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*G lounge access (and benefits) with just Airpoints number on boarding pass?

*G lounge access (and benefits) with just Airpoints number on boarding pass?

Old Aug 6, 14, 5:28 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Usually Auckland, NZ
Programs: NZ Elite (*G), QF S (OWR), UA 0.14MM
Posts: 690
*G lounge access (and benefits) with just Airpoints number on boarding pass?

Hey guys, just want to ask for your collective wisdom and past experiences regarding lounge access and associated benefits (extra baggage etc.) if one only has the Airpoints number entered/shown on the boarding pass and not the physical card.

Next week I'll be going off on a month-long holiday, right now I'm 114 status points shy of hitting Gold, with my AKL-LAX-LHR Economy (W) segment getting me 119SP and (hopefully without any further glitches), hit *G status.

The plan was that any Euro-wide and US domestic flights booked (with SK and UA) would be able to benefit from added perks.

I've actually called the premium team this morning and ask how long the process take, and when would I expect the new Gold card/pack. Was told that:
- Status upgrade should be reflected 24-48 hours after the qualifying flight was taken (which works out fine for me as next flight with SK would be over a week after)
- However any new card/pack wouldn't be send out until 1st of the following month.

Would anyone recently qualified for Gold be able to tell me how long the new card/pack took to arrive? I was hoping that it arrives sooner to my NZ address so I can get someone to express-courier it over to the UK for me to pick up... but if what I was told by the Premium team is true, then it'd be too late.

Back to my original questions:
- Anyone had experience with SK/UA (or *A for that matter) lounge access and honouring extra baggage/using priority check-in/security etc. with just the Airpoints number in the booking and on the boarding pass? Would they be able to verify that I am *G?
- Would showing my status via the app on my smartphone suffice?

I know NZ lounges have you scan the boarding pass and never asks for any extra credentials (don't seem interested to ever see my Koru card even though the website FAQ states otherwise), are all the *A members system cross-linked or even operate that way?

What else could I do to increase my chances of able to access lounges/other perks etc., with the absence of the physical Airpoints *G card?

P.S. My call this morning wasn't just to ask the above, was actually trying to lodge my Silver RU + OneUp on the outbound flight(s), which turned into an hour long call and much confusion... but that's another story in itself.
Kamadan is offline  
Old Aug 6, 14, 6:49 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: NZ*G ELT, VA-G
Posts: 3,205
My experience is it may take up to a month for your status to reflect in Star systems.

NZ can send you an authorisation letter via email but that's just a Word document.
Xiaotung is offline  
Old Aug 6, 14, 6:54 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Zealand
Programs: Koru/*S, GHA Gold
Posts: 937
Originally Posted by Xiaotung View Post
NZ can send you an authorisation letter via email but that's just a Word document.
The letter says that you have gold status and it gives instructions on how someone at another airline / lounge can validate that you do have gold status.
Trumpkin is offline  
Old Aug 6, 14, 7:01 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: NZ*G ELT, VA-G
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Originally Posted by Trumpkin View Post
The letter says that you have gold status and it gives instructions on how someone at another airline / lounge can validate that you do have gold status.
Yes, but anyone can type up such a letter. It depends on whether staff from other airlines believe you or not. There is no way to validate as StarNet is not updated yet.
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Old Aug 6, 14, 9:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Zealand
Programs: Koru/*S, GHA Gold
Posts: 937
Originally Posted by Xiaotung View Post
Yes, but anyone can type up such a letter. It depends on whether staff from other airlines believe you or not. There is no way to validate as StarNet is not updated yet.
Whilst anyone could type up the letter, the fact that it gives instructions as to how the person being shown it can validate that the person has gold status by contacting Air NZ should enable the person to receive Star Alliance benefits.

I made use of this letter a few years ago when I first turned gold when overseas and my welcome back was posted to my home address. It was enough to get me lounge access and extra baggage for the flight home.
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Old Aug 8, 14, 1:47 am
  #6  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Usually Auckland, NZ
Programs: NZ Elite (*G), QF S (OWR), UA 0.14MM
Posts: 690
Thanks for the above advice, once I have completed the initial leg and have it credited in my account and the status changing to "pending Gold", will e-mail the premium team and try get this letter which will hopefully help.


For my intra-Europe legs with SK, actually booked them all in SAS Plus aka "Premium Economy" which gives me lounge access, although trying to peek/get into the LH Senator *G lounges will be a bonus.

