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I have 200k miles with United and 110k on my AMEX. I want to fly business on emirates or first on ANA, Swiss or Lufthansa…Should I transfer to Virgin for ANA and do return? or go Alaska or just use within united?
If you have Alaska miles, Cathay Pacific is an option. I’m not sure what an ANA redemption would cost you in United miles, but that is another good option. You could also transfer your Amex points to a Cathay AsiaMiles account – I would assume if CX has opened J awards up to AA or Alaska that you could also book through AsiaMiles.
Me, I’d probably choose ANA first, then Cathay. Perhaps then United, but only if you can get a Polaris outfitted plane.
I don’t recall having a bad Lufthansa flight in J, but that was 4 or 5 years ago and much shorter than Lucky’s recent experience:
I have no opinion about Virgin Atlantic and know nothing about its product other than what I read here.
Also, where in the US are you based? If you are on the east coast, New York for instance, it’s only marginally further (about 1,000 miles) to route via Europe to Hong Kong vs Japan. If you are on the west coast, it’s upwards of 3,000 miles to route via Europe. On top of that, I don’t think routing rules would allow you to book USA – Hong Kong as one award, through Europe.
Sorry, with United you actually could transit via Europe to Hong Kong. I think I was confusing transiting Europe to Australia, which isn’t allowed. But still, that’s significant travel time added if you aren’t on the US West Coast…