Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Global Airline Alliances > SkyTeam
Reload this Page >

Which Skyteam program to choose?

Which Skyteam program to choose?

Old Nov 18, 05, 1:41 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: WAW
Programs: LH SEN, HH Silver VIP
Posts: 83
Which Skyteam program to choose?

Dear all!

I'm a *A gold but have been bought an AZ ticket in C by a client to fly from VIE via MXP to CCS. As I'm not a member of any Skyteam program, which should I choose? Alitalia's ffp or klm's?

Any member out there to reference me (so we both get the best deal)

I will do pretty much everything that gets me the best deal in miles and whatever I can do with it lateron.

Regards,
Rob_VIE
rob_vie is offline  
Old Nov 26, 05, 5:49 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: VIEAMS
Programs: FB,BD,LH,EK,PC,HH,MR
Posts: 821
I suggest you stick with AZ cos you have AZ paid ticket. Also think to which airline you fly the most.
jexelot is offline  
Old Dec 5, 05, 3:39 pm
  #3  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 159
Question

I bought in these days my first ticket with KLM. As I am not yet a member of SkyTeam I am thinking about switching from *Gold to SkyTeam. I am currently Swiss Gold and therefore I will be *Gold from April 1st. Since I do not want to fly LH, SkyTeam might be my answer to the Swiss deal.

Which Sky program shall I chose? I need basically very cheap European awards, possibly with free routing and stopover.

The miles from bought tickets shall be credited to a reasonable minimum (e.g. 1'000 for each segment)...
Michael Tantini is offline  
Old Dec 5, 05, 8:08 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 24,885
Originally Posted by Michael Tantini
I bought in these days my first ticket with KLM. As I am not yet a member of SkyTeam I am thinking about switching from *Gold to SkyTeam. I am currently Swiss Gold and therefore I will be *Gold from April 1st. Since I do not want to fly LH, SkyTeam might be my answer to the Swiss deal.

Which Sky program shall I chose? I need basically very cheap European awards, possibly with free routing and stopover.

The miles from bought tickets shall be credited to a reasonable minimum (e.g. 1'000 for each segment)...
Well, FB has reasonable award rates (20/25k for Europe) and decent availability (if you are Elite), but to get the level miles is a pain, because the cheap fares only give 25% :-( . If you fly a lot on expensive tickets, it might be a good option (or tickets coded on DL, AZ, CO, they all give full miles). AZ probably has the best miles/flight, 1.2k minimum (FB is 750) for international flights (but AZ is almost bankrupt). Free routing on award flights is possible, but you have to go through customer support and stopovers are only possible for intercontinental flights (this is for FB). Some people recommend OK. It is hard, all airlines are cutting back nowadays on benefits; FB at least gives you 100% Plat bonus (70+k miles/year) and lounge access from 40+k miles, plus free upgrades on domestic NW flights.

Last edited by cfischer; Dec 6, 05 at 7:44 am Reason: error
cfischer is offline  
Old Dec 6, 05, 3:54 am
  #5  
Moderator: Flying Blue (Air France & KLM), France and TravelBuzz!
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Paris, France, AF F+ Rouge pour toujours, Flying Blue whatever, LH FTL, HHonors Gold, formerly proud SCC Executive, now IC Ambassador, BA down to nobody, Grand Voyageur Le Club
Posts: 12,237
Originally Posted by cfischer
Some people recommend CZ.
You probably mean OK (Czech Airlines), CZ is China Southern
JOUY31 is offline  
Old Dec 6, 05, 7:43 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 24,885
Originally Posted by JOUY31
You probably mean OK (Czech Airlines), CZ is China Southern
; note to myself, proof-read!
cfischer is offline  
Old Dec 7, 05, 6:18 am
  #7  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, ex-BD Gold, SPG Gold, HH Gold
Posts: 2,039
I have a similar dilemma. The considerations:

