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What airline status would be easiest to get status as a foreigner based in Chicago?

What airline status would be easiest to get status as a foreigner based in Chicago?

Old Apr 14, 22, 11:30 pm
  #1  
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What airline status would be easiest to get status as a foreigner based in Chicago?

I have a foreign address outside the US for the MQD waiver with Delta, but being in Chicago, United seems to be the most cost effective. American is also on the map since holding their credit card gives easy perks.

I plan to go to Europe a couple times this year and Asia once. I feel if planned properly I could get status for next year. I know that's for sure enough MQMs with Delta so I'd get status there. However, Delta flights are not that cheap out of Chicago.

American seems to be strictly tied to dollar spend at $6,000 domestic (without using partners) while United's domestic dollar spend is $3000, making United easier domestically, I think.

Any thoughts on what I should go after?
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Old Apr 14, 22, 11:37 pm
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Welcome to FlyerTalk!

Will all of your flying, paid and award, be in Economy Class?

Will you be renting cars/staying in hotels a lot while stationed in the U.S.?
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Old Apr 15, 22, 1:48 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by macdonjo View Post
I have a foreign address outside the US for the MQD waiver with Delta, but being in Chicago, United seems to be the most cost effective. American is also on the map since holding their credit card gives easy perks.

I plan to go to Europe a couple times this year and Asia once. I feel if planned properly I could get status for next year. I know that's for sure enough MQMs with Delta so I'd get status there. However, Delta flights are not that cheap out of Chicago.

American seems to be strictly tied to dollar spend at $6,000 domestic (without using partners) while United's domestic dollar spend is $3000, making United easier domestically, I think.

Any thoughts on what I should go after?
What would you expect from status?
What is/would be your travel pattern? Class of travel? (as above)
Can you chose the airlines/routes you will fly? Or some corporate travel policy?
USA for ever? Or is the non USA address for convenience? [which an airline ffp may not like]
As above, any ff miles earning from non flying activities/credit cards? Big earner for many now.
UA DL & AA are spend based ffp''s with different earning for partners. AS is a distance based ffp.

-->Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!
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Old Apr 15, 22, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk!

Will all of your flying, paid and award, be in Economy Class?

Will you be renting cars/staying in hotels a lot while stationed in the U.S.?
I'm a young professional, so I can handle economy when needed. When flying to Asia, I was going to fly business or something where I can sleep easier.

So far this year, I rented from Avis 4 times. I stayed 4 nights at Hilton and 1 night at Marriot.


Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
What would you expect from status?
What is/would be your travel pattern? Class of travel? (as above)
Can you chose the airlines/routes you will fly? Or some corporate travel policy?
USA for ever? Or is the non USA address for convenience? [which an airline ffp may not like]
As above, any ff miles earning from non flying activities/credit cards? Big earner for many now.
UA DL & AA are spend based ffp''s with different earning for partners. AS is a distance based ffp.
1. From status, I'd like to get complimentary seat upgrades, priority boarding and whatever else my credit card doesn't get me.
2. Will vary. Domestic it's economy and international it'll be a mix.
3. Not permanent - I don't have a green card yet.
4. I put most of my spend on Amex Plat but I don't spend over $10k/mo or anything crazy.
5. Good to know AS is distance-based. So when booking flights, I put in my MileagePlus number with any foreign AS partner and it'll attribute the points back to MileagePlus?
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Old Apr 15, 22, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by macdonjo View Post
Good to know AS is distance-based. So when booking flights, I put in my MileagePlus number with any foreign AS partner and it'll attribute the points back to MileagePlus?
Umm, "MileagePlus" is United's FFP. AS uses "Mileage Plan."
​​​​​​
AA is distance- and booking-class-based for travel on AS and other oneworld partners. (Fare-based for travel on JetBlue.) If you were to seek status in the AAdvantage program, for your trip to Asia in Business Class, flying JL to Tokyo (and beyond, if necessary) could easily get you a substantial number of Loyalty Points toward AA status. And Avis/Budget car rentals from participating airport locations would earn 500 LPs per rental -- even on a one-day rental -- or 750 LPs if you held a qualifying Barclays or Citi credit card. You can also earn LPs from stays at participating hotels, but you might have to opt to receive AA miles instead of hotel points.

Edited to add: Flying Finnair from ORD to Asia via HEL in Business Class could earn you upwards of 30,000 Loyalty Points (depending on exact destination) if credited to AAdvantage -- instant AAdvantage Gold status after one roundtrip.

