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Award Redemption Best way to book award travel...

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Rafal, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Rafal

    Rafal Reader

    Hello everyone,
    After almost 20+ years of flying on UA (almost 100% UA flights) I am staring to book award travel (number of flights last and this year). So far I have done it via UA website/agents. Question: Is there a "better" way to book award travel (looking for more discounted Business awards)? Should I join Lufthansa to see if they have better availability or is it going to be the same? At this point I am flying mostly to Europe from NA.
    Thank you in advance for all the help!
    Rafal
     
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  2. Rafal

    Rafal New Member

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    Hello everyone,
    After almost 20+ years of flying on UA (almost 100% UA flights) I am staring to book award travel (number of flights last and this year). So far I have done it via UA website/agents. Question: Is there a "better" way to book award travel (looking for more discounted Business awards)? Should I join Lufthansa to see if they have better availability or is it going to be the same? At this point I am flying mostly to Europe from NA.
    Thank you in advance for all the help!
    Rafal
     
    #2
  3. Rafal

    Rafal New Member

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    Hello everyone,
    After almost 20+ years of flying on UA (almost 100% UA flights) I am staring to book award travel (number of flights last and this year). So far I have done it via UA website/agents. Question: Is there a "better" way to book award travel (looking for more discounted Business awards)? Should I join Lufthansa to see if they have better availability or is it going to be the same? At this point I am flying mostly to Europe from NA.
    Thank you in advance for all the help!
    Rafal
     
    #3
  4. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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  5. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @Rafal - I assume the miles you've earned are almost all with United? Then you'll need to book through them no matter what airline's planes you'll be flying. Lufthansa does make more award space available to their own members; this is a not uncommon practice. If your plans are flexible Lufthansa will often open up premium cabin award space to their partners about 2 weeks in advance of the flight. For most of us that's not really an option as we need to get things locked down.

    Does that help?
     
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    Tiffany likes this.
  6. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Rafal, welcome. Given that you flew on UAL I'm assuming that most of your miles are on UAL. If so the united website is a good place to search. It's fairly comprehensive and will show you UAL prices. You can use the Aeroplan or ANA website as backup but you're not off track.

    LH releases more award space to their own program members so while you can check there you won't necessarily be able to book everything you see with united miles.

    Edit: I answered your question a while after opening the web page and didn't realize that @MidSouth Skier had already provided an excellent response. Sorry for the duplication!
     
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    Tiffany likes this.
  7. Rafal

    Rafal New Member

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    Thank you all for responding. Yes, all my miles are UAL. I did notice that UA website makes more flights available in discount business ~14-10 days before departure date and that usually includes way more options from the partner airlines (Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, LOT, Air Canada, etc.). That's a good bit of info to keep in mind if you are flexible (in my case that works). One more question: do I understand it correctly that even if I join Air Canada and Lufthansa I will not have better access to award travel through these airlines (as in able to transfer my UAL points to these programs)?
     
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  8. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Active Member

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    Hi Rafal, yes, that is correct. If you join AC's Aeroplan or LH's Miles & More you will have better access only if you use Aeroplan or Miles&More miles. Using UA miles you will only have access to what AC or LH allow UA members to book.
     
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  9. Rafal

    Rafal New Member

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    Thank you for the reply. So, let's say I have an AC Aeroplan or LH Miles&More accounts - can you transfer to these accounts UAL miles and then book award travel or is that not permitted?
     
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  10. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Active Member

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    No, unfortunately UA miles have to be used in the UA program. You can transfer "transferable" points - such as Amex's Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan (Air Canada). Not sure which you could transfer to Lufthansa's Miles&More. Not Chase. Maybe Citi.

    But the United miles are going to have to be used through United.
     
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  11. Rafal

    Rafal New Member

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    Thank you for the clarification. I guess the only way to book what you want is to frequently check the web-site and book right away. Do you think when booking award travel on UAL via the agents you have more "availability" (as in are more award seats available to UAL agents than what is posted on the website)? I am asking since every time I was booking upgradeable Economy and going through the agent they had way more "choices" plus insight into which segments had a better chance to be upgraded than what I could figure out by just searching the UAL website (plus numerous times they were able to confirm the upgrade right away - mind you this was using the Global upgrades and at a time I still had the GS status).
     
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  12. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    I dont think they have more availability, but that UA's website is being glitchy or things are just not displaying right.

    The insight you mention is their ability to see various fare classes, some of which are for upgrades. The paid service ExpertFlyer shows this, and I think if you have one of UA's cobranded Chase cards, you can access similar data as well.
     
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