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Hawaiidan

Flying to Europe- business class

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Dan;

 

November is when they will switch systems, not the fly by date! You’ll be able to make reservations for future flights using the current charts until the changes are made. Therefore, Oct 31 plus 330 days. I will comment that saver type awards on UA to international destinations have nearly disappeared. They only pop up rarely these days! 

 

Both UA and AA are still suffering from their ill faiths purchase of Contential and US Air inheriting customers with millions of miles to transfer over. That plus some horrible staff and planes. If I can’t get a 787 or 777 on AA out of ORD or DFW to Europe, I don’t fly AA. Those A330 they inherited from USAir are truly POS! There were good reasons why USAir went under and AA should have just let them die!

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Posted (edited)
58 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Lufthansa 340 and 380  so far the best  Swiss ..nice. business is better than first on both lines.

Nothing and nobody beats Singapore in the air (or on the ground) :classic_biggrin:

As for LH 380, even TK business beats them in both seats and service IME.

In LH 380 J you have to play footsie with your seatmate when seat is flat - OK if it's your partner, not so much with a stranger :classic_biggrin:

Edited by Paulchili

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, FlyerTalker said:

First off, you need to have inventory available for award redemptions on both your particular route AND on your dates.  Then, you need to be able to redeem at those attractive point levels.  Delta has eliminated award charts and gone to dynamic pricing of awards, making SkyPesos even more worthless than before.  United is also eliminating award charts and making the same move to dynamic pricing. American is rumored to be following.  So the days of known price-performance for FF miles is fading fast.  Yes, you CAN still get some good values.  The problem is that the likelihood that you WILL get them is way down compared to past years

Excellent summary FT.

I am very glad that the bulk of my long haul travels is behind me. To say that getting FF awards with ANY program/airline these days is very, very difficult (for dates/routes/carriers of first choice) is a gross understatement and soon becoming mission impossible.

Edited by Paulchili

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, pinotlover said:

Dan;

 

November is when they will switch systems, not the fly by date! You’ll be able to make reservations for future flights using the current charts until the changes are made. Therefore, Oct 31 plus 330 days. I will comment that saver type awards on UA to international destinations have nearly disappeared. They only pop up rarely these days! 

 

Both UA and AA are still suffering from their ill faiths purchase of Contential and US Air inheriting customers with millions of miles to transfer over. That plus some horrible staff and planes. If I can’t get a 787 or 777 on AA out of ORD or DFW to Europe, I don’t fly AA. Those A330 they inherited from USAir are truly POS! There were good reasons why USAir went under and AA should have just let them die!

Good...  I will be looking at October 24-25 ish  2020     saved by the bell  I can still get saver awards for this October   180 days out....  Hard to find  but worth the game. saving 60% on  miles

Edited by Hawaiidan

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Dan;

 

United is still reeling from its disastrous purchase of Continental in 2010. I know people that came over from the Continental side with over 3 million miles and felt they had won the lottery because they could finally use the miles. Some of those guys nearly 8 years later are still sitting there with 1-2 million mile banks. I believe that after UA finally gets all that blown out of the system things will possibly recalibrate again . 

 

As stupid as United was, they broke off talks with US Airlines and let AA make that monstrosity of a decision. Then the headed for bankruptcy USAir management took over running AA! 

 

I have ave fairly large banks in with both airlines and my guess is they’re about to become near worthless.

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37 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

Dan;

 

United is still reeling from its disastrous purchase of Continental in 2010. I know people that came over from the Continental side with over 3 million miles and felt they had won the lottery because they could finally use the miles. Some of those guys nearly 8 years later are still sitting there with 1-2 million mile banks. I believe that after UA finally gets all that blown out of the system things will possibly recalibrate again . 

 

As stupid as United was, they broke off talks with US Airlines and let AA make that monstrosity of a decision. Then the headed for bankruptcy USAir management took over running AA! 

 

I have ave fairly large banks in with both airlines and my guess is they’re about to become near worthless.

Well  I am lucky, in that I have  booked 4 rt  Europe, China and Australia  for saver bus.    Just played with Delta and for 2 rt to Europe it would be  1,280,000 miles !!!!    418,000  off peak.....    Try Sky Lira..... if you remember

 

 I too worked to get 7 figures in the UAL bank.    now it will be  "chump change".       It will cost a million miles to fly to   to Cleveland rt !!!   Time to shift from air to hotel benefits.

