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Which ST program should I sign up for?

Old Nov 6, 2016, 10:26 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Mwenenzi
If you already plan to focus on one particular alliance, please visit the sticky in the relevant forum: Deciding on a oneworld FFP or Which SkyTeam FFP or Choosing a Star FFP
Common which ffp thread Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!
List of frequent flyer programs from Wikipedia

Questionnaire: Copy and paste into your post
Provide the requested information.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply:

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply:

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply:

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply:

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply:

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply:

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply:

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply:
Print Wikipost

Which ST program should I sign up for?

Old Sep 14, 2017, 2:38 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: CPH
Programs: SK, A3, QR
Posts: 220
Hello FT,

I have had a couple of flights on China Eastern and Czech in business over the summer, but didn't sign up for any Skyteam program prior to flying. Might as well accumulate the miles, if possible.

Do you know of a ST FFP where it is possible to retro-register for flights from the past three months?

Thanks
groovyfly is offline  
Old Sep 14, 2017, 3:41 pm
  #107  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 21,238
Originally Posted by groovyfly
I have had a couple of flights on China Eastern and Czech in business over the summer, but didn't sign up for any Skyteam program prior to flying. Might as well accumulate the miles, if possible.

Do you know of a ST FFP where it is possible to retro-register for flights from the past three months?
Most ffp's require you to be a signed up member at the date of the flight.
Only a minority of airlines ffp allow to claim for flights prior to joining.
Some (old) retro information in post 2 here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...help-here.html

https://www.wheretocredit.com/czech-airlines/j
https://www.wheretocredit.com/china-eastern-airlines/j

I suspect you are too late.
alphaod and groovyfly like this.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Oct 3, 2017, 6:16 pm
  #108  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi
Most ffp's require you to be a signed up member at the date of the flight.
Only a minority of airlines ffp allow to claim for flights prior to joining.
Some (old) retro information in post 2 here http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/infor...help-here.html

https://www.wheretocredit.com/czech-airlines/j
https://www.wheretocredit.com/china-eastern-airlines/j

I suspect you are too late.
Thanks for the those links. I was actually going to post a question about that topic.

Also my mom had been flying MU maybe three-four round trips in J didn't bother to credit anything. Recently I forced her to sign up, they retrocredited her last three months so she jumped straight into MU Gold (80k EQP).
alphaod is offline  
Old Oct 3, 2017, 9:32 pm
  #109  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: LTN
Programs: Aeroflot Bonus, British Airways Executive Club
Posts: 469
1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply: long (at least 3 years) soft expiry, easy to get short haul economy award

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply: <10 k, most probably 2 - 5 k, about 2 to 6 sectors, on all alliances combined

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply: cheapest cabin

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply: For international sports competition

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply: Short-haul routes on Non-Hong Kong based airlines from Hong Kong

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply: HKG

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply: no status, 2763 in delta skymiles

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply: any non-HK based airlines

Is Delta Skymiles the best the me since it never expires? Is it of good value to redeem short haul economy flights, or accumulate for decades until I can redeem long-haul flights?
miklcct is offline  
Old Oct 9, 2017, 11:40 pm
  #110  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 246
I am currently Silver on Delta but that will likely end at the end of the year. I am not sure how to maximize my miles on Skyteam, because of where I travel I often end up flying Skyteam but many different carriers.

I live in China, but my family is in Cincinnati and with Delta's hub in DTW, and sorta hub really focus city in CVG, I usually fly Delta over the Pacific for the long flight.

In the previous year I have flown:
4 long hauls between China and the US on Delta.
6 short haul intra Asia flights on China Eastern.
4 short hauls on China Southern.
4 flights on Aeroflot, 2 between Beijing and Moscow, and 2 between Moscow and Europe.
1 short haul on KLM.

Even when I pay for first class tickets on China Eastern, I don't get many Delta miles. I only recieved about 2500 miles for my round trip PEK-Europe on Aeroflot. But, like I said Delta almost always takes me over the Pacific. China Eastern's website is pretty vague on earned partner miles. Should I switch to China Eastern, or do the 4 ultra long haul TPAC flights I take every year on Delta make Delta the best choice.

