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Need advice on which *A FF scheme to join? - please post here

Need advice on which *A FF scheme to join? - please post here

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Old Jul 15, 18, 1:49 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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A number of threads have been started with members asking for guidance on which mileage programme they should join. In order to help users I have started this thread to allow people to post their requests for information here and to allow people to offer assistance.

For members asking for information please help people to assist you, can you provide:

(1) What is your home airport? (SFO, LAX, MCO, etc.)
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? (C, F, Y, etc.)
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? (<25K, 25k-50k, >50k)
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? (UA Silver, M&M Senator etc)
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? (Frequent upgrades on travel, priority services when flying the airline, good award redemption rates, free lounge access, etc.)
(6) Which routes do you fly most often (US Domestic, Transpacific etc)
(7) Preferred Airlines
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? (Can you chooose your airlines, class of service?)


GENERAL INFORMATION:


If you fly less than 50k miles per year: it is almost guaranteed that your choice will be between Aegean Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Asiana Airlines. Please look up these airlines' frequent flier programs, and make a decision as to which best suits your needs.

Some considerations to take into account:

Airlines tend to treat members of their own frequent flier program better than members of other frequent flier programs. If you fly one of these airlines, it is recommended that you choose that airline.

Some airlines have better earning/redemption charts for your pattern. For example, if you fly on cheap fares on a certain airline often, Turkish might give you miles for it, while Aegean might not. However, Turkish Airlines might charge much more for the redemption that you want to make than Aegean.

Asiana Airlines offers lifetime Star Alliance Gold for 500k miles over life. The other 2 airlines do not offer this benefit.

Asiana Airlines has a credit card in the USA and some other countries. If you are interested in credit cards, check to make sure that the program that you join has a credit card in your country.
If you still aren't sure which frequent flyer program is for you after looking these up, feel free to ask on this thread.
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Old Dec 7, 18, 9:49 pm
  #2116  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: UA 1P, SPG Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 10
Hey team!

I have been living in Japan for quite some time, and was generally happy w/ United MP, but recently my company policy changed to allow Premium Economy (which US airlines don't do) so I find my self flying NH almost exclusively on ~3-4 trips overseas each year. Typically Tokyo <=> NYC, SFO, ORD, w/ maybe a Europe trip mixed in here and there.

This was the first year that I almost missed getting status due to the '4 United metal segment' rule (will hit Premier Platinum in the end), so I'm wondering if this is the year to switch to the ANA program and whether the benefits make sense.
(Assuming this pattern continues, i.e., 3-4 Int'l trips, Premium Economy, 50-75k miles).

I already have switched spending to Chase Sapphire Reserve so I'm not super concerned w/ where my miles go, but do care about redemption, ideally for business class Int'l trips.
Also, it looks like once I reach Platinum? Diamond? (*A Gold) I can get a ANA credit card here that keeps me at Gold indefinitely, which seems like a good option.

If anyone w/ insight into the two programs (or any other programs I should consider) has ideas, please let me know!

(1) What is your home airport? HND/NRT
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? Premium Economy (ANA) to the US
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 50-75k
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? UA Premier Platinum
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Redemption for vacations, lounge access, being treated nice/upgrades
(6) Which routes do you fly most often Tokyo to NYC/SFO, sometimes via ORD
(7) Preferred Airlines NH, UA, SG (when flying to SG)
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Mostly work in Premium Economy
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Old Dec 7, 18, 9:54 pm
  #2117  
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Originally Posted by vitold View Post
..I have been living in Japan for quite some time, and was generally happy w/ United MP, but recently my company policy changed to allow Premium Economy (which US airlines don't do) so I find my self flying NH almost exclusively on ~3-4 trips overseas each year. Typically Tokyo <=> NYC, SFO, ORD, w/ maybe a Europe trip mixed in here and there.
AA have real premium economy on some aircraft and no longer have a 4 segment rule.
How long will you living Japan for? For ever or some months/years?
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Old Dec 8, 18, 1:12 am
  #2118  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Programs: UA 1P, SPG Platinum, Hilton Gold
Posts: 10
Hey thanks! I didn't know AA was doing a Premium economy now. That might be a good idea, and they might even status match me from UA, but it looks like it is only NRT-LAX at this point, and I do a lot more SFO/ORD so I'm most likely to stick w/ Star Alliance.
I've been in Japan 10 years, and who knows how long, but yes could be a long time (I am a permanent resident).
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Old Dec 16, 18, 6:01 am
  #2119  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Toronto
Programs: Aeroplan
Posts: 1
Altitude or Sheba or something else

(1) What is your home airport? YYZ

(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? (C, F, Y, etc.) Lowest economy fare (usually)

(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? (<25K, 25k-50k, >50k) More than 50K

(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? (UA Silver, M&M Senator etc) Altitude 35K (flown more than 50K miles but not enough AQD).

