I'm considering flying another carrier, giving up my points, and not flying my regular airline

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by dhammer53, Oct 21, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I've been looking to book LAS - JFK/LGA/HPN in December. I'm finding the lowest price for a coach or a biz seat is on Delta <insert gasp here>.

    I have UA Million Miler status. If I fly them, I'll get bonus miles, and there's always the possibility of an upgrade. I'd also get a free bag. If I were to fly jetBlue, Virgin, or American/USAirways in coach (same low fare to JFK as Delta), I'd have to pay a bag fee.

    Many of you may be asking how come I'm not flying my new carrier of choice, Southwest? Well, I'm flying the redeye; and SW doesn't do redeyes.

    I have the AA card and the Delta cc, so no bag fee for me. I like the idea of flying AA/USAir, since the miles will eventually merge. I have Delta (orphan) miles + miles gained through the cc sign up bonus.
    I can credit a Delta flight to Delta (I don't think so), or I can, and will credit the Delta flight to Alaska. And yes, I'm aware that I can credit AA to Alaska.

    Flights in coach are $146 one-way. Delta offers first on a 738 for $312 one way, which is a good price. No brainer right?

    I know I'm rambling, but what words of wisdom do you have?
     
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  2. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    If First is most important to you then that $312 one way Delta fare can free you from the tyranny of the product you have come to despise. Otherwise if you fly in Economy, what are the benefits of Gold on UA (E+, SDC, 3 Bags free, possible CPU and priority boarding among others) worth to you? Does that make UAs price competitive? With your CCs and expectations for the future, it doesn't sound like you need to go back and should move on from your 'divorce'. Unless, of course, the schedule makes it tempting...
     
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  3. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You won't pay a bag fee on JetBlue unless you're checking 2 bags. And B6 has more pitch in general than the others in Y.

    For $166 the upgrade sounds nice, but if I could get a window seat on B6 I'd take that over paying up to DL's F.
     
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  4. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    To me it's trade off. Do you want short term comfort in F or long term gain in miles in the program you like. If you fly enough you are bound to end up on some routes and carriers you don't like with miles you don't want but if it's cheap enough in a good seat and the schedule is right then you might just have to go with the best option. In your case I think I'd go with the Delta F and credit it to Alaska.
     
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  5. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    Schedule would trump most other considerations for me. I assume you're looking at the B6/AA/VX/DL non-stops, right? On a red-eye, any non-stop would beat connecting on UA unless, perhaps, UA is confirming an upgrade. Do you actually expect to check bags? If not, bag fees don't really matter.

    I like Seth's suggestion of B6. How much do they want for an "Even More Space" seat?
     
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  6. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    I took a look at the b6 website. The price is $146. If I buy up to even more space, is this done at the airport, or can it be done in advance?

    I'm thinking the recline in first on Delta, is much better than coach on b6. ;)
     
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  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You do it in the seat selection part of the booking.

    I doubt it is a ton better on the 738s. and B6 EML will be 37-38" pitch on the A320/321.
     
  8. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Out of curiosity, how much more is the trip on UA?
     
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  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    If OP has a DL AmEx credit card for free bags, it also means "zone 1" boarding, after more time/small children. PREM (FC) and SKY (SkyPriority or higher tier elites) and with DL Silvers and partner elites.
     
  10. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    UA was $221 in coach for LAS/LAX/JFK (redeye). There was a time I would have spent the extra $$, but with no chance to upgrade on transcon flights (for 'free'), and with a much longer flight time, the $146 on Delta/b6 and others make it a no brainer.

    Seth, b6 wanted an extra $70 to upgrade on top of the $147. That's a fare/fair price. :D

    Earlier today, Delta announced a first class fare sale. The LAS/JFK flight in first was (IIRC) $284. It's a mute point now since the fare has gone up to the $800's. Easy come. easy go. :cool:
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
  11. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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  12. MamaFlies

    MamaFlies Member

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    Bottom line: choose fast, and choose wisely. For me, if it were a short hop, I'd go with whatever gave me miles I wanted and was closest to cheapest. For a long flight, such as yours, I'd have jumped on the relatively cheap DL, and gotten the AK miles. Because you'd be booked into first, you'd get the known traveler line at security, as well as first in line boarding. How much does a decent sleep on a redeye matter to you? First = recline, footrest, pillows and blankets (on some, even, lie flat seats). Coach = none of the above.
     
