Apr062015

SFO-DXB Dubai $731, but do you buy United for PQD or Swiss for more Mileage Plus miles?

San Francisco SFO – DXB Dubai, United Arab Emirates is a low fare of $731 round trip, bookable on United.com flying all United-operated aircraft via Washington Dulles IAD. Fare is available many dates from Saturday to Wednesday. Itineraries flying Swiss and Lufthansa are available for about $30 more and bookable on United.

This post primarily examines a good international airfare to examine the earning system for United Mileage Plus redeemable miles and the impact of the $3,000 PQD requirement for Mileage Plus Premier Silver status at 25,000 EQM and $3,000 PQD for U.S. resident Mileage Plus members.

$749.90 United.com with United Airlines flights outbound April 26 SFO-IAD-DXB and Swiss Airlines inbound May 5 DXB-ZRH-SFO.

SFO-DXB UA $750 Apr15

The base fare is $630.00 for this ticket. This is the amount used for determining redeemable miles and Premier Qualifying Dollars PQD earned for the ticket.

This $750 United Airlines ticket earns 630 base ticket fare x 5 miles = 3,150 redeemable miles in United Mileage Plus after flying 18,294 total flight miles.

$630 is also the PQD – Premier Qualifying Dollars credit given for this ticket purchase applicable to the $3,000 PQD requirement for U.S. residents to earn United Mileage Plus Premier Silver elite.

Don’t Miss the Swiss Alternative

An alternative for earning more miles in your United Mileage Plus account for frequent flyers who are not concerned about PQD earning is to buy your ticket through Swiss Airlines website for $755.42.

Pay a few dollars more to fly Swiss Airlines for all flight segments from San Francisco SFO – ZRH  Zurich – Dubai DXB in Swiss economy K class and earn 50% flight miles in United Mileage Plus redeemable miles.

Swiss Airlines SFO – Dubai DXB $755.42, bookable on Swiss.com.

Swiss SFO-DXB K class

Swiss SFO DXB fare $755

Swiss K fare earns 50% flight miles for 8,806 redeemable miles according to distance shown on Great Circle mapper distance.

gcmap SFO-ZRH-DXB

$755.42 Swiss Airlines purchased ticket with all Swiss Airlines operated flight segments SFO-DXB Dubai earns 8,806 United Mileage Plus miles and $0 PQD credit for United Mileage Plus.

$749.90 United.com ticket purchase flying United operated aircraft outbound and Swiss Airlines inbound. Mileage Plus redeemable miles earned for $630 base fare = 3,150 redeemable miles and $630 PQD.

United itinerary shown involves a day long transit at Washington IAD for a chance to visit the city. There are itineraries with 21 hours in Zurich available too.

Which is the better deal – more redeemable miles on a Swiss Airlines ticket or pay slightly lower fare on United.com, earn fewer miles and earn Mileage Plus PQD credit for the year?

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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