United beats most rivals in miles redemption, survey says

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by sobore, May 15, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...requent-flier-survey-20130509,0,1017599.story

    Avid travelers know that all frequent-flier miles are not created equal. Award miles or points on some airlines, including United Airlines, are a more valuable currency because you can use them more often for free flights.

    A survey released Thursday shows Chicago-based United was tops among large U.S. network airlines in a flier's ability to use miles to book flights, according to the Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey by IdeaWorksCompany.

    The study found that United, the largest carrier in Chicago, had award seats available 80 percent of the time.


    Read More: http://www.chicagotribune.com/busin...requent-flier-survey-20130509,0,1017599.story
     
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  2. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    And this is the most important point of FF programs for most people (maybe not every here on milepoint :) ).

    My luck with mileage redemptions of UA have been pretty darn good.
     
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  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Agree completely. Millions of points/miles can be worthtless if they are difficult or impossible to redeem.
     
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  4. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Same here.
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The study in question is flawed in many ways, some more significant than others. It is arguably better than nothing, but hardly a coherent view of the landscape.

    I do just fine redeeming my points, but not because one survey says I can.
     
  6. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    Way too many variables in play compared to the simple claims made in the article.

    First question that pops into my head: how much of that 80% is the highest level of miles needed?

    Not trying to throw cold water on the study overall, but it really seems too good to be true.
     
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  7. genemk2

    genemk2 Gold Member

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    None. They were only comparing saver award levels apparently. I thought you could get any ticket at the standard award level, up to the last seat available.
     
  8. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    Elites can, non-elites sometimes can't get the last seat available. But, yes, you are correct, that they were comparing the saver levels.
     
  9. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    I have had very good redemption experience. There were 4.7 Million travel awards used in 2012 for about 7% of all RPMs. It amazes me that United expects 24% of all of the miles it has issued to expire or go unredeemed. (UALs 2012 10K)
     
  10. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    My miles are mostly used within Latin America, and the availability could not be any better. I changed my mind a couple of weeks ago and canceled an economy ticket SJO-PTY-MDE-PTY-SJO. This after I had booked a business ticket on the same flights. This was within 12 hours of departure, and I got the saver awards. My canceled economy cost me nothings as a 1K, and I got the comfy seats and better food that I needed (OK... wanted) after a very stress-filled week.

    In January I had to make two trips SJO-DFW on short notice. While I wanted the PQMs, I didn't want them enough to pay the price of the short notice fares. I got business class seats inside of a week before departure, and only one leg was not saver.

    I have the AAdvantage miles to go to OGG from SJO in business/first on AA as a saver award, but AA will not offer saver in both directions at any time on their calendar for a non-elite. Maybe I'll try two one-way tickets and see if they are available when I'm ready to book it. The last time I checked, AA's saver awards in business were 25,000 miles less than UA, but that benefit disappears if I can't get saver in both directions.

    I'm glad to see UA winning at something again. Let's just hope they keep improving. I'm a lot happier with them today than I was one year ago.
     
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  11. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    My redemption has been superb too although with US leaving *A, it may make it really tricky to get out of CLT now given we tend to be mostly RJs on UAX metal in CLT.
     
  12. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It must be a good study because, as who has been to be able to consistently redeem United miles effortless, I agree with the conclusion.:)
     
  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Here is something along the topic of this thread in the current issue of the Australian Frequent Flyer Gazette, but on a lower key:

    AAdvantage versus Qantas Frequent Flyer program
    [​IMG]

    Our new member Aerials is seeking some AFF member Insight into the advantages the American Airlines AAdvantage has over the Qantas Frequent Flyer program. Aerials has done some research and has come to the conclusionthat AAdvantage is indeed better for redeeming points for long haul economy flights and would like our learned members to confirm this. Long term member simongr makes the following observationsupgrades - you can only upgrade QF flights with QF points and AA flights with AA points. If you get status with AA you can indeed use domestic lounges. serfty ... More
     
  14. SeaRaptor
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    SeaRaptor Silver Member

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    I don't do a ton of redemptions; I've cashed in miles only three or four times in the last few years, chiefly for aspirational-type awards for the wife and I. In both cases, though, I've been able to find availability where I wanted to go, on the dates I wanted to go, in the class of service I desired. That level of availability -- much of it coming from UA's partner airlines in *A -- makes MileagePlus a great place to continue to bank miles.
     
  15. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I agree with you. Remember, though, to factor in the AA 10% kickback on miles redeemed (I presume you have one of their Citi AA-linked credit cards).
     

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