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Easiest Way to complete my 1K status match challenge for lowest cost?

Easiest Way to complete my 1K status match challenge for lowest cost?

Old May 18, 19, 1:52 am
  #1  
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Easiest Way to complete my 1K status match challenge for lowest cost?

Anybody have any good ideas on how I can complete my 1K status match challenge for lowest cost? 3 months to get 35k PQM or 40 PQS. I'm about 2 weeks in with 5k PQM & 6 PQS.

(Side note... how is there not already a website like Skiplagged except you filter by your FF airline and it finds you flights to anywhere, prioritized by stopovers and then price.. Maybe I'll make it.)

Cheers

Last edited by WineCountryUA; May 18, 19 at 11:18 am Reason: Title update to reflect status match challenge
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Old May 18, 19, 2:09 am
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TPAC such as SIN will get you PQM quickly at a fairly low cost if PQDs are not an issue.
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Old May 18, 19, 2:14 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
TPAC such as SIN will get you PQM quickly at a fairly low cost if PQDs are not an issue.
PQDs are not an issue on the status match, but I'm looking to spend absolutely lowest.

If I can consistently get segments in the LAX>SFO>LAS route for ~$120, I can complete the 40 segments for ~$1300.

Can I achieve 30k TPAC miles for less than $1300?
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Old May 18, 19, 2:20 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Lord Ford View Post
Anybody have any good ideas on how I can complete my 1K status match challenge for lowest cost? 3 months to get 35k PQM or 40 PQS. I'm about 2 weeks in with 5k PQM & 6 PQS.

(Side note... how is there not already a website like Skiplagged except you filter by your FF airline and it finds you flights to anywhere, prioritized by stopovers and then price.. Maybe I'll make it.)
That exists, sort of -- it's called Google Flights ok some manual work is desired, but if you put in an origin and dates without a destination you can get a map on which it shows you prices to major destinations visible on the map. This doesn't let you filter by airline, but a workaround for that is to enter a destination first (any destination, doesn't matter), use the dropdowns to filter by airline, and then clear out the destination field and it'll give you the same map view but only for your selected airline(s).

There's also this thread in another FT forum that is for requesting crowd-sourced mileage run ideas, more or less:

UA/Star Alliance: 2019 Consolidated Mileage/Status/Challenge Runs help needed

Welcome to FT, and good luck!
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Old May 18, 19, 2:24 am
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You can pick up some really cheap return fares to SIN. I have one in July and getting 17,900 PQM for $1,000 but that is a W fare so I could apply a GPU. I think you could pick up a K fare for approx $600.
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Old May 18, 19, 3:42 am
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Originally Posted by Aussienarelle View Post
You can pick up some really cheap return fares to SIN. I have one in July and getting 17,900 PQM for $1,000 but that is a W fare so I could apply a GPU. I think you could pick up a K fare for approx $600.
Great price for a TPAC route!
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Old May 18, 19, 8:56 am
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https://www.google.com/flights#flt=L...03*2.USD.76603

Premium Econ:
https://www.google.com/flights#flt=L...3*2.USD.138703

I don't think you can buy PE on ANA via United.com yet - not exactly sure, but you can call it in I think
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Old May 18, 19, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by Hipplewm View Post
I don't think you can buy PE on ANA via United.com yet - not exactly sure, but you can call it in I think
You can on many routes; however, many of these status challenges only count UA-operated flights, so Id check the rules before buying a ticket on ANA-operated flights.
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Old May 18, 19, 11:02 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Lord Ford View Post
Anybody have any good ideas on how I can complete my 1K status match challenge for lowest cost? 3 months to get 35k PQM or 40 PQS. I'm about 2 weeks in with 5k PQM & 6 PQS.

(Side note... how is there not already a website like Skiplagged except you filter by your FF airline and it finds you flights to anywhere, prioritized by stopovers and then price.. Maybe I'll make it.)

Cheers
Welcome to FlyerTalk, Lord Ford.

As others have said, a trip to SIN is probably your best bet. I monitor UA fares from LAX. A round trip from LAX/SFO/SIN nets 17,888 miles. So, if you were LA based, 35,000 is well within reach, though your post suggests you only need an additional 30,000 PQM.

For the next 330 days, there are no fares under $600 (again LAX to SIN on UA) and 60 days show fares under $700. Last night, there was a fare for $699 on May 19 (tomorrow) and May 26. The next "cheap" fare doesn't show up until September 2 ($681), which is just beyond you travel range.