Price difference between SAS Go (discount) and Plus is actually less than 40%, with the booking class in Go ineligible for APD/SP which made my decision easier. I did look at other el-cheapo budget airlines, the likes of EasyJet, FlyBe, Germanwings and Ryanair. Once I factor in luggage and consider convenience (do they even land close to where I want to be/go), turns out they aren't really that cheap or worth the hassle in the end compare with some of the full service airlines.

On the trek back from LHR-LAX, Koru will only get me inside the quickly degrading T1 Star Alliance lounge while *G could get me inside United Club or AC Maple Leaf lounge in T2b, which would be a bonus.

While my brief visit around the States before heading back to AKL have me travelling with UA, and for the first time in my life, actually booked and paid for domestic First. Reason for this madness? Price difference for the routes/date of travel between Y and F is roughly 2x, yet I earn 3x more APD & SP (works out well for me as a status-run to retain G for next year), that and 2 bags included for F while I might risk having to pay even for my first piece in Y should UA refuse to recognize my *G status.

Unfortunately, domestic F doesn't entitle you to lounge access, not that I am desperate to get inside a United Club but heaven forbid I need to sit with "commoners" while transiting/waiting in LAX, BOS, ORD & SEA (at this stage), so *G recognition would be nice.

Again, I did look at my options but not going to fly Southwest or Spirit (and again, they aren't that cheap or worth the hassle), AA/Delta ended up costing the same, JetBlue came out slightly cheaper on some while slightly more on others, and all of them don't get me any Status Points, which sealed the deal to go with UA.
Kamadan is offline  
Old Aug 8, 14, 4:22 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: NZ*G ELT, VA-G
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Originally Posted by Kamadan View Post

For my intra-Europe legs with SK, actually booked them all in SAS Plus aka "Premium Economy" which gives me lounge access, although trying to peek/get into the LH Senator *G lounges will be a bonus.

Price difference between SAS Go (discount) and Plus is actually less than 40%, with the booking class in Go ineligible for APD/SP which made my decision easier. I did look at other el-cheapo budget airlines, the likes of EasyJet, FlyBe, Germanwings and Ryanair. Once I factor in luggage and consider convenience (do they even land close to where I want to be/go), turns out they aren't really that cheap or worth the hassle in the end compare with some of the full service airlines.
I did consider to buy SK Plus fares when they first introduced them. I distinctively remember at that time these fares accrued APD/SP at Business Class level, which is in line with all other *A programmes. But now they have secretly changed the earning of these fares down to Full Economy. You see it's quite a shame NZ would go out of their way to minimise your earnings.
Xiaotung is offline  
Old Aug 8, 14, 8:24 pm
  #8  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Originally Posted by Xiaotung View Post
I did consider to buy SK Plus fares when they first introduced them. I distinctively remember at that time these fares accrued APD/SP at Business Class level, which is in line with all other *A programmes. But now they have secretly changed the earning of these fares down to Full Economy. You see it's quite a shame NZ would go out of their way to minimise your earnings.

You know what's insulting though? Even if NZ decides to "downgrade" the earn on *A partner airlines, it still comes out more generous than NZ's own, which usually runs at around $10-$13 per SP (with exceptions such as Grab-a-Seat Greenlight (minimum 8SP) and a few others).

Case in point, taking 2 of my upcoming flights:
TXL-OSL-HEL in SAS Plus (P)
~NZ$240, 60SP (30+30) = $4/SP

LAX-BOS in UA Domestic First (P)
~NZ$510, 90SP = $5.67/SP

Where as, say, a sample Air NZ trans-tasman flight say in early October (regular fare, non-special), AKL-SYD one-way:
in Seat+Bag
NZ$303, 23SP = $13.17/SP
in Works Deluxe
NZ$458, 39SP = $11.74/SP
in Business
NZ$853, 86SP = $9.92/SP

Hence why these days when I travel abroad, take the opportunity to see if I can do a status run as well and book in premium classes.
Kamadan is offline  
Old Aug 8, 14, 9:19 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
Programs: NZ*G ELT, VA-G
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Originally Posted by Kamadan View Post
You know what's insulting though? Even if NZ decides to "downgrade" the earn on *A partner airlines, it still comes out more generous than NZ's own, which usually runs at around $10-$13 per SP (with exceptions such as Grab-a-Seat Greenlight (minimum 8SP) and a few others).

