Should I switch from Asiana Club to EVA IML?

Old Sep 8, 19, 12:40 am
  #1  
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Should I switch from Asiana Club to EVA IML?

Hi,

First time time posting here.. I'm based in Jakarta and I travel around 120-150k miles per year, I'm a small business owner, so I usually travel in Y/PE for work and Biz with my family. I used to not care so much about airlines status, so most of my travels are with points. However, there are a lot of Travel Fairs in Jakarta which offer incredible fares and I don't see the need to buy with points anymore, since the fares are often cheaper than buying with points.

So starting in November 2018, based on the reviews here, I joined Asiana Club and have accumulated 83k (17k more miles to Diamond Plus) but only 1 flight with Asiana when I was a gold. Most of the flights were with SQ or EVA. I don't see that SQ treats their KFEG well, so I don't really want to join them, but I do have tons of KF miles from my credit cards. So I emailed EVA Air out of curiosity, was offered a Gold match if I credit 12,500 miles to my new IML within 3 months. I'm flying CGK-SIN-LAX in SQ PE in a few days which would qualify (the agent told me to email him right away after the points are credited to IML) and confused whether I should switch to IML or just stay with OZ.

Here's the pro and con:

EVA
- Will be able to achieve Diamond in a year
- Not sure if I can always maintain the Diamond status, but Gold is fairly easy to maintain
- I don't see the real benefits of IML Gold (compared to OZ D+)
- No lifetime status
- Potential unnecessary travels just to maintain the status - which I don't really want
- No recognition when I don't travel as often
- Travel with EVA 3-4x a year (I do speak fluent Mandarin)

Asiana
- Super easy to achieve Diamond and Diamond Plus.
- Don't travel to Korea often (don't speak the language at all), and I prefer SQ or EVA when I travel to LA
- Before joining Asiana Club, I probably only fly with them once in 2-3 years.
- Super long transit time in Korea for flights from CGK to USA (Unlike SQ, BR, CI, NH or JL, Korean carriers are not so much focused on the travel needs from South East Asia to America)
- Will actually travel with them much more often if the transit time is less than 3 hours
- Lifetime status with Star Gold
- Future of the company is not clear - don't want to lose my points if they collapse

I own Amex Platinum, so lounge access is covered whenever I travel, so I'm starting to wonder the importance of having *G.

I can see myself traveling extensively in the next 20 years, but I want Airlines to also recognize me as one of their loyal customers when I'm older and don't travel as often, that's why I like OZ's lifetime status, but the thing is I just don't fly with them often.

Thanks!

Last edited by rwij; Sep 8, 19 at 12:51 am
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Old Sep 8, 19, 2:13 am
  #2  
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To be honest - I don't see a reason why you need to switch to a new program.

Why bother?
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Old Sep 8, 19, 7:51 am
  #3  
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@garykung I think you are right. Thanks for the advice!
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Old Sep 8, 19, 12:05 pm
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don't know if Asiana's program has this, but one of the major pluses for me is that BR Diamond offers you 4 upgrade certificates when you reach Diamond and then another 4 for every 140,000 miles you fly while you maintain Diamond. Lots of programs don't reward any additional flying after you reach top-tier status.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 9:51 pm
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Stick with Asiana. Lifetime Gold is with you as long as Asiana is alive.

After you achieve lifetime then maybe you can think about banking the miles elsewhere.
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Old Sep 9, 19, 10:23 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by hlee628 View Post
don't know if Asiana's program has this, but one of the major pluses for me is that BR Diamond offers you 4 upgrade certificates when you reach Diamond and then another 4 for every 140,000 miles you fly while you maintain Diamond. Lots of programs don't reward any additional flying after you reach top-tier status.
Yes, but after further thoughts, I prefer to travel only 120-150k in 2 years in RL than purposely travel 200k PE to mantain Diamond. I'd see myself unnecessarily purchase Standard & Plus fares instead of their Basic fare. Thanks for your input!

Originally Posted by coolfish1103 View Post
Stick with Asiana. Lifetime Gold is with you as long as Asiana is alive.

After you achieve lifetime then maybe you can think about banking the miles elsewhere.
Yes, I think I'll just do this. I was worried that Asiana was NOT going to survive, it will for sure not be able to compete with nor as financially strong as EVA, but let's just pray for the best. And if they do collapse, it's tomorrow's problem... Lol Thanks!
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Old Sep 10, 19, 4:06 pm
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If it were me, I'd take a very hard look at what lifetime status is really worth. Specifically, what's it worth to you when you stop flying enough to make gold or higher status but still fly enough that high elite status has material impact.

