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*G wants to switch to ST...

*G wants to switch to ST...

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Old Feb 11, 08, 6:11 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: YUL-YQB-BTV
Programs: SPG Platinum / PC Gold
Posts: 4,341
*G wants to switch to ST...

I'm AC Elite (*Gold with the Star Alliance). New travel patterns are forcing me to look into a different alliance.

I'll be travelling to LYS quite often over the next year and I like the fact that I can do it through CDG or AMS with AF or KL.

I'll also be travelling a fair bit in the US, hence my questions...

What airline in the ST offers status match?

What airline in the ST offers better change of upgrades on cross-Atlantic trips?

I don't mind having to fly to through the US, so I'm pretty flexible..

Looking forward to read your advices!!
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Old Feb 11, 08, 9:46 am
  #2  
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The potential problem is that whichever ST FFP you join, particularly a U.S. one, may drastically change in the next few years (NW, DL) if not leave ST completely (e.g., CO).

The U.S. airlines all give you domestic/transborder UGs free on their own metal, and NW-CO have a reciprocity arrangement for this but remember the caveat above. Flying Blue gives you UGs on NW + NW lounge access when flying domestically.

Only DL gives int'l upgrades to top elites (DL but these require a relatively high fare). NW has a limited upgrade promotion and you need to fly 120k miles to earn them (just 2 but these are less restricted by fare and inventory).

CO may be most convenient for your travel patterns but EWR is very congested at times and CO may end up leaving ST.

If you fly directly from YUL to CDG/AMS, being on the home carrier (i.e., AF/KL) may give you the best chances of an OpUp. Flying Blue also has low qualification levels (40K for Gold which would give you lounge access, 70k for Platinum).

I'd reconsider your willingness to fly through a U.S. airport at least on the way back in from Europe as entry clearance at EWR and DTW can be long (some say even for U.S. citizens at the latter).
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Old Feb 12, 08, 7:15 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
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I'd fly directly to/from Europe as much as possible and avoid the USA. There are a number of flights available direct from YUL or YYZ and you can avoid the pain that is US clearance. And I'd go with FlyingBlue as the FFP, though I don't know if they'll match.

Why do you need to switch to SkyTeam? Can't you just fly via FRA or ZRH and connect to an LH flight down to LYS, or via LHR and a BD connection, same as connecting via CDG/AMS (probably better than CDG, actually)? Within the USA you've got UA and US, which provide pretty good coverage.

Just some other options...
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Old Feb 12, 08, 7:24 am
  #4  
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Previous posters have covered things quite well, but there's one thing you need to bear in mind when flying AF.

WATCH THE AIRPORTS. Many LYS flights from/to Paris will use ORY. While there are flights between Lyon and CDG, it's too easy to just buy the connection "suggested" by the AF (or other) website and subsequently find that you have to take the coach across town to make your connection.
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Old Feb 14, 08, 11:13 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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I would go with FB and try to keep North America travel on NW so as to maximize potential upgrades. The low qualification levels are a definite incentive and FB Gold gives you ST E+ unlike DL/NW/CO or FB members living in the US. The only problem is, to my knowledge FB do not offer status match. There was a status match one a few months ago for UK based travellers but it was not extended across the Atlantic.
I usually have a high level of success (50%+) for op-ups on AF between YUL and CDG.
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