Qatar vs Japan Airline

Old Feb 5, 18, 4:53 am
  #1  
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Qatar vs Japan Airline

Hello everyone,

First of all i would like to apologize for my english (italian here) and because this is gonna be a long one, will try to keep it short tho.

For 2017 i had gold on Skyteam with Alitalia, which i am not using very much and given the situation of the airline i don't know if it will be useful anyway, so for 2018 i will challenge to get one world middle status.
I'm Italian and i live in Tokyo, normally i fly back to Italy twice a year and for those 2 flights i try to fly business if i can , then Australia once/twice a year normally in PE and a couple other flight around Asia. I also have an italian AMEX platinum which has terrible earning ratio 1 euro 1 point and the only airline with 1:1 transfer is Alitalia, the others are all 5:4 and neither Jal or Qatar are included but i don't mind since i normally book an extra flight a year for holiday with the AMEX point with the most convenient airline for where i have to go.
Now i need to choose between the 2 in the title of the topic and i would love to have an advise from you guys.
Jal is amazing in Y, 9 abreast on the 777 and 8 abreast on the 787 with good legroom and the service is always consistent. On the other hand is IMPOSSIBLE to pay their business class fares, it doesn't matter when during the year, the cheapest business ticket you can buy with JAL, Tokyo to Milan is like 5000$, and flying only Y, as everyone here knows very well, is very difficult to get status. It would help getting a Japanese co-branded JAL credit card, but being a foreigner i can totally forget about getting any japanese credit card for the first 3-4 years (they are pretty racist lol), so this is not an option.
Qatar fare for business HND-MXP is always around 2500$ and it gives you 130Qpoints which means, with those 2 flights a year you are almost done for gold (more difficult to get status on Jal since 50% of the flights must be done on expensive fares and JAL metal).

Everything seems telling me QR is better for my needs, but there are a couple things that stops me from take the final decision, in fact JAL has a much more extensive partnership with many other airline outside the oneworld alliance, such as Emirates and Alaska, not to mention AirFrance which is very useful for intra-Europe flights.
Also the embargo the UAE put on Qatar seems like is giving them an hard time, and no connection anymore with Dubai (where i fly kinda often).
Qatar on his side have a MUCH better app, english speaking customer service etc etc. Just for reference, JAL in 2018 has a Japanese-only ios-android app...

The reason why i would like to obtain at lest gold status is that i want to earn more miles with my normal flight and MAYBE, even if i know is difficult, to be bumped from Y in some occasion...

What you guys would do in situation?
Sorry again to everyone for the long post, every idea or suggestion will be very very appreciated.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 1:55 pm
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I would suggest you to check out also finnair , Cathay Pacific and British airways.
The latter has a definitely inferior business class product, but its frequent flyer program (executive club) might be interesting. You do need 4 flights on BA to get status, but this includes codeshare flight as long as you buy the BA ticket. And it is fairly easy achievable.
Redemption tickets using avios are very good on Cathay and Qantas.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 2:22 pm
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You seem to be mixing up the airline you fly and airline frequent flyer program. They do not need to be the same.
You could fly QR and credit those flights to the JL frequent flyer program.

What would gold status (what ever that is) do for you?
Each OW ffp has different names for OW Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald status
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Old Feb 5, 18, 8:02 pm
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Originally Posted by MP001 View Post
I would suggest you to check out also finnair , Cathay Pacific and British airways.
The latter has a definitely inferior business class product, but its frequent flyer program (executive club) might be interesting. You do need 4 flights on BA to get status, but this includes codeshare flight as long as you buy the BA ticket. And it is fairly easy achievable.
Redemption tickets using avios are very good on Cathay and Qantas.

Thanks for the reply, i did check Finnair before and their FF looks interesting but i'm not going to fly with them at all i think...

BA was another option, but as you said, J is not in the same league as the other two and i know the fuel surcharge are pretty high with them right?

Thank you for the tip!
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Old Feb 5, 18, 8:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
You seem to be mixing up the airline you fly and airline frequent flyer program. They do not need to be the same.
You could fly QR and credit those flights to the JL frequent flyer program.

What would gold status (what ever that is) do for you?
Each OW ffp has different names for OW Ruby, Sapphire & Emerald status
So far i'm not mixing, i just booked one round trip J with QR HND-MXP for the end of february and i'm trying to decide where to bank these miles and points/credits.
I know i can bank miles on JL even flying QR, just trying to decide which FF should i start to use in 2018 and remain with that, i was hoping for a "QR vs JL expert" :-) who knows where the up and down of the two are.

what i know is that JAL has more partners outside OW, and QR has much better J fares.
About status, sorry for my wrong terminology, i meant OW Sapphire, i would love to have it so maybe i can get some upgrade or better treatment that's it.

