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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
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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 Aug 25, 19, 7:41 pm
  #2191  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: YYZ
Programs: AC, Marriott
Posts: 293
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
Aeroplan would be a nice option for you as you're based in Canada but that won't give you lounge access on domestic flights.
Aeroplan (Altitude) status above 35K has domestic lounge access. Above 50k (which is also *G) has access to all Maple Leaf Lounges (other than the LHR arrival lounge).

UA does not grant United Club access on domestic itineraries.
TechnoTourist is online now  
Old Aug 25, 19, 7:47 pm
  #2192  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: BAEC Silver, TK M&S Elite Plus, KE SPC, PC Bolbol, KK Brnz, LCA Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy
Posts: 1,786
Originally Posted by TechnoTourist View Post
Aeroplan (Altitude) status above 35K has domestic lounge access. Above 50k (which is also *G) has access to all Maple Leaf Lounges (other than the LHR arrival lounge).

UA does not grant United Club access on domestic itineraries.
Messed up with UA.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 4:02 am
  #2193  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: HKG
Programs: MPC, Marriott, Hyatt
Posts: 400
(1) What is your home airport? HKG
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? Y for short hauls and PEY/J for long hauls
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 30-40K
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? CX Silver (previously Gold)
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Good award redemption (I'm planning to diversify into *A as I am finding better cash fares on *A airlines than sticking with OW - particularly EVA, Asiana, and TG)
(6) Which routes do you fly most often? Asia shorthaul, TPAC longhaul
(7) Preferred Airlines - EVA, ANA
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Both.

I used to be gold on Aegean, when I was based in the US. Now that I'm based in Asia, I was rethinking whether it even makes sense for me to park my *A miles in United (I had cleared out my account years ago but I bought some recent *A personal flights that I need to credit somewhere) or if there is a better Asia program that I should use (Asiana? EVA?). Advice welcome - generally, I prefer to fly HKG-TPE-US (as that's the shorter one-hop than HKG-ICN-US), but if the Asiana program is miles above the EVA program, I'm also fine with flying through Seoul more often.

Thanks!

Last edited by kawaii; Sep 5, 19 at 1:06 am
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Old Sep 10, 19, 1:06 am
  #2194  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Programs: Honors Diamond, Bonvoy Gold, Accor Gold, OW Sapphire, SIXT Diamond
Posts: 615
(1) What is your home airport? MYY
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? C
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 25k-50k
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? OneWorld Sapphire
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Redemption, and ability to hit a meaningful tier within reason
(6) Which routes do you fly most often. Asia to US, Europe
(7) Preferred Airlines. None

Based in Asia at the moment, and usually fly OneWorld.

Have a trip to Houston on TK flying C. KUL-IST-IAH and back at about 31k miles round trip according to the website. Is the Miles&Smiles program the one I should sign up with ? Or should I be looking at other *A to use ? I sometimes fly with Philippines Airlines as well (if that's any help.... )
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Old Sep 19, 19, 7:10 am
  #2195  

2019 Secret Santa
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: BOM/DEL/LHR
Programs: SK*D
Posts: 35
Shifting away from SK Eurobonus

