Best Value (Star Alliance) Ex-SE Asia (SIN pref) Mileage Runs

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by Saracen, Jun 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    When I was based over near LHR, I could pull off a mileage run once in while with intra-Europe C sales, and might even be tempted to pop to the US in Y for a perhaps unnecessary trip. After relocating to SIN, I've found the market here to be very different, with much tighter controls on fares, and airlines somehow being able to rely on stable demand.

    I've been monitoring Y and C fares ex-SIN, and there are minimal changes, and most certainly not with SQ. So I wanted to get an idea of what good opportunities might exist in SE Asia. Even BKK hasn't thrown up anything interesting recently. Is there a (free) tool that could help find good catches?

    Or maybe we're just doomed to seeing American flyers grab great fares for loads of miles every other week :(
     
  2. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    TG J fares out of SIN are usually quite affordable, especially in comparison with SQ. I did SIN-BKK-ICN-HKG-BKK-SIN in a little over 24 hours last year, which cost ~ SGD1200 (about the same price as SQ's J fares for SIN-CGK or SIN-BKK) and gained 12780 BD status miles.
     
    Saracen likes this.
  3. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    That's just the sort of thing I'm talking about. Where did you book it? Who operated the segments. Trouble is, on OZ, J only earns 125% now :( Still, it's trips like this I'm interested in.
     
  4. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    I booked it on the TG website in late July last year, though doubt that they have that sort of pricing nowadays. It was just after the BKK red shirt crackdown so they were running all sorts of promotions back then. All the flights were operated by TG.

    I'm tempted to do it again this year. ICN was a very easy airport to do a turnaround in and everyone was just super polite and friendly and the OZ lounge was nice too.

    With the requal threshold of only 40K in 2 years, I don't think you should be too worried about only getting 125% for J on OZ :)
     
  5. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    Yep, not seen great C prices with TG recently. The other good option I found was UA to HKG, which can be done in one day, with a nice 6-7 hours in HKG for lunch and wandering around. UA offer Y for around SGD600, and C for around SGD1500, while SQ do Y for SGD700+. In C, that should net you 6400 miles on BD, with chance for a good lunch and visit. I spotted OZ to ICN in Y hovering around SGD900 too recently, thought timings are weird.

    Well, now I want more miles to spend! I can fly redemptions now :)
     
    cennas likes this.
  6. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    A bit of a look on Mileage Brain shows the most efficient trips to be near 12cpm, while from LHR, 7cpm can be had. Trouble here as well is having to think about Visas. Means China, India and Indonesia are off-limits.

    Anything to Australia?
     
  7. Lufthansa Flyer
    Original Member

    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

    Messages:
    23,970
    Likes Received:
    43,968
    Status Points:
    19,995
    do you need visa to HKG? I know that as a US citizen HKG doesnt need a visa if its a short stay where as the rest of China would require one.
     
  8. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    Nope, UK passport, so HKG is fine :) China is a different matter.
     
  9. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    Any experience of which airports in SE Asia allow an airside turnaround? That could influence things too.
     
  10. SQ LPP
    Original Member

    SQ LPP Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,684
    Likes Received:
    38,789
    Status Points:
    16,520
    You can do turn-around at CGK, KUL, BKK, and HKG (places where I had done turn around in the past). Since you have UK passport, it opens more to do turn around in Japan, ICN, TPE, Australia and New Zealand. :D
    How about CMB? :)
     
    cennas and Saracen like this.
  11. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    Are those turnarounds airside or through immigration? Passport shouldn't make a difference for airside, no? Or will check-in agents refuse a check-in if you don't have a visa?

    I've been thinking about Aus/NZ trips too. Prices to PER can be ok, but still find prices don't really fluctuate much.
     
  12. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    Depends on the checkin agent, but yes, that's the worrisome possibility. Unless your passport or visa will allow you to actually enter the destination country, a nervous agent may not let you board, even if the immigration at that airport would be ok with an airside turnaround - I mean, who would start deportation proceedings against you if you are leaving anyway? :D

    A classic dodge is to give yourself enough time to fit in a separate fully refundable ticket (on another airline) to some nearby place where your passport/visas would be ok. Be sure to remember to cancel it. :)

    Example: You need visa at NRT but not at HKG. Book a phony fully-refundable rt NRT-HKG-NRT (remember, when price is no object, availability is much better!) and your return from NRT asap after that, so the two tickets can withstand a close scrutiny. At NRT, call and cancel the ticket; most countries will let you in for a short period if you show the return ticket, but you can always hang out at the airport if the need be. Be prepared with enough clothes, reading, etc.