  13. petrogradian

    petrogradian Silver Member

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    I would look at connecting via LAX or SFO with a flat bed possibility on DL, UA, AA or B6. The longer redeye would give a bit more sleep, too.
     
  14. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Why make it complicated? Miles have some value, say either acquisition cost or personal redemption value. That's worth a few bucks. Maybe you'd get priority security with some options but not others? Easy enough to place a value on that.

    Status chasing isn't in play from what it sounds, which would be the main potential wildcard. Without the fuzzy math of status chasing the value propositions are relatively simple. Choose the best otion (schedule, product) for the price.
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But do you place a price on 31" v 34" pitch? What is that number?
     
  16. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    31-32 vs 34, or 17.2 vs 18, or F vs. Y, or a few boozy minis.....lots of product differences between the various options.

    For me, it's been a while since I've been in the back on a DL 737...but the issue would not be the pitch but rather the terrible Weber 5751 slimlines that I believe I remember them using. Those things are brutal imo. Unless I need to use a laptop or something, 34 vs 31 is not really a dealmaker for me.

    Figure out the true cost after any rebates you value for the different options. Then figure out which product is the best value. Whether you go through and try to assign different aspects of the experience a value, or figure out what you consider to be the cost and then compare the products on their merits, at the end of the day this is really just one way to remove the irrationality of singleminded loyalty to specific points currencies from the equation and chose whatever product is best overall.

    For you that might be B6. For someone else maybe it isn't.

    If you want to be a complete pedant - how do you place a price/value on any of this (unless you pay for economy comfort or similar)? At the end of the day it's up to you to decide what you value.
     
  17. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    Update

    Delta dropped their price LAS/ATL/HPN (White Plains) to $152. Since coach is pricing out at the same $$ as JFK and LGA, and since HPN is a 12 minute cab ride from the house...

    I haven't flown through ATL in 15 years. I'm looking forward to my new adventure. My wife flew DL ATL/HPN last year. Based on her say so ;), I booked Delta.

    No bag fees.
    Early boarding.
    Miles credited to Alaska.
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Exactly, which is why your statement, "Why make it complicated?" doesn't really hold given that the products are not identical commodities.
     
  19. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Everything's complicated in one way or another.

    But in this case, don't overcomplicate things by overpaying for miles in a preferred program. Take the product you prefer at the price, schedule, and departure airport that are most convenient. The topic of the thread "I'm considering flying another carrier, giving up my points, and not flying my regular airline" is, imo, overthinking as there isn't any particular incentive to be loyal here. Rather than hem and haw over "defecting" just make the prudent choice.
     
  20. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    There was a time, before pmUACO that I never would have considered flying a carrier other than UA. I would have made things work to my advantage (actual meaning > rationalize why I should overpay with UA). Since I'm UA Million Miler, and since UA doesn't give a rats a$$ about me (not that they did, but I felt the love), I've moved on. It was a nice relationship since 1988. Like many relationships, that one went south.

    Next week, I'm flying UA upfront JFK/SFO as a continuation of an award ticket ZAG/MUC/JFK. My paid return flight is on UA for one reason >>> I have a gift certificate that paid for the flight. Look at my signature below. 4 paid segments in 2013, and 1 paid segment in 2014.

    mattsteg, my comment on your quote above, lowest price, good schedule, and arrival airport in sync with my needs. :cool:

    dh
     
  21. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I don't think Delta is an Air Asia (IATA code: AK) partner. ;)

    (That one gets a lot of people. Alaska Airlines: AS.)

    Absolutely. Airlines love people who are let loyalty blind them to other options.
     
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  22. dhammer53
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    dhammer53 Gold Member

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    That's the smartest statement you'll read on the web today, or any day.

    dh
     
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