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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

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Old Mar 29, 21, 1:04 pm   -   Wikipost
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Before posting please read POSTS 1-3 for a comprehensive overview of how to select a program.
If you already plan to focus on one particular alliance, please visit the sticky in the relevant forum: Deciding on a oneworld FFP or Which SkyTeam FFP or Choosing a Star FFP

List of frequent flyer programs from Wikipedia

Questionnaire: Copy and paste into your post
Provide the requested information.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply:

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply:

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply:

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply:

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply:

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply:

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply:

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply:
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Old Aug 7, 22, 11:08 pm
  #1726  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 24,539
Originally Posted by cinny View Post
I realize that and am trying to rectify that going forward. Which ffp should I stay loyal to given my flying patterns (variable, a mix of US domestic and abroad) and home base (NJ/New York and Boston)? Upgrades are probably most important given that I mostly travel for work and can get reimbursed on economy
There was a big change announced earlier this year re: the AAdvantage frequent-flyer program. As you may have heard, AAdvantage now uses a "Loyalty Points" scheme for determining status, so base miles earned from hotel stays, car rentals, co-branded credit-card spend, AAdvantage Dining, AAdvantage e-shopping, etc., all count towards attaining status. The upside of that is that you can attain status more quickly (and maybe even higher status than you might otherwise attain) depending on how much of those other earnings you can garner. The downside is that everybody else in the AAdvantage program can do so too.

AA has partnerships with both Alaska and JetBlue, so there are plenty of opportunities for earning AAdvantage LPs in the NYC and BOS areas. But Delta is also very strong in NYC and BOS.

I suggest that you take a look at what level of status you could likely attain through both AA and DL. Also do some dummy award searches on aa.com and delta.com to get an idea of how many miles each program might charge for redemptions you might actually make.
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Old Yesterday, 6:46 am
  #1727  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: HH <>, B6 mosaic
Posts: 216
Summary:

Being a BOS based flyer is tough for choosing an airline since we are not a proper hub like ORD, EWR, ORD, LAX, etc. I'm just getting started traveling again in a new job post-pandemic. My leisure travel (using rewards) is mostly from BOS-RSW, BOS-JAC, and BOS-SLC. My priorities are award availability and then upgrades. I may open a lounge membership as well. My options:

AA: I was flying AA for years out of BOS but will likely never achieve lifetime status with my past and expected future travel. I'm trying to decide if I should book all flights on AA flight numbers using a combination of AA, B6, and AS metal. This combination is probably the largest alliance at BOS right now and gives me the most nonstop flights. I'd like to do some more travel to Europe with the family and I'm frustrated with the award availability on AA metal and BA's fees. They have a good lounge in BOS that allows families.

DL: DL is making a comeback in BOS and has as many passengers as AA on their metal but I have zero miles or status with them. Lounge access is for primary traveler only. Only 2-3 trips out of my 25-30 trips per year are with family but it's a nice perk to extend to them.

UA: I don't see any point in flying UA since they have so few flights and it's not like I'm traveling to one of their hubs frequently.

B6: It's easy to get Mosaic for boarding, bag fees, and preferred seats but their thin operations are maddening as a business traveler. I'm also not thrilled with how they are pricing some of their leisure routes for this winter which is significantly devaluing my B6 points. It's like $800 or more to fly BOS-RSW during peak periods. If I'm going to use B6 reservations on AA metal I feel like I should just go all in on AA and book with AA.

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
(upgrades on travel, priority services when flying the airline, extra baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, free - discounted lounge access, etc.)
Reply: Good redemption rates first and upgrades on travel second

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
(<25000, 25000-50000, >50000 miles - <25, 25-50, >50 flights?)
Reply: I am just getting started in a new job post-pandemic, I expect to put up 25 round trips per year, 90% domestic US, average price $500 per ticket

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
(First, Business, Premium economy, Economy, cheapest)
Reply: economy

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Airline most flown? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply: yes, full control over airline selection, can book directly on airline website for now. 2-3 personal trips per year.

(5) Which routes and airlines do you fly most often
(US Domestic, Transpacific, Kangaroo, in Asia etc)
Reply: US domestic

(6) What is your home airport?
(SFO, SCL, London LHR, HKG, Singapore SIN etc.)
Reply: BOS

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
(AA Executive Platinum, UA 1K, LAN Comodoro, etc)
Reply: Jetblue Mosaic through the rest of 2022

(8) Preferred Airlines
Reply:

I have 300k jetblue points, 367k AA miles and 8800 AA loyalty points for the 2022 year, 90k UA miles (wife has 300k).

My thought is I should just go all in on AA since they have the largest alliance in BOS, I have a decent mileage balance already, and I like their lounge access. The BA fuel surcharges are frustrating but I deal with it. I've been able to score some good reward flights on AA web specials for domestic US flights which makes up for it.

Last edited by bcl00; Yesterday at 7:01 am
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Old Yesterday, 2:41 pm
  #1728  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
There was a big change announced earlier this year re: the AAdvantage frequent-flyer program. As you may have heard, AAdvantage now uses a "Loyalty Points" scheme for determining status, so base miles earned from hotel stays, car rentals, co-branded credit-card spend, AAdvantage Dining, AAdvantage e-shopping, etc., all count towards attaining status. The upside of that is that you can attain status more quickly (and maybe even higher status than you might otherwise attain) depending on how much of those other earnings you can garner. The downside is that everybody else in the AAdvantage program can do so too.

AA has partnerships with both Alaska and JetBlue, so there are plenty of opportunities for earning AAdvantage LPs in the NYC and BOS areas. But Delta is also very strong in NYC and BOS.

I suggest that you take a look at what level of status you could likely attain through both AA and DL. Also do some dummy award searches on aa.com and delta.com to get an idea of how many miles each program might charge for redemptions you might actually make.
thank you. In the last I think I’ve heard that Alaska can be the way to go even when someone doesn’t actually fly Alaska very often. Given that they’re in one world, when would it make sense to choose them over AA?
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Old Yesterday, 4:42 pm
  #1729  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 24,539
Originally Posted by cinny View Post
thank you. In the last I think I’ve heard that Alaska can be the way to go even when someone doesn’t actually fly Alaska very often. Given that they’re in one world, when would it make sense to choose them over AA?
No matter how many miles you fly on other carriers, you cannot attain status in Alaska's MVP frequent-flyer program unless you fly some AS flights. The number of AS flights required varies from one level to another. Details here:

https://upgradedpoints.com/travel/ai...-elite-status/

("How To Get Alaska Airlines Elite Status (And Is It Worth It?)")
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