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Struggling to make Star Alliance Gold this year, suggestions?

Struggling to make Star Alliance Gold this year, suggestions?

Jul 20th, 2011, 06:39 PM
  #1  
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Struggling to make Star Alliance Gold this year, suggestions?

I've been UA PE for years, but this year I'm struggling to maintain status. I currently need 26,100 miles to reach 50K. I'm planning a trip to the US (I live in Australia) in October which will earn me 23,900 miles, but that still leaves me short 2,200 miles and I have no other travel plans for the year. My usual routing is PER-SIN-NRT--SFO--COS or PER-SIN-NRT-SEA-DEN-COS, I book based upon which flights I can get upgrades on, but I'm wondering if I should look into a different routing to earn a few extra miles.

I'm not enrolled in any programs that earn miles and I'm pretty clueless as to which programs might help me out.

Any thoughts amongst you airline gurus?
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 07:03 PM
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I'm in the same boat. Want to have Platinum again, but I used FF miles on my Peru trip, so am way under my level.

There aren't many shortcuts though...You have to fly the miles to have them apply to your status qualification. I do it by looking for flights that have an extra stopover.

I'm going to Bangkok next month. The normal route (Honolulu-Narita-Bangkok-Narita-honolulu)is 13426 miles total. By choosing a stopover in LAX, I will earn just under 23,000 qualifying miles and it was only $150 more. Granted it means another 8-10 hours of travel, but most of that is in the airport layovers. Lucky for me, I have a relative I can visit during mine.

To find these, I go onto Continental's site (it is easier to track the mileage than United) and just do multiple destination trips; HNL-Bkk-LAX-HNL vs HNL-BKK-Houston-HNL, etc. If I can get upgrades on the flights, that is a big bonus as well.

My best trip was a couple of years ago when I was going from Honolulu to the Boston GTG. For $200 more, I added in Narita, which just happened to be offering double elite qualifying miles. I think that flight alone earned me gold status!
lcuy is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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You also have friends you can visit
filmwill is offline  
Jul 20th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Most miles that earn status are BIS (butt in seat), but sometimes there will be a deal where you can earn miles that apply to earning status. You need to look at the mileage runs (cheap flights taken just to earn status and often same day turn around) threads on Flyertalk. Also the UA threads. Any deals will be posted there.
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/mileage-run-deals-372/
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/milea...iscussion-627/
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/unite...solidated-681/

FYI - On awards, there is MPM (maximum permitted mileage) and MPR (maximum permitted routing). If you link too many, you won't be able to book it if it exceeds the MPM. I'm not sure if there is a maximum on earning miles if you link too many flights together and exceed the MPM.
kybourbon is online now  
Jul 20th, 2011, 08:13 PM
  #5  
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Thanks guys.

The thought of adding a layover makes me want to puke...26 hours on a plane and two days of travel is plenty for me, but it looks like I need to get creative. I've thought about flying through Bangkok, but the miles look to be very similar and Singapore is much more convenient for so many reasons.

I used FF miles just last month to fly to NZ...couldn't resist - 50k got me Business Class both ways on an overnight flight. Might have screwed myself on that one.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 12:10 AM
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Do a quick mileage run from COS to somewhere in the US. COS-ORD is already over 900 miles each way. Add a connection to somewhere from Chicago and then back to COS, and you're done. Simiarly, COS-IAH is over 800 miles each way.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 04:53 AM
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Adding to rkk, who beat me to the domestic add-on, you could drive up to DEN where fares are really quite cheap, especially into Florida (TPA, MCO, FLL, MIA...) and, often, the mid-Atlantic area (WAS< NYC, PHL, BOS...). A single round trip midweek (if able) would be cheap and fairly quick.
NoFlyZone is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 04:27 PM
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Thanks rkkwan and NoFlyZone. I've checked those fares, FL seems the better buy. I'm also looking into flights from SIN to other parts of Asia, but they're not cheap. I considered meeting a friend in LAS, but that's only 1,765 miles from COS return, so that won't help.

