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Which Airline FF is best?

Which Airline FF is best?

Old Sep 10, 07, 11:18 pm
  #1  
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Which Airline FF is best?

Previously I was a Delta member and to sum it up...I will never be a Delta member again nor do I have any desire to

I get most of my miles from American Express points and completing various offers online as well.

I'm currently trying to decide on a new FF program to join and dedicate my business and time to for earning miles.

I live in San Diego and usually fly to Europe at least yearly. I anticipate I'll be traveling over the next few years heavily as I plan to travel before marriage, kids, etc.

Any thoughts or suggestions between Continental, Air France, or NW?

I'm mainly looking for a program that is easy to book awards on, and has promos to earn extra miles (like DL's quarterly 25% mileage transfer).

I'm new to the FF and FT world so any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
delmargal is offline  
Old Sep 11, 07, 3:24 pm
  #2  
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Thanks for the question and welcome to FlyerTalk.

You're likely to get a few opinions here. Before i chime in with my thoughts, I was wondering where the problem with Delta was - service, program, policies, etc. This will help some of us give you a little more direct advice.

Te first thing that comes to mind is that with the airlines you have listed, you really do not need to leave the Delta program, you can add to your account with any of these airlines and not feel you have to start all over again which is why i was asking where the problem is with DL.

Again, welcome to FlyerTalk and let's see if we can assist you with some advice for another airline to fly and earn miles from.
Randy Petersen is offline  
Old Sep 12, 07, 7:06 am
  #3  
 
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I prefer AA - especially if you can make EXP!

Good Luck!
PapiTheWriter is offline  
Old Sep 12, 07, 7:27 am
  #4  
 
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Smile "Best" is so Arbitrary!

What Randy said and welcome to FT!

If you can spare some time and take a look at simialr threads, I am sure you will find the general guideline to narrow down your own "best" pick. In the last month or so, there are quite a few threads asking similar questions. You can use our search function (one of the tabs to the upper right in each forum) and apply all the excellent advices to your own unique preferences. One example thread followed:

Advice on Frequent Flyer Programs

If you think your "needs" were not met after reading all the related threads, come back and post your questions. The more specific, the better! I am sure our "expert" FTers will be more than happy to chime in.
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Old Sep 12, 07, 9:00 am
  #5  
mia
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Originally Posted by delmargal View Post
I get most of my miles from American Express points ... Any thoughts or suggestions between Continental, Air France, or NW?
American Express Membership Rewards points do not transfer to NW. This would favor staying with DL or moving to AF/KL Flying Blue or CO. I suggest you read the Flying Blue and Continental sections of Flyertalk to see if others report problems similar to those you experienced with Delta.

Another possibility is Alaska Airlines. No Membership Rewards transfers, but you can earn and redeem miles on 15 airlines...

Alaska Airlines
Air France
American Airlines
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines
Era Aviation
Horizon Air
KLM
LAN Chile
Northwest Airlines
PenAir
Qantas
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Old Sep 12, 07, 4:05 pm
  #6  
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Mainly I'm interested in booking an award on Air France. I love their First/Business on the newer planes.

I'm hesitant to transfer to KLM/AF directly because there are less opportunities to get bonus miles through an online mall (although this would be ideal if I could shop on NW's mall and earn AF miles since I live in the US).

CO has some great deals though like 5miles per dollar at Barnes & Noble.

I'm just not sure how easy booking awards on CO is.
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Old Sep 12, 07, 4:16 pm
  #7  
mia
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To summarize, you are unhappy with Delta because their award availability on Air France is poor, and you want to know if it is better through Continental, Northwest, Alaska Air, or other US carriers that offer AF redemptions and also operate online shopping portals?
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Old Sep 13, 07, 12:33 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
To summarize, you are unhappy with Delta because their award availability on Air France is poor, and you want to know if it is better through Continental, Northwest, Alaska Air, or other US carriers that offer AF redemptions and also operate online shopping portals?
Yes, I'm just curious how easy any award bookings are through CO or KLM. I've never gone through anyone but Delta. I'm happy with any airline that has bonus opportunities, can transfer AMEX MR points and I can book an AF business ticket for 90k.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 12:39 am
  #9  
 
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KLM usually has good availability in economy for reward tickets. Getting business class or upgrades is nearly impossible. At least on flights to Asia.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 12:40 am
  #10  
 
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I've never tried to book on Air France via Alaska, but from reading their board, I don't think the award availability is very good there either for AF flights. I think that's an AF issue, not a DL or AS issue. I'd echo what others say about using the search feature, and see what members of those plans say about the awards you want.
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Old Sep 13, 07, 5:39 am
  #11  
mia
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Originally Posted by delmargal View Post
...happy with any airline that has bonus opportunities, can transfer AMEX MR points ...
Are you using American Express Membership Rewards because you have a corporate card provided by your employer, or would you be able to change to another card program that would provide a wider range of redemption options?

Starwood Preferred Guest offers a credit card, which happens to also be issued by American Express, and points can be trasferred to most airline programs, except CO or UA, on 1:1 basis, plus if you transfer 20,000 points you receive 25,000 miles which means the 25% bonus is an ongoing feature rather than an intermittent promotion. This would allow you to accumulate points at Starwood to transfer directly to Flying Blue or to AS, DL, NW at time of redemption depending on who has the award availability.

Last edited by mia; Sep 13, 07 at 7:25 am
mia is offline  
Old Sep 13, 07, 6:16 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by delmargal View Post
Yes, I'm just curious how easy any award bookings are through CO or KLM. I've never gone through anyone but Delta. I'm happy with any airline that has bonus opportunities, can transfer AMEX MR points and I can book an AF business ticket for 90k.
Well, the short answer is that you will not see much difference between availability between CO and DL. The CO program has a poor reputation for availability. I can't comment on Flying Blue, but I suspect the availability (or lack thereof) will be consistent.

However, I would offer the following main pros of each program.

Delta:
1) AF business awards are 90k vs 100k for CO.
2) You can redeem with Singapore Air. I have no conception of availability.

CO:
1) They partner with Virgin Atlantic, which offers a great J product, and tends to have pretty good availability, at least out of New York and Boston. Getting to those gateways is the hard part. They also partner with Emirates, but rumor has it that you cannot book the Emirates flight from JFK to Hamburg with CO miles.
2) If you reach Silver elite, they offer 50% bonus miles, rather than 25%. On the downside, though, cheap Y fares on partners and on CO (if not booked at CO.com) only earn 50% elite qualifying miles, so you would have to fly 50k miles on cheap Y tickets to get Silver status with CO, versus DL.
3) You can redeem with Qantas for flights to Australia.

Flying Blue:
1) They are the only program of the three where you can use your miles to book tickets in First on Air France. As neither CO nor DL offer an international First cabin, Air France will not let you book into F with either CO or DL miles.
2) You can earn Gold status with 40k elite miles, as opposed to 50k, and that status gets you lounge access for international itineraries. With DL and CO you don't get that access until Platinum (75k elite miles).

Good Luck!
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Old Sep 13, 07, 11:39 am
  #13  
Moz
 
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I have an Amex card and do all my redemptions on Virgin from LA (I usually fly BA out of YVR but Amex does not use BA)

I have never had an issue booking and I love Virgin Upper.
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