NZ based, Airpoints or Krisflyer?

Old Oct 28, 19, 3:46 am
  #1  
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Post NZ based, Airpoints or Krisflyer?

Hi all,

Long-time lurker and first-time poster.

I am based in Auckland, currently with Airpoints and usually hit Gold every year but not really close to Elite.

My flight pattern every year is similar
6-8 Domestic flights, economy class
4-5 Trans Tasman flights, a mix of prem economy and economy
2-3 long haul, to USA (mainly LA) /Europe, mixed Business / Prem Economy

I also have a credit card that gives me a bit of status point top-up, around 100-200 points per year.

I am finding it quite easy to get to Gold but hard to get to Elite at this point. At the same time, I do find the Airpoints programme quite unrewarding. There are a few things I like about airpoints, such as the recognition upgrades, vouchers, and the fact Air NZ offers more direct flights to my preferred destinations, but Air NZ tickets are usually near the top in terms of price, and the service level in Air NZ business and Prem economy is always declining. I also always hated the Air NZ business class product.

i still do intend to book Air NZ from time to time because they are the best choice for domestic flights, and often competitive for trans Tasman.

So fellow NZ based frequent flyers, if you had a mixed short haul/long haul flight pattern like me, which frequent flyer programme do you prefer?

i have been looking at KrisFlyer and do not mind transiting Changi with my long haul international flights, is the Krisflyer programme better, or easier to earn points, and practical for NZ based passengers?

Or any other alternatives?
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Old Oct 28, 19, 9:18 am
  #2  
 
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You could easily get Elite if you had the credit card SP to go with it. Air NZ is IMHO an extremely rewarding FF program once you hit Elite thanks to APD upgrades, but anything below Elite is very... Meh.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 12:35 pm
  #3  
 
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To be brutally honest with that little amount of travel you shouldn't be able to get anywhere near Elite.

There is no "best" FF program, it depends who you really want to fly with and what aspects your see value in.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:39 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
To be brutally honest with that little amount of travel you shouldn't be able to get anywhere near Elite.

There is no "best" FF program, it depends who you really want to fly with and what aspects your see value in.
A business class flight to the USA one way nets you 300 SP and a PE flight nets you 130ish SP. With a mixture of both on at least two yearly longhaul flights and their other travel, they can easily get to the required metal requirement and combine that with credit card SP. Again that requires credit card SP but it's important to note because I would wager a lot of people who fly that much and in any sort of premium cabin at all also spend enough on their CC to make up the difference.

Last edited by kiwifrequentflyer; Oct 28, 19 at 3:52 pm
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Old Oct 28, 19, 2:56 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Conan Wang View Post
Long-time lurker and first-time poster.

I am based in Auckland, currently with Airpoints and usually hit Gold every year but not really close to Elite.

My flight pattern every year is similar
6-8 Domestic flights, economy class
4-5 Trans Tasman flights, a mix of prem economy and economy
2-3 long haul, to USA (mainly LA) /Europe, mixed Business / Prem Economy

I also have a credit card that gives me a bit of status point top-up, around 100-200 points per year.

I am finding it quite easy to get to Gold but hard to get to Elite at this point. At the same time, I do find the Airpoints programme quite unrewarding. There are a few things I like about airpoints, such as the recognition upgrades, vouchers, and the fact Air NZ offers more direct flights to my preferred destinations, but Air NZ tickets are usually near the top in terms of price, and the service level in Air NZ business and Prem economy is always declining. I also always hated the Air NZ business class product.

I still do intend to book Air NZ from time to time because they are the best choice for domestic flights, and often competitive for trans Tasman.

So fellow NZ based frequent flyers, if you had a mixed short haul/long haul flight pattern like me, which frequent flyer programme do you prefer?

I have been looking at KrisFlyer and do not mind transiting Changi with my long haul international flights, is the Krisflyer programme better, or easier to earn points, and practical for NZ based passengers?

Or any other alternatives?
The airline you fly and the ffp you credit those flights to does not need to be the same. You could still fly NZ and credit to SQ. Or fly SQ and credit to NZ Airpoints. However some low priced Air NZ fares/booking class may earn little/nil to SQ. Total flights of 12~16 is not a lot, even if some are PE/bus class.

What are your objective with a ffp? What do use the ff miles/airpoints for? What airlines do you/could fly with?

SQ points have a hard expiry. Be mindful of expiry Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire. Click to open the wiki.

Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
To be brutally honest with that little amount of travel you shouldn't be able to get anywhere near Elite.

There is no "best" FF program, it depends who you really want to fly with and what aspects your see value in.
Many people on the Air NZ forum seem unfamiliar with other ffp's and the earn/burn & status benefits of other ffp's.

Star Alliance: Need advice on which Star Alliance FF scheme to join? - please post here

The grass in not always greener on the other side
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:26 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
A business class flight to the USA one way nets you 300 SP and a PE flight nets you 130ish SP. With a mixture of both on at least two yearly long haul flights and their other travel, they can easily get to the required metal requirement and combine that with credit card SP. Again that requires credit card SP but it's important to note because I would wager a lot of people who fly that much and in any sort of premium cabin at all also spend enough on their CC to make up the difference.
Agreed, on paper it only takes 2 return trips to LAX in non discounted business class (or 4 prem economy return) plus 200 - 300 SP from other sources to get to Elite, I think my problem is that long haul flights with work require me to book cheaper business class/prem economy flights if available, usually meaning another Star Alliance Airline, which impacts my ability to get up to Elite with Air NZ.

For example, a non discounted Air NZ business class from Auckland to Singapore can earn 200 ish SP, but a Singapore airline Business class to Singapore will only accrual around 120 SP to Airpoints based on my experience. I am unable to book Air NZ 100% of the time, and therefore is thinking whether I am better off with another FFP.

Elite would be very nice and tempting, and the APD upgrades was amazing value when I last had Elite about 3 years ago. But I am not likely to hit it every year (consistently) unless my travels got busier.

My travel pattern got me just over 1000 status points in the past 9 months, but I don't see myself getting another 400 SP for the next 3 months to get up to Elite.

I think what i really want out of the FFP is just to maximise the value of my spending, knowing I most likely will stay at the Gold Level if nothing changes, but based on the above comments, maybe my best approach is to just fly once or twice more with Air NZ on PE or B to sneak up to Elite and enjoy.

Are there anyone using another Star Alliance FFP but fully based in Auckland?

Last edited by drakeooo; Oct 28, 19 at 10:30 pm Reason: typo
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Old Oct 28, 19, 10:46 pm
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In my situation I find United works for excellent earn / burn compared to AirNZ and until now I could keep 1K with them. But my travel patterns take me to the USA often.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 1:11 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Conan Wang View Post
Hi all,

Long-time lurker and first-time poster.

I am based in Auckland, currently with Airpoints and usually hit Gold every year but not really close to Elite.

My flight pattern every year is similar
6-8 Domestic flights, economy class
4-5 Trans Tasman flights, a mix of prem economy and economy
2-3 long haul, to USA (mainly LA) /Europe, mixed Business / Prem Economy

I also have a credit card that gives me a bit of status point top-up, around 100-200 points per year.

I am finding it quite easy to get to Gold but hard to get to Elite at this point. At the same time, I do find the Airpoints programme quite unrewarding. There are a few things I like about airpoints, such as the recognition upgrades, vouchers, and the fact Air NZ offers more direct flights to my preferred destinations, but Air NZ tickets are usually near the top in terms of price, and the service level in Air NZ business and Prem economy is always declining. I also always hated the Air NZ business class product.

i still do intend to book Air NZ from time to time because they are the best choice for domestic flights, and often competitive for trans Tasman.

So fellow NZ based frequent flyers, if you had a mixed short haul/long haul flight pattern like me, which frequent flyer programme do you prefer?

i have been looking at KrisFlyer and do not mind transiting Changi with my long haul international flights, is the Krisflyer programme better, or easier to earn points, and practical for NZ based passengers?

Or any other alternatives?
My flight pattern is quite similar to yours and as such was able to maintain Elite until the changes to the airpoints a couple of years ago. Took the plunge then to switch to A3 Aegean Air.and as such have qualified as gold.Because the A3 programme is miles based thus getting to silver then gold was simple and straight forward. Maintaining gold even easier. The *A redemption for miles earned thru A3 has been great and also that use any *A carrier that fly in and out of NZ, Going this way is not for everyone but for me it works really well because or the distance and that when in Europe I use A3 to get around Europe. Anyway the all the info on qualification and requalification is on the Aegean website.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 1:13 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by Conan Wang View Post
Agreed, on paper it only takes 2 return trips to LAX in non discounted business class (or 4 prem economy return) plus 200 - 300 SP from other sources to get to Elite, I think my problem is that long haul flights with work require me to book cheaper business class/prem economy flights if available, usually meaning another Star Alliance Airline, which impacts my ability to get up to Elite with Air NZ.

