Should I Look Into United MileagePlus?

Discussion in 'Other frequent flyer programmes' started by FlyingPiggie, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    I know that Joe did some interesting posts on United MileagePlus that appeal to my travel hacking instincts... But I've never really bothered with UA, mostly because of the crushing devaluations of 4-5 years ago and the fact that I've had better programmes occupying my mind.

    But now I find myself rather light on Star Alliance miles, even though I have lots of Alaska / AA / Avios, etc. And of course I'm tempted by one last Marriott Travel Package. But since I have more than enough AS miles for 2-3 First Class tickets to Asia, do I really need another 120K? Diversifying into more Star Alliance possibilities could make sense.

    But I'm nervous about dropping 132K miles into a programme I've never used. Thoughts?
     
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  2. beppo

    beppo New Member

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    It should be the only one without the annoying hard expiry rule (Lifemiles too).
    With Miles&Smiles, Miles&More you have to be fast in redeeming miles.
     
  3. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    I say go for it! Worst case scenario is four 33k redemptions for things like UK-Turkey Biz Class, Asia to Asia Biz Class(or any other intra region), BRU/AMS/PAR/etc to UK Economy - that would all be 1 redemption by the way, which is a lot of flying for 33k and no surcharges.

    Long haul biz/first redemption prices are generally steep, but maybe not totally absurd if you make use of the excursionist perk.

    As you say, the real value is diversification. KrisFlyer (hard expiry though) and Aeroplan might also be worth a look depending on the sort of trips you're thinking about, but I'd go for United.
     
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  4. FlyingPiggie

    FlyingPiggie Active Member

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    Aeroplan is a non-starter. In 2020 it loses the Air Canada connection and just becomes a rebate scheme for paid travel "experiences". I also have hundreds of thousands of my parents' Aeroplan miles to spend before then...

    Did you ever look at an Excursionist that was Flight 1 - long-haul, say LHR-TYO, Flight 2 - random other region Flight 3 - throwaway BRU-LHR. Or does 1 and 3 need to be the same award region?
     
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  5. JoeD

    JoeD Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, works in exactly the same way - you just need to make sure the 3rd flight is a short one in the same region the first flight originated in (it doesn't matter what the destination of the first flight is). There's an example towards the end of the post here: https://insideflyer.co.uk/2018/03/united-mileageplus-sweetspots-part-3-advanced-excursionist-tricks/

    Particularly useful if you don't mind flying United somewhere on the long haul, as the rates are considerably more reasonable than flying on partners, eg. 60k one way in Biz between Europe and USA.
     

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