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Old 03-09-2016, 01:17 PM
 
12,433 posts, read 18,521,658 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
You bring up an excellent point.


I believe it's 130,000 miles R/T to Asia from Chi for a business class ticket. I could buy the other 30,000 miles I need and just use the miles to purchase the ticket. Is that what you are suggesting?


Then that just leaves the issue of paying for a business fare ticket outright for my mom; I would have to check on that rate with United (I'm scared to see what that will be). This would be my first time paying out of pocket for a business seat...
yeah that's exactly what I am suggesting - better bang for your buck just to pay with miles for the whole thing.
But, yeah, unless you catch a sale business class tickets can be outrageously expensive - $10k plus.
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Old 03-09-2016, 05:55 PM
 
2,291 posts, read 3,952,967 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
You bring up an excellent point.


I believe it's 130,000 miles R/T to Asia from Chi for a business class ticket. I could buy the other 30,000 miles I need and just use the miles to purchase the ticket. Is that what you are suggesting?


Then that just leaves the issue of paying for a business fare ticket outright for my mom; I would have to check on that rate with United (I'm scared to see what that will be). This would be my first time paying out of pocket for a business seat...
Have you looked at business class award availability? I doubt you will have much flexibility, if at all, that close to June. United currently gives a 25-75% bonus when you buy miles (until 3/14) but that's useless if you can't find availability.

looks like the ORD-NRT nonstop is almost $6000 throughout June, that would be an amazing value for miles but I doubt that will happen. You can get a ticket for about half that price with a connection through Canada (with a TPAC segment on Air Canada), or you can buy a separate ORD-YYZ ticket + the $2350 YYZ-NRT nonstop that Gardyloo alluded to.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,222 posts, read 3,221,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
Have you looked at business class award availability? I doubt you will have much flexibility, if at all, that close to June. United currently gives a 25-75% bonus when you buy miles (until 3/14) but that's useless if you can't find availability.

looks like the ORD-NRT nonstop is almost $6000 throughout June, that would be an amazing value for miles but I doubt that will happen. You can get a ticket for about half that price with a connection through Canada (with a TPAC segment on Air Canada), or you can buy a separate ORD-YYZ ticket + the $2350 YYZ-NRT nonstop that Gardyloo alluded to.
I have not...I will do that today. And I do realize I am unlikely to find much if anything at all.


If that's the case then I'm guessing purchasing the economy ticket and using the awards to upgrade would be easier? Of, would I basically encounter the same issue if award availability is extremely limited anyway? I've never done this before.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:43 AM
 
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If I had to do a long haul like that I would probably just save the miles and buy some Economy Plus upgades with cash, they're maybe $100per person round trip or so.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:16 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandalorian View Post
If I had to do a long haul like that I would probably just save the miles and buy some Economy Plus upgades with cash, they're maybe $100per person round trip or so.
I can't recall what the difference is for regular economy vs Economy plus...I'll google this but can anyone with experience comment on just how much more comfortable we'll be in Economy plus?


If it's only $100 (that kinda sounds too good to be true), I may consider it depending....
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:40 AM
 
Location: Miami-Jax
6,358 posts, read 7,030,499 times
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^All it is is extra legroom at the front of economy. I actually used it on a United flight to Hong Kong and it was nothing special at all. But I'm fine with economy any way. Actually, the economy plus legroom was more space than I could use up with my legs outstretched (I am 5'9)
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
Of, would I basically encounter the same issue if award availability is extremely limited anyway? I've never done this before.
Generally award and upgrade inventory is the same. As a rule airlines hold back releasing seats into business class award/upgrade inventory until their computers tell them there's little chance of the seat selling for big bucks. As a result quite often upgrades "clear" or award seats open up at the last minute. You usually have a better chance of getting a business class award seat a week or two before the flight than many months ahead, but of course that makes planning very difficult.

I just looked at economy fares on United for Chicago - Tokyo in June (don't know your dates) and am seeing most options coming in right around $2030 round trip. So here's some arithmetic.

Base fare - $2030
Copay costs, $450 or $500 in each direction, say $950 round trip. (Amount depends on the economy "fare category.")
Miles required - 30,000 each way, 60,000 round trip.

So total, $2980 plus 60,000 miles per person.

Versus cost of business class ticket, Chicago - Tokyo via Toronto (Air Canada 787) - $3000 or $3022.
UA Miles earned, 17,130.

For the extra twenty or forty bucks, you keep your miles and add to them, get to pick seats and put aside the gamble of the upgrades, and ride on AC's nifty 787. Here's a video trip report -


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8u1jvjk_3w
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,222 posts, read 3,221,699 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by projectmaximus View Post
^All it is is extra legroom at the front of economy. I actually used it on a United flight to Hong Kong and it was nothing special at all. But I'm fine with economy any way. Actually, the economy plus legroom was more space than I could use up with my legs outstretched (I am 5'9)
Ok; I know what seats you're talking about. I'd take that over the regular economy seats for sure. Not a huge different being 5'1.5" but it is nice to be able to lift your legs up a bit, stretch forward and feel just a tad bit less claustrophobic.
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Old 03-10-2016, 11:50 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,516 posts, read 3,351,033 times
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The first class amenities are nice enough, but the thing that's really worth the money (or not) is the extra space. If your mom's a tall or broad-shouldered person, or claustrophobic at all, the more comfortable seat and more personal space makes a huge difference on long flights. If she's tiny, it's probably not worth it.
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Old 03-10-2016, 06:33 PM
 
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Fly Economy class on Singapore Airlines. They have decent food, pass out hot towels, etc.... or Premium Economy class, more spacious seats. Still less expensive than Business, but comparable to Business Class on many other international airlines.

IMO it's not worth using your award points for a long haul where you aren't sure whether or not you can manage to get an upgrade...

Last edited by Ottawa2011; 03-10-2016 at 06:41 PM..
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