(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? (Frequent upgrades on travel, priority services when flying the airline, good award redemption rates, free lounge access, etc.) Upgrades and redemption. Lounge access is not important as I can get it reimbursed.

(6) Which routes do you fly most often (US Domestic, Transpacific etc) Toronto to East Africa (ADD, KGL, NBO)

(7) Preferred Airlines - none

(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? (Can you chooose your airlines, class of service?) This is my first year on a traveling job. Company policy is lowest fare (work in an NGO). About 70K miles on work travel and flew 4 times for vacation but did not earn any points on them (Swoop, BA, AirTranSat)

Joined a new job earlier this year that takes me to East Africa every 5-6 weeks. My most frequent route is YYZ ADD. I have tried to get status on AC but fell just short of 6K AQD for *A Gold. I am thinking of switching to ET (Sheba Miles). I have a few questions -
a) I want to use the miles for personal travel/vacation. If I switch to Sheba miles, will I be able to redeem miles for US/Canada travel from YYZ? (I have not yet redeemed any miles from this year)

b) There is a direct flight from YYZ to ADD. I had signed up for Altitude/Aeroplan but flew on ET tickets for the first few trips this year. I only realized it mid year that I was not earning any AQD. So I switched to AC flights, but all of them have a stopover in Europe which is usually 4-10 hours. With my frequent trips, I am finding the long layovers are increasingly painful. For 2018, I have earned ~70K miles in my Aeroplan account.

c) Apart from Altitude and Sheba miles, is there any other program that I should consider? I would fly at least 7-8 YYZ-ADD trips in 2019 and some more to Kigali and Nairobi.

Thanks! FF Newbie
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Old Dec 16, 18, 9:59 am
  #2120  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 1
1) What is your home airport? LJU
2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? mixed economy, Q, K,V,Y
3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? ~ 90 segments, ~66000 miles
4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? no
5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Fast track, lounge access, isle seat preferance
6) Which routes do you fly most LJU-MUC-AMS, LJU-...-ORD-STL

I am doing tons of short europeam flights, usually on low economy fares, lije Q,K,V, sometimes I get Y.

I am also traveling to US almost every month. Ussualy on liw economy class K, V, Q, sometimes Y.

I am doing way more segments than miles. Europen flights are ussualy 600 miles or less long. My primarly goal is fast track access, busines lounge and better seats (isle seats).

Which FF do you recomend?
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Old Dec 17, 18, 2:02 am
  #2121  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: Alaska airlines
Posts: 1
What is my home airport. ANC.
What type of fares do I buy. Cheapest.
How many miles do I fly. 40k on AS
Do I have status. Yes, on Alaska.
What is important to me in a FFP. Reward miles.
i travel a bit for work but I want to travel internationally for fun as much and cheaply as possible. A lot of the cheaper international airlines aren’t partners with AS so I was looking to join another for that purpose.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 12:10 pm
  #2122  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: YYZ
Programs: Air Canada Altitude (E50K)/Aeroplan (Diamond), Marriott-SPG Rewards (Gold Elite), IHG (Gold Elite)
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by insat3d View Post
(1) What is your home airport? YYZ

(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? (C, F, Y, etc.) Lowest economy fare (usually)

(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? (<25K, 25k-50k, >50k) More than 50K

(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? (UA Silver, M&M Senator etc) Altitude 35K (flown more than 50K miles but not enough AQD).

(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? (Frequent upgrades on travel, priority services when flying the airline, good award redemption rates, free lounge access, etc.) Upgrades and redemption. Lounge access is not important as I can get it reimbursed.

(6) Which routes do you fly most often (US Domestic, Transpacific etc) Toronto to East Africa (ADD, KGL, NBO)

(7) Preferred Airlines - none

(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? (Can you chooose your airlines, class of service?) This is my first year on a traveling job. Company policy is lowest fare (work in an NGO). About 70K miles on work travel and flew 4 times for vacation but did not earn any points on them (Swoop, BA, AirTranSat)

Joined a new job earlier this year that takes me to East Africa every 5-6 weeks. My most frequent route is YYZ ADD. I have tried to get status on AC but fell just short of 6K AQD for *A Gold. I am thinking of switching to ET (Sheba Miles). I have a few questions -
a) I want to use the miles for personal travel/vacation. If I switch to Sheba miles, will I be able to redeem miles for US/Canada travel from YYZ? (I have not yet redeemed any miles from this year)

b) There is a direct flight from YYZ to ADD. I had signed up for Altitude/Aeroplan but flew on ET tickets for the first few trips this year. I only realized it mid year that I was not earning any AQD. So I switched to AC flights, but all of them have a stopover in Europe which is usually 4-10 hours. With my frequent trips, I am finding the long layovers are increasingly painful. For 2018, I have earned ~70K miles in my Aeroplan account.

c) Apart from Altitude and Sheba miles, is there any other program that I should consider? I would fly at least 7-8 YYZ-ADD trips in 2019 and some more to Kigali and Nairobi.

