA seems like the logical choice, but the purpose of this post is to explore other options (Cathay/OW, Singapore/*A)
-I like that Cathay has midnight flights both from SFO and from HKG. UA's flight leaves midday both ways, which is kind of inconvenient. Granted I haven't tried it yet, but I like the idea of leaving SFO at midnight, sleeping for a while, landing at HKG at 6am, and going straight to work.

Really appreciate the input and help!

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Earning miles towards free travel for myself and my family.
(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Monthly SFO-HKG trips in business, plus monthly SFO-BOS transcon trips in economy (or business if fare is under $1k which it has been on UA recently)
(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
See above
(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Airline most flown? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Yes / travel for work
(5) Which routes and airlines do you fly most often
Not much travel currently
(6) What is your home airport?
SFO
(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
No
(8) Preferred Airlines
No preference
polar8 is offline  
Old Apr 25, 18, 9:06 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: DFW, HKG, J Cabin
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1K, DL DM, AS 75K,VA Silver, MR Titanium, HH Gold
Posts: 842
Here's some imput as a very requent flyer of SFO-HKG, and HKG in general. Lots of flights on UA and Cathay, AA and JAL.

I used to Fly 100% AA/OW, all credited to AA, was EXP/CK. Devalued the program + I moved to a station with no AA service, switched to UA/*A credited to UA. Now moved to Chicago, have choice of both. I got a lot of value over of the years out of AA's program, tons of first/busines class redemtions at good times, including 2 rtw F redemtions for my birthday 2 years in a row. Now, UAs program gets me more value, though with more buisness class than first class redemtions than the good old days and more expensive to boot. Still good value though.

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.

Hope this helps!
Originally Posted by polar8 View Post
Some more thoughts in addition to the questionnaire below
-I'm mostly interested in which FF program is going to net me the most value in terms of points I can use to redeem for personal airfare. UA seems like the logical choice, but the purpose of this post is to explore other options (Cathay/OW, Singapore/*A)
-I like that Cathay has midnight flights both from SFO and from HKG. UA's flight leaves midday both ways, which is kind of inconvenient. Granted I haven't tried it yet, but I like the idea of leaving SFO at midnight, sleeping for a while, landing at HKG at 6am, and going straight to work.

Really appreciate the input and help!

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Earning miles towards free travel for myself and my family.
(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Monthly SFO-HKG trips in business, plus monthly SFO-BOS transcon trips in economy (or business if fare is under $1k which it has been on UA recently)
(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
See above
(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Airline most flown? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Yes / travel for work
(5) Which routes and airlines do you fly most often
Not much travel currently
(6) What is your home airport?
SFO
(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
No
(8) Preferred Airlines
No preference
IWontRegretThis is offline  
Old Apr 25, 18, 9:23 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: BDL/BOS
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Posts: 1,656
i'd at least try CX and see if you're as sharp in the office directly after a 6am arrival. if it works for you, stick with CX based on schedule alone. UA's noon-ish departure bank from HKG is awful (for me at least).

polaris can be good, but the CX experience - hard/soft product and lounges - are both excellent and more consistent. plus, CX might end up in *A anyways.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 9:29 pm
  #4  
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With that level of travel (12x TPAC J) I think you can make GS (or at least have a shot), which opens up a world of redemption opportunities on UA. If the timing to HKG isn't a killer (I agree that the midnight flights are much nicer), I would lean that way. Also AA doesn't fly SFO-BOS.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 9:36 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
With that level of travel (12x TPAC J) I think you can make GS (or at least have a shot), which opens up a world of redemption opportunities on UA. If the timing to HKG isn't a killer (I agree that the midnight flights are much nicer), I would lean that way. Also AA doesn't fly SFO-BOS.
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?
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Old Apr 25, 18, 9:38 pm
  #6  
 
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The point of earning miles while flying for work is so that you can take your family on vacations, and this is where UA will win over CX. UA Polaris is just fine, especially with the opening of SFO Polaris Lounge. Just because some prefer CX soft/hard products over UA only applies to the business flyer alone.

