United to the US in Y survival tips? (and Status Match questions)

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777

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For my sins (and the ludicrous price i got the tix for) i'm taking myself, Mrs 777, young 4yo 7.77 and 5 month old .777 to the US in United Y. I am wondering if anyone has any tips on how we might survive it?

We've manage to do a few things to make it less sufferable:
* Upgrade the MEL-SYD-LAX leg to Economy plus due to very good pricing ($9 each due to glitch in the system).
* Mrs 777 has just been temporarily matched to United Gold through the challenge (Offer | United Airlines) from her VA plat. Theres no chance she will requalify but it will be useful for this trip. I thought about doing it myself but i'm holding my fire until i'm able to maintain it.

Some Questions:
* What are the odds that Mrs 777's status will see us all get bumped up to Y+ on the LAX-EWR leg? We can upgrade two of us for free and pay $70 for the third but i'm not sure it's worth it given what's on offer? Would it be or should we just ask at check-in?
* Anyone know the likelihood that 2 adults and a toddler and an infant will be allowed into the United Club at MEL and LAX with a single United *A Gold passenger?
* Has anyone tried to access other *A lounges (NZ MEL in this case) while on the status challenge? Does the status show on the boarding pass to other *A airlines?
* There seem to be quite a few United drink coupons and lounge passes for sale on Ebay. Anyone bought them? What's the odds i'll be scammed?

Any other survival strategies?
 

jetpack

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I recently flew MEL-LAX in UA Y for a good price and I also did the status match just before departure.

The status does show on the boarding pass. I was able to get into the NZ lounge in MEL but not in the SQ one because the SQ flight just departed. During the short stop in SYD I was turned away at the SQ lounge and was directed to the NZ lounge which we were welcomed into. The UA lounge in LAX is quite sad. I’d personally prefer to hang out in a restaurant in the terminal rather than buy drink coupons and lounge passes.
 

777

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I recently flew MEL-LAX in UA Y for a good price and I also did the status match just before departure.

The status does show on the boarding pass. I was able to get into the NZ lounge in MEL but not in the SQ one because the SQ flight just departed. During the short stop in SYD I was turned away at the SQ lounge and was directed to the NZ lounge which we were welcomed into. The UA lounge in LAX is quite sad. I’d personally prefer to hang out in a restaurant in the terminal rather than buy drink coupons and lounge passes.

Thanks for that. I'd probably think that the NZ lounge would be OK with kids as they have been when i've been in there before via other airlines status. But i guess we will see.
 

Aussie_flyer

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It's a recurring theme that SQ sydney lounge 'angels' have no idea how to do their jobs properly. Any star gold has access to the lounge flying any star carrier and you need to stand firm (if you can be bothered). It is star alliance policy.
 

TomVexille

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It's a recurring theme that SQ sydney lounge 'angels' have no idea how to do their jobs properly. Any star gold has access to the lounge flying any star carrier and you need to stand firm (if you can be bothered). It is star alliance policy.

I don't think it's that they don't know how to do their jobs. In fact it's more likely that SQ instruct them to attempt to redirect non-SQ pax elsewhere.
 

Aussie_flyer

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I don't think it's that they don't know how to do their jobs. In fact it's more likely that SQ instruct them to attempt to redirect non-SQ pax elsewhere.

yeah well it's a violation of *A policy, people shouldn't have to argue with them over it.
 

MH_fan

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Sorry. I saw transpac in United Y and had an anxiety attack. I've done it before and I can't do it again.

However, on a more constructive note, the long-haul segment absolutely has to be done in Economy Plus. You'll be thankful for the space. Do not pick bulkhead seats (unless you're planning on using a bassinet) because you can't stretch your legs out. Mind you, this was my experience on those ageing B747-400s.
 
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MH_fan

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Just had a look at seatguru and the bulkhead seats on the sides in Economy Plus on the B777-200 look pretty good. Go for those. Avoid the middle seats!
 

Finale

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Flew to SFO last month on E+. 3 Extra inches really made a difference. On the way back from LA, the flight was cancelled and was rebooked into Delta. I was quite upset but Delta turned out to be far better than UA (flight attendants and service)

SQ lounge angel would let me in if I could show a card with 'expire date'. I didn't have a card as I just status matched before flying and UA app or online didn't show card expire date anywhere so I gave up and went to NZ one instead.
 
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777

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I wouldn't have even considered it on the 747.

We snagged the bulkhead on the side for me and 7.77 and mum has the bulkhead in the middle with the bassinet spot for the baby.

Not too worried about getting into the SQ lounge. NZ is fine as long as they let us in with two kids.
 

Aussie_flyer

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did it a couple of times on the 747, just tried to sleep. Got through it ok
 

seanpodge

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Having done MEL-LAX (and SFO-PVG) on the old 747s, the 777s couldn't possibly be worse. Whilst I think it will probably just be "good, for UA" rather than objectively good, I'm happy to see that they are at least trying to improve.
 

TomVexille

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The one thing about the 747s that helped me out was that I tended to sleep for about 8 hours of the flight.
 

get me outta here

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Just wondering, is it cheaper to buy SYD-SFO-SYD in the US rather than online w' UA in Aus? Might it be cheaper using a US based email, or not making much difference? Cheers
 

yohy?!

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Just wondering, is it cheaper to buy SYD-SFO-SYD in the US rather than online w' UA in Aus? Might it be cheaper using a US based email, or not making much difference? Cheers

It wouldn't make a difference..The departure city determines the pricing - if you can get yourself to sfo separately and then plan to return in the future you could buy a sfo-syd sfo itinerary and then keep the last leg for your next usa trip
 

Vim Fuego

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I'm looking at Perth to San Antonio in February and United is $400 less than Qantas, as it's a self funded trip United is now an option. Any advice on how much the economy plus option will be for Mel-LAX and return trip/
 
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get me outta here

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Yes, I was on F on TG and there was an attempt to turn me away, I was forewarned and said that I am an alliance flight in F. Then, when she realised I knew what I was talking about she suddenly noticed the huge F written on the tkt and said that was OK then. So, stick to your guns, they don't want you, but you have the right.

It's a recurring theme that SQ sydney lounge 'angels' have no idea how to do their jobs properly. Any star gold has access to the lounge flying any star carrier and you need to stand firm (if you can be bothered). It is star alliance policy.
 

Finale

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I'm looking at Perth to San Antonio in February and United is $400 less than Qantas, as it's a self funded trip United is now an option. Any advice on how much the economy plus option will be for Mel-LAX and return trip/

I dont know the exact number but I paid about $USD300 return 2.5 years ago from sydney so would be a little bit more now.

Alternatively, if you have status with other airlines, you can do status match challenge to get Gold or Platinum for 90 days and get free economy plus. MEL - LAX return alone will help you complete Gold challenge.
 
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