I can't believe I'm even considering this. I don't even like to fly.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 07:03 PM
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I also hate to fly, which is why platinum status is so important to me. It is soo much nicer up front!
lcuy is offline  
Jul 21st, 2011, 11:51 PM
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COS-IAH-LAS on Continental will give you more than enough.
rkkwan is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2011, 12:07 AM
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Now there's a roundabout way of getting to Vegas. I'll take a look.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2011, 12:28 AM
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Looks like $381. That could actually work - thanks rkkwan.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 10:31 AM
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COS-SFO-LAS would also do the job. Actually, any COS-SFO-xxx would do the job because you earn a minimum of 500 EQMs for a UA segment.

At www.gcmap.com type in the route and click map and the results will show a map of the route along with the miles flown. The miles that UA credits might be very slightly different, maybe +- 10 miles.

But any connection (both ways) from COS via HOU or SFO is going to give you enough EQMs.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 10:38 AM
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I was assuming that UA has COS-SFO nonstops but it looks like that is not the case.

Fares for LAS are cheapest on weekdays.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 11:50 AM
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COS-DEN-LAX-LAS would be 2,195 EQMs because you would earn 500 EQMs for the 73-mile COS-DEN flight.

Oct 22, COS-DEN-LAS-LAX, same day return LAX-COS nonstop for $258. Depart COS 8:15 AM and return COS at 5:53PM. That would be 2,695 miles.

There are COS-SFO nonstops. Oct 22, nonstop COS-SFO returning same day SFO-LAX-DEN-COS for $238 all-in.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 11:50 AM
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COS-DEN-LAX-LAS would be 2,195 EQMs because you would earn 500 EQMs for the 73-mile COS-DEN flight.

Oct 22, COS-DEN-LAS-LAX, same day return LAX-COS nonstop for $258. Depart COS 8:15 AM and return COS at 5:53PM. That would be 2,695 miles.

There are COS-SFO nonstops. Oct 22, nonstop COS-SFO returning same day SFO-LAX-DEN-COS for $238 all-in.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 12:12 PM
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error: COS-DEN-LAS-LAX-COS would actually earn 2,461 EQMs.

You should be able to get COS-LAS connecting in SFO/DEN/LAX roundtrip for $238 for 0,1, or 2 night stay. Definitely under $300.
mrwunrfl is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 04:16 PM
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mrwunrfl -

I thought UA stopped giving the 500 EQM minimum, but I just now checked my UA account, and sure enough, I earned 1,000 in May flying from DEN-COS. I guess I got an extra 500 miles for flying Business Class?

My account also shows 1,926 miles for a COS-SFO flight, but I think that was in Economy Plus.

I get confused when I compare the actual flight miles to my United Account. I know I earn 50% more when flying Business Class on UA, but those miles don't count towards EQM, right?

I appreciate your efforts, I really do. I'd much rather fly via LAX or SFO because it just makes sense, and $258 is much more attractive than $381.

You ARE wonderful!
Melnq8 is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 05:45 PM
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You might also look at the possibility of flying in Business Class (or First, as they call it in the US) on a route where the price differential isn't jaw-droppingly huge. For example, I've taken some 3-4 hour flights in South America, in Europe and in Asia in Bus Class that, while not cheap, weren't outrageous either.
frogoutofwater is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2011, 06:50 PM
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EQM and spendable miles are separate. Think of them as 2 different things.

For EQM, it all depends on fare class. Full fare economy and business/first class pay 1.5x flying miles.

For spendable miles, some business/first fares pay 1.25x flying miles, but there's the elite bonuses. Silver get 25% bonuses, gold/plat 100%.

Here's from CO. UA is the same.

https://www.continental.com/CMS/en-U...ntinental.aspx

https://www.continental.com/web/en-U...e/default.aspx
rkkwan is offline  

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