United has put a few European, Middle Eastern and African destinations on sale from Los Angeles. The sales price from Los Angeles to Dubai is about $825 while it’s over $1,300 from San Francisco – a price differential of almost $500. It’s unfortunate the sale is not available from San Francisco but here’s how you can hack it to to capitalize on the fare.
United lets you route your trip via San Francisco. For example, you could leave from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. to Dubai and return from Dubai to Washington D.C. to San Francisco to Los Angeles. We propose that you start your trip in Los Angeles and then on the return, route back via San Francisco and not fly the last segment from San Francisco to Los Angeles. You will need to buy a one way from San Francisco to Los Angeles for under $100 to begin your trip.
There are some caveats that you should consider:
- Checking bags is a bad idea since they will tag all the way back to Los Angeles. It is okay to check bags on the outbound.
- Flight schedules can change — your ticket is to Los Angeles. They are not required to get you to San Francisco. So it is possible that your routing could change from Dubai – Washington D.C. – San Francisco – Los Angeles to Dubai – DC – Los Angeles.
- If you are okay with the risk of these caveats, this can save you almost $400!
- Follow our instructions to search and book.
Sample Travel Date:
- November 11th – 18th
- Valid for travel from November 1st – 30th or January 10th, 2014 – March 10th, 2014. Use ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search and flexible month search to see availability — enable advanced routing codes and enter “iad” on the outbound field and “iad sfo” on the return field to search only United availability. Must purchase by March 31st, 2014 (THIS WILL NOT LAST until then)
- Beginner’s Guide on How to Use Matrix by ITA Software
- How to Read Airfare Rules and Use It to Your Advantage
- Ticket 1: SFO – LAX
- Ticket 2: LAX – IAD (Washington D.C.) – DXB (Dubai)- IAD – SFO (San Francisco) – LAX
- Ticket 1: 337 miles or 29 cents per mile
- Ticket 2: 18,845 miles or 4.3 cents per mile (this already accounts for you not flying the SFO – LAX segment)
- Total: 19,182 miles or 4.8 cents per mile
How to Book:
- Use dates found on ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search and United.com.
- Use dates found on ITA Software Matrix Airfare Search and go to Hipmunk.com
- On the From field, enter “LAX::IAD”
- On the To field, enter “DXB:: IAD SFO”
- This will show the itinerary and will link you directly to United.com to book
- Visa: US Citizens – not required. Other nationals, check the TIMATIC Visa Database
- Currency: Emirati Dirham (AED). $1USD = 3.67 AED
Tips for saving when using credit cards at international destinations:
- No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards to save on international purchases
- Don’t get hit with Dynamic Currency Conversion
- Get your taxes refunded when shopping
- How to Avoid International Data Roaming Charges
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The Flight Deal does not sell travel products or services. We provide you with information about third-party travel suppliers’ offers, and link you to their sites. The information posted by The Flight Deal is valid at the time of publication. However, we have no control over the suppliers, and we therefore do not warrant or guarantee that their offers will not change or become unavailable. Nor are we responsible for their products, services or site content. Please see their sites for their most up-to-date offer information and all applicable terms and conditions.