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Star Alliance news not coming until '06; HP hopeful no more partners will be axed

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Old Sep 6, 05, 10:04 am
  #1
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Star Alliance news not coming until '06; HP hopeful no more partners will be axed

Buried in this Q & A regarding the end of the BA partnership, were some interesting merger-related FF/DM statements that I have not read elsewhere:

What about Star Alliance benefits?
As part of our merger with US Airways, America West will become a member of the Star Alliance, the leading global airline alliance. Participation in a global alliance will bring substantial frequent flyer benefits to our FlightFund members. Our frequent flyers will soon have the ability to earn and redeem miles on 16 of the world’s leading airlines, including Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada. Combined the carriers of the Star Alliance network fly to 795 airports in 139 countries around the world, more than any other alliance. Additional information on Star Alliance benefits will be available in early 2006.

What about America West’s other airline partnerships?
As of now FlightFund members may continue to earn miles and redeem travel awards on all other America West partner airlines. We are hopeful that our other partnerships will remain in place as we merge with US Airways.
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Old Sep 6, 05, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
Buried in this Q & A regarding the end of the BA partnership, were some interesting merger-related FF/DM statements that I have not read elsewhere:

What about Star Alliance benefits?
As part of our merger with US Airways, America West will become a member of the Star Alliance, the leading global airline alliance. Participation in a global alliance will bring substantial frequent flyer benefits to our FlightFund members. Our frequent flyers will soon have the ability to earn and redeem miles on 16 of the world’s leading airlines, including Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines and Air Canada. Combined the carriers of the Star Alliance network fly to 795 airports in 139 countries around the world, more than any other alliance. Additional information on Star Alliance benefits will be available in early 2006.

What about America West’s other airline partnerships?
As of now FlightFund members may continue to earn miles and redeem travel awards on all other America West partner airlines. We are hopeful that our other partnerships will remain in place as we merge with US Airways.
AZ Travels The World, Thanks for this great information.
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Old Sep 6, 05, 2:40 pm
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Over in the US forum someone posted this email they received from Flight Fund today. For some reason, I'm getting any of these e-mails, despite my email address being up-to-date in my profile and the fact I get the silly weekly fare sales and upgrade confirmation e-mails.

I've put in red a couple of seemingly key items:

America West Airlines
September 6, 2005

FlightFund & America West Club Merger Update
**********************************************
As you know, America West and US Airways are joining together to create the world’s largest low-fare, full service airline. One of the most important elements of our new airline will be the combination of the best features of each airline’s frequent flyer program and airport club network. We expect the merger to be finalized within a few weeks, and then you can begin to enjoy some of the initial rewards and services of the new airline.

The merger integration will take some time to complete, but we want you to know we will soon announce frequent flyer and airport club benefits for travel to begin this fall. These include:

-- Members of both Dividend Miles and FlightFund will be able to earn and redeem miles throughout our combined route network:
-- Miles and segments earned in 2005 will count towards either Dividend Miles Preferred or FlightFund Elite status (presumably not both!)
-- America West Club members will have access to airport clubs across the expanded network
-- A new club location will be opening at Los Angeles International Airport in the coming months

In the interim, we will continue to operate each frequent flyer program separately until we integrate accounts into the new US Airways Dividend Miles Program in 2006. In the future, active membership accounts and miles earned in both airlines’ programs will be combined into a single Dividend Miles account.

If you need to fly to a destination in the next few weeks that America West does not serve, we encourage you to purchase tickets on US Airways at usairways.com. You can accrue miles in Dividend Miles, and earn even more mileage credit towards the future, now. Again, the miles you earn in either program will be ultimately combined, so start earning more and flying US Airways today. Enroll in Dividend Miles at

The new US Airways will offer amenities and benefits that will set us apart from other low-fare airlines. Your miles keep on growing and never expire in either program as long as you keep your account active. Other frequent flyer programs expire all of your award credits and start over at a zero balance within a year or two, whether you are loyal or not.

As always, we will keep you informed via e-mail and at americawest.com with complete frequent flyer, club and merger details. Thank you for your continued loyalty to America West and FlightFund. We look forward to serving you in the future as the new US Airways.

Sincerely,

H. Travis Christ
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
America West Airlines
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Old Sep 7, 05, 9:32 am
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
Over in the US forum someone posted this email they received from Flight Fund today. For some reason, I'm getting any of these e-mails, despite my email address being up-to-date in my profile and the fact I get the silly weekly fare sales and upgrade confirmation e-mails.

