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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
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: Mwenenzi
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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 May 14, 14, 3:51 am
  #61  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3
New guy here looking for advice

So I just got a new job with 100% travel. I will be flying approx 1 round trip per week.

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
  • Upgrades
  • Redeeming miles for a few free flights a year (hopefully first class)


(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
  • I am not sure yet on the miles, but I will be flying to a new city once a week, so figure about 48 round trips per year.


(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
  • Cheapest I'm sure


(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
  • Yes, It looks like I will be booking my own flights.
  • The paid travel will be all for work


(5) Which routes do you fly most often
  • US Domestic


6) What is your home airport?
  • JAX will be the home airport shortly after starting the job


(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
  • I have some miles from JetBlue, but they were virtually all from the credit card


(8) Preferred Airlines
  • I really liked Virgin when I flew them


From the last few hours I have spent reading the forums it looks like AA would be the suggestion, but I figured I would ask anyways.
NewGuy131 is offline  
Old May 14, 14, 4:19 am
  #62  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 18,730
Welcome to FT

Originally Posted by NewGuy131 View Post
So I just got a new job with 100% travel. I will be flying approx 1 round trip per week.

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
  • Upgrades
  • Redeeming miles for a few free flights a year (hopefully first class)

< snip >
From the last few hours I have spent reading the forums it looks like AA would be the suggestion, but I figured I would ask anyways.
AA/US Airways - Delta - United - Alaska (due to AA & DL being partners) are worthy of consideration. The best ffp will be very dependant on the airlines you fly & destination. You do not have enough information yet to decide. For many earning from credit card is a good way to earn miles

Delta looks to have many flights from JAX
http://www.flyjacksonville.com/Content.aspx?id=7
http://www.flyjacksonville.com/content.aspx?id=23

Upgrades are not guaranteed and harder if you do not have high airline ffp status
For many airline ffp's award flights are a long way from "free". Cash surcharges can be high.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; May 14, 14 at 4:27 am
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old May 14, 14, 9:49 am
  #63  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2
Hey guys, been lurking for awhile now and I finally decided to register. I've tried to learn as much as I can from reading the forums but I have a loooong way to go. Figured this was a good place to start, any help would be much appreciated. May be limited because I don't travel as frequently as some others. I don't have any airline credit cards at this time, I have an AMEX for work that I would like to tie to a mileage program if possible.


(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
•Priority Boarding
•Upgrades
•Free flights
•Lounge Access


(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
•Approx. 15-25k/year, mostly Y but usually C for any international travel.

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
•Whatever's cheap

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
•Yes, I book my own flights for work.
•Mostly work, 2-3 other personal trips per year


(5) Which routes do you fly most often
•US Domestic (several trips to Atlanta per year), 1-2 international flights/year

6) What is your home airport?
•PHL

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
•I have *G with Aegean and Turkish Air thanks to these forums. Right now I have approx. 25000 miles with Aegean, and 24000 with USAir.

(8) Preferred Airlines
•Asiana is my favorite but seldom used unfortunately. Haven't really been blown away by any domestic carriers.

One last point is I'll be flying OZ JFK-ICN Business Class next week, trying to decide where to credit the miles. Should I just tack them onto my A3 account at this point or am I better off going with another program? I'm *G for the foreseeable future with A3 so the only benefit there would be if I were to redeem for an award through Aegean at some point. Thanks again!

Last edited by contra21; May 14, 14 at 10:45 am
contra21 is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 8:57 am
  #64  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1
I was never in a position to really do much as I didn't travel a lot while in school. I've read a lot but still need help focusing where I should put effort. Any help from the guys on the form is greatly appreciated.


(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: Reward Rates

(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: <25000 – (3) Trips Domestic (2) Central America/Caribbean

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

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply: Pleasure

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
(US Domestic, Transpacific, Kangaroo, in Asia etc)
Reply: Domestic & Central/South America

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

(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: No Status 80k UR – 35k United 25k American 10k Delta

(8) Preferred Airlines
Reply: AA/United
MetalShogun is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 9:59 am
  #65  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,104
Originally Posted by heyfife View Post
Thanks for any help you can give me. I have kept up with the programmes for years and always found the airline that suited me best but recently I can't find a decent solution. I hope somebody else can recommend an airline that matches my esoteric requirements. I have a BA Amex at the moment but can change to another card for a better option. Thanks in advance!
Welcome to Flyertalk heyfife!