 

 I am reminded of Woody Allen in sleeper  asks his broker after a 80 year sleep what his  stock is worth........

The agent says ",your  ATT  is worth 20, million   Your GE  is worth  5 million   your GM is 13 million...."   Woody gasps,  then the telephone operator comes on and says "  Your 3 min are up...please deposit 1 million dollars"

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Cruise related air is an often inflexible factor - maybe a week +\- pre/post cruise to look for saver awards (which definitely are on the decline). 

Current plan A for us is to unload as many United/Star Alliance miles (we have in the high 6 figures left) as possible for upgrades before the dynamic calculations start.

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Posted (edited)

We have a river cruise in Europe planned for next summer. As soon as bookings open in August, I plan on dumping as many UA miles as possible. Then, basically shelve my Explorer card except to buy UA tickets. When the miles become worthless, so basically does the credit card.

Edited by pinotlover

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Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

We have a river cruise in Europe planned for next summer. As soon as bookings open in August, I plan on dumping as many UA miles as possible. Then, basically shelve my Explorer card except to buy UA tickets. When the miles become worthless, so basically does the credit card.

This is exactly why I don't use my UA Explorer card - only good for UA miles and only 1:1 for most expenses.

Sapphire gives 3:1 for travel & food (our biggest expenses) and can be converted into many different airline miles. My last couple of flights to and from Europe were with KLM miles between 64K and 72K miles each way in J without much trouble.

Here is an example of not one but 2 flights on the same day - CDG-SFO on AF (available on several days that week):

non stop flights
*The amounts are indicated in Miles per passenger
9:20 AM Paris (CDG)
12:45 PM San Francisco (SFO)
Trip duration: 11h25
Lowest fare
71 000 Miles
+ 343.57 USD*
AF084
9:20 AM
 
 
 
Paris, Charles de Gaulle
12:45 PM
San Francisco, International Airport
Operated by
Air France
Aircraft
Airbus A380-800
Class
Business
2:55 PM Paris (CDG)
6:20 PM San Francisco (SFO)
Trip duration: 11h25
Lowest fare
71 000 Miles
+ 343.57 USD*

To Asia they convert to Singapore miles where UA miles cannot be used for premium rewards.

AA miles can still be used for BA (huge taxes) or IB and JL with reasonable success (till when?)

Even with all that, the Halcyon days of flying for miles are pretty much over 😥

Edited by Paulchili

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How will this "dynamic" awards plan work?

Is it sort of bidding?  Or more like depending upon algorithms, some dates/flights will require more points than the same trip on other dates/flights?  Or??

 

Thanks!

 

I'm glad we got some very special F travel done already (especially Cathay - what a treat that was :classic_smile:)

 

GC

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6 hours ago, GeezerCouple said:

How will this "dynamic" awards plan work?

Is it sort of bidding?  Or more like depending upon algorithms, some dates/flights will require more points than the same trip on other dates/flights?  Or??

 

Thanks!

 

I'm glad we got some very special F travel done already (especially Cathay - what a treat that was :classic_smile:)

 

GC

Sit down.... dynamic means there is no set miles    The more  people book a flight or route  the more it will do up.. and up and up.      There is no set maximum.     What ever the traffic will bear

 

    Right now Delta  is using this, go to their site an book a  dummy trip...... then take a stiff drink.     Flatbush and others    this is the end of reasonable  flights.

Delta wants 330,000 miles  1 way to europe....     2 people  rt could require  over 1.2 million....... thats  Million !!!   

Premimun Economy will be running $2500-3000 pp       It aint good    

250px-Snowwhite-creencaps.com-8944.jpg

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Posted (edited)
41 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

Sit down.... dynamic means there is no set miles    The more  people book a flight or route  the more it will do up.. and up and up.      There is no set maximum.     What ever the traffic will bear

I do not know this for a fact but the dynamic awards are also based on historical data for that flight not just current demand.

I say this because even booking out at maximum time (like 360 days for KLM) the flight on one day is 312K miles while the day before is 72K miles. Surely that one for 312K miles is not heavily booked yet as it just opened but maybe history shows it will be in demand?

