Beginner's Question: Biz Award Seats to Australia

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by miketown, Feb 28, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. miketown
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    miketown Silver Member

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    OK... I'm going to go back 12 years ago with a question when I started being a frequent flyer. How the heck do I get a pair (2) Business Class award tickets to SYD/MEL?

    Ideally travel would be next Feb (2012).

    We're starting in SEA and it appears that there is only one seat available on SFO-SYD and LAX-SYD (for January). Carrier is not important, but YVR-SYD inventory is practically non-existant.

    Tips? Suggestions? Thoughts? Plans of Attack?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Just like voting in Chicago, check early and often. :D

    If you were using CO points I think you'd have a few more options for routing without a surcharge (e.g. BKK, ICN, NRT) but I believe that UA doesn't permit that without a surcharge. I might be wrong there.
     
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  3. Tips:
    1. Use the Aeroplan website or ANA to uncover *A award availability. Alternatively, sign up for a KVS Tool Diamond or Plat subscription -- may be worth the $15/$20 for two months (or $60/$75 for 12).
    2. Try routing via Asia. You get 15% over MPM, which means that for SEA-SYD you can take any route up to 10,703 miles. That means that SEA-NRT-SYD, SEA-YVR-NRT-SYD or even SEA-SFO-NRT-SYD are options (unfortunately, I don't think routing through HKG or ICN are options).
    3. Start in economy, and move up slowly. Start with one economy seat, and the one biz seat available that you've already identified. Keep close tabs on inventory (maybe use ExpertFlyer, but there's a cost there as well), and call UA to push you up to biz when the inventory opens. Of course, you always run the risk of one of you in Y.
     
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  4. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Unless times have changed, Air New Zealand can be used to go through Auckland to get there. Note, Expert Flyer has its award availability there.
     
    Renard likes this.
  5. Good luck. I have been trying to get 1 bus and 1 coach seat to AKL for 1/19/12. Best I have been able to do is a first ticket connecting thru SYD to AKL. There is a 7 hr wait in SYD because of no availability on 3 earlier flights. The only way to get a seat for the coach ticket is SYD-Christchurch-AKL. We are both leaving from the east coast so we don't want to add yet another stop.
     
  6. There's availability to SYD early next February via both Incheon and Shanghai. They exceed your MPM, but you might be able to get UA to ticket it anyway (this is a clear YMMV).

    ALSO: UA has Biz availability on January 30th (2012) direct from LAX and SFO to SYD. It is VERY possible that UA's MPM is calculated on a round-trip, not one-way basis -- somebody else may know more. If that's the case, the mileage you save flying direct on the outbound may let you do a more creative routing on the return (e.g., availability via ICN).

    Good luck!
     
  7. Hannaman
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    Hannaman Silver Member

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    Do you have any DL miles? This would be a piece of cake with DL miles. V.Australia has fairly good availability out of LAX, and AS SEA-LAX is a slam dunk in F.
     
  8. miketown
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    miketown Silver Member

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    Thanks folks. I appreciate the help.

    I've been hitting up the ANA site daily, and the UA site as well to check.The idea of getting one in Coach and one in Biz is something I haven't thought of... same with the 115%MPM routing.

    As always, thanks. I'll keep y'all posted.
     
  9. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    Not to hijack this thread, but how do you get the 10,703 MPM for SEA-SYD??

    I understand the rules and everything, but getting the exact number??
     
  10. dwhotz
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    dwhotz Silver Member

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    While I generally agree that taking an extra connection isn't ideal, when you're using miles for a seat, sometimes you just gotta take what you can get. Good luck!
     
  11. I find that Aeroplan is significantly more user-friendly than ANA, but YMMV. Remember to search by individual segments, not end-to-end.

    Looking up MPM is a Diamond subscription feature of KVSTool. Not sure if there are any free sources of that info (maybe finding an MPM fare in ITA and then looking at the fare rules?).

    Also, 10,703 is 115% MPM, not straight MPM.
     
  12. FWFDAN
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    FWFDAN Silver Member

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    Started down this same path just today.... thanks for the info
     
  13. Golfingboy
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    Golfingboy Gold Member

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    I have access to fare rules for revenue tickets, but it never lists MPM....

    Also 115%? I thought you have to be over 15,000 miles in order to qualify for 15%, anything between 10,000 and 14,999 gets 10% extra...
     
  14. UA updated their award-ticket routing rules recently (to make them more in-line with CO). Gary has the details in his blog:

    http://boardingarea.com/blogs/viewf...niteds-new-more-generous-award-routing-rules/
     
  15. miketown
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    miketown Silver Member

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    It appears if I consider the MPM @ 115%, SEA-ICN-SYD on OZ has amazing availability...
     
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