Sorry this reply is a bit late, I've been a bit swamped but hope you're still around.

Seems like the issue for you is that you want status benefits and you're not reaching status. I'm not from LHR, I'm US based, so I guess take advice here with an eye to different perceptions/rules etc. But that being said, your main longhaul flights give you all three alliance options. To ICN, you have KE, OZ, and BA so all three alliances. To ORD, LAX, and SFO almost the same, with Star and OneWorld plus Delta's arrangement with VS.

The problem that jumps out at me is that 25-30k miles is not enough to earn you more than silver status on most airlines. It's a lot of flying, but just misses the cutoff, as silver status usually doesn't get you priority checkin or security or lounge access etc. While some airlines allow you to combine family miles in terms of redemptions, I don't know that any of them allow you to combine the mileage totals for status earning. If I'm wrong about this, hopefully someone will jump in and correct it, because what you're looking at is 4 fliers with silver status versus one flyer with high status that can cover the others with his/her benefits.

So, with all of that, I would echo the other reply, and one I've given before actually, to consider Aegean for awhile to earn you status. This can be reached by your total miles, and then you would have Star Gold status for awhile. You could fly Asiana to Korea, which I think is a step lower than Korean but not bad at all. And you could look at UA flights to SFO and ORD, and have NZ or UA to LAX. After you have status with Aegean, you will have had a taste of Star Alliance, and can either start accruing to UA, which isn't bad in terms of redemptions, or you could look at someone new again and only use the Star benefits when needed and the time is right. Be careful though with Aegean and fare class, as not all tickets earn miles with them. Watch the details on that.

On the other hand, AA is a decent program for redemption of miles. You could look at keep flying BA but accumulating miles with AA, but again it would be hard to get status in my opinion.

I suggest looking at the Aegean, BA, and AA forums to see what people who fly those programs more are saying. But if you're looking for priority status, Aegean is generally considered the fastest route.
maverick17 is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 10:18 am
  #66  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,104
Originally Posted by fauspe View Post
Thanks for the advice, i also thought of A3 just for *A gold purposes

However for accrual what i like more about the Avianca and UA is that miles can be kept easily from expiring, no fuel surcharges and award chart is generous

so my best option at the moment looks like

*A on Avianca
OW on AA
spending on Avios

more views are welcome
I would not use Avianca for my primary program. Whereas they have some gems in their award chart, they allow you to buy miles cheaper than flying, so if you want to take advantage of their flights then you might as well buy them. The biggest problem with them though is that they are an unknown. Their redemption chart has changed a few times without notice, their availability has disappeared at times, customer service is rough for some, and lots of speculation on how long their rates can remain low. The general rule with them is buy miles, and only then when you have some trips in mind or will use them fairly quickly.

I don't know about KF much, but they actually have a discount when booking online which I have used, so keep that in mind. Also, I did have some issues about certain fares on them not crediting to UA in the past.

It's tough when you're varied, but maybe look at who you fly the longhaul business flights on, and base the decision around that. Given that business often earns more miles for status, like 150%, you might be able to earn more in a particular program as well as attaining status.

All that being said, I keep one account for each alliance, so three programs isn't the end of the world. But two would be better.
maverick17 is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 11:18 am
  #67  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: EWR, SLC, SGN
Posts: 1,104
Originally Posted by contra21 View Post
Hey guys, been lurking for awhile now and I finally decided to register. I've tried to learn as much as I can from reading the forums but I have a loooong way to go. Figured this was a good place to start, any help would be much appreciated.
Hi Contra, welcome to FT!

You might have flown already, but I'd count the OZ flight to Aegean unless you have made up your mind on another * program already. United isn't bad, but Aegean gives good bonus miles for biz and you can add to your total for a nice redemption. However, since you have already reached status with them, I'd start to look at their award chart and plan how you want to use those miles, and not just blindly keep adding miles to them but decide an amount of miles you need and then once you hit the target, look to accumulate elsewhere with the occasional credit to keep status.

As for most of your flights from PHL, I'd think about AA. Since your US miles will be combined with AA at some point, and AA allows one-way awards and treats status pretty well, I'd look at them for a possible accumulation and maybe you can reach status at some point.

