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United or Air Canada for U.S. resident traveling to Asia

United or Air Canada for U.S. resident traveling to Asia

 
Old May 20, 10, 7:44 pm
  #1  
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United or Air Canada for U.S. resident traveling to Asia

I'm a discouraged Delta Platinum looking to find greener grass with the Star Alliance. I fly to Asia 10+ times a year. I'm a U.S. resident.

1. Would you recommend United or Air Canada (or Continental)? Upgrades are not important to me--I generally rack up the miles and then give free tickets to my family, so FF award ticket availability is most important.

2. Also, is there any chance United would give me complimentary Silver or Gold status given I fly 100,000+ a year?

Thanks!

Last edited by redmaple9; May 20, 10 at 7:46 pm Reason: sp mistake
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Old May 20, 10, 7:56 pm
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Where is your home base, and where in Asia do you fly regularly?

Transiting Canada from the US to fly to Asia is OK occasionally, but I wouldn't make that extra stop a habit (I am Canadian BTW), only because I try to avoid unnecessary connections and delays.

I would ask United about a status match. They may give a challenge to get Premier or Premier Exec.
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Old May 20, 10, 8:09 pm
  #3  
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I'd go with Continental OnePass for the time being, to avoid StarNet blocking AND to have the ability to route USA -> Asia award tickets routed over either the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans (or both).

Last edited by HeathrowGuy; May 20, 10 at 10:09 pm
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Old May 20, 10, 8:18 pm
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Originally Posted by redmaple9 View Post
...

2. Also, is there any chance United would give me complimentary Silver or Gold status given I fly 100,000+ a year?
...
UA does not normal due a straight status match but rather a status challegne (the good news is you get the status immediately for 90 days) -- You will need to 15,000 BIS UA metal flights in 90 days to keep 1P status for the rest of the year. You will need to 50,000 EQMs by the end of the year to keep 1P status for next year

more in http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...ed-2010-a.html
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Old May 20, 10, 8:26 pm
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(in case you're new 1P = Premier Executive = mid-level status. That gets you star alliance gold benefits)
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Old May 20, 10, 8:35 pm
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Do US-Asia via Canada flights require clearing customs in Canada before going to Asia? I believe that's the case when going to North America, but not sure how it works the other way around.

Been thinking of trying to go to the U.S. via Canada one of these days.
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Old May 20, 10, 8:44 pm
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Thanks all. My base is Boston and I fly to Shanghai and Tokyo. Actually what I'm thinking is to fly United but to use the Air Canada FF system. Would that work. it seems like AC requires less miles to get free tickets.
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Old May 20, 10, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by FireEmblemPride View Post
Do US-Asia via Canada flights require clearing customs in Canada before going to Asia? I believe that's the case when going to North America, but not sure how it works the other way around.

Been thinking of trying to go to the U.S. via Canada one of these days.
clear canadian customs on outbound? yes
on inbound? no, you can go straight from aircraft to US Immigration
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Old May 20, 10, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by redmaple9 View Post
Thanks all. My base is Boston and I fly to Shanghai and Tokyo. Actually what I'm thinking is to fly United but to use the Air Canada FF system. Would that work. it seems like AC requires less miles to get free tickets.
Tokyo is fairly easy to reach from Boston, but needing to visit Shanghai means that if you fly AC you'll have to double connect somewhere, since they only fly there from Vancouver.

AC does have a better award program, but you won't get the main benefit of flying on UA, Economy Plus, if you credit all your miles to AC. Continental now has a slightly better award program than UA, and by this summer you should have full Economy Plus and domestic upgrade privileges on United if you have status on Continental.

So I'd recommend crediting to Continental and flying UA if you don't care about getting the international upgrade certificates (or fly less than 100,000 miles a year).
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Old May 20, 10, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by andrewwm View Post
Tokyo is fairly easy to reach from Boston, but needing to visit Shanghai means that if you fly AC you'll have to double connect somewhere, since they only fly there from Vancouver.
AC flies non-stop from Toronto to Shanghai 5 times a week (except Fri and Sun). AC 87 dep YYZ at 1:05pm and arr PVG 3:15pm the following day. So no need for double connection most days of the week.
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Old May 20, 10, 11:32 pm
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AC has a very cheap business class fare if you are flying out of BOS or LGA to NRT. Need to book a month out though.
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Old May 20, 10, 11:32 pm
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What you need to answer is what class you fly in. If you fly in C, UA still has a number of Asia flights that use old 777's with no flat beds. AC does have flat beds on all longhaul in C, I believe.

If you fly in Y, E+ will be a significant incentive to fly UA.

If you fly in F, it has to be UA since AC doesn't have F.
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Old May 21, 10, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
What you need to answer is what class you fly in. If you fly in C, UA still has a number of Asia flights that use old 777's with no flat beds. AC does have flat beds on all longhaul in C, I believe.

If you fly in Y, E+ will be a significant incentive to fly UA.

If you fly in F, it has to be UA since AC doesn't have F.
Agreed with almost everything. If flying C, I would take AC even when comparing to UA's new seats. AC has a better C product overall. And if you're flying over 100k BIS / year, AC will treat you like a god compared to being 1K on United (they simply don't have as many as United does, so it's easier for them to treat you better). Every op-up I ever got was on AC as an Elite or Super Elite. Not sure how they are now, but in my experience they were quite generous with those. Got 3 op-ups in one year flying YYZ - NRT.
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Old May 21, 10, 2:04 am
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There's no need to clear Canadian customs in YYZ on both outbound and inbound. Inbound, clear US customs.

Not all awards on Aeroplan cost less miles than United Mileage Plus. Econo award from US-Asia cost 75k miles on AC but 65k miles on UA. Premium cabins you need less points on Aeroplan. Also do note that AC charges fuel surcharges on AC awards, but no fuel surcharges on *A awards. AC awards do allow more creative routings.

If you fly UA, you get Econo plus if you're elite on UA. However AC Y on the 777 are quite nice.
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Old May 21, 10, 6:16 am
  #15  
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I'm no expert, but I believe UA MP/CO OP is much more generous than Aeroplan from an accrual perspective.

And since you fly 100K+ a year, you'll eventually earn 1K on UA which will mean at least 3 roundtrips in C (depending on availability) at Economy prices to PVG and NRT.

Also, UA has NRT flights from IAD, ORD, SFO, SEA, LAX, and HNL. You have a lot more options, many of which are in warm weather areas (so you can avoid winter-related delays).
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