JMO.

Edited by Paulchili

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Paulchili said:

I do not know this for a fact but the dynamic awards are also based on historical data for that flight not just current demand.

I say this because even booking out at maximum time (like 360 days for KLM) the flight on one day is 312K miles while the day before is 72K miles. Surely that one for 312K miles is not heavily booked yet as it just opened but maybe history shows it will be in demand?

JMO.

So , my quandry is  should I schedule a cruise for end of October 2020   A dead time  I think flying to rome or milan      and  try waiting it out   Or  should I take a cruise in  late April 2020 from the USA to Rome  and  come back late april. and have a guarantee miles at 70K @        I  could  use  your advice/opinion 

 Flatbush advised to dump my UAl as soon as possible.  as I can book now and lock it.      I am assuming  this  demand miles will be come industry wide  Nov 1.......      What would you do   I need just a 1 way back from Rome  or a one way to Rome.     

I have also noticed that non stops have dis appeared for miles... for the most part    The more crummy the connection and longer  the cheaper it is.

This is a crappy development to say the least. 

Edited by Hawaiidan

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5 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

I have also noticed that non stops have dis appeared for miles... for the most part    The more crummy the connection and longer  the cheaper it is.

This is a crappy development to say the least. 

For now, it might give you a hint where the saver miles are available....at least on UA.  When I was looking for one way business class back from EZE to DTW on UA,  I was overjoyed when I found some on dates that worked with our cruise.  The problem was the routing was EZE to EWR, LGA to ORD, ORD to DTW.  Solved the problem by just ending the flight in EWR (same saver fare came up) and buying the cheap ticket in Economy to DTW.  UA mixes class for the domestic portion on saver flights anyway. Also, we were fortunate that the EZE gate agent took the time to check us and our bags through to DTW. This took some time and the help of a supervisor, because we booked the EZE EWR portion out separate FF accounts, but the flights two DTW were combined on one locator. 

 

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It’s all became rather silly. I was just looking at routing options to Paris on UA. For a BC ticket, with good connections, UA pricing was $2950 round trip. Using FF miles, with poorer routing, was 350K miles. If ff miles are valued at $0.02 each, that’s $7000 for that ticket. Even if one can amass cheaper miles with a value of $0.0125 ( which if near impossible), that’s still $5250 for a ticket that costs $2950. 

 

My days of chasing ff miles is about finished. We are in a game where only the credit card companies and airlines can win, so playing the game becomes futile. Unlike Dan, and his torturous “free” flight of nearly two days to get to Australia, I’m not in to the type of routings as mentioned above anymore just to get “ free”!

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22 hours ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

Are you sure about that pecking order? We fly United (business and pleasure - "1k" for many years before retiring) and it has always been my understanding that fare cost trumps everything else (other than Global Service) in determining upgrade pecking order. That said, an unrestricted economy ticket can easily outprice a restricted premium economy one.

BTW, United is definitely moving to dynamic point redemption (vs a set chart) this November.

Yes -- from the UA site:

 

Upgrade confirmation priority on flights with United® Premium Plus
On aircraft with United® Premium Plus, we’ll first process United Polaris business class or United Business waitlists for all members who have purchased United® Premium Plus seats, using the priority order listed above. We’ll then process waitlists for members with United Economy seats, using the same priority order.

 

However if you are on Y fare you would be in PP+ anyway.

 

As fare as interlining bags with Emirates, Jet Blue has code share with Emirates.   In fact they (Jet Blue/Emirates) are the US Government Carrier to the Middle East.   That is one reason why UA dumped routes to Dubai and KWI/BAH.

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17 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

It’s all became rather silly. I was just looking at routing options to Paris on UA. For a BC ticket, with good connections, UA pricing was $2950 round trip. Using FF miles, with poorer routing, was 350K miles. If ff miles are valued at $0.02 each, that’s $7000 for that ticket. Even if one can amass cheaper miles with a value of $0.0125 ( which if near impossible), that’s still $5250 for a ticket that costs $2950. 

 

My days of chasing ff miles is about finished. We are in a game where only the credit card companies and airlines can win, so playing the game becomes futile. Unlike Dan, and his torturous “free” flight of nearly two days to get to Australia, I’m not in to the type of routings as mentioned above anymore just to get “ free”!