Last edited by guv1976; Apr 15, 22 at 11:25 am
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Old Apr 15, 22, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by macdonjo View Post
.......
1. From status, I'd like to get complimentary seat upgrades, priority boarding and whatever else my credit card doesn't get me.......
Complimentary upgrades on international flights are not the norm. Some ffp's have an upgrade instrument for top tier status holders. Like SWU for AA. But only able to be used on AA marketed and operated flights.

Oneworld alliance (AA, AS, BA, CX, JL, AY, QF etc) does not have a cross airline upgrade system. AA-IB-BA have a (out of alliance) cross airline upgrade system, but has onerous t&c's (including high cost base fare) so little use for most passengers. AA-AS have a (out of alliance) cross airline upgrade system with t&c's but many pax looking for upgrades.

Star alliance (UA, LH SQ etc) does gave a cross airline upgrade system. But has onerous t&c's (including high cost base fare) so little use for most passengers.

So for international flights always expect to fly in the seat you buy. Even getting a cash & ff miles upgrade on the airline of your ffp will be hard, and far from guaranteed. Upgrade policy between USA and non USA airlines is very different. Paid long haul business class is where airlines get a lot of money. Nothing in it for them to give away upgrades or sell upgrades at very low cost
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Old Apr 16, 22, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Complimentary upgrades on international flights are not the norm. Some ffp's have an upgrade instrument for top tier status holders. Like SWU for AA. But only able to be used on AA marketed and operated flights.

Oneworld alliance (AA, AS, BA, CX, JL, AY, QF etc) does not have a cross airline upgrade system. AA-IB-BA have a (out of alliance) cross airline upgrade system, but has onerous t&c's (including high cost base fare) so little use for most passengers. AA-AS have a (out of alliance) cross airline upgrade system with t&c's but many pax looking for upgrades.

Star alliance (UA, LH SQ etc) does gave a cross airline upgrade system. But has onerous t&c's (including high cost base fare) so little use for most passengers.

So for international flights always expect to fly in the seat you buy. Even getting a cash & ff miles upgrade on the airline of your ffp will be hard, and far from guaranteed. Upgrade policy between USA and non USA airlines is very different. Paid long haul business class is where airlines get a lot of money. Nothing in it for them to give away upgrades or sell upgrades at very low cost
I should have clarified - I'd like upgrades on domestic flights mainly. Most of my flying is domestic (and Canada) but I think I'd be able to earn status mainly on these international flights for use domestic and Canada.

For example, I'm booking ORD to YYZ today and thinking Air Canada would be nice if I earned AS Gold.

imgur.com/a/gmR3nTl
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Old Apr 16, 22, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by macdonjo View Post
...For example, I'm booking ORD to YYZ today and thinking Air Canada would be nice if I earned AS Gold.
Air Canada AC (Star Alliance) and Alaska AS (Oneworld Alliance) are not frequent flyer partners.
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Old Apr 16, 22, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Air Canada AC (Star Alliance) and Alaska AS (Oneworld Alliance) are not frequent flyer partners.
My mistake. I mean SA (Star Alliance) not AS.

Thanks for being patient - I'm a total noob.
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Old Apr 18, 22, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by macdonjo View Post
My mistake. I mean SA (Star Alliance) not AS.

Thanks for being patient - I'm a total noob.
Most people use *A to mean star alliance. *G for the status.

Air Canada is a pain to earn status on if you are not in Canada because, while you can earn qualifying miles on any partner flight, only Air Canada operated or ticketed flights earn qualifying dollars (and bulk fares don't earn qualifying dollars, even through Air Canada vacations). So your domestic UA flights will earn miles but not dollars unless you buy them from AC. Many airlines give qualifying dollars as percentage of miles flown for partner flights; AC is not one of them.

The idea that you are going to get upgrades with bottom level status is a bit optimistic. I'm not saying that it will never happen, but it will be very rare. The main benefits of bottom level status on most airlines are free checked bags, priority boarding (ie, overhead bin space) and selecting "economy plus" seats for free (every airline has their own marketing term for economy plus but they are basically all the same... preferred economy cabin seats with extra legroom and maybe free drinks and snacks depending on the airline and/or the route). You may very rarely get upgraded; do not expect it or you will be disappointed.

If you want the domestic benefits (free checked bags, free economy plus seats, priority boarding) you should get UA status. If you want lounge access through *G, pick a partner airline (not AC, due to the qualifying dollar issue).

Also, I believe that *G requires second-level status, not bottom level (bottom level would give *S, which does not include lounge access).

If I were you I would credit to UA and get lounge access where you can based on your Amex Platinum. The club lounges really aren't that great. If they are really important to you you can just get the UA credit card that includes lounge access.
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