For example, a non discounted Air NZ business class from Auckland to Singapore can earn 200 ish SP, but a Singapore airline Business class to Singapore will only accrual around 120 SP to Airpoints based on my experience. I am unable to book Air NZ 100% of the time, and therefore is thinking whether I am better off with another FFP.

Elite would be very nice and tempting, and the APD upgrades was amazing value when I last had Elite about 3 years ago. But I am not likely to hit it every year (consistently) unless my travels got busier.

My travel pattern got me just over 1000 status points in the past 9 months, but I don't see myself getting another 400 SP for the next 3 months to get up to Elite.

I think what i really want out of the FFP is just to maximise the value of my spending, knowing I most likely will stay at the Gold Level if nothing changes, but based on the above comments, maybe my best approach is to just fly once or twice more with Air NZ on PE or B to sneak up to Elite and enjoy.

Are there anyone using another Star Alliance FFP but fully based in Auckland?
Fair enough. This might be better asked in a bigger forum with people who know more not just about how many miles you will accrue with Singapore, but your ability to actually cash them out. I know that Singapore won't reward you for a lot of economy airfares so if its about which program will give you the best bang for buck for cashing out miles, I would wager its not Singapore nor Air NZ but quite possibly a completely different star alliance partner.

Air nz is a great FF at elite IF you are an international flyer to Asia & USA thanks to the FF benefit of APDs. But outside of that... Airpoints earned as per travel costs is pretty poor, perhaps the worst of its kind. I find I usually a business return trip to the USA nets me about 10-15% back in terms of airpoints.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 2:10 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Congrats on your first post after 5 yrs

Can I just clarify, it's 6-8 domestic flights - so 3-4 return trips a year in NZ.
Are all of the 4-5 TT flights east coast? Any to Adelaide or Perth? Also ~ 2 return trips?
Longhaul to Europe and LAX: You're flying nonstop to LAX with NZ in either PE or J? or UA?
- Most interested in Europe, are you flying SQ through? I've always thought they were a bit on the pricey side. There was a $3500 one way sale, then I realised there were other fares way cheaper than 7k return.

Also, what additional benefits are you after? You've already got priority check-in, baggage and lounge access, a couple of upgrades covered with NZ Gold.
And do you have someone else you might travel with on leisure trips?

I only dabble in Krisflyer but I don't think KF Gold will get you much more than NZ Gold. You'd need PPS with them for more benefits. If you're already flying business class with SQ then you already have access to the Silverkris lounge which is another NZ Elite benefit. Those lounges are due a refurb. Can't remember the time frame. In terms of redemptions I find that easy enough with the AMEX charge card, VA & buying Marriott points. Could use their monthly spontaneous escapes.

United have recently made changes to their FFP. Not sure you'd earn status with them beyond *G with that travel pattern but maybe someone else can better advise.

In terms of cutting costs with Air NZ, for your Tasman flights at least always check separate tickets. I had a return trip to Perth booked and subsequently realised if I had booked separate tickets exact same flights I would have paid $200-250 less and earned the same SP!! Ugh! Business class out of Australia to North America is also cheaper on sale with Air NZ although not sure how work feels about you starting there.

I don't know the other programmes well but I've heard Aegean and maybe Asiana are easier to maintain status with. Asiana also offers lifetime *A status.

There is the possibility of other alliances as well like One World. Qantas is also a crap FFP. I don't value their points at all. Mainly just see them as a byproduct of flying them. (Ok they might be ok for JQ flight redemptions in NZ). But they are in the region and seem easy enough to earn status with. I suppose you could earn on EK with them. BA is easy if you flew a OW carrier from Asia to Europe and credited to BA along with 4 BA flights. This could include a codeshare with QF then BA onto Singapore. BA are rolling out a new business product but the old one will be around for a while. They're known for their high surcharges on redemptions. Plus better for short haul redemptions.

