San Francisco to Los Angeles nonstop? Please, I’m flying via Sydney, Australia.
Hello from 30,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean. If you read my recent 1K dilemma post, you’ll know that I wavered (and frankly agonized) over whether to make 1K status in 2020.
For all the horror stories I hear about upgrades never clearing, the vast majority of my domestic and every longhaul upgrade has cleared this year. That’s right, every longhaul upgrade has cleared that I have sought.
And because I didn’t want Zach Honig of The Points Guy to be the only blogger who covers United Airlines with 1K status, I decided to go for it (there are other reasons too).
I think you’ll agree that I did it in the most painless way possible.
The goal was simple: minimize my time away from home. Christmas is this week, it’s a busy travel week, and frankly I didn’t want to go anywhere.
Well, let’s not go that far…I am always willing to hop on a plane and frankly giddy about a trip to Sydney for three hours, as wasteful as that may seem.
I ended up booking Burbank (BUR) – San Francisco (SFO) – Sydney (SYD) – Los Angeles (LAX), with SFO-SYD booked in Premium Economy (for the bonus Premier Qualifying Miles) and SYD-LAX in economy. Ticket was under $2K and (drumroll please) upgrades cleared in both directions.
The math was simple: are six GPUs (oh wait, 240 PlusPoints) worth the cost of my ticket? Yes…because I am confident I will use them all, as I have in years past. Since 2009, I’ve only let a systemwide upgrade expire once, and that was under the old system in which I had converted one to a paper Lufthansa upgrade voucher which never cleared.
If the internet is stable onboard, I’ll be posting live updates as I progress. I am also hoping to encounter the famous Annie in Sydney, one of United’s most heralded employees who I have missed on previous journeys.
Best of all, I left Sunday night and will be back before the sun rises on Tuesday…not bad for over 15,000 miles of flying. The rest of the week will be spent with my family
I’ll return home on Christmas Eve in the afternoon…and reach LA in the morning thanks to the wonderful international date line.
Will my little last-minute trip be worthwhile? Only time will tell, but I think the tradeoff was acceptable and look forward to what may well be my final year as a United 1K. From the blog perspective, I think experiencing the best United has to offer, even from my biased eyes, will be helpful to others in evaluating whether status is worth the pursuit.