Case in point, taking 2 of my upcoming flights:
TXL-OSL-HEL in SAS Plus (P)
~NZ$240, 60SP (30+30) = $4/SP

LAX-BOS in UA Domestic First (P)
~NZ$510, 90SP = $5.67/SP

Where as, say, a sample Air NZ trans-tasman flight say in early October (regular fare, non-special), AKL-SYD one-way:
in Seat+Bag
NZ$303, 23SP = $13.17/SP
in Works Deluxe
NZ$458, 39SP = $11.74/SP
in Business
NZ$853, 86SP = $9.92/SP

Hence why these days when I travel abroad, take the opportunity to see if I can do a status run as well and book in premium classes.
But you would also find those partner fares that normally earn 50% miles or less in another programme become ineligible to earn APD/SP altogether, eg, AC Rouge fares.
Xiaotung is offline  
Old Aug 13, 14, 9:57 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: SEA, DUD, GLA
Programs: NZ Elite (*G)
Posts: 520
I have no issues when booking tickets on United related to extra bags, etc. That shows up automatically in the system and I don't have to do anything other than indicate my Airpoints number when making the booking.

Regarding lounge access into United Clubs, I find it inconsistent. For example, yesterday I used the UC lounges in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In LA I had to show my Airpoints card, in SF I did not as the agent said it showed up in their system (it apparently did not do so in LA). Whenever I've entered Seattle's club, I generally have had to show my card.
SeaProf is offline  
Old Aug 13, 14, 1:04 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: New Zealand (most of the time)
Programs: Air NZ Elite *G, Honors Gold, IHG Platinum Elite
Posts: 5,057
Originally Posted by Kamadan View Post
You know what's insulting though? Even if NZ decides to "downgrade" the earn on *A partner airlines, it still comes out more generous than NZ's own, which usually runs at around $10-$13 per SP (with exceptions such as Grab-a-Seat Greenlight (minimum 8SP) and a few others).

Case in point, taking 2 of my upcoming flights:
TXL-OSL-HEL in SAS Plus (P)
~NZ$240, 60SP (30+30) = $4/SP

LAX-BOS in UA Domestic First (P)
~NZ$510, 90SP = $5.67/SP

Where as, say, a sample Air NZ trans-tasman flight say in early October (regular fare, non-special), AKL-SYD one-way:
in Seat+Bag
NZ$303, 23SP = $13.17/SP
in Works Deluxe
NZ$458, 39SP = $11.74/SP
in Business
NZ$853, 86SP = $9.92/SP

Hence why these days when I travel abroad, take the opportunity to see if I can do a status run as well and book in premium classes.
It's very hard to directly compare both because the SP earn is calculated on the fare component, not tax (which is expensive to AU)
sbiddle is offline  
Old Sep 24, 14, 11:23 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Dec 2013
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Posts: 690
Well, having now completed/enjoyed my month long holiday, and unwillingly coming back for an election (I certainly didn't see it coming, the result that is) and work...

Just want to say that I have had no issues getting access into the various United lounges with just my Airpoints number on the boarding pass. In fact, I was never asked to show cards of any sort, be it the AirNZ Airpoints or Star Alliance Gold lounge card.

The Star Alliance system was rather quick to update my status too (gained Gold on 19th August, with *G correctly shown on all of my United boarding passes once I am in the States by 4th September).
Kamadan is offline  
Old Sep 25, 14, 6:22 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: SYD
Programs: OZ*G, VA Plat, NZ*G (Elite), QF Gold and PC+, Hyatt Explorist, HH Gold, Bonvoyed ("Gold")
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Originally Posted by Kamadan View Post
Just want to say that I have had no issues getting access into the various United lounges with just my Airpoints number on the boarding pass. In fact, I was never asked to show cards of any sort, be it the AirNZ Airpoints or Star Alliance Gold lounge card.
I'm stunned that you successfully gained access to the UA lounges based just on a boarding pass. After many, many experiences flying in the US and using my non-UA *G status to get in, I have *never* been allowed in without producing my card. They have always been complete sticklers for that rule.
mad_atta is offline  
Old Sep 25, 14, 7:24 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Sydney, Australia
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Originally Posted by mad_atta View Post
I'm stunned that you successfully gained access to the UA lounges based just on a boarding pass. After many, many experiences flying in the US and using my non-UA *G status to get in, I have *never* been allowed in without producing my card. They have always been complete sticklers for that rule.
Things must have changed. Went through San Diego recently on UA and got in the UA lounge with boarding pass only.
Xiaotung is offline  
Old Sep 25, 14, 11:58 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Posts: 1,420
Originally Posted by mad_atta View Post
I'm stunned that you successfully gained access to the UA lounges based just on a boarding pass. After many, many experiences flying in the US and using my non-UA *G status to get in, I have *never* been allowed in without producing my card. They have always been complete sticklers for that rule.
I think I have mentioned this before but I have never had a problem entering UA or US lounges using only my NZ status printed on the BP. Never taken my lounge card. Had many visits to these lounges too.
pbl22 is offline  

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