I like VA. Economy X is great and you don't need status as you can probably buy it on work. Good leg room. Great wifi on the Tasman and it's on every flight. You can earn with SkyBus on the ground in Auckland (not North Harbour) but also into Melbourne. Route dependent unfortunately. 4 flights for gold and 8 for platinum. They do have some cheaper fares with a good business product on their 777s to LAX. Never flown the 777 but looks pretty similar to the A330 which I have flown and love.
They have some really good partners like Singapore Airlines for Asia, Delta in the US (not useful if you're landing in LA and not travelling onwards), and Etihad which actually do have some sharp pricing to Europe in business as well as having a good business studio suite. VA also have family pooling so if you have someone else that lives with you, you can accrue all of their status credits and points to your account.

My main redemption with VA is probably flicking the points through to SQ at a loss of 1.55:1. SQ have a hard expiry of 36months so no way to extend expiry (ok maybe for 6mo), but VA are valid for 24mo I think and very easy to extend. I don't use their upgrades at platinum as I'm too cheap to pay for a Freedom fare but I knew that going into the programme. I don't use the NZ vouchers either except parking. Not really a benefit if you don't use them.

You can also buy points in various programmes to gain benefits but I don't know where you sit on that. You can supplement SQ flights with an AMEX card or buying Marriott points IF you stay with them a little bit.

If you don't want to share on FT I'm happy to help in a PM.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 2:22 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
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I would even do Asiana, that'd be much easier, and they have life time status that's not that hard to reach!
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Old Oct 29, 19, 3:19 am
  #12  
 
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Iíll chip in for TG. 50k miles gains *G for a 2 year period. Benefits includes a free flexi economy upgrade to biz, with a second upgrade given if one hits 50k in the first 12 months of the 24 month validity. There is also a 50% discount for a mileage redemption annually.

This year Mrs TK and I flew biz Auckland to Zurich and return. Her 50% mileage tix cost $240 in taxes, and my upgraded economy ticket cost $2200 - so good value for me. The TG*G status means my domestic Air NZ flights include lounge access and extra bag (if on a S+B fare). And similarly for any *A long haul in Y.

Unfortunately THAI has seriously devalued its program, so Iím not sure it holds future benefit to me, especially given all of my travel is self-funded leisure flights. Probably better suited to those who regularly fly in biz.

So, much depends on oneís flying patterns and what is sought from the program.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 4:13 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by NZbutterfly View Post
Congrats on your first post after 5 yrs

Can I just clarify, it's 6-8 domestic flights - so 3-4 return trips a year in NZ.
Are all of the 4-5 TT flights east coast? Any to Adelaide or Perth? Also ~ 2 return trips?
Longhaul to Europe and LAX: You're flying nonstop to LAX with NZ in either PE or J? or UA?
- Most interested in Europe, are you flying SQ through? I've always thought they were a bit on the pricey side. There was a $3500 one way sale, then I realised there were other fares way cheaper than 7k return.

Also, what additional benefits are you after? You've already got priority check-in, baggage and lounge access, a couple of upgrades covered with NZ Gold.
And do you have someone else you might travel with on leisure trips?

I only dabble in Krisflyer but I don't think KF Gold will get you much more than NZ Gold. You'd need PPS with them for more benefits. If you're already flying business class with SQ then you already have access to the Silverkris lounge which is another NZ Elite benefit. Those lounges are due a refurb. Can't remember the time frame. In terms of redemptions I find that easy enough with the AMEX charge card, VA & buying Marriott points. Could use their monthly spontaneous escapes.

United have recently made changes to their FFP. Not sure you'd earn status with them beyond *G with that travel pattern but maybe someone else can better advise.

In terms of cutting costs with Air NZ, for your Tasman flights at least always check separate tickets. I had a return trip to Perth booked and subsequently realised if I had booked separate tickets exact same flights I would have paid $200-250 less and earned the same SP!! Ugh! Business class out of Australia to North America is also cheaper on sale with Air NZ although not sure how work feels about you starting there.

I don't know the other programmes well but I've heard Aegean and maybe Asiana are easier to maintain status with. Asiana also offers lifetime *A status.

There is the possibility of other alliances as well like One World. Qantas is also a crap FFP. I don't value their points at all. Mainly just see them as a byproduct of flying them. (Ok they might be ok for JQ flight redemptions in NZ). But they are in the region and seem easy enough to earn status with. I suppose you could earn on EK with them. BA is easy if you flew a OW carrier from Asia to Europe and credited to BA along with 4 BA flights. This could include a codeshare with QF then BA onto Singapore. BA are rolling out a new business product but the old one will be around for a while. They're known for their high surcharges on redemptions. Plus better for short haul redemptions.