I've put in red a couple of seemingly key items:

America West Airlines
September 6, 2005

FlightFund & America West Club Merger Update
**********************************************

............ to begin this fall. These include:

-- Members of both Dividend Miles and FlightFund will be able to earn and redeem miles throughout our combined route network:
-- Miles and segments earned in 2005 will count towards either Dividend Miles Preferred or FlightFund Elite status (presumably not both!)
-- America West Club members will have access to airport clubs across the expanded network
-- A new club location will be opening at Los Angeles International Airport in the coming months

In the interim, we will continue to operate each frequent flyer program separately until we integrate accounts into the new US Airways Dividend Miles Program in 2006. In the future, active membership accounts and miles earned in both airlines’ programs will be combined into a single Dividend Miles account.

..............

Sincerely,

H. Travis Christ
Vice President, Sales and Marketing
America West Airlines
If true, this will be really bad. I had started moving flights over to US, partially due to my recent move to Johnstown, PA, but also with the idea that they would count towards combined mileage. I don't think I can requalify in either FF or DM programs by the end of the year unless I do a bunch of meaningless mileage runs. Any chance you think of a status extension for all elite flyers like they did after 9/11 in 2002?
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Old Sep 7, 05, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by kanerf
Any chance you think of a status extension for all elite flyers like they did after 9/11 in 2002?
I think something like this is exceedingly likely. No airline likes their frequent flier program from a bottom line standpoint, but they know it's marketing and customer retention value for sure. They also know that taking their most loyal customers and intentionally irritating them is not cool (despite what we like to see as plots designed to do precisely this amongst us here on FT ).

What I think is, perhaps, more likely than a simple status extension is a retroactive inclusion of EQMs from the previous year earned after that year's highest status was reached toward the new year's status run. Similar programs have been run at US in the past and there's good reason to do it now.

Here's how it would work:

Let's say I hit FF Silver on August 20th then I flew 20K more between then and 12/31/05 on HP and another 6K on US in the same period. Come February or March, 06, US comes to me and says "Welcome to Dividend Miles Preferred. We're merging your existing FF account into your already existing DM account. To make this transition easier, we're counting the 26K you flew after achieving Silver last year towards your status for next year. etc."

Anyway, that's my GUESS. I've been wrong as many times as right, so YMMV.
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Old Sep 7, 05, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by mallthus
...No airline likes their frequent flier program from a bottom line standpoint, but they know it's marketing and customer retention value for sure...
I disagree. Many airlines "like their frequent flyer programs from a bottom line standpoint." The airlines derive a huge amount of revenue from selling miles to their partners-- credit card companies, hotels, car rental agencies, etc. This revenue stream comes to the airline with very few expenses. Frequent flyer programs are one of the few profitable segments of the commercial US airline business at the moment.
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Old Sep 7, 05, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World
What about America West’s other airline partnerships?
As of now FlightFund members may continue to earn miles and redeem travel awards on all other America West partner airlines. We are hopeful that our other partnerships will remain in place as we merge with US Airways. [/INDENT][/I]
I can see maintaining the NW deal until Star uncertainty is resolved, but, if they are successful in joining Star Alliance, surely there's no way they can stay entwined with a Skyteam/trilateral-alliance carrier. even US's deal with Qantas will have to come under scrutiny-- why would UA want to extend them the benefits of * without forcing their australia traffic onto UA?
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Old Sep 7, 05, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by martin33
I can see maintaining the NW deal until Star uncertainty is resolved, but, if they are successful in joining Star Alliance, surely there's no way they can stay entwined with a Skyteam/trilateral-alliance carrier. even US's deal with Qantas will have to come under scrutiny-- why would UA want to extend them the benefits of * without forcing their australia traffic onto UA?
I agree. UA is second to NW from NA to Asia. Why wouldn't UA play that card and force HP/US to end the relationship with NW? Same with HA and the Hawaii routes. Between what the new US will have to Hawaii and what UA has, why would they want to create any incentive for people to fly HA other than inter-island.

If, in fact, UA holds the keys to the Star Alliance kingdom for the new US, these are demands I'd fully expect them to make. What we don't really know is the leverage that US has, or the degree to which they're all that set on remaining in Star in the first place. It's not the only game in town. It would be fun to be a fly on the wall in Parker's office these days. . .
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Old Sep 8, 05, 3:42 am
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Originally Posted by kanerf
Any chance you think of a status extension for all elite flyers like they did after 9/11 in 2002?

While I am sure this would be great for some, I know I would not like this. I spend my $ and time sitting in the seats flying and see no reason to extend the status.

Everyone has had time to fly on the airlines. There has been no major reason (like in 2001) that people suddenly slowed their flight volume suddenly and often quite significantly.

I really felt in 2001/2002 they should have simply cut in half the amount of award needed instead of extending everyone for losing 3 months of flying. I am guessing they gave away status to many people who hadn't flown them much and not due to 9/11.

I hope they keep their FF that have been sitting in their planes in mind and focus on giving them the best benefits.

Jennifer
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