The comparison then you have to personally value is * flights can get you priority check-in, bags free, lounges, etc, but you will have to often connect or fly RJ's from PHL. On the other hand, AA/US will have more direct flights, but you won't have status. Note though, you can get boarding, free bags, and maybe priority check-in with a AA credit card, so that might help lessen the blow.

Hope that helps a little, and keep your eye on the AA/US updates and potential changes in the future as you're making up your mind.
maverick17 is offline  
Old May 20, 14, 12:39 pm
  #68  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Programs: UA MileagePlus, *A
Posts: 56
Hello, all.
By end of year I will move to AP/ME and will travel this route quarterly (CGK - DBX or AUH or BSR). Currently I am Silver of UA and regular member of SQ. Should I join another FF program in order to quickly get to *A gold (or similar status of other alliances)?
Thanks in advance.

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Reply: good award redemption rates, better award access, free - discounted lounge access

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Reply: 25K-50K miles in economy

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Reply: economy

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply: work

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
Reply: CGK - DBX or AUH or BSR

(6) What is your home airport?
Reply: CGK (Jakarta)

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
Reply: UA (silver), SQ (regular member).

(8) Preferred Airlines
Reply: SQ; Aussie colleague suggest Garuda.
wahs is offline  
Old May 21, 14, 10:42 am
  #69  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: North Georgia Mountains, USA
Posts: 12
Hi all,

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Reply: upgrades on travel, good award redemption rates

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Reply: 30K-50K on economy

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Reply: Economy

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply: Most flights for pleasure and a few for work

(5) Which routes do you fly most often
Reply: US Domestic, ATL-NRT-TPE, ATL-ICN, ATL-NRT

(6) What is your home airport?
Reply: ATL

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
Reply: AA (regular), DL (regular), UA (regular)

(8) Preferred Airlines
Reply: UA (price), DL, KE (convenience), NH, BR, JL, KE (comfort)

Thanks!
mrcultureshock is offline  
Old May 23, 14, 11:37 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 8
(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
good award redemption rates, better award access, upgrades on travel (in that order) >>> everything else
Reply:
(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
10-20k, all domestic
(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
economy/cheapest
(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
yes; pleasure
(5) Which routes do you fly most often
US domestic, but I'm hoping to save up points for a trip to Europe
(6) What is your home airport?
Chicago
(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
no; n/a; a few hundred (aka none but I already have an account with United. Also 40k with Southwest
(8) Preferred Airlines
No preference. Haven't flown enough to have one.

As mentioned before, the hope is to save up points for a trip to Western Europe some time next Winter or Spring. I'm (very) open to a great credit card deal too.
Etroupas is offline  
Old May 24, 14, 11:05 am
  #71  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: PDX
Programs: Don't think it matters...
Posts: 5,159
Which ST member ffp recommended with below info :

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
good award redemption rates, better award access, sundry features like additional baggage allowance..

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?

15-20k miles, all Y international.

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ?

economy/cheapest

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?

Usually yes, 90% work related

(5) Which routes do you fly most often

For the next 2 years, its going to be India - Russia mostly.

(6) What is your home airport?

Kolkata (CCU) or Delhi (DEL)

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in an airline? What is it? Do you have
any miles banked in a FFP?

Currently non in major intl airlines as minimal intl travel last 2 years. Am gold in Jet Airways though.

(8) Preferred Airlines
No preference.
abhilife2001 is offline  
Old May 29, 14, 11:34 am
  #72  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 5
Hi all,

I appreciate any help you can provide in determining a FFP for me to focus my efforts in. My family is planning a trip to Disney in the next few years and my wife and I enjoy all inclusive vacations to Mexico, Cuba and we've discussed a Vegas trip at some point in the future as well.

thank you,

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
Reply: Upgrades, Priority Services, Lounge Access

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
Reply: Miles vary depending on the year I would say less then 10000 on average however previous years have included multiple European trips for work

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Reply: Personal travel I would book economy, business travel would be Business class.

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

5. Which routes do you fly most often
Reply: North America & Europe

6. What is your home airport?
Reply: YYZ (Toronto Pearson)

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in a FFP, if any?
Reply: 20,000 Aeroplan miles (Air Canada), 1800 Airmiles, 100,000 Hilton Hhonor points.