Thank you for your reply
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Old Feb 6, 18, 6:37 pm
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Addressing some, but not all, of your issues....
Originally Posted by enniorancati View Post
Qatar fare for business HND-MXP is always around 2500$ and it gives you 130Qpoints which means, with those 2 flights a year you are almost done for gold (more difficult to get status on Jal since 50% of the flights must be done on expensive fares and JAL metal).
The lower fare, by itself, could be the answer. Saving a couple of thousand dollars twice a year buys a fair amount of additional travel. IMO QR Gold has little value.


Originally Posted by enniorancati View Post
Also the embargo the UAE put on Qatar seems like is giving them an hard time, and no connection anymore with Dubai (where i fly kinda often).
You can fly QR/OneWorld partner UL to DXB. I'm doing that in June. You would fly NRT-CMB-DXB.
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Old Feb 6, 18, 8:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Dr. HFH View Post
Addressing some, but not all, of your issues....The lower fare, by itself, could be the answer. Saving a couple of thousand dollars twice a year buys a fair amount of additional travel. IMO QR Gold has little value.


You can fly QR/OneWorld partner UL to DXB. I'm doing that in June. You would fly NRT-CMB-DXB.

Thanks for the reply, why do you think QR gold has little value? do you think JAL sapphire worth more? the problem with JAL is that 50% of the fly on points must be earned on JAL metal, which is a bit difficult for me given their crazy J fares. And also, which i know is stupid but also for sure annoying, JAL has no ios app. They have this "redirect to webiste kind app" and of course only in Japanese, which i think is unbelivable in 2018. The very good J fares Qatar has i can bank almost anywhere with the same % on oneworld, just trying to decide the best frequent flyer program for me.
About Dubai, is UL any good? i have no experience at all with them, so i was considering CX via HK.

Thanks
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Old Feb 7, 18, 2:28 pm
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The quickest route to status would be using BA. Your single return flight HND - DOH - MXP in J will give you 560 tier points. Add in a E500 ticket on BA in business from MXP - LHR - CDG and back for a couple of days and you have your 4 flights on BA and well over the 600 tier points for OW Silver.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 8:20 pm
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Originally Posted by wijibintheair View Post
The quickest route to status would be using BA. Your single return flight HND - DOH - MXP in J will give you 560 tier points. Add in a E500 ticket on BA in business from MXP - LHR - CDG and back for a couple of days and you have your 4 flights on BA and well over the 600 tier points for OW Silver.
Thanks for your suggestion,

However if i get status with BA i am not going to take any advantage of the milage multiplier the status gives you because i will be primarly fly JAL and Qatar, and also even if i never had status with Jal, i had with ANA before, and what i can tell for sure is that Japanese carrier give so much value with status, the way they treat you is totally different, that's why i am aiming for JAL status. Just wondering how is QR in that regard.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 1:30 am
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I had a similar conundrum to OPs, albeit being based in Europe, rather than Asia.
A lot of my flying is on QR to Asia, Africa, even to USA (LOL), so I would have Platinum status if I credited my flights to QRPC, but I chose not to, as the redemption benefits outside QR did not fit my flying patterns much. So I credit all my flying to BAEC, where I have Gold status (OWE), and withing striking distance of GGL, all in less than a year since I joined FT.
From the kind of flying you do, you should earn BAEC Gold pretty handily, and then just add your 4 BA flights with some economy flights in Europe, say., and you're there.

As others have pointed out, BAEC has very good redemptions in Asia on JL/CX and Japan domestic flights, in fact I would say it's one of the highlights of the program. IME the OWE status is well recognised on CX, can't speak for JL, since I have never flown them (one day soon).

And since UL has come up in the discussion, I quite like their soft product, especially the tea service, and hard product is great on the new A330 1-2-1 layout, less so on the older ones which are 2-2-2.

Just a modest flyer's data point. Hope it helps
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Old Feb 8, 18, 2:51 am
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Big difference between Emerald and Sapphire status and rate of earning status varies dramatically as described. BAEC is pretty good and you also have to consider the earn/burn ratio. As OP states the bonus points vary but even with bonus points it could be that FF plan earning fewer points is worth more. It depends on specific routes and redemption goals. For me AA for points and QFF for status is the best combo. Doing the analysis is easy and can optimization can double the value of your FF benefits. But no single answer, it is different for everyone, and all suggestions in this thread have some merit.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 6:41 am
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Originally Posted by enniorancati View Post
Thanks for your suggestion,

However if i get status with BA i am not going to take any advantage of the milage multiplier the status gives you because i will be primarly fly JAL and Qatar,
???
As a JAL status member, you can earn status based bonus when flying BA.
As a BA status member, you can earn status based bonus when flying JAL.

