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Old 04-12-2016, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,207 posts, read 3,199,498 times
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I got a message in my inbox today stating United is holding a sale on miles...if you purchase 20,000-80,000 I think it is, you get an additional 80% in miles.


For the amount of miles I'm looking to purchase, that would mean a cost of 0.019 cent per mile (just under 2 cents/mile).


Is this a good value? I wasn't sure what threshold the die-hard travelers use to purchase miles...in other words, what's considered a really good deal out there. Anything 0.02/mile and under? Closer to 0.01/mile?
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:13 AM
 
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I would never purchase miles unless you had a pending reward travel trip you are going to book, and you just need the few additional miles to get the reward.
Otherwise, frequent flyer miles are on a roller coast down of devaluation.

Likewise I read in the TravelTalk forum of travelers doing "mile runs", i.e. purposely subjecting yourself to meaningless plane travel just to incur FF miles. I never did get that.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Atlanta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I would never purchase miles unless you had a pending reward travel trip you are going to book, and you just need the few additional miles to get the reward.
Otherwise, frequent flyer miles are on a roller coast down of devaluation.

Likewise I read in the TravelTalk forum of travelers doing "mile runs", i.e. purposely subjecting yourself to meaningless plane travel just to incur FF miles. I never did get that.
I understand...right now I have enough miles with United for one round trip ticket to Europe for sure, but if I purchase 30,000 additional miles for $700, then I'd have enough for two tickets and could take my mother to Europe with me on her first international trip ever.


$700 for two roundtrip flights to Europe....not too bad I think.


That's what lead me to posting this originally.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
7,316 posts, read 4,162,308 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
I understand...right now I have enough miles with United for one round trip ticket to Europe for sure, but if I purchase 30,000 additional miles for $700, then I'd have enough for two tickets and could take my mother to Europe with me on her first international trip ever.
Can you be flexible with your travel dates and/or departure or arrival airports? If you've never redeemed miles before, you may not realize how tricky it can be to actually USE miles to get the tickets you want. (This is particularly true of you're traveling during the most popular season, or to very popular destinations.)

If you can be flexible on your travel dates, and you know how many miles you'll actually need for the award tickets you'll need (remember, United may charge more miles for tickets on partner airlines than on its own flights), then by all means take advantage of the mile sale! If you have an immediate use for the miles, you might as well get them when they are on sale.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Cedar Park, Texas
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I wouldn't, unless you are certain you can use them and use them quickly. I have a helluva time finding any flights I want where I can actually USE the 200,000 miles I already have with United. Whenever I try to book a trip on miles, it tells me it's not available.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:18 AM
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11,386 posts, read 10,521,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southkakkatlantan View Post
I understand...right now I have enough miles with United for one round trip ticket to Europe for sure, but if I purchase 30,000 additional miles for $700, then I'd have enough for two tickets and could take my mother to Europe with me on her first international trip ever.


$700 for two roundtrip flights to Europe....not too bad I think.


That's what lead me to posting this originally.
In that case, I think it would be worth it. You are essentially paying $700 for a Europe flight that will cost $1,000-1,300. That makes worth it.

As mentioned, buying miles generally aren't worth it unless you just need a couple more thousand to go for a specific redemption. However, in this case, totally worth it. And when airlines offer a bonus like this, it can sometimes be a good deal even if you aren't planning on traveling soon.

I do not fly United, but I have no problems using miles. I recently booked a round-trip flight to Europe on Delta using miles.

Also, I'm not sure if you have a credit card that earns United miles...but it could be good to look into that if you haven't already done so.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Silver Spring, MD
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Depending on your flexibility and the cost of getting to cities like New York you may be better off monitoring for airline travel deals or the occasional (or not so occasional it seems lately) glitch fares. Emirates often has specials out of New York and for a little more you are able to select the dates that work for you vs. going on the only dates available to use your miles. Also check sights like The flight deal for error fares or fare deals with routes you wouldn't necessarily look up on your own. Currently Alitalia has a deal from Chicago to Milan
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:26 PM
 
10,847 posts, read 11,265,341 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDF View Post
In that case, I think it would be worth it. You are essentially paying $700 for a Europe flight that will cost $1,000-1,300. That makes worth it.

As mentioned, buying miles generally aren't worth it unless you just need a couple more thousand to go for a specific redemption. However, in this case, totally worth it. And when airlines offer a bonus like this, it can sometimes be a good deal even if you aren't planning on traveling soon.

I do not fly United, but I have no problems using miles. I recently booked a round-trip flight to Europe on Delta using miles.

Also, I'm not sure if you have a credit card that earns United miles...but it could be good to look into that if you haven't already done so.
Depending on where they are going, a direct flight to Europe may cost as little as $350. Only a couple of weeks ago Turkish Airlines had this huge sale offering round trip tickets to 20+ European cities for $470. $1000-1300 sounds very expensive and I have never paid that much on any of my previous 6 European trips.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Depending on where they are going, a direct flight to Europe may cost as little as $350. Only a couple of weeks ago Turkish Airlines had this huge sale offering round trip tickets to 20+ European cities for $470. $1000-1300 sounds very expensive and I have never paid that much on any of my previous 6 European trips.
Unless you catch one of those big sale fares, $1k+ is very normal.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Atlanta
3,207 posts, read 3,199,498 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Can you be flexible with your travel dates and/or departure or arrival airports? If you've never redeemed miles before, you may not realize how tricky it can be to actually USE miles to get the tickets you want. (This is particularly true of you're traveling during the most popular season, or to very popular destinations.)

If you can be flexible on your travel dates, and you know how many miles you'll actually need for the award tickets you'll need (remember, United may charge more miles for tickets on partner airlines than on its own flights), then by all means take advantage of the mile sale! If you have an immediate use for the miles, you might as well get them when they are on sale.
I've redeemed with United before.


I am flexible with the dates and have picked out the dates/destination I open to traveling on/to/from already. I've found that there are still a good number of available flights available as the trip is 6 months out, but realize that could change soon. I also think I am seeing a few more available flights because of my recent upgrade in status with the airline.


The biggest issue right now is finding a flight without a 4-9 hour or so layover. I can do under 4 hours. And if the layover is like 10, 11 hours plus, it could be an advantage if it's in a city I want to do a quick tour of (if the layover isn't in the middle of the night of course).


But I find the 4-9 hour layovers can sometimes be too long to tolerate staying in the airport, yet not quite long enough to leave the airport and do something else if you wanted to.
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