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warning re award travel to Asia on US Airways/Star Alliance

warning re award travel to Asia on US Airways/Star Alliance

Aug 27th, 2004, 08:28 AM
  #1  
ccc
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 315
warning re award travel to Asia on US Airways/Star Alliance

To post everyone: I just called US Airways to redeem frequent flyer miles to South Asia. The Star Alliance award chart on US Air's web site says that this costs 60,000 miles in coach, 90,000 in business, and 120,000 in first. However, after I went through the hassle of finding seats, I was told that the real numbers were totally different (70,000 in coach, 105, 000 in business, and 140,000 in first). The reason -my routing took me over the Atlantic over the Pacific. I have looked all over the website and can't find anything differentiating between the Altantic and Pacific - no footnotes, small print, etc. Us Air's explanation is that that's just what their computer says. It might be nice if they'd give us the same information. If you are saving up for a big trip, make certain you are saving the right amount of miles.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 08:43 AM
  #2  
Jed
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Please explain what you mean by "over the Atlantic over the Pacific". What is your route? Which airline?
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Aug 27th, 2004, 09:37 AM
  #3  
ccc
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My original route was from east coast on Lufthansa connecting to Thai in Frankfurt to get to Bangkok. To go via the Pacific necessitates a flight to the west coast on either US Air or United, both of which may or may not be around in the future. Also, many of the flights from the west coast stop in Tokyo.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 09:48 AM
  #4  
 
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All US FF programs require you to fly over the Pacific to get to BKK. No difference from US/*A than from anybody else. It's because the airlines can sell two tickets via the Atlantic - one from US to Europe, the other Europe to BKK, to other passengers easily.

Also, timewise, it's about the same anyways, even if you're flying from the East Coast.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 11:15 AM
  #5  
ccc
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Where does it say that? I know that we flew to Bali a few years ago on Singapore Airlines (using Delta miles) via Frankfurt. If you go to the Star Alliance website virtually all of the east coast to Asia routings are via Europe. The airlines have an opportunity to sell two tickets in any event. Via the Pacific it would east coast to west coast and west coat to Asia. In any event, my interest in going via Europe is that it's the only way I can get to Asia and avoid US Air and United, both of whom may not be around when I use these tickets.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 12:55 PM
  #6  
 
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If you go to usairways.com and download the Star Alliance mileage chart in PDF, you'll read this in the bottom:

"If travel crosses one region to reach another region, the higher of the two award levels will apply."

Since Europe-South Asia is 70/105/140, that's what you need to pay if you want to fly to BKK via Europe. Similarly, you can even fly UA/Thai via Australia, but then you'll need to pay 80/120/160.

And if you look at delta.com's partner award charts, you'll see that going to SE Asia on SQ from JFK/EWR costs 80/120/140K of Skymiles; while from LAX/SFO/YVR is 70/120/140. And if you fly NW/CO (via Asia only), then it's 60/120.

That's why I'm saying what you are being offered by USAir is the industry norm. Flying through Europe to BKK will always cost you more miles, at least with US-based FF programs. It maybe different if you have Thai or SQ's FF points.
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Aug 27th, 2004, 02:50 PM
  #7  
 
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Oh, I forgot to mention that UA is not your only choice to BKK across the Pacific with Dividend Miles. Thai, Singapore, ANA and Air Canada are all *A members that fly to the US; and ANA and AC both serves the east coast too, so it's possible to go to BKK with 60,000 miles without setting foot on UA/US. [Air Canada is on its way to get out of bankcrupty filing.]
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Aug 29th, 2004, 03:08 PM
  #8  
ccc
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rkkwan, You seem to know the rules very well. Thanks for all that help. Could you please explain this: My outbound routing is ewr-sin-bkk-cnx-lpq. This is using US Air ff miles mostly on SQ. According to the award chart, one is allowed either a stopover or an open jaw. My idea was to do a stopover in bkk on the return. US Air is telling me that the only place I can do a stopover is in sin - something about there not being any direct flights to my final destination (ewr) from bkk. Does this make sense? What if you live in some small town in Iowa without any direct flights to anywhere - can you not make a stopover anywhere?
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Aug 29th, 2004, 03:58 PM
  #9  
 
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Yeah, I don't see why they can't you stop at BKK (or CNX for that matter).

BTW, it's great that they let you use EWR-SIN on SQ, as the seats are better on that flight, (and in fact you'll be actually be flying over the Atlantic...)
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