Given that Sapphire points have a $.0125 value on redemption, this is one case where using those miles for a purchase rather than a transfer into a program would be better.  But, I agree I don’t know if it’s worth chasing points at these redemption rates. I think I am going to have to switch to a cash back card that has decent points on everyday purchases.

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7 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

So , my quandry is  should I schedule a cruise for end of October 2020   A dead time  I think flying to rome or milan      and  try waiting it out   Or  should I take a cruise in  late April 2020 from the USA to Rome  and  come back late april. and have a guarantee miles at 70K @        I  could  use  your advice/opinion 

If only I knew the answer to this 😀

At this point I still pick the cruise I really want and work VERY hard to find a way to get there in F/J. So far it's worked out but boy, it is getting harder and harder.

For example - to get to Australia I can get there with CX using Asia miles as you can book  CX with Asia miles 3 weeks before AA miles, by which time all the awards are gone. To do that I use Citi Thank You card for cruise payments as Thank You points convert into Asia miles. Running out of strategies and options really fast 😥

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Posted (edited)

Miles are always an option for BC travel but I generally won't use them unless I can get close to $0.03/mile. Example-$3500 ticket costing 140,000 miles only yields $0.025/mile whereas a 115,000 mile round trip in BC (ex. American when available) can yield over $0.03/mile. 

 

That said, when miles are not an option, I use Delta or Marriott vacations and combine hotel and BC flights. With Delta you need a 3 night minimum hotel stay and with Marriott, you only need one night but I generally take more. Marriott only allows round trip travel where Delta will do open jaws. Also with Delta Vacations, the three night total can be used anyway you wish. (combined before and after cruise, different hotels, etc.)

 

For example, this July, our cruise leaves Athens and ends up in Rome. I did a round trip Rome (get to Athens on my own approx. $135) Spending 2 nights in Rome (one before I go to Athens and one at end of cruise) in 5 star hotel plus BC for $2600@. Last July did RT Paris for plus 4 nights at Marriott Champs Elysees for 2800@. BC airfare alone was almost $4000@. 

 

Many ways to do this less expensively but this is what I've found to be the simplest. 

Edited by molemaui
forgot something

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1 hour ago, buggins0402 said:

Given that Sapphire points have a $.0125 value on redemption, this is one case where using those miles for a purchase rather than a transfer into a program would be better.  But, I agree I don’t know if it’s worth chasing points at these redemption rates. I think I am going to have to switch to a cash back card that has decent points on everyday purchases.

 

This is what I'm doing.

I have a card that's 1.75% on everything, and another one that's 3% on dining and 2% on travel (and a ratty 1% I don't use on everything else...). 

I doubt I'll ever get enough miles through the airline for free tickets (who knows, but I fly based on price, so...) but I feel like I'm getting something.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, molemaui said:

Miles are always an option for BC travel but I generally won't use them unless I can get close to $0.03/mile. Example-$3500 ticket costing 140,000 miles only yields $0.025/mile whereas a 115,000 mile round trip in BC (ex. American when available) can yield over $0.03/mile. 

 

That said, when miles are not an option, I use Delta or Marriott vacations and combine hotel and BC flights. With Delta you need a 3 night minimum hotel stay and with Marriott, you only need one night but I generally take more. Marriott only allows round trip travel where Delta will do open jaws. Also with Delta Vacations, the three night total can be used anyway you wish. (combined before and after cruise, different hotels, etc.)

 

For example, this July, our cruise leaves Athens and ends up in Rome. I did a round trip Rome (get to Athens on my own approx. $135) Spending 2 nights in Rome (one before I go to Athens and one at end of cruise) in 5 star hotel plus BC for $2600@. Last July did RT Paris for plus 4 nights at Marriott Champs Elysees for 2800@. BC airfare alone was almost $4000@. 

 

Many ways to do this less expensively but this is what I've found to be the simplest. 

 

Thanks  for the Marriott tip....  ( I just booked a car in Zurich for a week from hertz but through Marriott for 268E  thats 50% cheaper.)     Now  I have a plan  A B an C   

 A is to book   a similiar cruise departing MIA to FCO in april returning FCO-LAX  this  can be done prior to the  Oct 30 date.    B:   After the October 30 date I will try to book a LAX to FCO for the  original cruise and see what I can get.    😄    and cancel the  air for what I do not need.

