Transatlantic Award Availability

Old Jun 26, 19, 3:00 pm
  #1  
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Transatlantic Award Availability

I have seen some posts suggesting that there is limited award availability on transatlantic flights because many *Alliance seats are not released to LM. Is this a real concern? I have some upcoming business flights on TK and am looking for a star alliance partner. Wheretocredit.com shows 200% mileage for these flights. LM looks promising because I have a large Amex balance available to top off the account. I am also considering Krisflyer. Appreciate your thoughts.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 7:50 pm
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Krisflyer awards are quite pricey since they often also come with a hefty fuel surcharge.
I wouldn't worry about Lifemiles availability, from my experience, only LH will restrict the availability on Lifemiles and mostly for F flights, J availability is almost on par with other programs. (Speaking for transatlantic flights, I am unsure about carriers others than UA/AC/LHgroup)

I would also look into crediting to Aegean, it's only 45k miles for a transatlantic J flight through them BUT they charge heavy fuel surcharges on LH group flights. But minimal for AC and UA.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Mict View Post
Krisflyer awards are quite pricey since they often also come with a hefty fuel surcharge.
I wouldn't worry about Lifemiles availability, from my experience, only LH will restrict the availability on Lifemiles and mostly for F flights, J availability is almost on par with other programs. (Speaking for transatlantic flights, I am unsure about carriers others than UA/AC/LHgroup)

I would also look into crediting to Aegean, it's only 45k miles for a transatlantic J flight through them BUT they charge heavy fuel surcharges on LH group flights. But minimal for AC and UA.
Thank you. They are a Marriott transfer partner too (although not AX). I like that Aegean allows pooling, but it seems that you need actual flight miles to keep account active. LM allows any account activity--is that right?
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Old Jun 29, 19, 9:04 am
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Lifemiles is going to charge you substantially more miles for the same itinerary. True you don't pay surcharges via Lifemiles, but that hardly matters when there aren't any to be charged on many *A airlines - apart from LH which isn't going to release premium cabin inventory outside of T-2 weeks anyhow...

AFAIK SQ no longer has surcharges FWIW.

TK M&S, Aegean and Krisflyer are all better options. Aeroplan could work for you as well.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Lifemiles is going to charge you substantially more miles for the same itinerary. True you don't pay surcharges via Lifemiles, but that hardly matters when there aren't any to be charged on many *A airlines - apart from LH which isn't going to release premium cabin inventory outside of T-2 weeks anyhow...

AFAIK SQ no longer has surcharges FWIW.

TK M&S, Aegean and Krisflyer are all better options. Aeroplan could work for you as well.
I don't think Lifemiles charges substantially more for the same itinerary. TATL J is 63k miles with no surcharges, that's a good deal to me if you want to fly on LH group airline.
I use all the programs you mentioned so I am familiar with them (used to credit to Aegean, then switched to TK, now on UA and I regularly transfer points to AC / SQ and Lifemiles with my Amex), here is a recap:

Aeroplan charges slightly less (I believe around 55k) but you are bitten by surcharges.
TK is a pain to book non TK flight with. (and you have YQ to pay)
SQ charges mores miles and has surcharge (just checked, they want $625 + 72k points for SFO-MUC on LH J).
Only Aegean is kinda better if you want UA or AC awards, because the 18k less points they charge doesn't offset the $600 surcharge you have to pay on LH group flights.

And LH/OS/LX are the easiest to find award space on from my experience since they have the largest TATL operation in *A so to me Lifemiles is better than the other programs.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 4:34 pm
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Aeroplan has no fuel surcharges on LX so for LX I use aeroplan, for LH I use lifemiles.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 3:25 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by Mict View Post
I don't think Lifemiles charges substantially more for the same itinerary. TATL J is 63k miles with no surcharges, that's a good deal to me if you want to fly on LH group airline.
I use all the programs you mentioned so I am familiar with them (used to credit to Aegean, then switched to TK, now on UA and I regularly transfer points to AC / SQ and Lifemiles with my Amex), here is a recap:

Aeroplan charges slightly less (I believe around 55k) but you are bitten by surcharges.
TK is a pain to book non TK flight with. (and you have YQ to pay)
SQ charges mores miles and has surcharge (just checked, they want $625 + 72k points for SFO-MUC on LH J).
Only Aegean is kinda better if you want UA or AC awards, because the 18k less points they charge doesn't offset the $600 surcharge you have to pay on LH group flights.

And LH/OS/LX are the easiest to find award space on from my experience since they have the largest TATL operation in *A so to me Lifemiles is better than the other programs.
If your only interest is flying on LH TATL, and can wait to book until the T-14 day window, then Lifemiles works. Probably AC metal as well.

For most other metals - LX, UA, TK, etc. - you can pay fewer miles and avoid surcharges with one or more of the other programmes I've mentioned.

It's particularly silly IMO to write off TK M&S (45k each way TATL in J) because of difficulty booking partner rewards - not in dispute FWIW although you can now book partners online - in favour of Lifemiles' which has a rubbish website, ridiculous call centre service, excessive cancellation fees, etc.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 9:41 am
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I used lifemiles on a J ticket LX flight PRG-JFK and it was the exact same in taxes as aeroplan was. The only difference was it was an extra 3 or 4K in points to book but at the time with the transfer bonus it was equal or slightly better.
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