DEN UA Alternatives

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Jslo, May 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    I am curious, as "UA" continues to look more like "CO" which in turn takes steps toward "WN"...are there any good thoughts or ideas out there in MP-Land of where else to take your business if you are XDEN? UA is the only legacy hubbed here. I am pretty confident that as UA changes into CO, it will be a less desirable option for air travel X-DEN. I fly domestic and transpac regularly, so any option I discover will need to weight toward that. Any ideas?

    - Flip on the *A switch and mindlessly book *A domestic (US or UA) with zero expectations, but credit TG or SQ or LH or ANA or CA programs for status? And then fly the new program internationally?
    - Switch to AA or DL and "deal" with the non-hubness of DEN...and hope as UA loses elites one of these two will encroach into DEN? DL is already in SLC..not likely...maybe AA?
    - Switch alliances? Seems OW has far better "stuff" than ST? Neither DL nor AA fly out of DEN as a hub...
    - Forsake all loyalty, and with dollar savings that loyalty cost, buy the upgrades offered by UACO when purchasing a transpac itin? Just fly F9, WN, VX, or whatever is easiest/cheapest?

    Anyone have any brilliant ideas? Those who have multiple legacy hub choices in your city be glad! :)
     
  2. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I was surprised to see how many AA flights go out of DEN. You have 5 a day to ORD, 10 to DFW, 4 to LAX, and 1 to MIA. Add in Alaska 4 times a day to Seattle, and a BA London flight, and it might just work for you. They do have a nice lounge there that I visited last week when arriving on Lufthansa from FRA.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    For me, the AA lounge at DEN would be a major factor. DL uses a far concourse, near the Southwest gates, which isn't very desirable.

    OTOH AA isn't strong in TPAC although it is partnered with CX, JAL, and QF, all wonderful carriers. The downside is that you can't upgrade on these.

    DL TPAC has good connections to major airports through NRT and two wonderful clubs there, but the equipment to NRT from the left coast isn't always the best. The A330s are great but the 767s are horrid. IIRC, SEA has a nonstop to PEK, but nonstops into PVG and HKG (on a wonderful plane) depart from DTW, which is probably too far east to make sense or be a legal routing in DL.

    How many miles do you log, what fare classes do you tend to buy, and are you looking for award tickets (in coach or better?) or upgrades or lounge access or what?

    If you stay with *A, you'll need to credit to UA/CO to get domestic upgrades. If you can reach SEN or HON, LH is nice. For lounge access, consider A3. SQ is good if you want their award tickets, especially in C/J or IFC.
     
  4. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    Good points MSP, thanks for consideration.

    I log about 135K-150K BIS a year on UA, probably another 15-20K on other carriers mostly Asian.

    International upgrades are probably my highest priority, although award travel and lounge access is always part of the equation. I have been checking out AA's flight table, I was surprised how many flights out of DEN. This will be more of a time inconvenience as more of my flights will revolve around "getting to DFW in time to catch flight X to anywhere".

    Seems like AA's upgrade scheme for International is maybe better than UA's. Asia is far and away my main international destination. Tend to buy cheapest fare class for my schedule, except for international where I buy a high enough Y class to upgrade in most cases.

    Thanks for any ideas/help.
     
  5. ab3i
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    ab3i Silver Member

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    I am based out of DEN and until a few months ago I was primarily AA / OW with a few flights on DL/F9 as needed (mostly to NYC when connecting in DFW/ORD didnt make sense). I didn't have much trouble, AA doesn't have many routes out of DEN but, the ones it does have the frequency is awesome esp. to DFW and ORD which makes taking connections out of those cities quite easy. Also, there aren't that many AA Eplats in DEN, so you usually get upgraded on these flights to DFW/ORD; and F9 is also a good choice for flights to domestic locations.

    I switched to *A due to the limited availability of flights to my current client location, and have been flying US and taking credit on UA|CO. I do miss AA though :(
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Remember that you can't use AA to upgrade on other carriers (JAL, CX, QF) for Asia, only on AA operated flights.

    For international upgrades, you don't want DL because their only upgradeable fares are Y. B. M, usually over $3K RT.
     

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