😄  C :   Book through Marriott as a Titaninum life member they can do me maybe some good.

😧   buy a Prem Y class ticket 

Now, I have enough miles to book 2  70K mile tickets  for the MIA-FCO   and  the FCO-LAX..    I can cancel for $100 the tickets I do not need AND  it will still be 6 months ( before any cruise so  cabins will be open in all probability)  I also have enough remaining miles to  do 2, 155K  non saver business.

 

Hey, I have been playing this game for decades ,as many of you have.,..get thousands upon thousands a year in free flights .   I realize the airlines are not wild about  me doing that.! 

   

  Too I am getting tired of the cat an mouse game... it has ceased t be fun.....

Thanks to all for  helping  my  failing brain sort through this travel Armageddon !!

 

Oh... By the way...  I am doing  non stops from LAX  to both Tokyo on ANA and Sydney UA on  saver 's.... Also doing a Non stop to Zurich in a few weeks...      ( consider Zurich   as a great hub both air and train and car to get everywhere as an option)

when you get FRA'od out.   

 

Again THANKS

Edited by Hawaiidan

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I have an O cruise for June 2020 reserved and will need flights into Copenhagen and out of Stockholm. I plan to use UA miles for saver business seats on SAS since UA does not serve these 2 cities directly. Right now it is 70K pp each way. These must not be popular destinations for award travel as there is plenty of award space on flights the are not too bad or long. My biggest problem is always getting the award UA flight to ORD to connect to the TATL flights. I have to wait until July to get the flights. 

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Susie;

 

We haven’t a clue as to your meaning of “ right now “ since you can’t book your flight for three months! You will find that getting saver awards for flying to Stockholm in April ( if that is right now) will be significantly different than finding them for June! 

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56 minutes ago, Hawaiidan said:

 

Thanks  for the Marriott tip....  ( I just booked a car in Zurich for a week from hertz but through Marriott for 268E  thats 50% cheaper.)     Now  I have a plan  A B an C   

 A is to book   a similiar cruise departing MIA to FCO in april returning FCO-LAX  this  can be done prior to the  Oct 30 date.    B:   After the October 30 date I will try to book a LAX to FCO for the  original cruise and see what I can get.    😄    and cancel the  air for what I do not need.

😄  C :   Book through Marriott as a Titaninum life member they can do me maybe some good.

😧   buy a Prem Y class ticket 

Now, I have enough miles to book 2  70K mile tickets  for the MIA-FCO   and  the FCO-LAX..    I can cancel for $100 the tickets I do not need AND  it will still be 6 months ( before any cruise so  cabins will be open in all probability)  I also have enough remaining miles to  do 2, 155K  non saver business.

 

Hey, I have been playing this game for decades ,as many of you have.,..get thousands upon thousands a year in free flights .   I realize the airlines are not wild about  me doing that.! 

   

  Too I am getting tired of the cat an mouse game... it has ceased t be fun.....

Thanks to all for  helping  my  failing brain sort through this travel Armageddon !!

 

Oh... By the way...  I am doing  non stops from LAX  to both Tokyo on ANA and Sydney UA on  saver 's.... Also doing a Non stop to Zurich in a few weeks...      ( consider Zurich   as a great hub both air and train and car to get everywhere as an option)

when you get FRA'od out.   

 

Again THANKS

One more thought-if you use Delta Vacations, (prices are great along with flexibility including open jaw travel) the hotel portion is considered a "third party" booking and you don't get night and point credit. I've been fortunate to have my status recognized (lifetime Titanium as well) and received nice upgrades but nooooo points!. Not chasing them anymore so the status recognition (upgrade, free breakfast, late checkout, etc) are more important. 

 

With Marriott Vacations, you DO get your points, etc. but are limited to round trip transportation. 

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Posted (edited)
47 minutes ago, pinotlover said:

You will find that getting saver awards for flying to Stockholm in April ( if that is right now) will be significantly different than finding them for June! 

I suspect that you are absolutely correct on this one.

Not many people flock to Stockholm this time of the year - in June it's a very different story.

Edited by Paulchili

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