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1k needs help on award vs buying to LHR. Let the mob decide!

1k needs help on award vs buying to LHR. Let the mob decide!

 
Old Nov 10, 08, 9:05 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Programs: UA
Posts: 8
1k needs help on award vs buying to LHR. Let the mob decide!

So I've been 1K for a few years, but flying out of SNA (737/757 central!), I rarely am able to get LD flights that are worth upgrading for. What's is that crazy I have SWU's & CR-1's that expire every year from "I'm-saving-them-for-flights-when-they'll-really-be-worth-it" syndrome, which of course, never comes around. But really, how quickly would you pull the trigger on using a SWU to fly to Birmingham AL with a connection in Denver? Or to San Francisco? Or Lubbock, TX?

After 3 years, I have never used a SWU or CR1. Sad huh? (I typically use my e500's to upgrade domestically and fly SQ to China for work)

So here's my deal:
700k miles in the bank
SWU's and CR1's galore.

I'd like to go see Arsenal play West Ham United in London Saturday January 30th. I can leave Thursday the 29th and come back Monday the 2nd.

As a 1k, I can get the saver award I want for 50k.
Or I can pay $770 and upgrade to C class using my SWU's.

I do well so I can pay the $770, but I'm a frugal person (hence the saving but never using the SWU's) so it's hard for me to pull the trigger on it and then upgrade.

What do I do? I'm throwing myself to the decision of the mob!

Thanks!
SNA-UA is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 9:43 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Programs: UA 1K, SPG
Posts: 1,577
Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
After 3 years, I have never used a SWU or CR1. Sad huh?
Tragic!!!

Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
I'd like to go see Arsenal play West Ham United in London Saturday January 30th. I can leave Thursday the 29th and come back Monday the 2nd.
As I'm sure you know, the outbound would use one of your 1/09 SWUs; the return would use one of your 1/10 SWUs. I guess it doesn't make a difference if you never use them.

Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
As a 1k, I can get the saver award I want for 50k.
Or I can pay $770 and upgrade to C class using my SWU's.
1) Check NC availability and the cabin load on your flights and make sure that it's a safe bet to clear. 2) Consider whether the miles you earn on the revenue ticket would get you over a milestone like 1K or elite choice. 3) Have you considered a *A award C or F award? In your situation, with that many miles and some flexibility, I would either try for a *A C or F award and, if not and provided there were NC availability or a great chance for an upgrade, I'd pay $770 for NC both ways.
fadeforward is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 9:44 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Phoenix
Programs: UA1k;HH Gold;MR Gold
Posts: 6,104
Is this a saver C award?

If so, I would definately spend 50K to save $770. ( Assuming you dont need the EQM to requal).

You can trade the SWu's on coupon connection. Probably trade ( at this time of yr) 3 of those SWU's and get someone to give you the 50K award. Sounds like the best deal to me
jan_az is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 9:46 pm
  #4  
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I hope you gave those CR1s and SWUs away at least. Get enough posts on FT and trade them away.
CApreppie is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 9:51 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boston
Programs: UA 1K, SPG
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Originally Posted by jan_az View Post
Is this a saver C award?

If so, I would definately spend 50K to save $770. ( Assuming you dont need the EQM to requal).
Saver C is 80K where the OP is going.
fadeforward is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 10:20 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: RNO, NV, USA.
Programs: UA 1K 2MM
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Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
So here's my deal:
700k miles in the bank
SWU's and CR1's galore.

As a 1k, I can get the saver award I want for 50k.
Or I can pay $770 and upgrade to C class using my SWU's.

I do well so I can pay the $770, but I'm a frugal person (hence the saving but never using the SWU's) so it's hard for me to pull the trigger on it and then upgrade.
There is NC (upgrade from coach to business) availability for your dates.

As you describe yourself as a frugal person, I would recommend spending 50K miles for a coach award seat.

Miles do not earn interest and SWUs and CR1s expire.
restlessinRNO is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 10:26 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SNA
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1K (until it expires then never again), *wood Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 8,974
Well I'd say buy the $770 fare and upgrade to C or use more miles to get XC or XF. The delta between Y->C->F for mileage tickets IMO is too low to ever use miles for XY.
ryan182 is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 10:32 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: GM on VX, UA, AA, HA, AS, SY; Budget Fastbreak
Posts: 5,282
I assume OP does not "need" the LHR flight to retain 1K status.

