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Best airlines out of DEN? Points strategy?

Best airlines out of DEN? Points strategy?

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Old Nov 10, 18, 8:43 am
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Best airlines out of DEN? Points strategy?

Hello all,

It looks like I'll be moving to Denver next year and I'm adjusting my travel points strategy for airlines out of DEN. My current home airport is RDU (Raleigh, NC) with a strong DL and WN presence. I've googled a bit and it looks like UA and WN have hubs or "focuses" at DEN?

Any guidance/tips on DEN and its airlines/points strategy would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance and see you all soon!
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Old Nov 10, 18, 8:47 am
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UA, WN, and Frontier are the largest presences.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/ar...y-2019-443246/

Of course it also depends somewhat on where you mainly travel to.
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Old Nov 10, 18, 8:59 am
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Great information! Thanks cblaisd!

UA is pretty weak here at RDU, so I've rarely considered them for travel. Looks like I've got some research/work ahead of me
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Old Nov 11, 18, 12:35 pm
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Frontier used to be a pretty good airline. But that was before they switched to the ULCC model. Now, they are completely off my list.

Do you fly enough to get meaningful elite status? If not, then Southwest is definitely worth a look.

If you do have elite status then United will almost certainly be the airline that will get you where you are going with the fewest transfers.

Or stick with Delta. You'll likely be transferring a lot in SLC, ATL, and DTW, but I think it is the best overall domestic carrier.
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Old Nov 12, 18, 5:53 pm
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I would recommend getting an airline credit card for what every airline you pick

1. United is the top pick for an Airline in Denver -- but the hardest to get status with I have Silver via Marriott but will lose that at the end year they fly out of B terminal and are the largest Carrier at Denver. If you fly enough and the your company is paying for your flights this is your default pick. They have 2 lounges in B terminal (East and West). I own my own business so I am too cheap to flight United much. I currently have the United Club Card but will be down grading it to the Explorer card in 2019.

2. Southwest is my Primary airline I keep status with them (A list) they fly out of terminal C--2nd largest Denver airline

3. Frontier I used to have status with them and I have going to give them another try in 2019. I will only use them if I have status with them to get their stretch seating. You can get status with their credit card spending of $20,000 and up on their card. They fly out of A

4. New Amex Centurion lounge is coming to Denver terminal C in 2019. I will get Amex Platinum card in 2019.

5. New premium plaza lounge is coming to Denver Terminal A in 2019--this should be Priority pass lounge.

6. Currently you can dine at Timberline restaurant with priority pass

7. Delta has a lounge in Terminal A opened 2016

8. AA and BA have a joint lounge in Terminal A
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Old Nov 12, 18, 6:01 pm
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Top 3 domestic already id'd (UA, WN, and F9). Among those, I have flown UA and F9 recently. I'm not quite as negative on F9 as amanuensis is, though my assumption with F9 is that I will need to get The Works package. It is the price with that package I compare to WN prices and UA coach (not basic Y) fares. The last several times I have looked for a flight when WN was a possibility, the fares were at least $100 more each way, and in some cases more than business on UA (or AA or DL). So I can't add anything on WN.

I'm not professing that either UA or F9 is perfect, and I have had more issues with UA than F9 in the last year or two. In one case, about an hour before departure, UA swapped equipment; the original landed and then took off to its new destination. The replacement plane, which had been having maintenance issues for hours before our they swapped, was eventually pulled out of service and the flight cancelled "for maintenance reasons."

The biggest pain with F9 over the last year in DEN has been that they seem to change gates about 5 times before departure (OK, maybe a slight exaggeration). F9 is in the A concourse, so it can be walked from the terminal. For UA (B Concourse) and WN (C Concourse) flights, getting on the train is required except when there are maintenance issues. Not a big deal usually, just FYI.