Thanks! FF Newbie
Welcome to the forum (from one fellow Newbie to another!)

Even though I don't know the intricacies of the Sheba Miles program or particular pros/cons, but from what you're describing it seems you will absolutely be much better off with Sheba Miles rather than Air Canada Altitude. Altitude is the worst for upgrades, unless you are flying much more than what you do and in premium fares/cabins. As for the redemptions part, I don't have any experience with what redeeming reward flights on the Sheba Miles system is like - but maybe call Aeroplan and see if there's a way to transfer miles? Another thing to bear in mind is whatever changes there will be with Air Canada and Aeroplan in 2020...if that will make earning/transferring miles on your aeroplan account from other airlines frequent flyer programs (such as Sheba Miles) easier.
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Old Dec 23, 18, 6:54 am
  #2123  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 648
My home airport is West palm Beach (can use FLL or MIA)
i usually fly to SE asia in business
I have no status, I only use miles
I have alot of Marriot and AMEX points
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Old Dec 28, 18, 10:46 am
  #2124  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 1
(1) What is your home airport? ARN
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? Lowest economy fare (usually)
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? (5k)
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? None
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Good earning and redemption rates, anything works
(6) Which routes do you fly most often shorthaul within Europe.
(7) Preferred Airlines Austrian or ethiopian but they seem to not fly from ARN anymore .
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Pleasure. Free to choose how to fly.

Thanks for any help
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Old Jan 11, 19, 3:23 pm
  #2125  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 648
which program gives the best value for a one way business class from US to Europe, (eg MIA-ZRH), Mia-Fra. Is there better value than aeroplan? It said 55k for mia-zrh, which seems reasonable, I have amex, marriot, chase pts I can transfer to a program
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Old Jan 11, 19, 3:59 pm
  #2126  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
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Originally Posted by bernyx View Post
Which program gives the best value for a one way business class from US to Europe, (eg MIA-ZRH), Mia-Fra. Is there better value than Aeroplan? It said 55k for MIA-ZRH, which seems reasonable, I have Amex, Marriott, Chase pts I can transfer to a program
Value means nothing if you cannot find award availability. USA Eu business class awards can be hard to extremely hard to get. And some ffp's have cash surcharges (Aeroplan, AA using BA flights and others) While many credit cards transfer at 1:1 with hotels it can be different.

A very general guide for ff miles needed for awards, but consult the ffp web site.
AwardHacker: a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles --> Awardhacker.com
Link MIA ZRH--->http://www.awardhacker.com/#f=MIA&t=ZRH&o=1&c=j&s=1&p=0

Credit card transfer links
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Old Jan 11, 19, 4:30 pm
  #2127  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 648
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Value means nothing if you cannot find award availability. USA Eu business class awards can be hard to extremely hard to get. And some ffp's have cash surcharges (Aeroplan, AA using BA flights and others) While many credit cards transfer at 1:1 with hotels it can be different.

A very general guide for ff miles needed for awards, but consult the ffp web site.
AwardHacker: a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles --> Awardhacker.com
Link MIA ZRH--->AwardHacker

Credit card transfer links
thank you, that is helpful, and looks like lowest miles would be using asiana which I would not have thought of if available to use on swiss
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Old Jan 11, 19, 4:43 pm
  #2128  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 12,662
Originally Posted by bernyx View Post
Thank you, that is helpful, and looks like lowest miles would be using Asiana which I would not have thought of if available to use on Swiss
Award hacker is a general guide only.
You need the airline or a partner ff to fly the route.
Getting awards on partners can be harder than a flight operated by the airline.
You need to research the award rules for each ffp and how to book an award.
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Old Jan 12, 19, 7:30 am
  #2129  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 648
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Award hacker is a general guide only.
You need the airline or a partner ff to fly the route.
Getting awards on partners can be harder than a flight operated by the airline.
You need to research the award rules for each ffp and how to book an award.
Do you know if Asiana allows you to search for awards for partners if you have no miles in your acct? I tried but it kept asking me to verify my information. Also if you can determine the fuel charges if flights are available, thanks
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Old Jan 12, 19, 12:06 pm
  #2130  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 12,662
Originally Posted by bernyx View Post
Do you know if Asiana allows you to search for awards for partners if you have no miles in your acct? I tried but it kept asking me to verify my information. Also if you can determine the fuel charges if flights are available, thanks
No. Do not know
Look in the OZ forum-->https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/asiana-asiana-club-614/
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