We often naturally think forever is best and must obtain at all cost. Having accumulated over 2.5M BIS miles across 3 carriers (including BR), I do miss my DL diamond, US Chairman and BR gold benefits but not that much. Same with my Marriot platinum (pre-merger) and hilton diamond. With GE, I get pretty close to the quickest route for US airports both ways. My passport also lets me access e-gates at the few countries I travel to once in a while. Lounge is nice but I can pay for the occasional access (sometimes reimbursable) for US airports. Most international airports I visit have great facilities so I don't miss the lounge (which is often a circus). Domestic upgrades are really nice but I fly domestic <6 times a year now so I either pay upgrade if its a trans-con seat or suck it up for short hauls. Considering the number of top tier elites today, anything below top rarely snags an upgrade.

Asiana's future is uncertain. I like the carrier for the hard and soft products and I love ICN for layovers. IMHO, that's second only to SIN for international layovers. While a complete elimination is not likely, gradual cutbacks are a very real possibility. There are several official LOIs to purchase OZ including a LCC parent company that, according to some press, is very interested. It's hard for a company used to running a LCC to operate a regular carrier without trying to get some of the cost savings from LCCs. Hard products take time and money to change, soft products might be just as difficult thanks to unions. Frequent flyers are very vocal, will threaten to leave and run thousand-post threads in various online forums but nobody in the executive office would even know it's happening. Also, I've seen very few FFers leave despite loud protests when programs devalue. More recently AA and Marriott.
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Old Sep 11, 19, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by crunchie View Post
If it were me, I'd take a very hard look at what lifetime status is really worth. Specifically, what's it worth to you when you stop flying enough to make gold or higher status but still fly enough that high elite status has material impact.

We often naturally think forever is best and must obtain at all cost. Having accumulated over 2.5M BIS miles across 3 carriers (including BR), I do miss my DL diamond, US Chairman and BR gold benefits but not that much. Same with my Marriot platinum (pre-merger) and hilton diamond. With GE, I get pretty close to the quickest route for US airports both ways. My passport also lets me access e-gates at the few countries I travel to once in a while. Lounge is nice but I can pay for the occasional access (sometimes reimbursable) for US airports. Most international airports I visit have great facilities so I don't miss the lounge (which is often a circus). Domestic upgrades are really nice but I fly domestic <6 times a year now so I either pay upgrade if its a trans-con seat or suck it up for short hauls. Considering the number of top tier elites today, anything below top rarely snags an upgrade.

Asiana's future is uncertain. I like the carrier for the hard and soft products and I love ICN for layovers. IMHO, that's second only to SIN for international layovers. While a complete elimination is not likely, gradual cutbacks are a very real possibility. There are several official LOIs to purchase OZ including a LCC parent company that, according to some press, is very interested. It's hard for a company used to running a LCC to operate a regular carrier without trying to get some of the cost savings from LCCs. Hard products take time and money to change, soft products might be just as difficult thanks to unions. Frequent flyers are very vocal, will threaten to leave and run thousand-post threads in various online forums but nobody in the executive office would even know it's happening. Also, I've seen very few FFers leave despite loud protests when programs devalue. More recently AA and Marriott.
True. Looking at my short term business schedule, I can see myself qualify for EVA Diamond for the next 5 years, but since they don't offer a lifetime status, I really don't want to commit with them, sooner of later I'll get disappointed and my loyalty will mean nothing to them when I don't fly as often. I totally agree with you, whenever I want to fly business, I'll just pay the upgrade or with miles.

The most convenient way for me to reach LAX is via SIN with SQ, and the PE product that SQ offers is actually very decent.

In terms of Asiana, I don't think it's that easy for them to leave Star Alliance, and IF the new management decides to do that, I'll just burn my miles before they leave. And when they stop offering lifetime status, I'll just switch to another FFP. And I do think it makes sense for the LCC to run a full service airline, we've seen a lot of examples how a full-service airline runs an LCC as well, SQ has Scoot, Garuda has Citilink and they work just fine. I'm also a Platinum with Garuda (I usually fly more than 20 Garuda roundtrips annually) and I think Garuda really has the best cabin crews. OZ has a great service as well but they are required to be polite, but as for Garuda, I can tell they are genuinely polite and friendly. Indonesians are well known for their hospitality. Garuda is planning to open flights to LAX via ICN soon, so let's see how that goes.

All in all, I'll never do a status run and just stick with Asiana and expect nothing in return...
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