I have never seen a good price and schedule on China Eastern from China to CVG.
onuhistorian0116 is offline  
Old Oct 10, 2017, 3:47 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Barcelona
Programs: AAadvantage EXP, UA MilagePlus
Posts: 236
Considering switch from aa oneworld to skyteam

Caveat to the answers used to be AA EXEC PLAT for the past 10 years.

Given the revenue imposed DECIDED TO SWITCH

Home base is BCN. But have homes in MIA and PDP (Punta del Este, Uruguay). So travel often to the US and South America. Once in the US or South America do need short trips (US, EUROPE). Having tracked offers to South America AF-KLM paying with AMEX gives me a very reasonable fare for 2 (around 3600EUR).

Pay for my own tickets (there are 2 of us plus GUIDE DOG).

Ability to transfer CC miles is also important currently AMEX PLAT and IBERIA Sendo (only for those places that will not accept AMEX).

(1) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Soft expiry, Link to Credit Card, lounge access, ability to redeem miles (must say 90% of the times in the past have been able to secure OW award tkts for the routes that was looking NOT SURE WILL HAVE THE SAME LUCK WITH SKYTEAM)

(2) How many miles do you usually fly each year & in what class? How many flights/sectors?
Managed to fly 100K on AA

(3) What types of fares do you usually buy?
Used to buy mostly cheap economy fares but gradually moved to mostly or mixed J W

(4) Can you choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
YES. Pleasure and Work

(5) Which routes and airlines do you fly most often?
BCN-US, BCN-MVD, BCN-ASIA (pleasure and biz). Can easily position in order to get a better PREMIUM fare

(6) What is your home airport?
BCN

(7) Do you have FFP status of any kind in OW or other airline? What is it? Do you have any miles banked in a FFP?
Downgraded to gold on AA have some miles left

(8) Preferred Airlines? Most common Airlines flown on?
AA, IB, QR

Having said that my analysis has shown that AA will no longer suit me, seems that best bet is FLYING BLUE

This year my heavy travel will elapse into 2018 BUT GIVEN THAT FB GOES ON A CALENDAR YEAR will leave me with no elite status with them until at least mid 2018.

Let me know if I have missed anything and thanks in advance.

Best, JC
jcelio is offline  
Old Oct 26, 2017, 12:42 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 21
Adding Skyteam to my Elite Portfolio

AA Exec Platinum and QR Platinum -- No further need to "double-dip" at top level in two OneWorld programs.

For 2018 I am curious about adding SkyTeam to my Elite Portfolio. I currently am Flying Blue Silver -- no status with anyone else.

I am based in California USA


1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.

Elite Ground experience. 1) Access to preferred / extra legroom seats when flying Y, 2) Access to priority check-in and boarding when flying Y, Access to lounges when flying Y.

I really want the best possible treatment when flying on a discount fare with an alliance airline other than the one I have status.

Award redemption availability is my next most important concern.



2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.

Usually about 200,000 BIS -- Maybe 40-50 flights 3-4 rt across pacific, 3-4 across atlantic, 2-3 asia-europe, and some miscellaneous intra-regional flights.


3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy

60 percent will be discount economy. 30 percent discount business. Fly when I see a deal.


4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?

Yes 100 % at my discretion. Retired all my flying is for leisure.


5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply: Answered above.


6. What is your home airport?

Either LAX or SFO is a short SWA hop for me.


7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?

1.2 million AAdvantage, 400K QR Privilege Club, 300K United, 600K Avianca,


8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?

QR, CX, SQ, In SkyTeam perhaps VN and KE

Last edited by cplona; Oct 27, 2017 at 7:43 pm Reason: Spelling
cplona is offline  
Old Dec 2, 2017, 4:04 pm
  #113  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: YVR
Programs: OZ Diamond, Jiffypark Manhattan Gold
Posts: 4,485
1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
Lounge access if I flew enough to get the status, but mostly redemption. I wanna be able to get an award flight, even if it's just in Y with as low of BS charges as possible. Destination could be basically anywhere outside of NA, I'm super flexible and open to exploration, but having enough miles for a round trip from Canada to the continental US is nice to have around when needed in a pinch as well.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
On SKYTEAM, not many. Depends on what's cheap, I would say roughly twice a year flying YVR-MEX-_____ MDE/UIO/LIM/BOG. But this week I've also got a cheap fare on MU, they've often got cheap fares to south east asia so that might be an incentive.

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
Exclusively economy with the exception of perhaps a paid upgrade here and there. Usually the cheapest economy fare bucket as well.

