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Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

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Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby gavmasterflash » 24 Dec 2015, 01:24

So I'm looking at some flights home... One airline is offering a flight about $230-240 cheaper than the one I usually go with that I have a lot of miles on. Cheap airline is about $710 and my usual airlines is about $940-950. Cheap airline will have me go through Shanghai, China..... I hate China and generally want to avoid it, but will save $230 or more. With my usual airline, I go through Korea first, then home. I will also get about 15,000 miles for the round trip flight.

About how much is 15,000 miles worth? Would it be worth it to book a flight that is $230 more expensive for that many miles?

Both flight schedules require overnight layovers in Shanghai and Incheon respectively for the flight there and back. I've never been to Shanghai before but I really don't care for China at all. I know my way around in Korea and generally have a good time each time I have an overnight layover there.

Anyway, just having a hard time making up my mind about this.... Would appreciate any input about the miles from those who fly often. Thanks!

* All figures in USD
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Re: Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby afterspivak » 24 Dec 2015, 07:35

I wonder: what additional benefits you would get by sticking to your usual carrier? Do they let you do advance seat selection? Do you get access to their lounges or other fancy stuff? Are the departure/arrival times reasonable? Is it easy to use your points in the future? These would be some of the other factors I'd consider.

Btw, any time I consider flying China Eastern, I have a look at this thread. You might want to have a look too. :D

http://www.airlinequality.com/airline-reviews/china-eastern-airlines/

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Re: Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby zender » 24 Dec 2015, 07:41

I'd value the 15,000 miles at a little over NT$5,000 if you're going to be able to use them to get a free flight. (35,000 miles gets you a free ticket to places in Asia with some carriers and a little over 100,000 gets you to some places in the US)

Is avoiding China worth US$80 to you? Are you comparing transits in airports in Shanghai and Seoul? :ponder:
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Re: Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby gavmasterflash » 24 Dec 2015, 10:36

The airlines in question are China Eastern and Korean Air. I've been accruing miles with Korean Air since 2009, little by little. The miles I've earned with them have never expired or decreased.

After reading the link above and knowing that I want better service and not having to go through China, I think $80 USD is well worth it.

No advance seat selection for Korean Air, I could use the lounge but would have to cash in miles for that, miles should be easy to use, and the departure and arrival times for either airline really don't make much of a difference for me. That said, I think I'm gonna stick to Korean Air. The miles have value and the service and quality of everything will be far greater.
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Re: Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby hsinhai78 » 24 Dec 2015, 10:51

gavmasterflash wrote:The airlines in question are China Eastern and Korean Air. I've been accruing miles with Korean Air since 2009, little by little. The miles I've earned with them have never expired or decreased.

After reading the link above and knowing that I want better service and not having to go through China, I think $80 USD is well worth it.

No advance seat selection for Korean Air, I could use the lounge but would have to cash in miles for that, miles should be easy to use, and the departure and arrival times for either airline really don't make much of a difference for me. That said, I think I'm gonna stick to Korean Air. The miles have value and the service and quality of everything will be far greater.


What's your status level with KE? Will you be flying Y or J?
In case you will be flying Y and have Elite Plus status, I would suggest you check the accrual rules for Skyteam partners in KE's programme and select a qualified MU fare accordingly. You will still get 1 sector per flight and miles and also Sky Priority. Y hard product is not really different between KE and MU or CI from what I can see.
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Re: Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby gavmasterflash » 24 Dec 2015, 11:19

hsinhai78 wrote:
gavmasterflash wrote:The airlines in question are China Eastern and Korean Air. I've been accruing miles with Korean Air since 2009, little by little. The miles I've earned with them have never expired or decreased.

After reading the link above and knowing that I want better service and not having to go through China, I think $80 USD is well worth it.

No advance seat selection for Korean Air, I could use the lounge but would have to cash in miles for that, miles should be easy to use, and the departure and arrival times for either airline really don't make much of a difference for me. That said, I think I'm gonna stick to Korean Air. The miles have value and the service and quality of everything will be far greater.


What's your status level with KE? Will you be flying Y or J?
In case you will be flying Y and have Elite Plus status, I would suggest you check the accrual rules for Skyteam partners in KE's programme and select a qualified MU fare accordingly. You will still get 1 sector per flight and miles and also Sky Priority. Y hard product is not really different between KE and MU or CI from what I can see.



I have whatever the lower one is.... Sorry man, but you're using a lot of jargon here. I don't know what an "MU fare" is or the difference between Y and J.
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Re: Gaining Miles Vs. Cheap Flight

Postby afterspivak » 24 Dec 2015, 20:54

The biggest difference between these routes is changing in Incheon (an amazing modern facility) and changing in Pudong (insert your favourite colourful language here). I'd pay extra cash to avoid the hassle of the latter.

Btw, when Xinhai mentions an "MU fare" he is simply using the short form for China Eastern; a "Y" fare is in economy, and a "J" fare is in business class.

I hope you enjoy your flight. Let us know how it goes!

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