Triangle Trip

Tag: united mileageplus

United international WiFi experience (HKG>EWR)

by Captain G on Mar.13, 2015, under Airlines

Follow up to my previous post about United’s international WiFi offering, I’d the chance to take advantage of United’s international WiFi service on United flight 180 from Hong Kong to Newark. I’ve been doing the EWR-HKG route since my previous post but none of those flights had a working electricity outlet which prevented me from forking over US$17 for 3 hours of internet service. On this flight, the electricity outlet on my seat is working which means I’ll have about 10 hours of internet connection for $17.

Soon after leaving Chinese air space where there is no satellite coverage, I was able to login to United WiFi using my United MileagePlus credentials. The signup process was extremely smooth as my credit card on file was shown and all I had to do was to check off the terms and conditions box and the purchase button.

The next thing I did was to test if I could use my paid subscription across multiple devices. The answer is YES. I was able to login to my Mac and iPhone BUT not at the same time. Each United MileagePlus account can only pay for one United WiFi subscription. You can however switch devices using your MileagePlus account as the login.

The second thing I did was to run a speedtest to check the connection speed. Below is the result flying over Japan:

As you can see from the connection speed results, do not expect to use United’s international WiFi connection to do anything beyond checking emails, browsing basic sites such as reading news, and writing this post ;-)

For the record, I’ve tried the following services:

  • FaceTime which timed out.
  • Skype call which worked but the voice quality was unbearable.
  • Websites with rich content (video and text) such as ESPN.com took about 30 seconds to load.

In summary, I think the $17 for approximately 10 hours (losing 3 hours flying out of China air space and about 2 hours to get above certain altitude to receive WiFi) is worth it.

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United Airline offers International WiFi (from HKG to EWR)

by Captain G on Oct.15, 2014, under Airlines

On my recent United flight from Hong Kong to Newark, I was caught off guard by the availability of WiFi being offered for an international route. And of all the airlines in the world, it was United offering this service. I was skeptical as we were flying over China and all I got was “Internet is unavailable.”

However, once I left China airspace I was successfully able to connect to the Internet using my Mileage Plus credentials. After I logged in, I see the cost to buy Internet services for the entire flight ($17) or by the hour which I believe was $4.99 per hour. The HKG to EWR flight was about 16 hours.  I was able to get service 4 hours after takeoff which leaves me 12 hours of flight time for around $20. I didn’t have to urge to check email and opted to sleep.

I believe United’s international WiFi is an awesome offering for those who need to stay connected with work while on a long haul flight. The $20 for 12 hours seems to be a fair price as well. However don’t expect to have broadband service as dial-up or 2G speed is probably more likely the norm.

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United to recognize airline miles earned from partners towards MileagePlus Million Miler program

by Captain G on Jan.18, 2012, under Airlines

I am sure you all received an email from United stating that Premier/Elite benefits will be extended into the first quarter of 2012. However it not state the exact date. The good news is your United status will not expire on January 31 unlike other carriers which carries your previous year’s status to the end of February (see my previous post).

The real news United did not highlight is the fact that United will be adopting the Continental OnePass system as I have predicted last summer (see previous post). This means United flyers will need to use their OnePass number to bank miles starting in March 2012 (see United link). For those United flyers without a OnePass number, I’m sure United will be sending you a new six digit account number soon.

More importantly, United will be adjusting all the actual airline miles you have earned from partner airlines and count them towards your MileagePlus Million Miler program. To get this information, login to United MileagePlus Personalized Preview via this link. As you can see below, all of my miles earned from partner airlines and Continental have been added to my lifetime miles on my MileagePlus account.

As indicated by United, MileagePlus and Continental’s OnePass program used to track lifetime activities differently. United MileagePlus counted only base EQM (actual flight miles on United and United Express), while OnePass counted both base EQM and additional EQM (those earned on partner airlines or through promotions or certain credit cards).

United was kind enough to recalculate its MileagePlus lifetime miles balances to include additional EQM earned since enrolling in the program. United will refresh the balance before the 2012 MileagePlus program begins on March 3, 2012.

For those of you who are curious, below are the perks of becoming a United Million Miler.

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