First Post Change of Program

Discussion in 'United Mileage Plus' started by AAK, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. AAK

    AAK Newbie

    Dec 14, 2005
    1
    0
    SYDNEY
    I posted something similar on the FT Lufthansa forum but then discovered this forum. Hope this is the right place to put this. Am currently QFF Gold but will be doing less flying in Australia next year and more from SYD to Europe. I have used BA World Traveller + but will no longer need to go to or through UK. WOuld probably use the mixed class fares through BKK or SIN and on to Germany, France and Dublin flying 2 or 3 times per year. I thought Lufthansa might be a good program. Someone suggested United. Appreciate any comments.
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  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Welcome to AFF AAK :)

    If you're flying on full economy fares, business or first; then LH Miles & More is a good option.

    Full economy (YBH) earns 150% miles, business 200%, first 300% - with an extra 25% once attain *Silver status at 35k status miles. Also intra-europe flights have generous fixed mileage earning.

    I dont think United Mileage Plus is a good option. Need to fly on UA metal to get anything close to this earning rate, which means a lot more flying to get to europe. Upgrades are easier on UA - one SWU will upgrade all the way to europe as long as no stops over 24 hours. Whereas on LH 2 upgrade vouchers (get when qualify or requalify as *Gold) per sector on LH and a lot of miles to upgrade between Australia and asia (or europe).

    The other factor is on LH status lasts for a minimum of 2 years and only need to requalify in one of the 2 calendar years to extend status. This means the 100k status miles required for *Gold isnt as hard as it looks.
     
  3. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,690
    216
    Canberra / London
    I think I may have a few comments on this, Kiwi Flyer.

    *A Gold status with MP is achieved after 50,000 EQM's on UA. If you fly C class, that's a maximum of 40,000 paid miles. Otherwise 50,0000 miles on the cheapest economy class. Also, once you have reached 25,000 *A miles, UA awards you 1.25 miles per mile flown. After 50,000 miles it's 2x miles flown on UA metal.

    You can achieve *A status for approx AUD 5,000 (or less) flying UA from Aust to US (3 flights will do it).

    As for travelling via the US being much longer than any other way, think about this. It's 13 hours SYD-LAX and 11 hours LAX-LHR (less with a good tail wind). How does that compare with going through SIN, KUL or BKK? (a bit longer I'll grant you). But you also have civilisation (as we know it) on the way.

    Cliffie
    (UA Million Miler)
     
  4. MetroAir

    MetroAir Guest

    civilization - n - Making or becoming civilized.

    civilize - v.t. - Bring out of barbarism, enlighten; refine and educate.

    Are you sure you are talking about the LOTFAP??????
     
  5. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    37,625
    7,519
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    I'll take my chances with the un-civilised in BKK and SIN anyday to the jungles of the so called civilised in LAX and JFK.

    Reading through a lot of posts on aff about travel to and through the US makes me think of it as a 3rd world country run by a dictatorship rather than a business/holiday destination.
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Good point but by the same token, Miles & More only requires 44,444 paid miles in business class every 2nd year (about 46,400 for qualifying the first time depending on when you reach FTL and first get status bonus).

    Flying discount economy on UA - it is easier to (re)qualify on Mileage Plus than on Miles and More. However full economy on Miles and More earns 150% (plus 25% status bonus), and still only needed every second year; so again I think Miles and More is easier in this case.

    Of course decision on FFP doesnt rest solely on getting status. Other important factors include upgrades (Mileage Plus wins here), cost of awards (generally net cheaper on Mileage Plus but depends on travel patterns - business and first can be better on Miles and More), etc.


    From NZ its about 1 hour quicker (averaged both directions) through asia than through USA - solely due to faster connections as the distance is very similar. Australia is 2 hours west of NZ (at cruise altitude and speed), so going via asia should be about 4 hours quicker +/- any difference any connection timing efficiencies.

    For those who cant use US visa waiver - it costs a lot of $ and time to transit the US. Even if you have a visa waiver, if non-american the US transit experience is horrid compared with asia which is painless.

    Apart from RTWs (no practical way to avoid US transit), and unless there is a big price saving via US, I go to europe via asia and not US. This is not because of the airlines, but rather the bad transit experiences.
     
  7. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    I assume it is the same with UA as with OneWorld carriers (I think it is an US regulation issue) that if flying through the USA you get to use the piece baggage allowance rather than the weight system. So that means standard allowance is 2 x peices (up to 32kg each, or 64kg total). While standard allowance through Asia may be a little as 20kg. Of course FF benefits may increase those allowances depending on status and airlines flown.

    So for some people, the extra time and inconvenience of transiting the USA can result in big savings on excess baggage fees.
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    Yes its the same - 2 pieces allowed if via US (on a single ticket), weight allowance if via asia.

    However, some airlines are now limiting the weight of each piece to 23kg. Cuts back a lot of the difference in allowance, especially when extra elite baggage allowance is factored in.
     
  9. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,690
    216
    Canberra / London
    26 Kg extra per person still sounds like quite a lot (especially if you have to carry it).

    Another "benefit" of flying UA via the US is the mileage promotions they have at least once a year. For example, in March next year, I am going to get quadruple miles credited for each economy class flight (that is if I read the rules right, which I may not have).
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
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    One of these days you'll convert me clifford ... but not today :lol:
     
  11. RTWFF

    RTWFF Intern

    Aug 12, 2005
    63
    0
    A Star Alliance programme

    I'm a 1K with United and a Gold with Thai's ROP. The advantage to me of Gold with ROP is that once I qualify I get a system-wide upgrade ie. SYDNEY-LONDON or elsewhere in Europe with stopovers in both directions provided I fly TG. Gold status lasts two years, and if I fly 50K miles in the first year after qualifying I get another SWU. It's relatively easy to get upgraded seats on TG

    To the downside - their older aircraft are tired, although they're undergoing a refurbishment. You don't get status bonus ie. unlike QF you don't get a 50% mileage bonus (not that it can be used for much anyway)

    I definitely wouldn't use Mileage Plus for Europe trips unless you really, really want to fly via the US, and then you'll have bonus miles etc. galore. But UA haven't started their fleet upgrade yet in Business Class (still back where QF was 5 years ago), although Economy Plus is quite bearable on long-haul

    And Amex in particular allow credit card miles to be transferred to TG (and SQ) but not UA or LH

    I'd also try to see if they'll give you status (at least Silver) by showing them your Qantas statements. They won't for transfer between Star Alliance programmes but for refugees from Oneworld I believe a different policy applies
     
  12. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    How about today. :lol:
     
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