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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Old May 24, 2014, 12:34 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Mwenenzi
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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Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Old Mar 26, 2024, 10:37 am
  #1831  
Moderator: Information Desk, Women Travelers, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 15,629
Originally Posted by Trainleader21
Hello everyone, I am very new here. If I posted in the wrong place feel free to move or delete this.

I will often bw traveling to Asia, specifically China, to airports in Nanjing and Shanghai from California. (I mainly go to Suzhou a lot, but they don't have an airport).

To all China travelers, what frequent flyer program do you use? Also, what has the best benefits for being a higher tier in the program?
Welcome to Flyertalk! I've merged your post into our dedicated thread helping people determine what frequent flyer program to join. You'll see a questionnaire in the Wiki -- if you could paste your answers into a new post in this thread, it will help other users make recommendations for you.

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co-mod, Info Desk
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Old Mar 30, 2024, 4:01 pm
  #1832  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: ABQ NM USA
Programs: AS MVP Gold
Posts: 65
Moving to Lisbon late Fall this year. Main TATL will be return to Seattle to visit fam.

Racked up some points with Alaska, but wondering if TAP/United is a better deal.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?

Upgrades, lounge access

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
40k, 40

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Economy domestic, premium TATL

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Retired, all pleasure

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
Currently ABQ-SEA, ABQ-LIS

6. What is your home airport?
Currently ABQm soon LIS

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
200k with AS, MVP Gold


8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
Alaska
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Old Mar 30, 2024, 4:14 pm
  #1833  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 29,496
Originally Posted by blue bear
Moving to Lisbon late Fall this year. Main TATL will be return to Seattle to visit fam.

Racked up some points with Alaska, but wondering if TAP/United is a better deal.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?

Upgrades, lounge access

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
40k, 40

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Economy domestic, premium TATL

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Retired, all pleasure

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
Currently ABQ-SEA, ABQ-LIS

6. What is your home airport?
Currently ABQm soon LIS

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
200k with AS, MVP Gold


8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
Alaska
FWIW, oneworld one-stop options for LIS-SEA are:

AA: LIS-PHL-SEA
AY: LIS-HEL-SEA
BA: LIS-LHR-SEA
QR(!): LIS-DOH-SEA (QR LIS service begins June, 2024)

For TATL, do you mean Premium Economy or Business?
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Old Mar 30, 2024, 5:37 pm
  #1834  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: ABQ NM USA
Programs: AS MVP Gold
Posts: 65
Premium economy - business is not really worth it to me.
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Old Mar 30, 2024, 5:50 pm
  #1835  
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Not here; there!
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 29,496
Originally Posted by blue bear
Premium economy - business is not really worth it to me.
It's not clear from your initial post how much flying you intend to do annually after you relocate to LIS. Can you tell us that, including estimated spend on airfare, total number of miles and segments?

If you expect to fly just one TATL a year in Premium Economy, and a few Economy Class intra-European and/or intra-U.S. flights per year, you might be hard-pressed to attain even low-level status in any FFP.
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Old Mar 30, 2024, 5:50 pm
  #1836  
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Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 20,976
Originally Posted by blue bear
Moving to Lisbon late Fall this year. Main TATL will be return to Seattle to visit fam.

Racked up some points with Alaska, but wondering if TAP/United is a better deal.
1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?

Upgrades, lounge access
<snip>
How long will you be living in Lisbon for? A few years / decades?

Upgrades on EU airlines are nothing like on USA based airlines. Always expect to fly in the seats you pay for.
Are you familiar with what short haul UK EU business class is? [economy seats with middle seat unoccupied for most airlines]
OW (AA~QF) are trialing an alliance wide upgrade scheme--> Oneworld alliance-wide upgrades

Will you/can you fly enough on AS to maintain status?
Oneworld partners BA & IB are in that part of the world.
BA fly LHR SEA non stop.
Have you priced out LIS-XXX-SEA fares?
Wikipedia SEA -->https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattl...tional_Airport
Wikipedia LIS--> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisbon_Airport

Staying with OW/AS a practical solution. Would get status benefits with Oneworld. Mainly lounge access . Starting from the bottom in another (Star A?) ffp a harder path.

http://www.gcmap.com/mapui?P=c%3Ablu...=bm&PW=3&DU=mi

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Mar 30, 2024 at 6:17 pm
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Old Mar 30, 2024, 6:04 pm
  #1837  
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: ABQ NM USA
Programs: AS MVP Gold
Posts: 65
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
How long will you be living in Lisbon for? A few years / decades?

We are looking at least a decade

Upgrades on EU airlines are nothing like on USA based airlines. Always expect to fly in the seats you pay for.
Are you familiar with what short haul UK EU business class is? [economy seats with middle seat unoccupied for most airlines]

yes, not impressed by EU shorthaul.

Will you/can you fly enough on AS to maintain status?

Alaska seems to have changed the rules so it is easier, I think only 6 segments needed. Trips back to the US and domestic travel will favor AS unless another option is more fruitful.

Oneworld partners BA & IB are in that part of the world.
BA fly LHR SEA non stop.
Have you priced out LIS-XXX-SEA fares?

Other than for cucumber sandwiches I try to avoid Heathrow and BA

Wikipedia SEA -->https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattl...tional_Airport
Wikipedia LIS--> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisbon_Airport

Staying with OW/AS a practical solution.
United/TAP seems cheaper initially - do not know if better long run. Flying F ABQ-SFO mid April - no breakfast. Not impressed.

AA while uninspired seems competent at least.
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