I like VA. Economy X is great and you don't need status as you can probably buy it on work. Good leg room. Great wifi on the Tasman and it's on every flight. You can earn with SkyBus on the ground in Auckland (not North Harbour) but also into Melbourne. Route dependent unfortunately. 4 flights for gold and 8 for platinum. They do have some cheaper fares with a good business product on their 777s to LAX. Never flown the 777 but looks pretty similar to the A330 which I have flown and love.
They have some really good partners like Singapore Airlines for Asia, Delta in the US (not useful if you're landing in LA and not travelling onwards), and Etihad which actually do have some sharp pricing to Europe in business as well as having a good business studio suite. VA also have family pooling so if you have someone else that lives with you, you can accrue all of their status credits and points to your account.

My main redemption with VA is probably flicking the points through to SQ at a loss of 1.55:1. SQ have a hard expiry of 36months so no way to extend expiry (ok maybe for 6mo), but VA are valid for 24mo I think and very easy to extend. I don't use their upgrades at platinum as I'm too cheap to pay for a Freedom fare but I knew that going into the programme. I don't use the NZ vouchers either except parking. Not really a benefit if you don't use them.

You can also buy points in various programmes to gain benefits but I don't know where you sit on that. You can supplement SQ flights with an AMEX card or buying Marriott points IF you stay with them a little bit.

If you don't want to share on FT I'm happy to help in a PM.
Thanks.

Actually I fly 6-8 return flights in NZ (Wellington, CHCH), the earn rate is rubbish right now, can't see myself getting much more than 200 SP out of these flights
4 - 5 return trips TT, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, no Perth unfortunately, the earn rate on these flights are actually not bad
I do fly to LAX often using PE/J Air NZ, have never flown with UA before.

I have done a few Euro flights with Singapore Airline and they worked out OK in terms of pricing, hence my complaint about the flights not earning much SP on Air NZ FFP.

As I mentioned before, there are quite a few things Air NZ does well even for *G customers, such as the upgrades, direct flights, lounge etc, of course, if I was an Elite member, then I probably don't see the benefit of leaving Airpoints.

What I dislike about Air NZ is the quality of service and product. I felt the NZ PE service level has been dropping for a few years, and the J product was a poor product to begin with (personal opinion).

Which makes me wonder if there was another FFP that offers better value, honestly based on the feedback above, I am thinking of sticking with Airpoints and pushing for Elite might be my best choice.

I will need to take a good look at VA, i guess the trouble for me is going towards USA side, transiting Sydney airport is quite a poor experience these days.

Regarding Asiana, I loved their service and the airline in general, but since they cut the earning on Air NZ TT economy flights, I pretty much abandoned it a few years ago, has anyone else here success with Asiana's FFP?

Last edited by drakeooo; Oct 29, 19 at 4:30 am Reason: typo
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Old Oct 29, 19, 4:23 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by kiwifrequentflyer View Post
Fair enough. This might be better asked in a bigger forum with people who know more not just about how many miles you will accrue with Singapore, but your ability to actually cash them out. I know that Singapore won't reward you for a lot of economy airfares so if its about which program will give you the best bang for buck for cashing out miles, I would wager its not Singapore nor Air NZ but quite possibly a completely different star alliance partner.

Air nz is a great FF at elite IF you are an international flyer to Asia & USA thanks to the FF benefit of APDs. But outside of that... Airpoints earned as per travel costs is pretty poor, perhaps the worst of its kind. I find I usually a business return trip to the USA nets me about 10-15% back in terms of airpoints.
Yea i think i am just going to push for Elite for now and see how it goes. I think it is just so much harder to be on another Alliance due to the lack of home based major airlines.

Many have suggested Asiana, which was something i attempted a few years ago but dropped out, due to lack of accural for TT flights, i might consider it again.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 5:41 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Conan Wang View Post
<snip>
I will need to take a good look at VA, i guess the trouble for me is going towards USA side, transiting Sydney airport is quite a poor experience these days.
You are still treating the airline you fly and the airline ffp you credit to as one and the same.

Virgin Australia VA also fly to USA from BNE & MEL. So easier transits are possible. But I to I at SYD is not a big deal. SYD D to I can be annoying
VA are ff partners with DL, SQ, EY and others. But not in a major alliance.
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