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First (3-class) Saver to USA-Sydney using UA miles?

First (3-class) Saver to USA-Sydney using UA miles?

Old Feb 20, 20, 10:21 am
  #1  
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Unhappy First (3-class) Saver to USA-Sydney using UA miles?

I have a friend who lives in Denver and wants to use their MP for an O (First Saver) to Sydney. They have no status, but do have a MP credit card. We tried at length to find some space in O to no avail. We even tried LAX, SFO, IAH, IAD, and JFK as a potential origin. I was totally expecting to see some ANA or OZ availability in, at least, a mixed-cabin option. I came up empty handed. Interestingly enough, I did find a few mixed-cabin options when searching with AC (Aeroplan) but only in I/X.

Is *A just a horrible alliance for Australia, or is there a trick to finding some availability when someone is very flexible?
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:30 am
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Which carriers are you trying to fly F on since many of the carriers involved don't even have F (UA/NZ/AC).
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
Is *A just a horrible alliance for Australia, or is there a trick to finding some availability when someone is very flexible?
The only *A carriers that fly to SYD in F are SQ and TG. Try looking for F availability on BKK/SIN-SYD and then build your itinerary from there, though it's unlikely you'll see any F/O availability on SQ using Aeroplan or MileagePlus.

NH and OZ fly 789 and 777 respectively, and neither of them have F cabin.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by mpw81 View Post
Which carriers are you trying to fly F on since many of the carriers involved don't even have F (UA/NZ/AC).
Like I mentioned: ANA, OZ. Maybe even LH is an option?

Originally Posted by hirohito888 View Post
The only *A carriers that fly to SYD in F are SQ and TG. Try looking for F availability on BKK/SIN-SYD and then build your itinerary from there, though it's unlikely you'll see any F/O availability on SQ using Aeroplan or MileagePlus.

NH and OZ fly 789 and 777 respectively, and neither of them have F cabin.
Is there a possibility to have a mixed-cabin/mixed-carrier award with O to the gateway in Asia and then I to Australia?

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 20, 20 at 10:42 am Reason: merged consecutive posts by same member
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:38 am
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Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
Like I mentioned: ANA, OZ. Maybe even LH is an option?
No more F on OZ - LH doesn't fly to Australia.

Perhaps transferring Chase Sapphire points to Singapore would be an option
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:41 am
  #6  
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So maybe using SQ savers are the best option. Is it difficult to find O on TG using UA?
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:54 am
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Just a note "O" in UA terms is now premium economy inventory, so best not to use that term in context of UA programs

Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
So maybe using SQ savers are the best option. ...
SQ rarely release any long-hual FIrst Class award inventory to its *A partners -- so would either need to have KrisFlyer miles or some access thru AS ( at least in the past)


Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
Is it difficult to find O on TG using UA?
Using either SQ or TG will involve very indirect routing. adding many hours. ANA is bit better but still nearly 50% more distance from DEN first than with USA-OZ non-stops. 3-class F is nice but that will turn a long journey (DEN-SYD) into a marathon.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Feb 20, 20 at 11:15 am
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Old Feb 20, 20, 10:54 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
So maybe using SQ savers are the best option. Is it difficult to find O on TG using UA?
In general, TG O is not difficult to find using MileagePlus miles. However, routing a US to Australia award through Thailand, without paying US to South Asia plus South Asia to Australia, can be challenging. And UA's rules for mixed-cabin O/I awards can be funky.

In general, *A isn't great for US to Australia redemptions, due to the lack of an Australian carrier.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:11 am
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If you can find saver J award space to Australia you should be thrilled.

It seems a little advance research into which *A carriers actually offer three-cabin F to Australia might have been a good idea here. As noted, that would be TG or SQ, and SQ F is not available through UA. And I agree with jsloan it's going to be more or less impossible to get the BKK routing on TG on a single UA ticket.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:16 am
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While it's usually readily available, sadly the only *A 3-cabin F flight to AU/NZ that can be booked with UA miles is the sole remaining TG BKK-SYD-BKK flight, a 747 redeye from BKK and morning return. The SQ F flights can't be booked with partner miles.