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
YES (subject to finances) and 100% leisure.

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
Whatever is a good deal. The most likely is YVR-MEX-MDE.

6. What is your home airport?
YVR

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
I have Star Alliance Gold status, currently with Singapore, next 2 years it'll be via Asiana. I've got decent mileage balances in a handful of programs, with goal levels in mind to be able to make 1 redemption, then close the accounts out in all likelihood.

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
: Star Alliance, but ultimately my decision are mostly based on price. So using AM to go YVR-MEX-MDE with an average price of like $650 CAD return, it's hard to turn down when any star alliance option is minimum $800, AM often puts it on sale too, just bought one for like $450. Too cheap to turn down.
drvannostren is offline  
Old Jan 4, 2018, 4:20 pm
  #114  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Programs: Miles & More
Posts: 1
Any difference?

Looking for some advice on which FFP to join. Don't fly super frequently anymore, but when I do it's long haul. I also use SPG Amex to collect points that I can transfer to any program, but haven't figured out which program is best for me to join. Main goal is award redemption and / or upgrades. Status is not a goal at this point. Also curious, with the changes to the Flying Blue program, is there really any difference between Skymiles and FB after April, 2018? Is there perhaps some other ST program I should look at?
1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
award access, upgrades

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply: Less than 25,000

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply: usually economy, whatever is most reasonably priced

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply: Yes. Travel mostly for pleasure.

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply: Transatlantic

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply: YVR

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply: No status with anyone. Became Skymiles member when Delta took over NWA but haven't banked miles with them in 10 years.

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply: KLM
alicat81 is offline  
Old Feb 20, 2018, 7:35 am
  #115  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: LYS
Programs: FB Plat
Posts: 438
As I might be missing something:

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply: lounge access (!). Baggage allowance and priority service (getting used to it). Lifetime status is what makes me consider my current FFP.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply: 2016 I did ~40 segments with 4 one-way long trip (so 2 return trips)
2017 I did ~60 segments with 8 one-way long trip (3 return long trips - did a stop at ATL)
For 2018, I expect ~30-40 segments with maybe 4 one-way long trip (2 return trips)

Most of my segments are either domestic, or of similar distance, most of my intra-europe flights do around 1000km total.

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply: Economy

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply: Not for work - for volunteering. I am able to choose my airline, as long as my compensation can cover the cost.

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply: France to nearby European countries.

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply: Lyon (LYS, XYD). I never had to reach CDG/GVA by other means to get cheaper flights so far.

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply: AF Platinum (qualified through segments), 60k miles

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply: AF/KLM, Delta, LX. Not that experienced with airlines - I just dislike BA, UA, AA, AS, FI, EI, had a few negative experiences with LH and U2. A great KLM customer support made me register to the program, and AF/FB nice support made me stay.

I am unsure I could maintain my Flying Blue Platinum for long enough to become Plat4Life. Thus considering if I should stick to Gold and not bother about soft landing, maintain the routine (France-France flights being penalized are a minor worry), or switch to another FFP.
Zarmakuizz is offline  
Old Feb 26, 2018, 9:38 am
  #116  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Lincoln, UK
Programs: BA Gold, TK, DL, IHG Diamond, HHonours Gold, Hertz Presidents Club
Posts: 497
I fly OW and I used to do quite a bit with TK but I will loose my TK status end of this year. looking at other options

I fly with OW till I make my 1500 TP then usually look elsewhere. So ideally the airline that gives status the easiest.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply: status as in lounge access and priority boarding etc.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply: I actually don't know my mileage figures but its 50+ flight a years

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply: Business and PE

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply: Yes I can choose which airline, class depends. 85% for work

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply: I pretty much fly globally in equal measure. perhaps a bit more to Oceania and Latin America.

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply: geographically speak HUY, but usually LHR

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply: BAEC Gold and TK Elite (which I will loose end of 2018)

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply: in Skyteam, none
Leaping_Deere is offline  
Old Mar 10, 2018, 4:47 pm
  #117  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: LON
Programs: BAEC Gold, QRPC Silver, Hilton Gold, Bonvoy Gold
Posts: 265
1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
upgrades, priority services, baggage allowance, good award redemption rates, better award access, lounge access, etc.
>>> Reply: Good award redemption rates, miles that don't expire if there's activity

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
less than 25000 miles, 50000+ miles and 20-25 flights, etc.
>>> Reply: 40,000 miles, 15-20 flights

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
first, business, premium economy, economy
>>> Reply: Economy.