None of JAL and BA status member can earn status based bonus when flygin QR.

If you want to redeem business class between Japan and Europe, I recommend JAL FFP.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by Wasabi Tofu View Post
???
As a JAL status member, you can earn status based bonus when flying BA.
As a BA status member, you can earn status based bonus when flying JAL.

None of JAL and BA status member can earn status based bonus when flygin QR.

If you want to redeem business class between Japan and Europe, I recommend JAL FFP.
Sorry, maybe my misunderstanding but on the JAL website under the Sapphire status benefit i read:
  • JAL Group flights: 105%
  • American Airlines flights: 105%
  • British Airways flights: 100%
  • Effective from November 1, 2016(flight date)
    Iberia flights: 50%
So this means with JL, BA and AA i will have bonus miles correct? not with other airlines like CX or QR.

So at the end of the day is between JL and BA.

BA is a transfer partner for AMEX and JAL is not, both require some segment on their own metal for status.
At the same time service is MUCH better on JL but the fares are also much higher.

Still undecided, thanks everyone for the reply, very kind.

Between JL and BA? i am more inclined to JL but i wish some of you guys can give me the last word.

Thanks
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Old Feb 11, 18, 4:11 am
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Originally Posted by enniorancati View Post
Sorry, maybe my misunderstanding but on the JAL website under the Sapphire status benefit i read:
  • JAL Group flights: 105%
  • American Airlines flights: 105%
  • British Airways flights: 100%
  • Effective from November 1, 2016(flight date)
    Iberia flights: 50%
So this means with JL, BA and AA i will have bonus miles correct? not with other airlines like CX or QR.

So at the end of the day is between JL and BA.

BA is a transfer partner for AMEX and JAL is not, both require some segment on their own metal for status.
At the same time service is MUCH better on JL but the fares are also much higher.

Still undecided, thanks everyone for the reply, very kind.

Between JL and BA? i am more inclined to JL but i wish some of you guys can give me the last word.

Thanks
Iím in a similar situation (stick with BAEC, or shift to JAL). Based in Kansai (typically ex-ITM), and am BAEC Gold. I fly JL for work ~100,000-150,000 flown miles per year, 80% for work (but work only pays for M class tickets)

Some info that may help your choice:

JL bonus multiplier is based on the base mileage. E.g cheaper economy ticket (25-50% of miles flown) will give you 50%-100% when emirald tier bonus is applied.

On the the other hand, BAEC gives you the bonus irrespective of the ticket purched. E.g. 25% ticket will net you 125% of flown miles.

For me, this can make a big difference, as my personal trips all tend to be on cheap economy tickets. Being gold on BA means I still earn good milage (I would not being on JMB)

In terms of redemptions:
Short haul: BA wins hands down. On BA metal from 4,000. JL metal 4,500. This is great value if you are in Tokyo, where you can reach Sapporo and Osaka return for just 9k avios and ~$4 in taxes (vs. 8000 and £35 on inter-Europe flights with BA)

Long haul: JL has much, much better redeption rates. In particular for premium cabins (relitively small difference between economy to buisiness, compared to BA). Multi-partner rewards with JAL are also really good value, in my opinion.

Therefore, I value JMB miles much higher than AVIOS (iíd say at least ~50%, as a rough guess).

it should also be noted that JL offers a bigger bonus for sapphire than BA does. So if youíre only likely to hit the mid-level status itís probabably a better bet.

in the end, unless you are actually flying on JL, BA or AA a lot, though, the bonus miles donít have much meaning. In which case itís best to just shoot for who will give you status more easily, so you can access other benifits such as the lounges, etc. In this respect I think BAEC is a better fit. As you say, forfilling the 50% of FLY-ON points on JAL metal is tough, if itís all personal travel.

(interestingly JAL does offer some cheap fares, just never ever ex-Japan, which is very frustrating if you live here. As an example I recently positioned to Seoul to go ex-korea to UK on JL via HND because it was 85k• verses ~160k• when I booked a wheek out before Christmas. This easily covered the cost of giving my a short holiday on Seoul!)

Hope this helps
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