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Old May 2, 10, 8:14 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tempe, AZ
Programs: UA *G
Posts: 65
Which Skyteam FF to join to maximize BIS EQM and award redemption?

I am currently in the process of defecting from Skyteam over to a Star Alliance FF program. However, I am in a dilemma which program to join. Your recommendations welcome.

Some info about my flying-
Base: SFO
Typically: 50K to 100K miles BIS per year.
Most flying: SFO - smaller airports on east coast ROC, CRW, LEX, GRR, TOL etc. Almost always transcon/ partcon + RJ flight segment each way. Occasionally international travel to Canada, Mexico (central cities, not leisure spots).
Most flying on UA/ CO within US.
Fares - Company policy is for cheapest possible coach/ E- seats no matter what distance. No premium traveling.

What I most want from FF program-
Award travel: US - Asia (BOM, BKK, KTM, BLR, PNQ, CMB) about once every year. All cheapest possible coach award - I am willing to pay no more than 90K miles, US - S/ SE Asia coach. No premium travel.
100% EQM earning for all fare classes. I don't want 50% or 70% earning for the cheapest fares.

What I DONT care for-
Upgrades - I don't care for upgrades
Lounge access - I don't really care for lounge access.
Drink vouchers et al - I dont drink.

My research until now:
CO - Already have CC and One Pass account with residue from Skyteam days. However CO provides only 50% EQM on lowest fare classes on LH and other partner flights. Not checked their award availability US - South Asia.

UA - 100% EQM earning on even lowest fares is a big plus. However, the price you pay is in Starnet blocking and basically zero availability US - South Asia (I checked random dates out in Aug, no luck)

US - Don't know if they will be standing 3 years down the line. Don't want to take a chance.

ANA - Excellent award redemption availability. But they get you on EQM earning power with the cheapest fare buckets earning only 50% EQM's

Anyone else to strike a balance between what I have,what I want and care for?
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Old May 2, 10, 8:21 pm   #2
Moderator: Asiana & Qantas Frequent Flyer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Programs: QF WP, LH SEN, OZ D+, HH D, SPG P
Posts: 13,444
I think UA is your best bet. And if you check the UA forum you will see that many get good award redemptions even with the alleged StarNet blocking.
It might also be worth having a look at AC as they offer easy status but I am not sure how their earning is for cheap economy.
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Old May 3, 10, 2:11 am   #3
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tempe, AZ
Programs: UA *G
Posts: 65
UA sounds like the path of least resistance. But, I just ran a search for award tickets on UA, USAir and CO-Onepass and all three programs show no availability for random SFO - S Asia itineraries later in the summer, nothing for a whole month... not even the higher "Standard" award.

A search on ANA shows up multiple itineraries with LH and SQ for about 80 - 90K miles redemption.

Is this an IT problem? Is ANA able to show itineraries on all partner airlines while US based carriers are able only to show itineraries to airports they serve with their own metal or codeshare?

This is currently my problem at DL. I am sitting on hundreds of thousands of miles that I cant use because Asian and European Skyteam partners wont release award inventory to DL. If I had accumulated the same mileage on a Europe based Skyteam carrier, I could have been traveling now....
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Old May 3, 10, 6:38 am   #4
Moderator: Asiana & Qantas Frequent Flyer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Programs: QF WP, LH SEN, OZ D+, HH D, SPG P
Posts: 13,444
Not sure what the problem is. Just looking at random dates in July I see many options between SFO/LAX-BOM/NRT/BKK/PEK/CMB. All available.
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Old May 3, 10, 1:11 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Tempe, AZ
Programs: UA *G
Posts: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by DownUnderFlyer View Post
Not sure what the problem is. Just looking at random dates in July I see many options between SFO/LAX-BOM/NRT/BKK/PEK/CMB. All available.
DownUnderFlyer

Where are you looking? Maybe I am looking in the wrong place. I went to UA's homepage, clicked on Mileage Plus and checked the reward travel search box to the left of the screen. I am not logged in at all. There are no AWARD tickets available in July.. August.. September.. or October to BOM, BLR, KTM and CMB. I get the calendar with no options available at all.. There is availability to NRT, however I guess that's because UA actually gets its own metal out there.

Are you logged in as 1K or some other premium member? Maybe that's why you see it.. and I don't. Thanks.
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Old May 3, 10, 7:37 pm   #6
Moderator: Asiana & Qantas Frequent Flyer
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Sydney
Programs: QF WP, LH SEN, OZ D+, HH D, SPG P
Posts: 13,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by 11yaa View Post
DownUnderFlyer

Where are you looking? Maybe I am looking in the wrong place. I went to UA's homepage, clicked on Mileage Plus and checked the reward travel search box to the left of the screen. I am not logged in at all. There are no AWARD tickets available in July.. August.. September.. or October to BOM, BLR, KTM and CMB. I get the calendar with no options available at all.. There is availability to NRT, however I guess that's because UA actually gets its own metal out there.

Are you logged in as 1K or some other premium member? Maybe that's why you see it.. and I don't. Thanks.
I was just using the ANA tool via KVS. Maybe UA doesn't show you all of them but maybe you get them when you call. I think you need to check the UA board for expert advise on this.
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