- Current AA Gold and BD Silver, but not requalifying on either for 2006 due to excessive travel on SU (but not enough for SU status).
- MOW based, with most business travel to LON and long-haul travel to USA.
- Planned traveling to and within the US on DL and NW in the next 2 months.
- Historical accumulation of approximately 70,000+ miles on NW, 60,000+ on DL, 3,000 on CO (all either orphaned miles or non-flight earning, and pre-date SkyTeam and other reciprocity).
- Also have a significant number of UK-based Amex MR points, which can go to DL, CO, VS, BD (also AF, but at a poor rate).
- Short-haul traffic in Europe focuses on non-stops, meaning most frequently SU.
- I expect that I should be able to match to bottom-tier Elite status in the chosen program. DL only gives +25%, but NW and CO are +50%. All three give +100% for mid-tier.
- DL is currently the only one of the three serving MOW, though CO is expected to start EWR-DME next year. DL alone generally has better pricing to my key US destinations than connections on AF, etc.
- SU is reportedly to join SkyTeam in early 2006, which may necessitate a further re-assessment--either earn on DL/CO/NW for travel on SU, or switch all earnings to SU (likely to depend on various mileage-earning and redemption rules and other benefits that are specific to my travel patterns).
- AZ, AF and OK are of little appeal, as I see myself as unlikely to make significant numbers of flights on their respective metal.

Considering the above, NW and DL seem to be the best options, as I already have significant balances in both (I would prefer not to start accumulating in yet another program). From postings on FT I gather that CO is in many respects favorable to either, and the lack of transferability from Amex MR argues against NW. Does this mean that DL, which in general does not receive raving reviews on FT (and whose transatlantic product I abhor) is the best option?

What other recommendations does the general FT membership have?

Last edited by chalf; Dec 7, 05 at 6:22 am Reason: Clarifying question
chalf is offline  
Old Dec 8, 05, 10:54 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: NW Plat, CO Plat
Posts: 353
Originally Posted by chalf
I have a similar dilemma.
...
Considering the above, NW and DL seem to be the best options, as I already have significant balances in both (I would prefer not to start accumulating in yet another program). From postings on FT I gather that CO is in many respects favorable to either, and the lack of transferability from Amex MR argues against NW. Does this mean that DL, which in general does not receive raving reviews on FT (and whose transatlantic product I abhor) is the best option?

What other recommendations does the general FT membership have?

Pfeww... that's quite a lot of factors to take into account!

I think you nailed down to the 2 programs that would fit your travel patterns the best, i.e NW/ DL

My preference would go to NW because

1. If you plan to reach Silver level, the Elite bonus is better on NW - as you mentioned already. If you fly approx 25000 miles a year, difference would amount to 6250 bonus miles a year.

2. As a NW Plat, I have always been very well treated on DL flights and had no problem getting the perks attached to Elite status (priority check-in, boarding, luggage handling etc.) with the exception of getting preferred seats in advance (DL computers have problem recognizing partners airlines Elite status) => even if you're "stuck" with flying on DL out of MOW, I wouldn't worry being a NW elite.

3. Not sure about European customer service, but I had better experience with the US based NW call center than DL's one (but I am not an elite on DL).
DL has outsourced part of its call centers to India and quality can be sometimes poor and very frustrating (e.g. I had to spend 25 minutes to explain the concept of Elite status/ preferred seating, and another 5 minutes to explain that KLM is a dutch airlines, not the city of Kuala Lumpur )

4. YMMV but I find that NW has good rewards availability (much better than CO), including on its partners like KLM that has a very good network out of Europe. NW has a good online award search tool (you can search on most of the partners too). Again, I am not a DL FFP program member so I can't comment on them, but if you have a llok at DL forum, it looks like awards availability are sometimes hard/ frustrating to get (blackout, etc.)

The only element that would make me consider DL is the US domestic flights upgrade:

DL and NW offer free domestic upgrades (when inventory is made available) to their Elites. However DL Elite can only have them on DL operated flights while NW elites can get it on NW and CO operated flights, not on DL

=> if domestic upgrade is more important to you and if you plan to use DL more than NW (on routes that operate with a FC cabin), you might switch to DL program.

Just my 2 cents!

