Someone Please Talk Me Out of this Semi-Mileage Run to Tokyo via 787

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by RNE, Oct 30, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. RNE

    RNE Silver Member

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    I purposely built in the overnights in LAX to break up the air travel. I intend to stay in both LAX and NRT using hotel points. I have plenty of vacation days, so that's not an issue for me. And I want to see Tokyo. TSMRSRNE is OK with me going solo. The air reservation costs $1159.79 and it's 15,008 miles. I have it on 24-hour "cash" hold. This can make me Gold in 2013. Should I do it?

    Tue., Feb. 12, 2013 | Cleveland, OH (CLE) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

    Depart:
    4:49 p.m.
    Tue., Feb. 12, 2013
    Cleveland, OH (CLE)

    Arrive:
    7:02 p.m.
    Tue., Feb. 12, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    Travel Time:
    5 hr 13 mn

    Award Miles/
    Premier Qualifying*:
    2,053 /100%

    Flight:UA1567

    Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
    Fare Class: United Economy (K)
    Meal: Meals for Purchase
    No Special Meal Offered.

    Wed., Feb. 13, 2013 | Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Tokyo, Japan (NRT - Narita)

    Depart:
    11:15 a.m.
    Wed., Feb. 13, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

    Arrive:
    4:10 p.m. +1 Day
    Thu., Feb. 14, 2013
    Tokyo, Japan (NRT - Narita)
    Travel Time:
    11 hr 55 mn

    Award Miles/
    Premier Qualifying*:
    5,451 /100%

    Flight:UA32

    Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
    Fare Class: United Economy (K)
    Meal: Lunch

    Sun., Feb. 17, 2013 | Tokyo, Japan (NRT - Narita) to Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

    Depart:
    6:00 p.m.
    Sun., Feb. 17, 2013
    Tokyo, Japan (NRT - Narita)

    Arrive:
    10:40 a.m.
    Sun., Feb. 17, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
    Travel Time:
    9 hr 40 mn

    Award Miles/
    Premier Qualifying*:
    5,451 /100%

    Flight:UA33

    Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
    Fare Class: United Economy (K)
    Meal: Dinner

    Mon., Feb. 18, 2013 | Los Angeles, CA (LAX) to Cleveland, OH (CLE)

    Depart:
    6:07 a.m.
    Mon., Feb. 18, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA (LAX)

    Arrive:
    1:25 p.m.
    Mon., Feb. 18, 2013
    Cleveland, OH (CLE)
    Travel Time:
    4 hr 18 mn

    Award Miles/
    Premier Qualifying*:
    2,053 /100%

    Flight:UA1469

    Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
    Fare Class: United Economy (K)
    Meal: Meals for Purchase
    No Special Meal Offered.
     
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  2. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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  3. mherdeg
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    mherdeg Silver Member

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    Have you considered spending about the same amount of money to take yourself and your wife to Hawaii? There are some mediocre-price $700 round trips available right now out of CLE (and some $300–$400 round trips if you can get yourself to one of the sale cities cheaply).

    Otherwise this looks like an interesting trip, nothing super fancy at 7.7 cents per mile.
     
  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Would you do it if the aircraft wasn't a 787?

    How certain are we at this point that UA will have all the 787s they'll need by that time to operate that route?
     
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  5. RNE

    RNE Silver Member

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    For me, Hawaii doesn't hold the novelty Japan does. And TSMRSRNE doesn't have any time off work, so I'd be going alone on this one. Also, I'm really looking to score a bunch of PQMs, so I want to go farther than the Aloha State. Yes, the 787 is a nice little perk. Frankly, I'm not sure I'd do it if it weren't a 787.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I would eliminate the LAX overnights, especially the one with the early morning departure to home, and take the extra time in Tokyo.

    It's coach, but otherwise sounds good to me, although you will be away on Valentine's Day so you'll need to arrange something (flower delivery?) before leaving. It looks to me like a good fare to Tokyo.

    Can you waitlist for an upgrade (presumably with miles and copay)?

    If this will give you Gold in February, are you planning to go from zero to 1K next year? What UA status do you have now? What about lounge access? (Buy daypasses?)
     
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  7. RNE

    RNE Silver Member

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    The prospect of returning home to CLE at a dark, late, cold and snowy hour after so long a journey makes me opt to stay the night at LAX, but your thought has merit. I will add that very few flights offer this attractive fare, so I don't really have a plethora of flight time choices.

    Totally missed that significant date! That revelation does present a quandary.

    That's good to know. Thanks.

    I could waitlist for an upgrade, but I'm trying to keep expenditures to a minimum to keep this cheaper than buying PQMs outright. Plus I'm unusual in that I can be (somewhat) comfortable in a 17"x31" area.