  1. What is your home airport? BOM, DEL
  2. What types of fares do you usually buy? C or discounted C
  3. How many miles do you usually fly each year? 60k-70k
  4. Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? Scandinavian Airlines Eurobonus Diamond
  5. What is most important to you in a FFP? Status benefits + low surcharges on redemption + possibility of lifetime status
  6. Which routes do you fly most often? Domestic India, India - Europe, India - SE Asia, Intra Europe, and 1x India - USA trip per year
  7. Preferred Airlines? None
  8. Do you travel for work or pleasure? Both
I have Diamond status on Eurobonus currently, and will probably qualify another year of Diamond, which means I'll have *G at least until early 2022. My concern, however, is that after moving to India, I have not been able to get great earning rates on Eurobonus, and also a lot of Eurobonus feature are not available outside Europe (such as the welcome gift, or access to credit cards that can earn transfer points). Further, on my trips to and within India, flying Air India on Z (Business) would earn me 200% miles as per EB rules. This applied even when I booked in an economy fare code, then rebooked the same ticket into a Z code business fare (Air India has a very good upgrade policy that allows for very good value paid upgrade and rebooking). Recently, however, Air India's upgraded Z fare is only crediting mileage in the original booking code. I do not know if this is because of a change of policy on SK's part or whether AI is giving them incorrect information. This makes Eurobonus a little bit less appealing for me in the long run.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 1:17 pm
  #2196  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,259
Originally Posted by RanChin View Post
.. Further, on my trips to and within India, flying Air India on Z (Business) would earn me 200% miles as per EB rules. This applied even when I booked in an economy fare code, then rebooked the same ticket into a Z code business fare (Air India has a very good upgrade policy that allows for very good value paid upgrade and rebooking). Recently, however, Air India's upgraded Z fare is only crediting mileage in the original booking code. I do not know if this is because of a change of policy on SK's part or whether AI is giving them incorrect information. This makes Eurobonus a little bit less appealing for me in the long run.[/color]
Crediting on the original booking code is not unusual in upgrade situations: same with very many ffp's.
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Old Sep 19, 19, 9:30 pm
  #2197  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SMF - N. California
Programs: SOUTHWEST A-LIST, HH GOLD, SPG GOLD, AA EXEC PLAT
Posts: 1,948
(1) What is your home airport? SFO
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? C
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 225K
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? AA EXEC PLAT (OW Emerald)
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Priority Services, Good Upgrade Availability, Low Fees
(6) Which routes do you fly most often SFO-CCU
(7) Preferred Airlines - SQ, CX
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? (Can you chooose your airlines, class of service?) Work. Self employed so I can choose my airline/class of travel.

Hello. I currently travel about 9x per year between SFO-CCU. For the past few years, I have been exclusively traveling on CX/KA. The food has never been very good (I prefer Indian Vegetarian Meals, but will settle for something vegetarian such as pasta etc), but it has gotten worse recently with CX's new meal service. KA flights between CCU-HKG are horrible. Their business class is probably worse than AA/UA domestic.

I am thinking about changing over to SQ for my trips, booking into Standard Business fares. My question is which *A program I should credit to ? My primary objectives in choosing a *A program are:

1. Ease of getting *A awards (from SFO to either DEL/CCU) and their award fees. Maybe occasionally an award trip to SFO-Europe.
2. Maximizing the ratio of award miles earned vs redemption rates
3. I don't care about too much about using miles for US domestic travel.
4. I don't care about lounge access on domestic US travel. My US domestic travel consists mostly of intra west coast flights on Southwest with a trip every 1-2 years to Hawaii/Mexico for pleasure.
5. I can show my home base as either the US or India
6. It would be nice to switch to a FFP that will comp me *G (or higher) based on my OWE status.

I don't want to switch to traveling on EK. I have done that before, and the transit times are about 6-8 hours in each direction in Dubai.

I really also don't want to take AI or the new UA direct flights to DEL. My destination is CCU and I prefer to transit somewhere like SIN/HKG rather than DEL. Taking a 2 stop itinerary on a European carrier via BOM/DEL isn't an option either. I guess that only leaves me the option of CX or SQ

I don't know if traveling on EK and crediting miles to Alaska is a good option ?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by CommittedLurker; Sep 19, 19 at 9:40 pm
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Old Sep 19, 19, 10:44 pm
  #2198  

2019 Secret Santa
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: BOM/DEL/LHR
Programs: SK*D
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Crediting on the original booking code is not unusual in upgrade situations: same with very many ffp's.
That is correct, my concern arises from SK suddenly deciding to not honour paid and rebooked Z tickets, without any notification to anyone.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 11:21 pm
  #2199  
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: PIT
Programs: Bonvoy Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 3
(1) What is your home airport? PIT/ORF/RIC, closest int'l hub is IAD
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? UA deep discount economy
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? ~15-20k
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? No - used to be CA Gold but was not able to requalify, and haven't been able to requalify since
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Lounge access on UA domestic flights, priority boarding, free checked bag (I'm a simple guy )
(6) Which routes do you fly most often One or two roundtrips to PEK every year, usually 1 roundtrip to Europe, a handful of short hops between PIT and ORF/RIC or vice versa (although this is usually a nonfactor because I usually buy N class fares for these routes)
(7) Preferred Airlines Anything works for me although I usually fly UA
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Both work and pleasure. PEK routes are for family visits, all others are commuting for work, but I have a lot of freedom in choosing flights/airlines