With that said, I've never seen UA.com 'correctly' autoprice 3-cabin F to Australia since the 2018 (or so) changeover to married segment logic for awards. If you can find the right inventory, it's worth calling in to see if UA can manually price and issue the ticket, but I am not optimistic.

For my honeymoon, in the good old days when you could manually string together an itinerary, using UA miles, without much trouble, I did SYD-BKK-ICN in TG 744 F, with a long Bangkok layover (left the airport), followed by ICN-JFK on OZ in 380 F. UA correctly priced it as an Australia/NZ - USA award and we enjoyed a fairly leisurely, if circuitous, return trip in some pleasant F cabins.

Today, using UA miles, it would have to be something like XXX-HND/NRT-BKK-SYD on a combination of NH and TG, with some long layovers. I think TG only has 1 flight with F a day each from HND and NRT to BKK with F, and only the early HND flight connects with the BKK-SYD. So, your options are fairly limited. IME, business class to AU/NZ on one of the various nonstop flights is probably more likely than striking F availability on all 3 segments to use UA miles, and it's well worth the time savings to fly a less decadent product.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
Is *A just a horrible alliance for Australia, or is there a trick to finding some availability when someone is very flexible?
While OW is strong, *A isn't bad at all. When I go home to Oz, I usually construct an ex-EU *A itinerary with an LH/LX trip to BKK/SIN and TG/SQ down to Oz from there. Have had decent success, particularly on TG F. This option, of course, involves more time and miles (US-EU), but I enjoy stopping over at an EU city before the long trip to Australia. Something to consider.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:19 am
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Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
I have a friend who lives in Denver and wants to use their MP for an O (First Saver) to Sydney. They have no status, but do have a MP credit card. We tried at length to find some space in O to no avail. We even tried LAX, SFO, IAH, IAD, and JFK as a potential origin. I was totally expecting to see some ANA or OZ availability in, at least, a mixed-cabin option. I came up empty handed. Interestingly enough, I did find a few mixed-cabin options when searching with AC (Aeroplan) but only in I/X.

Is *A just a horrible alliance for Australia, or is there a trick to finding some availability when someone is very flexible?
Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If you can find saver J award space to Australia you should be thrilled.

It seems a little advance research into which *A carriers actually offer three-cabin F to Australia might have been a good idea here. As noted, that would be TG or SQ, and SQ F is not available through UA. And I agree with jsloan it's going to be more or less impossible to get the BKK routing on TG on a single UA ticket.
Is going via an Asia city in F worth the difference over a non stop flight in J? Far longer travel time and a transit.
UA also fly SFO-MEL, LAX-MEL. IAH-SYD. Just looking for LAX-SYD restricts the options
Airlines and routes with F is decreasing. Now days with many airlines J is better than F a decade ago

Great Circle Mapper
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Feb 20, 20 at 11:51 am Reason: Added DEN IAH, SFO & MEL to GCM
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:21 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
If you can find saver J award space to Australia you should be thrilled.

It seems a little advance research into which *A carriers actually offer three-cabin F to Australia might have been a good idea here. As noted, that would be TG or SQ, and SQ F is not available through UA. And I agree with jsloan it's going to be more or less impossible to get the BKK routing on TG on a single UA ticket.
I appreciate your candor. Is there any permissible routing (as far as UA is concerned) that would get me from a US gateway to BKK and onto SYD with a single OW itinerary?
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:28 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by ohiosux View Post
I appreciate your candor. Is there any permissible routing (as far as UA is concerned) that would get me from a US gateway to BKK and onto SYD with a single OW itinerary?
Permissible routings aren't the problem - it's whether the search engine is in a good mood. As mentioned, it would be difficult and probably require a nice agent to get X/BKK these days.
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Old Feb 20, 20, 11:35 am
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I think the most efficient routing entirely in true international F would be the overnight LAX-HND (and soon-to-be SFO-HND) on NH, followed by the ~10:30am HND-BKK and ~5:30pm BKK-SYD on TG. That said, agree with others that it is very unlikely to show up on UA.com, and getting an agent to manually construct and price such an itinerary is also unlikely. Having 1K or GS status increases your odds of getting a willing agent ever so slightly.
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