    I have no UA status; I am only planning to reach Gold (actually in May), but I will need this trip's 15,000 PQMs to achieve that. I do have a UC membership.
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I'd be slightly cautious about paying a premium for PQMs early in the year. But Tokyo is a lot of fun. And if TSMRNE won't miss you too much then it isn't so horrible.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    You know what they say... always easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission :D
     
  10. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    How much flying to you plan to do next year --- if it's a low number, you've got an excuse not to go.

    If you're upgrade percentage with Gold isn't much higher than what you have now, why bother.....

    OK you asked !

    DTWBOB
     
  11. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Ehh, go. Have fun.
     
  12. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Definitely go :)
     
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  13. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    I would double check to see if it's cheaper to go to ICN or BKK via NRT
     
  14. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I wouldn't go that long in Y just to fly the 787. But, if you are quite keen to go to Tokyo, then by all means, go.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have not checked availability or feasibility, but with there being daily direct fights between ORD and NRT, and CLE being so close to ORD (~1h:30 min), would it not be better to do CLE-ORD-NRT rather than CLE-LAX-NRT, especially if it might avoid you staying overnight in LAX by doing NRT-ORD-CLE on return...?

    Just a thought but it might be unworkable or more expensive...
     
  16. RNE

    RNE Silver Member

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    You've hit upon the crux of the matter. I really don't know how much flying I will do, but I expect it to be much greater than this year's. For personal travel, I have a trip to IST already booked (but of course I can get upgraded only on the domestic legs) and a jaunt to FLL. I am also booked to ATH, which is a reward booking, so no PQMs but I could get upgraded domestically. Remember that CLE is less elite-heavy than other hubs.

    My other hitch is that at approximately 7.7 cents per PQM, this "mileage run" is rather anemic and something better could easily come along in 2013. Mind you, I do want to see Tokyo and some of the surrounding area, but I don't want to be taken for a ride, as it were.

    Work travel is the big question mark. I have submitted proposals for several business trips in 2013, including two CLE-SFO's and six CLE-DCA's. I guess I need to press this issue with Management today!

    RNE, wishing I weren't wearing a Gonzo Muppet costume for Halloween.
     
  17. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Not worth it n the cost per mile alone but sounds like fun. I'd do it but try for an upgrade or economy plus seat. Also enjoy LAX during the stopover, better than CLE in the winter. Oh and on the valentine flowers use a shopping portal etc to get the big bonus miles there of course :)
     
  18. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    No 787.
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't look at a trip like this as a mileage run. It's a vacation, with the destination partially driven by thr desire to earning some miles, partially by the desire to fly the 787, and partially by the desire to visit Japan. Mind you, it could be that t another time of e year you could find cheaper fares... or not. I don't personally think the fare is too expensive for what you get.
     
  20. SQ LPP
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    SQ LPP Gold Member

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    Looking at your itinerary, it looks like you have a short vacation in Tokyo (not a pure mileage run). Enjoy! 787 should be a treat even in Y.
     
  21. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Award bookings are not upgrade-eligible.
     
  22. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  23. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Aha! So, that is what all this is about.:confused:. Please go to Tokyo because it is a lively city, 787 or not! Hit Shinjuku!
     
  24. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    You are paying too much for a K fare to NRT. If you really want to head to Asia, keep an eye out for good fares to somewhere like HKG/TPE or futher south (esp. BKK), such that you'll get some decent-to-great weather once you actually arrive.

    Not to mention, the 787 is only gravy (at best) in the considerations here, for three reasons:

    1. You'll be flying in Y, where the value proposition compared to the 777 is less apparent than if you were potentially faced with, say, a sUA 777 that could be missing flat beds in C;

    2. The reliability curve on the 787 ain't shallow, and the first Tokyo flight I'd bank on consistently getting that plane is Denver-Narita, and that ain't happening until the spring;

    3. In line with number 2, what happens if you get a bird that is functioning fine on the outside but buggy on the inside? It takes months for airlines to get everything outside and inside working right on a new aircraft type, doubly so on a plane that features a host of industry-unique processes and technologies onboard.

    Like I've told other MPers and a few TOBBers, if a 787 is operating on a trip you were *already* planning to take, great. But otherwise, you're free to tell your kids and grandkids or whomever else that you were on the first flight of the 787, they won't really care if you took the very first flight or not so long as the story is good. ;)
     
  25. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Not all, apparently, but ...

    Personally, with equal pricing I'd prefer to fly via LAX. Breaks the distance up better (considering Y seat) than via ORD and is about 1000 miles more each way, so more PQM.
     

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