Suggestion for FF programme

Old Oct 6, 06, 4:45 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York City
Programs: BA Gold Guest List; HH Diamond; Hyatt Diamond; SPG Gold
Posts: 2,820
Question Suggestion for FF programme

I currently work for a consultancy company where I travel regularly to widely scattered parts of the globe. There is usually a convenient Star Alliance routing, and my company allows me to organise my own travel subject to our class of service policies and not taking the mickey with more expensive routings. Due to the excellent value offered by miles+cash, I credit my miles to my bmi diamond club account.

This is all about to change, as I'm expecting to start at a new position with an investment bank. I'll be London based, with the expectation of at least four round-trips yearly in first class to New York with AA; with possible travel to Japan (although I believe the contracted carrier for this route is ANA, so those miles would probably stay with bmi). I also do some leisure travel, say four transatlantic-length returns, as well as short haul within Europe - this is usually economy/premium-economy class travel.

I'm hoping to find a oneworld programme in which my travel patterns will yield either Sapphire or Emerald level, thereby allowing lounge access on my leisure travel. The two programmes about which I know anything (AAdvantage and BA Exec Club) are non-starters because the AA flights couldn't be credited to BA, and the AA programme only gives 1.5x EQP for first class with 50,000 needed to get to Platinum.

Any suggestions?
NickW is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 5:48 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: BOM
Programs: BA GGL, BA GFL, Amex Centurion, Hilton HHonors Diamond, SPG Gold, Shangri-La Diamond
Posts: 93
I think if you'll be based in London with a fair amount of transatlantic travel, CX's program would be a good option.. My reasons:

1) CX let's you credit both BA and AA. Both BA and AA won't let you credit the other airline's ticket for trans-atlantic. This leaves you with more options out of LON.
2) If you'll be flying some economy or premier economy, again, BA does not give tier points for most economy tickets, and only 25% award miles. Cathay is far more generous with crediting economy miles.

The one disadv that CX has is that it is much harder to reach elite level tiers, but once you do, it's certainly more exclusive with greater benefits than other OW Elite programs.
Kepler is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 5:54 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold(OWE), QF LTG, MR Plat, IHG Spire, Hertz PC
Posts: 8,156
Originally Posted by NickW
The two programmes about which I know anything (AAdvantage and BA Exec Club) are non-starters because the AA flights couldn't be credited to BA, and the AA programme only gives 1.5x EQP for first class with 50,000 needed to get to Platinum.
If your travelling AA to NYC, I don't understand why you would not enrol in AAdvantage! Only US to UK BA flights don't credit to AA, but otherwise all your BA travel will. I'm still very much of the opinion that whilst AA is a mediocre airline, it definitely has the best FF programme in OneWorld. It's best strength is that once you hit Plat you get 100% bonus on all OW carriers. A Plat challenge will get you your status quickly and your 4 RT flights in F on AA to JFK will get you pretty close to retaining at least Platinum as that should give you approximately 40,000 EQPs. Someone like yourself who seems quite adept at MRs should be able to easily cover the remaining 10K!

If you don't want to go down the BA route, maybe it is worth looking at QF which like the BA programme is very generous status earning wise for premium fares as well as allowing you to credit both AA and BA travel across the atlantic. It does however suffer from expensive redemption rates and it very mean on both mileage earning and status earning fares less than Y, however most fares credit something and that alone is attractive for some flyers.

Anecdotal evidence on this board seem to indicate that AY flyers whilst happy with their carrier don't particularly like their programme. CX is quite a difficult programme although seems particularly generous with cheap fare classes (http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_.../terms#earning) so whilst it takes a lot to hit top tier with them, even V class CX flights get 100% miles. There is very little information on FT about IB's programme as well as LA so it would be difficult to recommend either of those programmes.

JL is joining OW shortly (around April 2007) and should you be travelling to Japan that maybe worth looking into. A trip to the JL board might be therefore in order.

Finally, should you just require OW lounge access, you may wish to consider joining QF's Qantas Club which will provide you with lounge access whenever you fly QF, BA and AA as well as bizarrely US.

http://www.qantas.com.au/info/flying/qantasClub/index
Traveloguy is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 8:03 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Madrid, Spain & Santiago, Chile
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,181
My suggestion: AAdvantage. Yes, I noticed the bit about AA being a non-starter, but I think you should reconsider, based on this suggested plan: use your business travels as the core and, for leisure, do one xDONEx every two years. That plan will give you, at a minum, EXP every two years, falling back (without even flying) to PLT every year in between.
Viajero is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 10:12 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York City
Programs: BA Gold Guest List; HH Diamond; Hyatt Diamond; SPG Gold
Posts: 2,820
I think I'd mentally underestimated how long a sector LHR-JFK actually is! Given that it's almost 3,500 miles, a mile-based programme like AAdvantage could actually work even given the relatively small class-of-service bonus.

I have a sequence of long flights coming up on AA later this year (BRU-JFK-EZE-JFK-BRU) which will easily qualify me for the Platinum Challenge, so I'll sign up for that.

It's a shame about the BA/AA thing, because I'd hit Gold (ie Emerald) every year in Executive Club based on the way BA gives out tier points, but I'll have to add a significant amount of travel even to hit Platinum (ie Sapphire) on AA.
NickW is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 10:16 am
  #6  
Moderator, OneWorld
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SEA
Programs: RAA RIP; AA ExEXP
Posts: 10,226
Originally Posted by Viajero
My suggestion: AAdvantage. Yes, I noticed the bit about AA being a non-starter, but I think you should reconsider, based on this suggested plan: use your business travels as the core and, for leisure, do one xDONEx every two years. That plan will give you, at a minum, EXP every two years, falling back (without even flying) to PLT every year in between.
Yes; this is precisely the route we're taking with our (mainly leisure) travel - use required annual travel plus semi-annual (I think that's right - every two years?) RTWs to get up to EXP, use the eVIPs in the non-RTW years, allow ourselves to fall back to Platinum [still get full mileage bonus plus (most) lounge access]; repeat. You can accumulate sufficient miles in the paid travel that you can use award tickets to position yourself to wherever the cheapest initiation point for A/DONExs might be when RTW time rolls around again.

One thing about non-Atlantic FFPs is that most require a certain number of sponsor metal flights annually to retain status (e.g. four QF metal flights etc.) That might be an issue for you given your travel patterns.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 10:47 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Madrid, Spain & Santiago, Chile
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,181
Originally Posted by NickW
...Given that it's almost 3,500 miles...
Or 6200, if you are willing to do a little MR detour via DFW... and then you make PLT just with the business trips.
Viajero is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 11:22 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York City
Programs: BA Gold Guest List; HH Diamond; Hyatt Diamond; SPG Gold
Posts: 2,820
Originally Posted by Viajero
Or 6200, if you are willing to do a little MR detour via DFW... and then you make PLT just with the business trips.
I have the impression that all the travel planning is done at a corporate level and that diversion via DFW might not been seen as being in the best interests of the company
NickW is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 11:25 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York City
Programs: BA Gold Guest List; HH Diamond; Hyatt Diamond; SPG Gold
Posts: 2,820
Originally Posted by Gardyloo
semi-annual (I think that's right - every two years?)
That'd be "biennial".
NickW is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 11:36 am
  #10  
Moderator, OneWorld
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SEA
Programs: RAA RIP; AA ExEXP
Posts: 10,226
Originally Posted by NickW
That'd be "biennial".
Doh.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 11:37 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: RSE
Programs: AA Exp|VA Platinum
Posts: 11,708
With that amount of travel all on AA could you not see if they will comp you to PLT status?
bensyd is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 11:42 am
  #12  
Moderator, OneWorld
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: SEA
Programs: RAA RIP; AA ExEXP
Posts: 10,226
Originally Posted by bensyd
With that amount of travel all on AA could you not see if they will comp you to PLT status?
They don't comp; the challenge takes its place. But with premium RTs to the US, one RT (except LHR-BOS) would make the Plat challenge, in fact the 100% mileage bonus kicks in on the segment where you cross the 10,000 point threshold, so on LHR-JFK, the bonus would apply on the return portion.
Gardyloo is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 12:32 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold(OWE), QF LTG, MR Plat, IHG Spire, Hertz PC
Posts: 8,156
Originally Posted by Gardyloo
One thing about non-Atlantic FFPs is that most require a certain number of sponsor metal flights annually to retain status (e.g. four QF metal flights etc.) That might be an issue for you given your travel patterns.
Whilst in the terms and conditions this is the case, I don't believe QF actually enforce the 4 flights rule.
Traveloguy is offline  
Old Oct 6, 06, 12:34 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold(OWE), QF LTG, MR Plat, IHG Spire, Hertz PC
Posts: 8,156
Originally Posted by Gardyloo
They don't comp; the challenge takes its place.
I think OW is unique in that all member airlines don't comp. Whilst I believe there are a few exceptions to this rule, it is usually in very unique situations.
Traveloguy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread