Upgrading United flight to LAX>SYD

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by CellarDoor, Nov 26, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. CellarDoor

    CellarDoor Active Member

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    Hello all - Pretty new at this miles, game. I recently (last weekend) booked a crazy deal on United for R/T economy tickets (2) from LAX>SYD.

    I have flown Economy to India, Greece etc and while I would like to try Busines/First, this current deal was for economy and I used no miles to purchase. The more I have thought about the ~14 hour flight the more I think it would be beneficial to upgrade at least one leg of the journey (heading out, to ensure a decent nights sleep) to business or first.

    I started with credit card offers and miles less than 6 months ago so I don't know if I even have any options at this point to upgrade with miles and looking for some advice.

    Current mileage balances:
    United: 0
    Amex SPG: ~64,000 (combined girlfriend and I)
    Chase Ultimate: ~ 45,000 (only one card holder)
    Barclays Arrival: 44,000 - (using these to offset the cheap tickets price)

    I also have ~85,000 AA miles and ~35,000 US Airways miles (saving those up for another SE asia or Europe trip)

    The SPG transfer rate to United is 2:1 and I don't think I want to take that kind of beating since the SPG points are so hard to come by in the first place.

    That leaves me with the Chase Ultimate points. I could possibly earn another 45,000 points before the the trip the end of March but would that leave me with enough to upgrade both of us one way? The other luxury perks of first class don't appeal to me as much the lie flat bed and the extra room and peace and quiet.

    The plane is the United 747-400 if anyone is curious on the arrangement.

    Any advice is welcome, thanks all.
     
  2. okrogius

    okrogius Silver Member

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    An upgrade on a cheap fare will cost you 30k miles + $600 one-way per person. There are also potential cash buy up offers available closer to departure for less than the fare difference subject to there being space.

    You can certainly decide whether that's worthwhile, but there are probably more cost-effective ways to try United Business personally. United first doesn't have much in the way of worthwhile perks on United.
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You will need 30,000 points + $600 per passenger in each direction to upgrade between LAX and SYD. That's a lot of points plus a lot of cash. And you have to actually have the points in the account to request the upgrade; if it doesn't go through you cannot move them back to UR or SPG.

    A double upgrade in to UA F is very unlikely unless you upgrade to business and then buy up to first.
     
  4. CellarDoor

    CellarDoor Active Member

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    Wow. Thanks for the responses guys. I guess I didn't realize I would have to depart with so much cash as well. I am leaning towards just sucking it up, getting some good ear plugs, pillow and deal with it.

    The flights only cost me $700 each so to pay almost that plus that many miles doesn't seem worth it (even if it is a long flight with no stopovers)
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A few drinks and a decent meal prior to the flight and after you get there are, IMO, a better investment.
     
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  6. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    Listen to the WA, he is wise in the way of keeping you from splurging too much for extravagance. :)
     
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  7. Garp74

    Garp74 Gold Member

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    (BTW if you do wind up upgrading a leg, I strongly recommend upgrading the return flight to LAX over upgrading the outbound leg. At the beginning of your journey you're excited and ready to go, and you can mentally and physically deal with coach. When it's all over, however, you'll be tired from your vacation. And the jet lag is killer from Asia to America. Just my opinion borne of two years flying back and forth between LAX and Asia and Oceania.)
     
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