With this assumption and the 700,000 RDM balance, I'd say buy 80K saver or 160K standard award for C unless a F saver is available. No need to buy a Y ticket, and what else will happen with those 700,000 miles?

Michael
gaobest is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 10:34 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Programs: UA 2.2MM, Marriott Lifetime Platinum, National Exec, Hertz President's Club, Starwood Gold
Posts: 173
Spend the $770 and use your SWUs to upgrade.

There is a world of difference between E/E+ and C on an 11 hour flight.

Use the time in the C seat to sleep so you can enjoy the game. Otherwise you'll be exhausted the whole time.
SD-Flyer is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 10:39 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Programs: UA 1K, AA PLT, SPG PLT
Posts: 1,612
I consider myself 'frugal' as well, and if all things were equal, in my case:

I'd buy the flight. $770 for an upgradable fare from the west coast seems pretty good!

Plus, the biggest advantages - instead of redeeming miles, you'll be raking them in, plus earning EQMs for status next year!

So, go - but definitely be sure you can get tickets early, I can't imagine this London derby being easy to get tickets for. I saw Chelsea (i'm a fan) play Derby in March this past year at Stamford Bridge and got tickets a few days before the match, 110 quid for two seats...

-jeremy
kmfdm91 is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 11:03 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: USA, JPN, GBR
Programs: A3, AA, DL, HH, SK, SPG, UA
Posts: 1,784
Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
...After 3 years, I have never used a SWU or CR1. Sad huh? (I typically use my e500's to upgrade domestically and fly SQ to China for work)...
And I thought I was bad this year for even contemplating burning all my SWUs on sub-500 mile flights. But with only short hops left this year and little hope of year end MRs (or 2009 1K status), I don't have much choice.

Anyway, as to the OP's question, I'd personally do the $770 + SWU, since the SWUs just vanish (at least the miles can still be used). Plus, I shudder at the idea of being stuck in Y for 12 hours, especially if I'd had the option to be in C... Then, I'd plan my travel for next year and redeem my miles at the current rates before they jump.
Tennen is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 11:28 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: SJU, LAX
Programs: UA MM
Posts: 134
I'd fly LAX-ZRH-LHR on Swiss award in 1st class if you can get it. UA's C and F really stink compared to Swiss (I just did both). If you need the miles to keep making 1k then buy the ticket.

Do become more active here so you can trade things. I never use CR1s and trade them for more SWUs, discount certs, ....

If I were you I'd drive another 45 minutes to LAX for most of your flights of any distance; this is much better than adding a connecting flight.

Last edited by foothill; Nov 10, 08 at 11:31 pm Reason: more...
foothill is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 11:34 pm
  #13  
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700,000 miles in the bank??? FIRST CLASS! No question. Unless you're planning some big family trip and will need those miles soon, burn them and treat yourself. Fly out of LAX or SFO to get the longest ride in international F, but go through ORD if necessary to get the new F suite at least one way.

Life is short. Go First Class when you can, and with 700,000 miles sitting around, you can.
flyinbob is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 11:37 pm
  #14  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
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Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
Or I can pay $770 and upgrade to C class using my SWU's.
Is your $770 from SNA-LHR? And it's a W fare or better? How did you find it? I'm only finding a $930 fare SAN-LHR for dates within a week of yours.

I can find a fare closer to $770 from SNA-LHR, but it is an S fare and not upgradeable.

Are you using a consolidator, and if so, whom?
SanDiego1K is offline  
Old Nov 10, 08, 11:43 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by SNA-UA View Post
As a 1k, I can get the saver award I want for 50k.
Or I can pay $770 and upgrade to C class using my SWU's.
The flights you seem to be finding for $770 (actually $769) are LAX-LHR and return. Unfortunately, these are in the S fare bucket which is NOT upgradeable using SWUs. You need at least W fares to upgrade using SWUs which is a little more expensive - $869 RT in this case.

I'd imagine these facts might influence your decision
fzwinter is offline  

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