DL vs UA

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by euromannn, May 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Hi,
    What is considered the better of the 2 mileage programs(UA vs DL) in terms of award redemptions?

    I heard DL recently upped their mileage award requirements to 80k international peak season.
    When I tried to check SEA-MUN (Seattle-Munich) leave in June and return July it was 90k points.

    SO, unsure who has added fuel surcharges or increased award levels and was wondering if people could advise the preferred between these 2.

    I will soon add more money to a Fidelity account and am ineligible for AA since I already did this once.
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    With DL, there's no peak season defined. It's a matter of low/medium/high award inventory.

    DL is notoriously bad for redemptions, although domestic coach for elites seems pretty good. Many international award tickets have extremely long (even overnight) connections. Also, the award search part of the website is terrible and has been for a very long time. The good news is that domestic coach award tickets an be upgraded (but not for companions). Also, miles seem easy to earn. There doesn't seem to be the equivalent of StarNet blocking, but DL blocks out almost half the year for any Korean Air redemptions. AF award availability seems good, and they have their version of premium economy. Partner availability is always at low award levels, which has its pros and cons.
     
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  3. Jslo
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    Jslo Gold Member

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    I think it is widely acknowledged that UA ( at least pre CO) has a far better redemption value on reward flights.

    One way to think of it is that airline points are almost like currency. In fact that gives me an idea..holy mother of spreadsheets...

    I used to be an institutional proprietary currency trader, also traded bonds and options on government bonds....hmmm...I wonder if I could pull some basic variables together and actually create a propositional value of miles or points in any given program. I believe this exists informally (ie an SWU on UA is worth about 25000 miles or 250USD etc).

    I digress. Some night when I have insomnia I will formulate an algorithm.
     
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  4. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    If you're only looking at DL metal vs UA/CO metal award then UA wins in a landslide.
    If you're looking at international travel with partners it may depend more on where you want to go & check out each alliances coverage (SkyTeam vs Star Alliance)
     
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  5. mrsmortis
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    mrsmortis Silver Member

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    I'd definitely be interested in that. Particuarly in how you work out the algorithm (if you're happy to share it). It'd certainly be an interesting discussion point.
     

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