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Using UA Miles to get to Australia

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Jan 7th, 2016, 12:56 PM
  #1
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Using UA Miles to get to Australia

First time using the new UA mileage web site for booking with FF miles. I want to go from IAD to Australia in biz class next year. It's too early for me to book, but I was trying to play around with the site to see how it would work and what options might be available. Maybe will need to use their partner airlines, but they're not coming up. I can fly thru Asia if that would help. We have complete flexiblity on days and exact date and if we have to will go with a couple stops. I thought of flying to west coast and going from there, but that doesn't seem to work. Any advice on how to begin? thanks!
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Jan 7th, 2016, 01:40 PM
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Premium cabin seats from Australia to the US are VERY hard to score. United does allow transiting Asia en route, but use of partner airlines will bump up the number of miles needed.

When are you traveling?
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Jan 7th, 2016, 03:08 PM
  #3
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We will likely leave late January 2017 and returning in March. Where do I find the miles needed for the partners? I wish UA had not changed their website. I was go on the old one!
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Jan 7th, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Where do I find the miles needed for the partners?

https://www.united.com/web/format/pd...t-06-16-15.pdf

January is the peak demand period as it's the end of summer school holidays in Oz. You should start looking for seats around the first of March this year and be relentless. United has one-way awards, so book the outbound legs even if the return dates aren't showing yet.
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Jan 7th, 2016, 04:46 PM
  #5
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Thanks for the chart. Yes, that's what I planned to do, but was hoping to be able to figure out what the options and various ways could be.
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Jan 8th, 2016, 04:54 PM
  #6
 
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I was fooling around with that once nd found basically no biz class saver awards to Sydney from Chicago but did find a few from LAX.
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Jan 8th, 2016, 05:00 PM
  #7
 
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Yay, you're coming to Australia !
Sorry I have no help to offer with the booking stuff.
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Jan 8th, 2016, 06:37 PM
  #8
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Yes, hope to. Maybe we can finally meet up. Where do you live?
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Jan 8th, 2016, 09:51 PM
  #9
 
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I agree you might find more from LAX. We are finding it harder and harder to use our miles period since UA merged with Continental. we book 360 days in advance and still have had to change our dates of departure or return to find seats in Business Class. Lots in Economy, however. If you are a premier member, you can call a special number which should be on your UA card and speak with a premier representative but that isn't always the answer either. Seems that we have had "trainees" on the last 2 conversations we had with UA. Flying to Italy from SFO, she routed us through Japan! Then she routed us on a more sensible journey and in the end it was Economy and we wanted Business so we had to start all over again. Such a first world problem!
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Jan 8th, 2016, 11:38 PM
  #10
 
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We live in South East Queensland, on the Gold Coast, 1000 km north of Sydney, about 75 km south of Brisbane. We've seen most of our country, so hope to help with your planning....yes, would be good to meet.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 06:21 AM
  #11
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Shar, didnt realize that you could call the Premier number -- I thought I had to go to the Mileage Program #, but I will give that a try when we're ready. With the old website I was generally able to figure out a route and book myself, but this website I cant figure out how to see the partner airlines. And yes, more available thru LAX. Economy seats to LAX and then there have been some biz class open to AUS. I've had that same experience ith the agents on the phone -- geographically challenged to say the least.

sartoric -- haven't a clue yet what we want to see, just know that we will need to book ff seats in a few months. Will look forward to your suggestions.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 07:34 AM
  #12
 
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IMO you SHOULD use their partner airlines, particularly on the long haul flights. They're much better than UA.

When we lived in Perth, we'd fly in and out/via Auckland, and LAX on Air NZ which is a Star Alliance partner. I don't know if UA gives you this option using miles, but it's worth a look.

Air NZ is a wonderful airline, especially if you can score a Premium Economy or Business Class seat (not so wonderful in coach). We did everything we could to avoid flying UA, even though we have Premier status with them.

We also flew through Singapore and Toyko or Seoul on SIA) several times, but this probably doesn't make sense if you're flying to the Eastern states of OZ, as most people do. We were flying to Western Australia.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 07:52 AM
  #13
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Mel - yes, I would prefer to fly a partner airline, but UA doesn't seem to be showing partners on their website like they used to. If we had to fly thru Asia to get biz class i might do that too. I had originally thought of doing a stopover, but so far I dont think that is possible anymore.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 11:07 AM
  #14
 
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Talking with a live person will help you determine a stop-over. The rules still allow it, but the only way I know to do it is on the phone.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 11:23 AM
  #15
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Thanks, Kathie -- I did call twice and was told no stopovers anymore. I tried to find language on the UA website but so far havent. We'd be interested in Hong Kong, but probably would do any place.
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Jan 9th, 2016, 11:29 AM
  #16
 
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Sign up for Expert Flyer - www.expertflyer.com/ - which now allows award searches for most Star Alliance carriers. $5 a month is good value if it saves you thousands of dollars.
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Apr 3rd, 2016, 10:33 AM
  #17
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First i played around on the UA site and could never find anything for flights from IAD to anywhere in Australia. I have spent hours on the phone with a vairety of different UA agents. Finally this am I got an extremely helpful agent who tired untold options for me. I managed to book biz class to Aus with a stopover in Hong Kong for this coming winter. 160k miles (not using UA metal) which seems so high--first time I have used miles since their last increase. Crazy route on the return and so far economy class LA to IAD, but we can manage that.
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Apr 4th, 2016, 06:25 AM
  #18
 
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Good to know. Thank you.
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