Wait, Do United Premiers REALLY Get Economy Plus Seating On Basic Economy Tickets?

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United’s basic economy offering is one of the most punitive in the industry. When flying on one of these fares, United advises that you won’t get to choose your seat, won’t get a proper carry-on, won’t get a chance at an upgrade, and perhaps most importantly, you won’t earn Premier Qualifying Miles or Premier Qualifying Dollars.

It’s worth noting that Premier members and United credit card holders do get a carry-on. And everyone still earns award miles. But the lack of PQMs/PQDs is mostly a deal-breaker for me. So as a longtime Premier 1K member, I’ve generally avoided these fares.

Even so, there are times when they do make sense even for Premiers.

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Flying To SFO This Summer? Leave Yourself Extra Time

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If you’re flying in or out of San Francisco’s SFO this summer, you may want to leave yourself more time than usual. According to the airport’s AirTrain Alert, SFO’s AirTrain will be subject to overnight closures through mid-August.

More specifically, the AirTrain will be closed from 8PM to 5AM on Mondays through Fridays, and will operate in an “alternate mode” from 10PM to 5AM on Saturdays and Sundays.

SFO’s AirTrain circulates between terminals, and is the main form of transport to the rental car center. It also serves as a people mover for anyone arriving via BART, and provides access to West Field Road (the cargo area – although I rarely see anyone enter or exit here).

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Review: Cathay Pacific Lounge Shanghai Airport

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My connection in Shanghai was supposed to be about two hours — I was scheduled to arrive at 12:40PM, and I was scheduled to depart at 2:30PM. I know, planning a 1hr50min connection on separate tickets at Shanghai Airport was probably a bad decision, but the Cathay Dragon flight was the only one that day featuring first class, and I really wanted to review it. I figured worst case scenario if I misconnected I could get onto one of the other Cathay Dragon flights to Hong Kong in business class.

Fortunately as soon as I landed in Shanghai I got a message saying that my flight to Hong Kong had been delayed by just over an hour, with a new departure time of 3:35PM. That worked for me, as it meant I didn’t have to rush.

While some Chinese airports are getting better, it absolutely blows my mind that Shanghai Airport Terminal 2 still doesn’t allow a sterile international-to-international transit. In other words, I had to clear immigration, go through customs, go back through immigration, and then go through security.

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Weekly Review: June 16, 2018

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Hello from Greece! We’re just wrapping up a fantastic two week trip, during which we visited Italy and Greece. We had such a fun and relaxing time, and I can’t wait to return soon. I look forward to sharing all the details of the trip soon.

On the points and travel front, this week we saw great opportunities to purchase points at a discount, Chase revealed the 5x points categories for the third quarter, two new bonuses were introduced on transferrable points, Priority Pass added a new restaurant at LAX, and more.

With that out of the way, here’s a recap of this week on the blog:

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Review: Vietnam Airlines Business Class A350 Ho Chi Minh City To Shanghai

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I was looking forward to the opportunity to do a side-by-side comparison of Vietnam Airlines’ 787 and A350. I boarded through the forward door of the plane, and turned right into the business class cabin. Vietnam Airlines has two A350 configurations — one version features reverse herringbone seats (the same as on the 787), which is primarily used for longhaul flights, and the other version features a staggered configuration, which is primarily used for flights within Asia.

I thought based on the seatmap that my flight would have reverse herringbone seats, but it ended up having the staggered configuration instead.

This version of Vietnam’s A350s have a total of 29 staggered seats, spread across eight rows. I love how spacious the A350 cabin feels, thanks to the lack of overhead bins in the center section, combined with the width of the cabin.

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Excellent Air France & KLM Business Class Fares From The US To Asia

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Yesterday I shared some good Qatar Airways business class fares for travel from the US to Asia. They’re not the lowest fares we’ve ever seen, but Qatar has an excellent business class product, they don’t publish as many fare sales out of the US as they used to, and this is also a great way to earn miles with oneworld airlines.

For those who are SkyTeam flyers, at the moment Air France and KLM have some tempting fares to Asia, which are very tempting. As noted in this FlyerTalk thread, Air France and KLM have excellent business class fares for travel originating in Chicago and New York, for travel to Bali, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

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Is This Business Class Fare Worth It?

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OMAAT family, I need your advice.

Later this year I am planning to commence another three (plus) month extended trip, like I did last year. There are all sorts of destinations planned, which I am looking forward to sharing with you in due course. Early on in the trip I’ll be visiting Morocco with my partner.

While I’ve visited almost every country in Europe, I am yet to visit Northern Africa, but very keen to. Tunisia has also been on my list of considerations.

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Good Qatar Business Class Fares From The US To Asia!

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As far as I’m concerned, Qatar Airways offers the world’s best business class product. Not only that, but thanks to their membership in oneworld, flying with Qatar can be a great way to earn elite qualifying miles in your preferred program (American AAdvantage, British Airways Executive Club, etc.).

Historically Qatar Airways has offered great business class fares, though lately I’ve been noticing fewer of them from the US. They still have many great fares from Africa, Asia, and Europe, in my experience, but fare sales from the US are rarer. The last amazing Qatar Airways business class fare sale I recall seeing from the US was at the beginning of last year, when they had ~$1,750 roundtrip business class fares from Los Angeles to Southeast Asia.

Unfortunately we haven’t seen any fares that good since then, though Qatar has just launched a new business class fare sale, which is quite good.

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Great New Amex Offer For Stays At All SPG Brands

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For those of you not familiar with Amex Offers, it’s a program available through most Amex cards, where different cards are eligible for different savings and bonus offers. In many cases the offers can be huge, and more than offset the annual fee on a card.

To view Amex Offers, go to the bottom of the account summary page of any American Express card, where you’ll see all the offers you’re eligible for. These offers come in different forms, including discounts and even in some cases bonus points. Amex has just rolled out a new promotion that I’m very excited about, and plan to take full advantage of. This is similar to a promotion they offered last fall.

With this new, targeted Amex Offer, you can earn $60 back when you spend $300+ at any Starwood property in the US through September 4, 2018.

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Buy Cathay Pacific Miles For 1.67 Cents Each

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As I’ve written about before, at the moment IHG Rewards Club has a flash sale on the purchase of points. Through today (June 15, 2018), IHG Rewards Club is selling points for just 0.5 cents each (that’s a 100% bonus), which is an excellent deal.

You can buy a total of 200,000 IHG Rewards Club points for $1,000.

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