Best airline alliance for Australia?

Old Jul 23, 19, 6:54 pm
  #1  
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Best airline alliance for Australia?

I've currently got status on Star Alliance, but SA don't have much of a presence in Australia. I will be traveling to Australia quite a lot for work soon, between Australia and the US West Coast. I want to status match to another alliance. Which is better? OneWorld or SkyTeam? And through which airline?
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Old Jul 23, 19, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by StatusHound View Post
I've currently got status on Star Alliance, but SA don't have much of a presence in Australia. I will be traveling to Australia quite a lot for work soon, between Australia and the US West Coast. I want to status match to another alliance. Which is better? OneWorld or SkyTeam? And through which airline?
Does your employer have a corporate travel policy/ preferred airline?
What class will you travel?
Where in Australia will you be going? SYD is not the only international airport in Australia
Any Aust domestic flights? No Star Alliance airlines in Australia for domestic flights (RIP Ansett)

DL (skyteam) fly LAX SYD.
UA (Star alliance) fly LAX - MEL; LAX SFO IAH – SYD; SFO - MEL.
NZ (Star alliance) fly LAX via AKL to a range of Au airports.
And AA, QF & VA.

Within Australia QF Qantas, JQ Jetstar, VA Virgin Australia, TT Tiger and some small regional airlines

The chances of a status match are low.
AA will offer a challenge for a $ fee.
QF are not know for matches, but may offer a challenge

What do expect/hope from a status?
For non USA airlines do not expect upgrades.
Upgrades on AA for LAX SYD are hard to get. Dedicated AA thread on that topic.

Last edited by Mwenenzi; Jul 23, 19 at 9:58 pm
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Old Jul 23, 19, 10:02 pm
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There are basically two partnerships that cover most US cities to most AU cities. DL/VA and AA/QF.

DL/VA is not a worldwide alliance. DL is in Skyteam but VA is not, and VA will not recognize Skyteam status, only DL status. Your only option here, if you are still US-based, is DL status, as VA doesn't allow US residents in their program.

AA/QF is the oneworld alliance and so any oneworld status could be beneficial here.

IMO the VA product is the best over the ocean, and DL a close second. So I'd say go for DL status. But really, it is between DL, AA, and QF. All offer some kind of status challenge so you just need to research these and see which suits you the best.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 11:47 am
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I can speak a bit to AA. I fly to Australia a couple of times a year and use my AA status for the OW benefits. Honestly though, it's not the same as you would expect in the US. As another person posted, you won't get any upgrades. What it will help with are things like early boarding and lounge access (assuming you have status). TBH the early boarding isn't anything great as travel in AU is a breeze and overhead space isn't limited like it is here in the US. AA will likely require some sort of challenge so unless you have domestic travel it may be difficult. Granted if you fly over on AA metal a few times in a 90 day period you shouldn't have a problem getting status. What status do you have with United? Also worth noting that the miles earned on QF domestic flights towards AA aren't like they are in the US. There are no bonuses or anything with status, just straight miles.
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Old Jul 26, 19, 12:25 pm
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@mwenenzi do you know off the top of your head if the NZ/QF domestic codeshares are bookable as stand alone or only in conjunction with a TT segment? If so could be a reasonable solution for *A? Or does it only work for NZ elite?
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Old Jul 26, 19, 6:22 pm
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You can't book any NZ coded flights within Australia unless they have an international segment on the same ticket. It would be illegal for NZ to sell domestic-only itineraries.

The QF/NZ is very weak, and has no benefits for any other *A members anyway (just like most/all cross-alliance partnerships)
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Old Jul 29, 19, 6:30 pm
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Nothing that works with UA/*A? I have 1K on UA, but their US <--> AU biz class isn't best...
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Old Jul 29, 19, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by StatusHound View Post
Nothing that works with UA/*A? I have 1K on UA, but their US <--> AU biz class isn't best...
Not sure what you mean by "Nothing that works with UA/*A" ?
No Star Alliance airlines in Australia for domestic flights (RIP Ansett). Air NZ is the closest *A.
UA will sell Au domestic flights as a tag on to USA-Au flights. They seem to use all airlines.

From reports UA Polaris biz seats is same/better than other airlines on the route.

What are wanting/hoping for?
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Old Jul 29, 19, 7:20 pm
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Unless you're talking about domestic Australian flights, I would stick with *A as you have multiple airlines that fly to Australia first and foremost. Directly from North America you have UA and AC and "mostly on the way" you have NZ. Not to mention being able to utilize the Asian members of the alliance. If you want to credit a lot of domestic Australian flying, you'll probably be better off with AA/QF.

Chris
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Old Jul 29, 19, 9:52 pm
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Originally Posted by StatusHound View Post
Nothing that works with UA/*A? I have 1K on UA, but their US <--> AU biz class isn't best...
I thought the premise of this post is that you wanted to status match to a different alliance??
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