    However, if my passport doesn't allow temporary entry somewhere, my personal policy is to get the visa if the hassle/cost is not too high, and avoid those countries where it is high. With additional luxury of living in a city with many consulates (Chicago), I even go the extra mile and avoid those countries which don't have a consulate in Chicago and require me to mail my passport somewhere, but you needn't be this extreme.
     
    cennas and Saracen like this.
  13. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    Totally forgot about UA. SGD1500 to HKG is a very good deal.

    I took UA a couple of years ago in C SIN-HKG vv, paying around SGD1700, but it booked into Z, and UA's Z in BD only earned 1.0 x miles (at that time).

    I checked again today, the SGD1500 fare still books into Z, but the difference is now UA's Z earns 2.0 x miles in BD.

    Definitely would consider UA. If only the timings are a bit friendlier.
     
  14. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    I usually do a turnaround to places where I do not need a visa. But the couple of times I did a turnaround to ICN (where I actually needed a visa), the check-in agent didn't deny me boarding or asked me any questions once I explained what I was doing.
     
  15. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    See, at 1200, I'd jump on it. S$1500 is just a little too much for me :)
     
  16. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    Well considering the cheapest SQ's asking price is around SGD2300, SGD1500 seems a very good deal to me :D
     
    Saracen likes this.
  17. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    Just looking things up for a July trip, TG does SIN-BKK-HKG in C for S$1460, and with the longer distance, you'd net just under 8000 miles on BD. Only problem is arranging the timings for the shortest transit. It's doable with each leg under 7 hours! Tempted by that, even with only 125% on KrisFlyer; always liked TG.
     
  18. MrHalliday
    Original Member

    MrHalliday Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    90
    Status Points:
    285
    "CMB Runs" may not be what they once were,
    the agent I used in Colombo years ago recently
    sent me this (yes, it is OneWorld, but there may be *A)

    Just to keep you informed that American Airlines (One World) currently has a brilliant deal to LAX /SFO /DEN /SEA .
    Route: Colombo/London (LHR)/Dallas Forth Worth/LAX – SFO – SEA - DEN /Dallas Forth Worth/London (LHR)/Colombo
    Business class, Current airfare: LKR. 380,200/- (All inclusive per person),
    Valid for 1 year only, Permitted to stop in LAX or SFO only. (a stopover in London can be arranged)
    The following destinations are also available within the price range of LKR. 394,500/- to LKR. 455,900/-
    (All inclusive per person) Destinations: DFW/HOU/MIA/MCO/IAD/DCA/NYC/BOS/ORD

    I don't do MR's these days, but the agent contact details
    are buried in this trip report here,
    http://mrhalliday.com/2006/2006-10-Phuket/2006-10-Phuket.htm
    I did CMB-SIN-LAX-PDX vv. on *A purchased in CMB.
     
    Saracen likes this.
  19. SQ LPP
    Original Member

    SQ LPP Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,684
    Likes Received:
    38,789
    Status Points:
    16,520
    When you check-in for a flight, the agent has to do their checking about visa requirement. For example, I can do SIN-CGK-SIN or SIN-KUL-SIN or SIN-BKK-SIN because I don't need any visa to go to both countries.
    In another example, I would not be able to do SIN-SYD-SIN because I need a visa to enter Australia (not the electronic type). I can connect in Australia if I go to a third country same day. Thus I can do SIN-SYD-HKG-SIN for example. I believe now I can not do SIN-NRT-SIN anymore, because to enter Japan, I need visa. But I can do SIN-NRT-BKK, because I go through Japan to a third country.
    KUL, HKG, BKK, NRT even SYD are airside for turning around.
    In short, IMHO, a turn around really depends on each individual nationality.
     
    cennas and Saracen like this.
  20. Saracen
    Original Member

    Saracen Silver Member

    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    606
    Status Points:
    625
    Great, I think I should be good for a few of those places. But how do you book wacky routings like SIN-NRT-BKK-NRT-SIN?
     
  21. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    Yep, have done TG SIN-BKK-HKG a few times in the past. The problem was, I couldn't really do a turnaround and had to stay overnight in HKG. Even if I took the earliest TG flight out of SIN, it would only arrive in HKG at 14.30, too late for the 14.10 hrs flight that I hate take in order to catch the last flight to SIN out of BKK.
     
  22. cennas
    Original Member

    cennas Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,765
    Likes Received:
    5,047
    Status Points:
    3,970
    Will the agent let you in though, if you explain that you have no intention of entering Japan, will only stay in the transit area and will board a return flight within the same day of arrival?

    This visa thing really does limit the mileage run options for those of us that need one :(
     
  23. junyang

    junyang Silver Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status Points:
    115
    I feel your pain. Been in the US for the past 2 years for Grad school and back home (SIN) this summer for an internship as well as to visit family. Can't find any MRs ex-sin :( There are quite a few cheap fares offered by CZ and PR, but not any *A carrier. Cheapest to NYC right now from SIN is via ANA for approx $1475 USD which yields approx 7cents per mile :(
     

Share This Page