Last edited by BBT in NY; Dec 8, 05 at 10:56 pm
BBT in NY is offline  
Old Jan 1, 06, 9:08 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bern,Switzerland
Programs: HH Gold
Posts: 37
Happy New Year to everyone!
It`s my first post here, please bear with me. I`m currently AZ Ulisse member and expect to make 50 k miles in 2006 to qualify for Freccia Alata but I`m not sure whether Millemiglia is the best program for me as I normally fly with CO or Delta. Which program should I choose?
flushy is offline  
Old Jan 1, 06, 2:18 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 24,885
Originally Posted by flushy
Happy New Year to everyone!
It`s my first post here, please bear with me. I`m currently AZ Ulisse member and expect to make 50 k miles in 2006 to qualify for Freccia Alata but I`m not sure whether Millemiglia is the best program for me as I normally fly with CO or Delta. Which program should I choose?
Welcome to Flyertalk. The 50k for ST Elite Plus is not bad and gets you a lot of perks on the ST network. It all depends on a) your travel pattern and b) your preferences. If you have a lot of intra-US travel, you might want to consider a program with free F-class upgrades; if you have a good # of intra-Europe flights, look for a program with a generous min. mileage accrual (AZ is not bad with 1.2k!). 50k does not get you far enough on CO and DL to get international lounge access, FB does this with 40+k miles. The 50% elite bonus with AZ is not very impressive and you can get up to 100% bonus with the US programs, or 75% with FB. It is less important on which metal you fly, it is more important to find the little annoying details in every program (e.g. certain booking classes earn none or reduced mileage). e.g. I am FB Plat, but I often fly DL, CO, or NW to earn my miles, since KL and AF have some nasty 25% earning classes. I am not sure about CO<->DL, but NW/CO and NW/DL will not earn 100% EQMs in all booking classes.
I would think about what is important for you (lounge access, F-class upgrades, elite bonus) and check the various programs regarding mileage accrual with your std travel pattern. Hope that helps.
Christian
cfischer is offline  
Old Jan 3, 06, 11:57 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Bern,Switzerland
Programs: HH Gold
Posts: 37
Thank you, cfischer. I`m mostly interested in lounge access and free F-class upgrades. Besides I rarely take intra-Europe flights so 1,2k miles from AZ aren`t very useful to me. From what I saw Alata Club as well as FB Plat. don`t allow free F-class upgrades.
flushy is offline  
Old Jan 5, 06, 8:53 am
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 24,885
Originally Posted by flushy
Thank you, cfischer. I`m mostly interested in lounge access and free F-class upgrades. Besides I rarely take intra-Europe flights so 1,2k miles from AZ aren`t very useful to me. From what I saw Alata Club as well as FB Plat. don`t allow free F-class upgrades.
FB DOES give you free F-class upgrades on NW for intra-US flights (one of the most important perks of FB ^ ). As Gold you have ~75% chance of an upgrade and as a Plat >95% . For OPUP it is a different story, if Y is oversold you have some chance as Plat. Lounge access is free with FB with 40+k miles (gold) and an elite plus member you also get skyteam lounge access worldwide. So if you can't make a US-based Plat (75+k) and your objective is lounge access and domestic US F-upgrades, FB might be a good choice for you (just be aware that the customer service is close to not existing and certain low fare classes on KL/AF/NW give 25% miles only; AZ flights earn 100% miles as well as CO and DL on all revenue classes).
cfischer is offline  
Old Jan 6, 06, 12:50 am
  #13  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 159
Lounge access with Sky Team?

Pfuig. It is getting too complicated. Maybe I have to chose my skyteam program by random?

ps: lounge acces if flying >40k/year. is this acces only when flying skyteam or with just any airline?
Michael Tantini is offline  
Old Jan 6, 06, 7:54 am
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, MR LTT, HH Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 24,885
Originally Posted by Michael Tantini
Pfuig. It is getting too complicated. Maybe I have to chose my skyteam program by random?

ps: lounge acces if flying >40k/year. is this acces only when flying skyteam or with just any airline?
Flying Skyteam or on a Skyteam flight number operated by whatever.
cfischer is offline  
Old Jan 18, 06, 9:40 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA, Europe
Programs: DL Plat, NW Plat(x2), BMI Gold, IC Ambassador, etc
Posts: 1,685
Sooo....

Anyone have any consistent opinion of which is better, WP or SM for someone based out of the states flying europe/asia several times a year...

Any comments on award availability between NW vs DL (or are both headed the same way as nonepass ) - I've been able to get skysaver this past year as a FO.
gpan is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: