Where are your favorite places to vacation via United and /or star alliance?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by vjjohnson3, Apr 8, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. vjjohnson3

    vjjohnson3 Silver Member

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    Hi all!

    I am a United 1K and we are trying to plan a vacation to accrue miles (hopefully 10,000 or more) for June or October.
    We are based in Southern California so either LAX or SNA are departure points.

    She would fly using my miles and I would hope to secure business class with GPU's.
    We would love to also go on a Dreamliner if available.

    We like the idea of going to Europe but are especially interested in hearing your thoughts for what is available if we go direct to Europe from LAX and then what cities we are able to connect to via the star alliance.

    Also it would great to be all on United metal but it is not a requirement.

    Where were some of your favorite trips with UA/SA and especially which are the most convenient and less agony from Southern California?

    We are factoring in weather and price of course too.

    Thanks,
    Vince J.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Mixing revenue and award and trying to get the identical itinerary is VERY challenging, at least at a reasonable price point.

    Direct to Europe from LA on Star Alliance means LHR on UA or Air NZ or FRA/MUC on Lufthansa.From FRA/MUC you have a whole bunch of connection options. From LHR far fewer, but there are some, mostly other *A hubs.

    As for what's best, that is highly dependent on what you want to do. If you want to be in a big city the options will be very different than if you want nature or a beach.

    And I wouldn't plan anything around the 787s until they are actually back in service.
     
  3. vjjohnson3

    vjjohnson3 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the quick reply. Yes i agree about the 787's. i saw some on the schedule but until the final word comes in then just have to wait or not book them.

    What about those flights on lufthansa from lax to FRA or MUC, are we eligible to use GPU's there?
    I heard that economy class on those 747s was a long day. Are there other classes of service or do we get exit rows or anything as SA gold?

    I would say that i think a quiet,peaceful relaxing vacation would be great. Less big city and more smaller feel. I wonder if there is something like that available in two flights from lax with the direct route on the first flight?
     
  4. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    Try Auckland, new Zealand. Alternatively you could zip over to maui, or head to se asia (sin is great or.HKG) but aside from AUK these all.have a bigger city feel
     
  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Or BKK, SGN they all connect @ NRT on UA metal.
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I like Europe in October, but for June, northern Australia could be better.
     
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  7. vjjohnson3

    vjjohnson3 Silver Member

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    I really appreciate your replies.

    I am researching Singapore and whether to go on united or on the airbus 380s with Singapore airlines. Are we eligible for GPU upgrades with Singapore or ANA?

    Also going to check more australia and Europe.

    Thanks!!
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes, but only on day of travel and only with a V fare or higher.

    If you're willing to go via partners there are literally hundreds of places you can get with a single connection from LAX. Lots of smaller towns in Europe, Central America or Asia can be had pretty easily. Don't forget that you have Copa available, too, via Panama for a lot of options.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No. Only UA/Copa in advance or Lufthansa on day of travel.

    And I think SIN is terribly boring and not at all worth visiting, especially not as a "special" vacation.
     
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  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    The Dreamliner would probably complicate things at the moment. Let's see about fulfilling the need to earn/accrue miles, preferably all on United metal (I am chasing the MM milestone so this is always a consideration for me), and getting somewhere in Europe where it would be easy to catch other *A flights.

    I agree that you should avoid LHR, but if you insist on a direct flight from LAX on UA, it would have to be LHR, which is not a throbbing *A hub. I think that you should consider at least one stop, to another UA hub, which would enable you to stay on UA and go straight to the heart of *A world, FRA(PORT), from where you can catch a *A flight to anywhere in Europe. The one stop detour may also fulfill your need to accrue miles. With things thus relaxed, you could do:

    1. LAX-EWR-FRA - All UA metal, 8,770 PQM one way, 14hr55min total transit time (TTT)

    2. LAX-SFO-FRA - All UA metal, 6,373 PQM one way, 14hr45min TTT

    The winner is option 1, but there are other options thru ORD or IAD.

    As for places to see from there, I would go east: Czech Rep (Prague), Poland (Warsaw), Hungary (Budapest); or southeast: the Balkans.

    If I lived in LAX area, I would also head East, but as in TPAC East, to experience the storied Asian hospitality, flying on some super *A carriers, like SQ and TG, as I did very recently (I needed 4 weeks, however):

    ASIAN-ESCAPADE-2012.png

    but that is just me...;) . I think it'll be fun whatever you decide to do
     
  11. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    YMMV, but I beg to differ. There is nothing boring about SIN if sin is what one is into, and one has been to "Orchard Tower", e.g. It would not be fun for couples looking to do the "tourist thing" but it is definitely SINful for singles on the prowl, if you know what I mean...
     
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  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are plenty of other places I'd consider if whoring was on the agenda, places which don't have the added bonus of being stuck in Singapore.

    There's also the part where we're (at least, in theory) trying to help the OP based on their desires, not shifting what they've asked for into some other plan. ;)
     
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  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Fine, then one may prefer to "whore" around in SIN and find it exciting, rather than in your favorite place for that sort of things... and I fail to understand how one gets "stuck in Singapore"...unless you are referring to the much recounted/hearsay about the toughness of the laws there, which a law abiding person should have little to worry about.

    With all due respect, I believe that you had already deviated from that worthy objective when you opined about SIN, hence my response, which was providing another perspective.

    But, I do not wish to get stuck in this because it would be unnecessary digression, which it seems we both wish to avoid to "help the OP based on their desires"...;)
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I made that comment in the context of the OP's statement that they were looking for "a quiet,peaceful relaxing vacation would be great. Less big city and more smaller feel." That's not something I believe Singapore provides at all.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I am 100% sure that one can find quiet and peace in some remote area of SIN, an ISLAND nation, but it is not important. The world is full of choices... we need to explore beyond those that we are familiar with.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Not sure how you calculated these. At first glance, the value for LAX-EWR-FRA is way too much. According to gcmap.com:

    LAX-EWR-FRA is 6323 miles (and PQM in coach)

    LAX-SFO-FRA is 500+5699 = 6199 miles (and PQM in coach)
     
  17. vjjohnson3

    vjjohnson3 Silver Member

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    I just want to say that milepoint rocks and everyone is super helpful!!!!

    I am still leaning towards SIN because we can do a w fare in June somewhere around $1600 and my significant other said she is actually interested in going there.
    What is there to realistically not like about Singapore?
    And would you guys go on airbus 380 in coach on Singapore airlines or 777 on united in business?
     
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  18. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Business is better than coach. Period. But that only works if you can actually get the award space and get the upgrade to clear. Buying the W fare is the easy part. Finding the open award space is much harder.

    As for my personal feelings on Singapore, I don't really think it has much soul as a city. It is very clean and nice, I suppose, but too sterile for me, the prior bit about clubbing with hookers not withstanding. There are some incredible food options, particularly if you're willing to be a bit adventurous, but not much in the way of history or culture. And the "beaches" on Sentosa Island were a joke IMO. I've been twice now, each for a couple days. The first time I was so bored I actually left for the day. The second I was with friends and it was a bit better, but we still ran out of stuff to do pretty quickly.

    It is an easy version of Asia, owing to the fact that everyone speaks English and there are virtually no safety/security issues. Feels a bit like a theme park to me in that way.

    Also, the weather is not what I generally enjoy; when I go to a steam bath I tend to not do so fully clothed.
     
  19. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Fortunately, the dummy-booking I did was still in another tab. Looking at it: I just added the bolded numbers, but that was incorrect because the bottom bolded number (6,324) was the total. So, you are right. On RT, however, the OP would realize the desire to accrue at least 10K PQM. Good catch (even though I was multi-tasking, it actually seemed high to me because one-way LAX-EWR-FRA had about the same PQM as RT LGA-IAD-FRA, but I thought it was possible coming from the West Coast:

    DISTANCE.png
     
  20. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have been to SIN every year since I went there 3 times in 2009. I have cleared upgrades every time on a W fare, when I had gotten there on a paid ticket (the first year). Usually, I'd fly into HKG or PEK or PVG and just redeem in C or F on various *A carriers, with SIN being at the tail end of my trip (as above).

    YMMV, but I like the city for its diversity of people from SE Asia and Anglo tourists who flock there, precisely because of the cleanliness, safety, relative freedom of movement, and vibrant nightlife ( watched the World Cup of Soccer match there between UK and Germany in an Irish Pub and it was rocking!). There is multi-national "hooking" (not for you, I am afraid ;)) as the ladies of the night are also drawn to SIN from SE Asia and beyond for the same reasons that draw everyone else, but it disguises itself as legitimate party-goers in search of "action" because open "hooking" is illegal. However, there is also legit night fun, diversity of restaurant, etc. Chinese is the "mother tongue" because of the large Chinese majority, but it is a former British colony with some WW-II history, so English is the second official language -- language of business, higher education, etc.

    I will be there again in early Jan 2014, because I now have friends there, which also makes a Big Difference.
     
  21. edcho

    edcho Silver Member

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    The last time I was there...

    I ran a half marathon, visited the night safari, visited Santosa Island (mini Disney world), visited Marina Bay Sands, ate really cheap food from the hawkers there (Anthony Bourdain has a good food guide that we tried to follow and a layover episode too), visited the chinese gardens, hit the night clubs, shopped a TON, made friends with a blind man... and a ton more. I was pretty pooped and happy from the trip. I think if you never been to SIN, then it's a good deal. I can see how it can get boring though...
     
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  22. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I usually stay at the Hilton Singapore, but a couple of years ago I decided to stay at the Conrad around New Year. The hotel threw a New Year's eve party for the guests with a live band and dropping of balloons after midnight, and immediately after that we rushed outside to watch the fireworks at nearby Marina Bay. While the Conrad is a newer and pristine property, it is a bit too remote from the action. I prefer the central location of the Hilton (across the street from the Orchard Tower), even though the property is a bit "dated".

    Hilton-SIN.jpg
     
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  23. HubletUAFlyer

    HubletUAFlyer Gold Member

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    Started at the Hilton and the Marriott in Sin. Headed.back.mid.june for a month with the family. Staying at services apartments 8 on claymore which are really nice also.
     
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  24. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    If one's going to do a version of Asia where English is widely spoken, I think Hong Kong is a better choice.
     
  25. Flyer1976
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    Flyer1976 Gold Member

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