First time using United Miles :O

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by FlyingBear, Jun 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Status Points:
    845
    So it has come to a point where I not only collect United Miles, but also get to use them. I am trying to book a ticket to YVR from PHX and back, on 7/12 and 7/15, respectively. Checked United's site and then through Wandering Aramean's tool (http://www.wandr.me/Star-Alliance-Award-Search.aspx) and there appears to be no Saver Awards in econ class at all and just one way. I am okay with spending the 50k miles, but just wanted to make sure I am not missing something else here. Thanks for reading!
     
  2. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Do you have flexibility on your dates?
     
    FlyingBear likes this.
  3. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I took a quick look and found no immediate low miles economy tickets. There were plenty of first class low miles awards...for the same price as economy high. So, you might consider f going...same price as y!

    If can delay your return by one day, there is a nonstop morning flight back to PHX with low y and f awards.
     
    FlyingBear likes this.
  4. unavaca
    Original Member

    unavaca Gold Member

    Messages:
    8,547
    Likes Received:
    11,224
    Status Points:
    14,495
    Did you check for Saver First awards? Same price as the 50k full-price Economy tickets, but you get to fly First :)
     
    FlyingBear and Counsellor like this.
  5. Counsellor
    Original Member

    Counsellor Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,221
    Likes Received:
    1,619
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Yes, this is a good "trick".

    It also is sometimes the case that economy saver will be exhausted, but business saver (on three-class flights TATL) will be available, costing the same or less than economy standard and putting you in the pointy end of the plane. I *always* check for that.
     
    unavaca and FlyingBear like this.
  6. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Saver f awards are available on the OP's outbound date.
     
    unavaca and FlyingBear like this.
  7. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Status Points:
    845
    Don't have much flexibility with dates as the trip is tied to work, so taking what I can get. I did notice saver business class on the way to Vancouver, so definitely would use that. And since the ticket is actually for my wife, I don't think she will complain much either :) Thanks for all the feedback.
     
  8. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    What's your long-term travel outlook? Do you anticipate further travels with your wife in the nearish future? If so, might it make sense to redeem at a later date?

    Cross-border flights get expensive and can be good times to redeem, but it's worth considering what the opportunity cost is, especially if cash is a realistic option as well.
     
  9. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Status Points:
    845
    Long term we are planning on going to Europe, but no set dates. I'll have more than 200k miles after this expenditure, so should be possible to do it even if it's almost immediate. No postponing this trip either, since this trip is on top of my business trip and we are already saving the price (or points) of my ticket :)
     
  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    I'd pay the $500 cash price over 50k miles without hesitation for coach, if practical. That is like buying miles at a penny each. If you can get q saver seat up front then that is much more attractive than an expensive coach redemption.

    If you spend double for 1 person, you're not really saving vs. Paying for 2.
     
  11. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Status Points:
    845
    I see your point, but I am still saving $500 in cash on a ticket where I would not be earning miles anyway. I'll be able to get back 50k miles through my regular travel in the next ~9 months, so to me it does not seem like much of an issue.
     
  12. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Status Points:
    845
    Is there a reason US Airways flights would not show up in neither United Awards search nor Wandering Aramean's search?

    I see that tickets are available for sale for flights US504 and US506, but no visibility otherwise.
     
  13. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    Tickets for sale will not always mean tickets available for awards, especially on partners who only get access to saver inventory.

    I tend to rationalize the 500 ticket as "like a pair of $250 tickets". While you will of course rebuild the balance, is $500 worth half a long haul trip in business class to you? If so, the cash ticket may make sense, even though it is somewhat expensive. At the end of the day you determine the value of your miles by what you redeem them on.
     
  14. FlyingBear
    Original Member

    FlyingBear Silver Member

    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    1,018
    Status Points:
    845
    They are also available as award tickets through US Airways' own site.

    I am solidly on the maximizing-trips side, not maximizing "value", so comparing business class "return" on miles does not get me much.
     
  15. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    Are they available at the low miles level? If so they should be bookable, absent some other complication.

    As long as your earning keeps up with your redemption and you're getting enjoyment out of the deal, you're coming out ahead with miles.
     

Share This Page