Award Redemption using UA MileagePlus
I wanted to mention about the valuable award redemption opportunities in Asia for UA MileagePlus members.
Oddly, Hong Kong (South Asia) is in a separate region from mainland China (North Asia) according to UA for redemption purposes.
- North Asia: China, South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan
- South Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Now, I do want to note this allows a passenger originating from Hong Kong to do a little bit or arbitrage so to speak, by taking advantage of leaving from either HKG or Shenzhen. Don’t be worried if you’re scared of flying from SZX, there are easy bus options to get to both SZX and HKG, which I’ll touch base on tomorrow.
According to award chart, North Asia to Japan is only 10K miles one way! So I did a sample search. You could fly SZX to PEK or PVG on CA (Air China), then switch to NH (ANA) over to Japan, or stay with CA the whole way through. There’s even a direct flight with a stop in PVG, so you won’t miss your plane if there are delays.
On the other hand, if you flew from HKG, that’ll cost 15K miles one way, a whopping 50% more, not the best use on my mind.
However, if you’re flying from HKG, you can take advantage of the South Asia region redemption options, only 12.5K miles each way in coach. South Asia includes such a large variety of countries, many of which are expensive to fly into. For example, flights from HKG to VTE, Laos are regularly over $500 USD roundtrip. A recently search on Thai Air was $669 USD!
Flying HKG to VTE via BKK on TG (Thai Air) is a measly 12.5K miles each way or 25K roundtrip! What a steal, and availability is wide open usually.
Of course I can run this example for a multitude of destinations, but you get my drift. Just don’t use these awards from HKG to BKK or SIN please. You wouldn’t be maxing out your miles and these routes are regularly on sale and available through discount carriers.