UA' s revenue based RDM earning is great if you're buying Business Class tickets, and the miles add up very quickly once you make 1K, at 11 RDM per $1 PQD. You'll enjoy all the benefits of Business travel while earn your status. Longer term, there's lifetime status at 1MM BIS miles on UA that's worthwhile as well.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 9:53 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
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?
CX has its own lounge at SFO. It has multiple lounges at HKG and they far surpass any of the three *A lounges.

That said, the likelihood of achieving GS makes UA a very attractive call here, particularly if the focus is FFP. Though you really can't go wrong between CX, SQ, and UA.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 9:58 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by IWontRegretThis View Post
Here's some imput as a very requent flyer of SFO-HKG, and HKG in general. Lots of flights on UA and Cathay, AA and JAL.

I used to Fly 100% AA/OW, all credited to AA, was EXP/CK. Devalued the program + I moved to a station with no AA service, switched to UA/*A credited to UA. Now moved to Chicago, have choice of both. I got a lot of value over of the years out of AA's program, tons of first/busines class redemtions at good times, including 2 rtw F redemtions for my birthday 2 years in a row. Now, UAs program gets me more value, though with more buisness class than first class redemtions than the good old days and more expensive to boot. Still good value though.

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.

Hope this helps!
Without addressing the main discussion, I think this is an underappreciated trait of UA.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:20 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by CIT85 View Post
UA' s revenue based RDM earning is great if you're buying Business Class tickets, and the miles add up very quickly once you make 1K, at 11 RDM per $1 PQD. You'll enjoy all the benefits of Business travel while earn your status. Longer term, there's lifetime status at 1MM BIS miles on UA that's worthwhile as well.
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?
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:26 pm
  #10  
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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?
Nothing even close to equivalent. You're going to accrue far more miles on UA.

An equally key benefit is that if you make GS, you have substantially enhanced access to award seats and upgrades.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:38 pm
  #11  
 
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Someone more familiar with OW can chime in, but donít OW carriers charge YQ for award redemptions (which makes it oftentimes extremely expensive to redeem)? I know BA does but not sure about other carriers and if CK/Marco Polo gets you a waiver.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:42 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Nothing even close to equivalent. You're going to accrue far more miles on UA.

An equally key benefit is that if you make GS, you have substantially enhanced access to award seats and upgrades.
If he is GS yes, if not, the Asia miles are more usable IMHO. That said, I'm frustrated with UA today, looking at award redemption in J to MUC. Lots of redemption using skypesos or AS miles, UA? Ha, Ha, Ha, its 155K miles each way. Sad joke, perhaps is clouding my judgement.

This said, OP wants upgrades SFO-BOS (he posted an earlier question in this forum) and given that UA is probably the best option as he can use his GPUs if he is GS.
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:45 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by spin88 View Post
I'm frustrated with UA today, looking at award redemption in J to MUC. Lots of redemption using skypesos or AS miles, UA? Ha, Ha, Ha, its 155K miles each way. Sad joke, perhaps is clouding my judgement.
I'm also quite frustrated with redemption options using UA miles. But (as you know) GS is a whole different ballgame. Consolidated Global Services Thread: Benefits, Questions [2018]
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:46 pm
  #14  
 
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Go crazy on the outbound: fly SFO - SIN on UA (departs at 10pm-ish), then SIN - HKG on SQ. Taking into account the connection, you'll get to HKG by 1pm, with frequent visitor card and Airport Express placing you to somewhere (presumably) in Central by 2:30pm.

Then on the return take the non-stop UA HKG - SFO. The night before, stay out extra late or all night in LKF or at Dust Till Dawn in Wan Chai. You'll be tired by the time you get on the plane, and sleep on through until the 8am or whatever it is arrival in SFO. Full day ahead of you!

Alternatively, return on the right day of the week and take the 11pm or whatever HKG - GUM departure and connect it up with HNL - SFO or the Island Hopper.

We want points, right?
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Old Apr 25, 18, 10:57 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Posts: 1,821
I agree with all the comments above re: UA, if in fact you have the spend to make GS out of SFO.

On the Asia Miles/CX front, you can always take AS nonstop to BOS for full credit as well.
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