Hong Kong is another option; I monitor those fares too. I look at fares from LAX to HKG via SFO. Over the next 330 days, the lowest fare that comes up is $460, which doesn't happen until September 3. Once again, all fares are based on trips originating at LAX. Depending on the routing, a round trip fare to HKG nets between 14,828 (LAX/SFO/HKG/SFO/LAX lowest recent fare of $460 r/t) and 17,559 (LAX/DEN/SFO/HKG/GUM/HNL/SFO/LAX with lowest recent fare $496 r/t). The downside to HKG is that there's an overnight stay, though reasonably priced accommodation is available in the city. Some of the best fares require two overnight stays, often in either LAS or DEN. In terms of upcoming fares to HKG, last night I found $548 on May 28 (LAX/SFO/HKG/SFO/LAX). That fare has disappeared and reappeared a few times; May 26 shows a fare of $583 (LAX/SFO/HKG/SFO/LAX). June is a bust; $583 on July 3 (LAX/SFO/HKG/SFO/LAX). After July 3, you have to wait until August 25 for a good fare ($500).

Right now, $1,300 may be a challenge. It was a completely different story four weeks ago.

If SIN or HKG interests you, I would keep monitoring fares. Last year, fares from LAX to SIN (often via SFO) rose fairly steadily, then on May 21, they dropped. Between May 21 and about June 4 or 5, there were 30 days when you could travel for under $600 and about 90 days when the fare dropped below $700 (looking out 330 days). I'm not predicting that the same behavior will reoccur; it's more of an encouragement to keep monitoring fares as they tend to be volatile and good fares to SIN often pop unexpectedly and can disappear quickly, probably because people like me buy them. My suggestion is to monitor fares from your home airport and see if anything decent comes up. In my experience, the cheapest and best way to earn decent "miles per hour" is through a quick turn in SIN.
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Old May 18, 19, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Lord Ford View Post
PQDs are not an issue on the status match, but I'm looking to spend absolutely lowest.

If I can consistently get segments in the LAX>SFO>LAS route for ~$120, I can complete the 40 segments for ~$1300.

Can I achieve 30k TPAC miles for less than $1300?
Easily. YYZ-SFO-SIN return, all on United metal. 21,000 PQM, $600 USD. Heck, do it twice and you're still under $1300.
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Old May 18, 19, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by Boogie711 View Post
Easily. YYZ-SFO-SIN return, all on United metal. 21,000 PQM, $600 USD. Heck, do it twice and you're still under $1300.
Wow, amazing find! It has been more expensive for me to go to Missouri than to practically travel around the entire world.
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Old May 18, 19, 11:30 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Boogie711 View Post
Easily. YYZ-SFO-SIN return, all on United metal. 21,000 PQM, $600 USD. Heck, do it twice and you're still under $1300.
OP looks like he's based on the west coast, so he would need a $400 positioning flight to YYZ... (which, granted, would also earn miles if on UA)

If you have a China visa (or even if you don't), I suggest taking a look at this thread:
UA, USA to China OJ from $303 ai

<$300 runs to China from LAX. Can be routed through HNL/GUM.
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Old May 18, 19, 11:54 pm
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As others have pointed out, flights across the Pacific are the best way to earn PQM at the lowest cost. The reason being is that for now, there is no Basic Economy across the Pacific. Hence you'll earn 100% PQM and 1 PQS per segment flown, even on the cheapest fare. I'd advise against doing domestic trips since you'll run into Basic Economy fares which only earn 50% of the miles and only give you 0.5 PQS not 1 PQS as you may expect. You may want to look into flying into the Eastern part of Canada on UA (which will earn 100% PQM and 1 PQS per segment since transborder flights don't have Basic Economy yet), then start from there to Asia on UA. Key airports to look out for would be YYZ, YOW and YUL. IIRC a roundtrip from California to those cities is about 4000 miles. Add on your TPAC and you've got another 21000 miles there for 25000. Which leaves you with another 5K PQM to earn. Perhaps another a roundtrip to North East Canada (this time with a silly routing to boost PQM?)

Safe Travels,

James
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Old Jun 3, 19, 11:23 pm
  #14  
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Thanks to everyone for the great responses!!!

Looks like my cheapest, most efficient option is to SIN & back... maybe twice - or once then a shorter trip.

Anybody else feel free to chime in!
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Old Jun 4, 19, 12:06 am
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Try to play with google flights and look for the following:
roundtrip US west coast to Europe (as positioning and depositioning)
then look for routings like
ams/bru-ord-iah-gru/gig/eze-iah-ord/ewr-fra/txl/muc

these europe-us-south america flights go for roughly 600$ and bring up to 25k pqm
add a cheap TATL and an intraeuropean flight for another 600$ and you should be at it.
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