Switch to China Southern?

Old Dec 12, 16, 12:58 pm
  #1  
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Switch to China Southern?

Hi All,

I'm looking at switching my business to China Southern. I fly frequently (5-6x per year) from SFO to CAN. CZ serves this direct on a 787. I've been on United forever, but I'm looking to switch because I can cut a significant amount of time off my trip by going direct and many hours over the course of a year.

I always fly economy because I'm paying the bill myself. I'm currently 1K with United, but that is a fluke. Most years I'm at the platinum level, but with the increased PQD requirements that looks to be unrealistic in the future. I've been upgraded exactly once in all the years of flying across the pacific. My upgrades all get used for domestic flights.

Presumably, I'd stick with United/Southwest for domestic.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience with the China Southern SkyPearl program. How does is work out? Is there a superior option for socking away the miles?

Any strong opinions?

Thanks!
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Old Dec 12, 16, 4:37 pm
  #2  
 
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Please check out the program carefully as the cheapest economy fare available might not even earn you anything:

V, Z, T, N, R Class earns 25%
U, A, L, E, Q Class earns 50%
F, I, O, S, Z, X, G CLass earns 0%.

5 X return trip a year with V class will not even make you the lowest tier with CZ. You need to understand what type of fare class you would normally book into. Most people gain their status with CZ through sectors flown domestically in China or Business/First Class flights.
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Old Dec 12, 16, 5:45 pm
  #3  
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China Southern is a Skyteam member, as is Delta http://www.skyteam.com/en
http://www.wheretocredit.com/china-southern-airlines for redeemable ff miles. May not be correct, as is different to post 2 .

What are your objectives from a ffp?

The airline you fly most or an airline of the country you live is the best ffp for many people. Generally you are better earning on your primary airline due to greater recognition, better service when disruptions, ability to upgrade flights and possible operational upgrades.

Earning miles from non flying activities is easier with an airline of your home country.

Some to many economy fares do not earn 100% on any airline ffp. Some earn nil ff miles, even if flown on the airline of your fffp. For redeemable miles look at www.wheretocredit.com Determining status earning is much harder.

Frequent flyer miles are not equal to earn or burn between ffp’s. 10,000 frequent flyer miles in 1 ffp may get you a longer award flight than 15,000 frequent flyer miles in another ffp.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/skyte...i-sign-up.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...help-here.html
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Old Dec 14, 16, 12:54 am
  #4  
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CZ is an okay airline - good seats but food/beverage/service is not (yet) that good. However the latter are better than previously each time I fly them.

On some days of the week CZ's CAN-SFO flight is via WUH. This is on the same aircraft and the domestic to international transit at WUH is fairly straitforward, but adds a bit of time to the trip.
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Old Dec 14, 16, 9:13 am
  #5  
 
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Take a long view

While you pay for your own flights (as I do), since you fly that route quite often, you might consider flying some of those in Business. CZ are CONSIDERABLY cheaper than UA and not too difficult to get to G level. If I read it correctly there is a two-year roll over of status...but you can check. I've been very happy with the service. Flying with non-US airlines takes a bit of a mindshift.
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Old Dec 14, 16, 9:51 am
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I've just flown 2x 12+ hour trips on the 787 (albeit LHR-CAN and CAN-LHR) and the economy seats are awful. However it was direct and cheap in comparison to other carriers.
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Old Dec 14, 16, 12:57 pm
  #7  
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Thanks, everyone.

I agree that flying the Asian airlines is a bit different. I've been at it a while, mostly inside China, so it's not a huge shock.

Economy seats are awful on United, too. No big downgrade there.

I'd happily book through Delta, but they double the price for the privilege, plus, unless I'm going to buy business I'll never get to the higher status tiers. I'm not intending to pay for that privilege anytime soon. Plus, they severely penalize you on miles when you book through CZ.

For what it's worth, China Southern always tries to upsell you into a higher class. Given the status and the mileage accrual rate differences, it looks to be a wash between paying the lowest fare and paying $75-$100 more to accrue the miles faster.

I'll take a look, I guess it's mostly about status if something goes wrong!
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Old Dec 14, 16, 1:20 pm
  #8  
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There are a few things about Sky Pearl club you might want to know before looking at it

1. They call it EQM but they calculate in kms. If you are used to miles that might might throw you off a bit, but all in all the unit doesn't really matter
2. They have COS multipliers on the EQS, which is very interesting. It means that J and F earns multiple qualifying segments on every flight, meaning qualifying on segments on short trips is easier. But a lot of fares earns 0 EQS, so beware
3. There is no Tier bonus on EQM or EQS so earning tier is as easy/difficult regardless if you are new or already have elite status.

Last edited by intuition; Dec 14, 16 at 1:27 pm
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Old Dec 17, 16, 9:19 pm
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You're not earning much flying UA Y and you're probably over paying since CZ is usually cheaper.

If you're on your own dime you should book through an travel agency that is strong with CZ.

Your savings on CZ will definitely overcome any miles received. I don't think you'll need travel insurance since you're not connecting anywhere and just going directly so TA is okay.
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Old Dec 19, 16, 3:50 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by TennisNoob View Post
You're not earning much flying UA Y and you're probably over paying since CZ is usually cheaper.

If you're on your own dime you should book through an travel agency that is strong with CZ.

Your savings on CZ will definitely overcome any miles received. I don't think you'll need travel insurance since you're not connecting anywhere and just going directly so TA is okay.
You are 100% correct... However, if OP is flying CZ regularly and has no status at all, can't really call it "switch to CZ"
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