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
Reply: Air Canada, British Airways, open to trying other options.
Molsonbeers is offline  
Old May 29, 14, 3:03 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 1
1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
good award redemption rates

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
<25000 , <10


3. What fare class do you usually buy?
economy


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

able to choose / pleasure

5. Which routes do you fly most often
transatlantic, Caribbean, Central and South America

6. What is your home airport?
TPA, FLL, MIA, OIA, Tampa being the closest

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in a FFP, if any?
None

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?

No prefference
wilfonzo is offline  
Old May 30, 14, 7:04 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: HNL
Posts: 43
Hey guys and gals, doing this partly to put this information in one consolidated location for reference. Thanks for putting this together!

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
(e.g., upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access)
Reply: First and foremost is upgrades(for comfort, I do not sleep well on planes), then a little priority service, then some possible award redemption.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
(e.g., <25000, 25000-50000, >50000 miles and <25, 25-50, >50 flights?)
Reply: This year I'm close to 50k total miles on DL from November '13 to the end of May '14. This was 4 RT US based flights out of HNL. Total miles in a year might close in on 75k this year which is more than most. 50k might be good mileage to go off. Mostly fly HNL to either SFO, OAK, or SJC but have a few times a year I need to fly to the central and eastern time zones, mostly SAT, PHL, and BWI.

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
(e.g., first, business, premium economy, economy)
Reply: Cattle class. . . 'nough said? DoD has control of my life.

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Reply: There is some opportunity to choose airlines but with the military travel system (DTS) there are limitations due to contract limits. If I try to stick with one airline to the bay area there will be times that DTS does not show familiar flights, forcing me to choose another airline.

5. Which routes do you fly most often
(e.g., U.S. domestic, transatlantic, intra-Asia)
Reply: Domestic from HNL to the bay area mostly: SFO, OAK, SJC.

6. What is your home airport?
(e.g., SFO, LHR, HKG)
Reply: HNL

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in a FFP, if any?
(e.g., AA Executive Platinum, UA 1K, LAN Comodoro)
Reply: Does no status count as status? I'm real close to Silver on DL with miles and dollars, segments is a long shot. Right now DL has the lead out of all my FFP miles with just over 23k MQM; although I have more lifetime miles with United the options with them lately steered me towards DL.

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
Reply: No preferred airline, actually I do, any one that could help me take advantage of flights out of HNL the fastest. It gets old finding out the only seats remaining on a flight are middle seats. I have to compete with lots of tourists. Since I normally go straight to work from most of my flights, whether red eye or not I would like some comfort during the trip. Although I can do a good Preying Mantis imitation by now. . .

Much mahalos for any input provided!
kaliimc is offline  
Old Jun 2, 14, 12:32 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by maverick17 View Post
Hi Contra, welcome to FT!

You might have flown already, but I'd count the OZ flight to Aegean unless you have made up your mind on another * program already. United isn't bad, but Aegean gives good bonus miles for biz and you can add to your total for a nice redemption. However, since you have already reached status with them, I'd start to look at their award chart and plan how you want to use those miles, and not just blindly keep adding miles to them but decide an amount of miles you need and then once you hit the target, look to accumulate elsewhere with the occasional credit to keep status.

As for most of your flights from PHL, I'd think about AA. Since your US miles will be combined with AA at some point, and AA allows one-way awards and treats status pretty well, I'd look at them for a possible accumulation and maybe you can reach status at some point.

The comparison then you have to personally value is * flights can get you priority check-in, bags free, lounges, etc, but you will have to often connect or fly RJ's from PHL. On the other hand, AA/US will have more direct flights, but you won't have status. Note though, you can get boarding, free bags, and maybe priority check-in with a AA credit card, so that might help lessen the blow.

Hope that helps a little, and keep your eye on the AA/US updates and potential changes in the future as you're making up your mind.
Thanks Maverick, that's great info, exactly what I was looking for. I credited my OZ trip to A3 which brings my current total to 44,500. I'll start looking at their award chart to see where I can get the most value out of them. We're planning a trip to Hawaii in October for our honeymoon but I doubt I have enough miles to help with that.

I am probably going to open an AA credit card at some point, seems to make the most sense. Thanks again for your help!
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