RTW with miles tips for new grad

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Rus925, Oct 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Rus925

    Rus925 Silver Member

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    Hey all,

    So I'm going to graduate from college this spring, and I was hoping to treat myself to a RTW with miles this summer before my job starts. I have ~260k miles in MP—enough for a RTW in C—but I've heard stories about getting much better deals than that. I also have ~60k LH, 35k BD (which I hope will merge soon), and 50k AF/KL (enough for one TATL C segment or two during Promo @Awards). I will be AF Gold and LH SEN during the trip.

    I'm really hoping to be able to invite a friend to join me; if I do, I'll have another 300k+ MP miles plus 80k DL miles that belong to my parents from which to draw—they don't want me traveling alone—but I'd rather not use them unless absolutely necessary.

    Here's the routing I'm considering:

    US (probably NYC)-PEK-HKG-BKK-SIN-BOM-DXB-JNB-IST-wandering through Europe-US

    I expect to pay for many of the Asian hops in cash. I want long segments to be in C, partially for comfort, but also largely because this friend has been listening to my airline adventures but has yet to fly in a premium cabin. I really don't care about F, although it might be nice to have one segment of it for him.

    First of all, how that itinerary sound, both from a tourism and a redemption standpoint? I was hoping someone could give me some tips and guidelines: are there any special stopover or routing rules I can exploit? How about buying air passes in Europe or East Asia?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Scottrick
    Original Member

    Scottrick Gold Member

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    Some people have gotten a better deal by booking the trip as two one-way awards. One across the Pacific and one across the Atlantic, since *A allows awards between the US and Asia to connect in Europe. However, true layovers are not permitted on one-way awards, so you can't spend more than 24 hours in each city (the maximum permitted connection time on an international ticket). If you can get in in the morning and out in the evening, that might be good enough for you. Even if that isn't enough time, you might still do better by booking one-way awards between continents and paying for your shorter hops.

    Have you priced out this example itinerary yet to see if it's permitted as a RTW ticket? That DXB-JNB-IST portion looks like a mighty big detour, but I'm not very familiar with RTW rules.
     
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  3. Rus925

    Rus925 Silver Member

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    UA/CO allow five stopovers without distance restrictions, I believe, so some variation of that itinerary without the Asian hops should clear. The main problem, beyond the cost, is that ground segments take up an additional stopover, I believe. I was thinking of exploiting things like the double-open jaw and stopovers on roundtrips between different regions, but I don't really see any way of doing that beyond taking a straight route. And I was really hoping to do something more like...

    1. renting an apartment somewhere in Asia for a month and use that as my home base while traveling around Asia.
    2. check out India and Jo-berg on my way to
    3. a family reunion in IST for a week
    4. rent an apartment somewhere in Europe for a month and use that as my home base while traveling around Europe.

    which does work with the five stopovers. I was just hoping to get the miles price down to get two tickets.

    With one-ways, it's 110k US-Asia and Europe-US in C. +17.5K to upgrade the last leg to F. Going direct East Asia to IST is 62.5K; +42.5K to detour through JNB or +27.5K to stop in BOM. Still cheaper than 260k, I guess.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The DXB stop you have in the original itinerary will be a problem as there isn't a *A way to get from India to Dubai easily.

    As for the stopover count the open-jaw on a RTW counts as an extra segment against your 16 max but not an extra stop. So stopping in both PEK and HKG would count as 2 stops and 3 segments (assume a flight into PEK and HKG) while flying in to PEK and out of HKG but getting yourself between them on your own would be 1 stop and 3 segments.
     
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  5. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    miles and smiles and Rus925 like this.
  6. Tivoboy
    Original Member

    Tivoboy Milepoint Guide

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    didn't one have to signup for that a couple years ago to be eligible?
     
  7. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    oops, sorry, yes. I sware someone posted it on a blog recently. Did they make the same error I did?
     
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  8. Rus925

    Rus925 Silver Member

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    Update! I ended up booking an F RT with a stopover, getting effectively RTW with 140k miles.

    ORD-HKG UA F
    PEK-ZRH LX F (hoping for LH A388 F)
    ZRH-ORD LX C (waiting for F to open up)

    Now I gotta plan my activities and get my Chinese visa!

    I'll probably be back with more questions, but in the meantime, thanks for the help!
     
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  9. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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    Enjoy! LX is a sweet ride for sure!
     
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  10. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I'm doing SFO-HKG-DXB-ZRH-BOS-SFO, so we have some similarities in our trip.
     
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  11. Rus925

    Rus925 Silver Member

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    No way! Which airlines and when? I'll be leaving in late May.

    Also, seeing your UA status reminds me: I think I'm going to take the 90-day challenge match (I'll apply on tax day—I figure I'll get it May 1, then) in order to save on close-in change fees during my trip. Any reason why I shouldn't do this? And does anyone know how long the response takes?
     
  12. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Mid-june for me: CX for the first two legs, LX for the next two and United for the last. I didn't have enough miles in any one program to do it as a real RTW fare (I did it as four separate award tickets).
     
  13. Rus925

    Rus925 Silver Member

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    That's not a bad way to do it. I'll try to put up a running trip report while I'm going; hopefully it'll be of some use!
     
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