If you're flying internationally, there are flights from non-stop DEN, but they tend to be more expensive than flights with a connection on the east or west coast. See this page: https://www.flydenver.com/flights/international_service (some listed are seasonal). If you're going to a particular international location periodically outside North America and want a non-stop flight from DEN, then your options will generally limited to one alliance, except maybe LHR. (And I'm sure our friends on this forum will note if I missed other destinations.) Though when I can, I generally choose flights so that I can clear passport control/customs in DEN instead of other US/CA gateways.

There are 2 UA/*A clubs in Concourse B. There is an AA/OW club en route to Concourse A if you walk; IIRC this club is also available for qualifying pax flying some of the other international carriers that go out of A.

Welcome to Colorado!
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Old Nov 14, 18, 8:44 pm
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It depends on where you will regularly travel to.

out west since population is concentrated in larger cities you can fly direct to all the cities just depending on the carrier.



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Old Nov 14, 18, 8:58 pm
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For international travel, except possibly to a few leisure destinations in Mexico etc., you need a legacy carrier and alliance. I would also be concerned about lounges at DEN, although if PP and AmEx are coming, the problem is basically solved if you have these cards. Beyond this, it's hard to give advice without knowing the nature of your travel.
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Old Nov 17, 18, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by djp98374 View Post
It depends on where you will regularly travel to.

out west since population is concentrated in larger cities you can fly direct to all the cities just depending on the carrier.



LAX is a great example. UA, WN, DL and AA all fly DEN-LAX nonstop these days.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by MileHighColorado View Post
5. New premium plaza lounge is coming to Denver Terminal A in 2019--this should be Priority pass lounge.

6. Currently you can dine at Timberline restaurant with priority pass
I had no idea this was happening, I'll be looking forward to it! I hope the Timberline option doesn't go away once the lounge opens. A pint of craft beer plus the Timberline salad with grilled salmon comes in just under PP's $28 limit and has been serving me quite well :P

As for airlines.. as others have said UA and WN are by far the biggest at DEN. If you value frequency and convenience, you will have to choose one of the two. That said, I don't fly either of them. I split my flying this year between F9 and AA. I fly Frontier for almost all my leisure travel since the fares are usually MUCH lower. You get status at 20k miles, which entitles you to free stretch seating and a free carryon (they never really check anyway, but whatever). You also get free same day change, though the limited frequency of flights limits the usefulness. I've used it multiple times to change to a flight a full 24 hours from my scheduled flight, which is nice. Oh, and you also get to use the priority security screening line, which is often a HUGE time saver at DEN if you don't have pre-check. The major downside is F9's ever changing route network, and lack of flight frequency.

As for AA, they fly to PHL, ORD, DFW, PHX, MIA, CLT, JFK (maybe not anymore?), and LAX. It works for me since I need to fly to MIA and PHL a few times a year for business.
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Old Nov 28, 18, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by maskedmesothorium View Post
As for AA, they fly to PHL, ORD, DFW, PHX, MIA, CLT, JFK (maybe not anymore?), and LAX. It works for me since I need to fly to MIA and PHL a few times a year for business.
No DEN-JFK nonstop anymore. But that is still 7 nonstop cities, and it makes connections possible in multiple ways to the East. Since you can still get elite staus via segments, it can sometimes be beneficial to focus on segments/connections.

If you're really wanting nonstop service to everywhere from Denver, UA is the only viable option.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by DenverBrian View Post
If you're really wanting nonstop service to everywhere from Denver, UA is the only viable option.
I'd argue unless you are going international Southwest is a second viable option. Even as a 1K upgrades on United out of DEN are a bit tough unless flying off business times, but I've done both AA as primary (with SW domestic as second) and UA/SW. as long as you ahve either SW or UA you are well set on Domestic options.
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Old Dec 4, 18, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Elchupanebre4 View Post
I'd argue unless you are going international Southwest is a second viable option. Even as a 1K upgrades on United out of DEN are a bit tough unless flying off business times, but I've done both AA as primary (with SW domestic as second) and UA/SW. as long as you ahve either SW or UA you are well set on Domestic options.
Granted, as long as you can handle SW's eccentricities.
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