4 Weeks Left To Fly Upstairs Or In The Nose Of United’s Queen Of The Skies On A Domestic Route

2 weeks ago I went on a quick 2 day father-son trip to San Francisco. Rafi is obsessed with airplanes, and having taken him on over 100 flights I suppose that’s my fault. He had been begging for quite some time to fly upstairs on a 747 or A380 and United’s upcoming retirement of the 747 was a good impetus for the trip.

We got business saver awards from Cleveland to San Francisco and back via Chicago to catch a ride upstairs on the Queen of the skies, a rightfully deserved title for a beautiful airplane.

We had the time of our lives, words can’t come close to describing the experience. I’ll try to cover it in a future trip report and you can peruse a few pictures from the trip on my Instagram account.

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View which miles to use, the award availability day by day, and more after the jump:

 

 

United is flying the 747 from Chicago to San Francisco and back through May 25th, so this is a great time to experience it for yourself.

Business class is located upstairs and downstairs, be sure to nab a seat upstairs.
First class is located downstairs in the nose of the plane, be sure to nab some seats in row 1 or 2 in the nose.
Either of those seats are a real treat for any aviation geeks. Car seats are not allowed in first class, but they are allowed in business class.

Here’s what the premium class award availability looks like for the route right now. Award availability is constantly changing.

Chicago to San Francisco:
May 2: 8 business saver award seats
May 5: 9+ business saver award seats
May 7: 9+ business saver award seats
May 8: 9+ business saver award seats
May 10: 9+ business saver award seats, 1 first saver award seat
May 12: 2 first saver award seats
May 18: 2 first saver award seats
May 19: 1 first saver award seat

San Francisco to Chicago:
May 4: 9+ business saver award seats
May 5: 1 business saver award seat
May 7: 9+ business saver award seats, 4 first saver award seats
May 10: 9+ business saver award seats
May 12: 5 business saver award seats
May 13: 8 business saver award seats (9 for Platinum/1K/GS)
May 14: 4 business saver award seats (6 for Platinum/1K/GS), 4 first saver award seats
May 16: 9+ business saver award seats
May 17: 9+ business saver award seats, 1 first saver award seat
May 20: 1 first saver award seat

As a domestic flight you can add a one-way on this flight up to a year before or after an international trip as a free stopover.

Otherwise:

-United charges 12.5K miles in coach, 25K miles in business class, or 35K miles each way in first class. You can transfer points instantly from Chase to United.

-Singapore charges 12.5K miles in coach, 20K miles in business class, or 30K miles each way in first class.  Plus Singpaore has no close-in fees and only charges $20 to change an award or $30 to cancel and redeposit an award. You can transfer points from AMEX, Chase, Citi, or Starwood to Singapore, though transfers are not instant.

-Lufthansa charges 12K miles in coach, 17K miles in business class, or 25K miles each way in first class. Plus Lufthansa has no close-in fees and only charges $60 to change or cancel and redeposit an award. You can transfer points from Starwood to Lufthansa, though transfers are not instant.

Want to pickup Lufthansa, Singapore, or United miles?

-You can transfer Starpoints to Lufthansa at a 20K:25K ratio.
-You can transfer Chase points to United at a 1K:1K ratio.
-You can transfer AMEX, Chase, or Citi points to Singapore at a 1K:1K ratio or Starpoints at a 20K:25K ratio.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K miles with the 25% transfer bonus. Transfers can take a few days.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Card or The Amex EveryDay Card.

The Preferred card awards 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere, 3 miles per dollar on Uber and gas, and 4.5 miles per dollar on groceries if you make 30 transactions per month.

The EveryDay card awards 1.2 miles per dollar everywhere and 2.4 miles per dollar on Uber and groceries if you make 20 transactions per month.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express, and from business charge cards like the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card or The Business Platinum Card. 

The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express has no annual fee and a limited time increased signup bonus. It earns a generous 1.3 points per dollar everywhere, but you’ll need any of the membership rewards cards listed above to transfer points from that card into airline miles.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred instantly at a 1:1 ratio into United from the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Ink Plus credit cards.
Cards like Chase Freedom UnlimitedChase Freedom, and Chase Ink Cash can’t directly transfer points into miles, you’ll have to transfer those points to a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus that belongs to an additional user before you can transfer those points to miles.

-The Chase United Explorer card gives expanded saver and standard award space, 2 free club passes per year, free checked bags, priority boarding, primary CDW rental car insurance, premier upgrades on award tickets, 10K bonus miles for spending $25K in a year, and your miles will never expire if you’re a cardholder.

Citi Thank You Premier, Prestige, and Chairman cardholders can also transfer points into Singapore miles. You can find credit card offers by issuing bank in the “other credit cards” tab at the top of this site.

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10 Responses to “4 Weeks Left To Fly Upstairs Or In The Nose Of United’s Queen Of The Skies On A Domestic Route”

  1. zow Says:
    1

    @Dan, intuitively, I see why upstairs on the 747 is exclusive, fun and exciting. But can you say more about what’s special about the nose of the plane? Is the ride smoother? Is there something about the view? (Is there a view?)

    ReplyReply
  2. Dan Says:
    2

    It’s very quiet and private. The view is amazing as well:
    https://vimeo.com/153624738

    ReplyReply
  3. Dan Says:
    3

    Best part about these birds is that both of our captains were about to be forced into retirement and they were very gracious about allowing Rafi in the cockpit.

    ReplyReply
  4. zow Says:
    4

    @Dan: Nice, bird’s eye!
    @Dan: I’m sure you have already cross-checked, but, unfortunately, none of these flights corresponds with any of Captain Denny’s last flights.

    ReplyReply
  5. SoCal Dude Says:
    5

    Dan, you’re a wonderful Dad providing Rafi these types of great experiences. Sometimes, unfortunately I see the opposite when I travel. Traveling should be fun for everyone.

    ReplyReply
  6. Dan Says:
    6

    @zow:
    Yup, he’s a 757 pilot.

    @SoCal Dude:
    I try, thanks 🙂

    ReplyReply
  7. Charles Says:
    7

    @Dan:
    Unless you were told that the pilots were being forced into retirement, maybe it is not that simple. I chatted with more than one Big bird pilot that was qualified on 747’s and also on certain Airbus. They did explain that the planes actually have major differences in how you fly them but many pilots do that.

    ReplyReply
  8. Dan Says:
    8

    @Charles:
    They were both 64.

    ReplyReply
  9. 747pilotdude Says:
    9

    So glad you guys are enjoying the United domestic 747 service so much! I had the pleasure of flying one of these SFO-ORD turns recently and enjoyed the throngs of passengers coming up to visit. PLEASE feel free yourselves to come up before of after the flight and visit the cockpit. It’s as much the Queen for the Fleet for us as it is for you! We love showing off our amazing airplane and answering questions about it. Bring your cameras and kids up. (Some of us will let you jump into the seats for a quick photo if we have time, and you’re nice to us!) See? Flying is STILL fun!

    ReplyReply
  10. Dan Says:
    10

    @747pilotdude:
    It really was a blast and our pilots were great.
    Have any more SFO-ORD turns before May 25?

    We’d love to have you introduce yourself on DDF,
    http://forums.dansdeals.com.
    Always have lots of questions for pilots, assuming you’re not trolling us 🙂

    ReplyReply

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