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply: Travel only for pleasure

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
transatlantic, domestic USA, intra-Asia, etc.
>>> Reply: Starting from summer this year - intra-Asia

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply: Currently London, but will be moving to Tokyo/Kuala Lumpur this summer

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply: not in any ST/S*. QR - 300k+, BA 200k+

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply: Garuda, Korean Air
ms101 is offline  
Old May 27, 2018, 3:24 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHX, SEA
Programs: Avis President's Club, Global Entry, Hilton/Marriott Gold. No more DL/AA status.
Posts: 4,432
Hey everyone,

I hope I can get some advice from all the experts! For the purposes of my post, I'm only looking for advice on which program, FB or Skymiles, is better when hunting J award tickets between US & EU. I don't fly Skyteam domestically so I'm not hunting FF Status perks like upgrades or bags, but have scored a good deal on a US-EU flight using Orbitz, ticketed as AF (057). If I credit to Delta as a 'bulk' fare I can expect about 18k miles. I can move Amex miles to either DL & FB program to fill in the gaps. I guess my only concern w/ FB is the 2 year (?) expiration, but I hear Skymiles have very low value when redeeming.

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
Award flights for J seats

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
Close to 25000mi

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
On Skyteam it's been J or F.

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
Pleasure

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
Transatlantic

6. What is your home airport?
Phoenix

7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
AAdvantage gold

8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
Domestically - nonstop; internationally - price
Gig103 is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2018, 6:04 pm
  #119  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: Der 5* FTL
Posts: 8,560
FlyingBlue has switched to revenue based system, so it's likely you won't get as good a return on that ticket on FB. Redemption is undergoing a change right now, it's hard to say how it will stabilize. Apparently there will always be availability going forward, but pricing will be dynamic so it might be a losing proposition for you compared to Skymiles even disregarding earning differences.

FB 2 years expiration gets reset with activity, besides, it looks like your activity will keep you at Silver at least, with no expiry.
Fabo.sk is offline  
Old Jun 7, 2018, 1:00 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: Hilton*G, UA*S
Posts: 14
Hello everyone,

Greetings! I am a Chinese national living in NYC for now. I am somehow satisfied with my UA*G for priority service. But I do extensive travel in South China and Delta seems to be a nice choice around NYC. I also noticed that ST actually offers me more choices for most of my flights (an extensive network of CZ/MU/KE/MF). I am looking for a program that can take me closer to awards with my limited (potentially expanding) flights on ST partners. I am currently with CZ Skypearl (no status). Redeeming their local flights seem to be easy but to do long-haul flight is more like a headache. (And they prefer upgrading passenger who "have never experienced J class". Believing this can increase revenue.) So I am kindly looking for advice from lovely folks here: should I just stick with CZ or any better idea?

1. What is most important to you in a frequent flyer program (FFP)?
>>> Reply: Better award access would be the most important. Priority service desirable.

2. How many miles do you usually fly each year? How many flights/sectors?
>>> Reply: 50000+ miles, likely ~80k miles. Around 40 flights

3. What fare class do you usually buy?
>>> Reply: I generally purchase discount economy with ST carriers (which makes DL looks bad). But I do travel on CZ's PE a lot.

4. Are you able to choose your airlines and/or class of service? Do you travel for work and/or pleasure?
>>> Reply: Generally yes but very limited. I think I travel for half work and half family need.

5. Which routes do you fly most often?
>>> Reply: Fly lots of TPAC flights (till now mostly on UA/CA/OZ). Also lots of intra-China and the domestic USA. I flew limited TransAtlantic as well.

6. What is your home airport?
>>> Reply:
NYC, intra-China typically PEK & CSX (Changsha)
7. Do you have status in any FFP? What is it? How miles do you have banked in each FFP, if any?
>>> Reply:
I am a UA*G (some 40k mileage in it). Generally for Skyteam, for now, I bank into CZ SkyPearl.
8. What are your preferred airlines, if any?
>>> Reply:
Uh not really. But China Southern is a go-to choice for CSX.

Thank you very much and look forward to your ideas!
liuking is offline  

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