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United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
185 posts
7 reviews
United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

I am shopping for two tickets for December from SFO to LHR. The price for direct flights with British Airways are around $860-$960. United Airlines (and star alliance) are around $1250 for direct flights! I am trying to cumulate UA millage but this totally sucks!

Any chance their price will drop? I have been watching it for over a month now but the price has been sturdy...

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
16,946 posts
340 reviews
1. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

kxin1

Very slim chance of it dropping. I would grab the BA fare and run! It's a much better airline with a much better flight schedule. Your miles wont disappear.

Regards

uk
Level Contributor
3,608 posts
71 reviews
2. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

The varying prices between flying to the same places with different airlines always amazes me. I don't try to understand the complex pricing tools in use.

Usually I find the reverse with BA being the more expensive airline compared to US based carriers.

I would take sniper's advice and grab the BA tickets unless the extra miles you would get from UA are worth the $400 difference to you.

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds, Bradford
Level Contributor
18,974 posts
279 reviews
3. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

Mileage Plus miles do disappear - after 18 months of inactivity. Although using your mileage plus CC will keep your acount active.

united.com/page/article/0,6867,1155,00.html…

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
5,853 posts
10 reviews
4. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

Take the lower airfare and accumulate the UA miles (unless you're shooting for elite status) in other ways. You could get them got hotel stays, shopping on line, car rental and even dining out. Check the MileagePlus site.

www.united.com/page/article/1,,52102,00.html…

As long as you add miles at least once in 18 months (using any method), you'll be OK and won't lose them.

Edited: 02 August 2011, 18:21
Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
16,946 posts
340 reviews
5. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

sunmagic

Yea I know about the 18 month limit - that goes without saying.

Regards

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
185 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

To vegas-guide -

Yes, I am shooting for elite status and I am 4000 miles away (which is about one way SFO to LHR)! I have never been able to obtain elite status and now I wonder if its even worth it!! I do have three international trips coming up next year and hoping I can benefit from the elite status!

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
17,020 posts
192 reviews
7. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

The only reason I can offer (and it's a guess) is that SFO and LHR are both considered UA "hubs". For BA, LHR is a hub, but not SFO. I cannot connect together why that would matter since both flight options are non-stop, but it is a difference. I did a monthlong search on http://matrix.itasoftware.com and saw some decent deals (connections) on Air New Zealand, which is a Star partner.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
9,194 posts
50 reviews
8. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

Yes, I am shooting for elite status and I am 4000 miles away (which is about one way SFO to LHR)! I have never been able to obtain elite status and now I wonder if its even worth it!! I do have three international trips coming up next year and hoping I can benefit from the elite status!

__________________

UA Premier does help a little, but only if you're ever flying economy. Business class check-in, priority security and boarding plus you avoid the baggage fees. Ability to pre-assign Economy Plus for free and for domestic flights you can at least apply for free upgrades to first class. Given you're flying out of SFO UA has a massive hub there with a very high proportion of elite travelers so the free upgrades are slim.

Nashville, TN
Level Contributor
5,853 posts
10 reviews
9. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

I'd check sites such as the one below. It lets you search multiple departure/arrival airports as well as a 30 day date range. If you have 3 International flights next year, I would try to get to the elite level. It does provide certain amenities not available to standard members (especially if you're in coach) and if doable witjhout too much extra expense would be worth it.

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
29,253 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: United Airlines and Star Alliance = Lame?

I've just done a dummy booking with random dates for SFO-LHR-SFO in December, and got UA at $1047 and BA at $979, non-stops on both incl t&f's. Of course these may not be your intended days of travel (out on 14, back on 22), but the price difference was only $68 (not quite the $300-400 you've seen).