Can somebody explain the "free stopover" thing?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by disambiguous1, Sep 9, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. disambiguous1

    disambiguous1 Silver Member

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    A while back I asked a question about splitting a round trip using awards points from two accounts. One respondent said that I could book two one-way flights using 30,000 points from two different accounts, but I'd lose the ability to get a free stopover.

    How does one work the free stopover gambit, and what are the options? Many thanks for all info. -DA1
     
  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Basically ... a stopover is a "stop" before your "destination". Easiest way to visualize this I think is :NYC-ORD(stop)-SFO(destination)-
    NYC.

    alternatively something like NYC-NRT-BKK(stop)-TPE(dest)-LAX-NYC should work as well.

    How to get it to work? Try multicity tool on ua.com & play around to see what it will let you do. YMWV but you can get some pretty crazy routing.
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    While the above example of ORD/SFO is a good way to visualize a stopover it should be noted that trips wholly within the US48/Alaska/Canada are not eligible for a free stopover so that one wouldn't actually work.

    Essentially the stopover allows you to add a break of more than 24 hours in the trip. In theory it is supposed to be along the path of travel but UA's rules are notoriously irrational.
     
  4. dgreen12
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    dgreen12 Silver Member

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    Free stopover example from a flight booked earlier this year:

    We wanted to visit Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Bangkok. Ended up booking an open jaw as follows:

    SFO to HKG (UA) (five day stopover), HKG TO SGN (TG via BKK) (outbound). Three day visit in Ho Chi Minh City.

    BKK to LAX (OZ via ICN) (return)

    The five day stopover in Hong Kong (on our way to Ho Chi Minh City as part of our outbound travel) meant that we got an extra leg of our trip paid for by using miles.

    All we had to pay for was the closure of the open jaw (SGN-BKK) on Vietnam Airlines.
     
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  5. disambiguous1

    disambiguous1 Silver Member

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    I understand open jaw, but this is still confusing. I have 120,000 points to play with, which will give me two saver round-trips to Europe. Suppose final destination is London (main destination is really Ireland). Let's say we go IAD to Shannon, and pop around the Emerald Isle for eight days. Then we go SNN-LHR and see London and Wales (Cardiff is an absolute must, the young one is a massive Dr. Who fan), for six days or so. Then we fly back from LHR.

    Now, I've programmed computers in Fortran and designed digital circuits back in the days of the Z80 (only old techies will know what those are), but airline websites frustrate me to no end. How can I designate SNN as a stopover (if it is even possible)? From my experience, I put in my departure, destination, and dates, and the website gives me route choices. Do I simply choose the option that has the interim airport I'm looking for? Or is there some way to specify it? Then how do I stretch that interim airport into a multi-day stopover?

    I'm thinking of just having them land in Shannon and tour Ireland, take a ferry or cheap jet from Ireland to Britain, then tour Wales, train to London, and back to IAD from there. It might be easier than getting them back to Shannon for the hop to Britain, and they wouldn't have to backtrack from Wales to London to catch the plane back home. DA1
     
  6. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    Ireland may be the one place I wouldn't use miles to get to....
    From all of hubs (ORD/EWR/etc) flights are like $750RT or less.


    Just my .02, but Ireland is pretty much the cheapest country in Europe to get to
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Use the multi-city search. aaa-SNN, SNN-LON, LON-aaa.

    Or, to save many, many dollars in APD fees, swap the order of the visits. Departing from London to the USA will cost ~$100 more than going to London first and then Ireland and returning to the US from there.

    Also, I'd likely do DUB over SNN unless they intend to spend a lot of time driving around the west coast. Limerick is a dump of a town.
     
  8. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    I'm in agreement on Limerick... It's good for maybe 6 hours then you go back to the airport. ;)
     
  9. disambiguous1

    disambiguous1 Silver Member

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    Limerick isn't on the itinerary as of yet, though it may be included on a day trip. Their main "base" will be in Galway, as Connemara holds the ancestral family origins, so right now the idea is to fly them in to SNN and then ground transport to Galway. Dublin will be a minor stop on the way to Cardiff, which is another "must." Any recommendations on how to get from SNN to Galway would be appreciated. -BC-
     
  10. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Speaking of free stopovers on a one - way award....

    We booked a business seat on LH ZAG/MUC/JFK stop JFK/SFO. The cost was 62,500 miles vs 50,000, if we did the flight without a 4 month layover. ;)
    This was pre-devaluation.

    I think one of the travel bloggers explains it in detail. I think it's Milevalue?
     

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