More info: Hey y'all! So as you can tell the majority of my flights are within the US. A free bag is nice for me for these hops because I'm a hockey player and being able to transport all my gear for free is extremely nice, and lounge access on UA domestic flights is extremely useful. I've taken a look at A3 and wouldn't be opposed to doing a few ATH-SOF turn and burns while in Europe, but having to do that every year especially when I don't always go over to Europe turns me off of the idea - however, 200% earning rate on even the cheap as chips SK premium eco is extremely appealing. OZ looks to be the best general option especially as someone who doesn't fly a lot but their earning rates for UA deep discount economy are pretty miserable (although this isn't exclusive to them.) I can easily hit the UA minimum flight requirements but there would be no lounge access which turns me off of them. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by EntropyTheory; Oct 8, 19 at 3:35 am
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Old Oct 8, 19, 9:05 am
  #2200  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 58
Hi guys, FFP newbie here. I just wanted to get some advice on what the best strategy is for me to acquire (and retain in the future) Star Alliance Gold status.

I currently get Priority Pass lounge access via my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, but access to Star Alliance lounges and priority boarding would be a nice perk. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance!

(1) What is your home airport? LAX
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? Economy
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? Between 60k-80k
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? Copa ConnectMiles Silver
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Lounge access and priority boarding
(6) Which routes do you fly most often USA to Philippines/Asia, or USA to Colombia/Latin America
(7) Preferred Airlines Asiana, EVA, Copa, Avianca
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Pleasure only
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Old Oct 9, 19, 6:04 pm
  #2201  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 198
1) What is your home airport? SYD
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? Business
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? A couple of round the worlds. Domestic AUS.
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? Only OneWorld Emerald
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Reward flights.
(6) Which routes do you fly most often SYD-Asia/EU.
(7) Preferred Airlines SQ, LX,
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Both.

Thanks guys.
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Old Oct 13, 19, 1:03 pm
  #2202  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 16
Hi,

I am moving to Austin, Texas from United Kingdom, doing a status challenge with Delta. (moving from BA Gold)
I intend for Delta to be my primary airline for domestic flights and majority of travel to Latin America (where they fly).

I do intend to travel globally from time to time too for business (Europe, Africa, ME, Asia), as well as pleasure, visiting family in both UK and Hong Kong. I would rather avoid the remainder of Skyteam (not a fan).
Instead of sticking with Oneworld (BA), which hasn't really provided me any significant perks aside from lounge access and decent in-europe mile redemption, I was hoping to try something different - a Star Alliance member.

Now, I will struggle hitting any significant status with any of the *A airlines if I only do a few long haul trips in economy(pleasure), premium/business(work), but as I understand Asiana might be the best choice here for anything worthwhile?
Or would you recommend another airline that we would typically fly on to Hong Kong (most likely Singapore/ANA or EVA), either via Houston or SFO.

The aim is to collect miles on these occasional trips, enough to then benefit from redemption within Asia for holiday while in Hong Kong (or upgrades for trips to HK if that's feasible). If I do manage to collect enough to hit some sort of status too, that would be a bonus (I understand Asiana might be best for this, but is it worthwhile if I won't normally fly it?)

(1) What is your home airport? Austin, but can fly from nearby airport: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? Y, occasional Premium Eco, rarely business for long haul
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 25-40k on *A
(4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? BA Gold
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Good award redemption rates on various carriers, mostly for short haul redemptions within Asia.
(6) Which routes do you fly most often ? For *A, it will mostly be Trans Pacific, Trans Atlantic and occasional Latin America
(7) Preferred Airlines. One of the Asian Ones, but open minded here.
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? For pleasure - Economy/Premium if theres a good deal. For business, economy/premium/business depending on distance - I can choose my own carrier.
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Old Oct 18, 19, 12:35 pm
  #2203  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 1
Best option for crediting upcoming MAN-PVG rtn in F

(1) What is your home airport? London/MAN
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? discount economy in Europe several times a year. 1 long haul discount business class a year
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 15K
4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? None
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Given my flying patterns, probably redeeming rewards flights.
(6) Which routes do you fly most often: none (apart from LON-TLS)
(7) Preferred Airlines: none
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Pleasure

I've got an upcoming MAN-PVG rtn via FRA with LH in F for my wife and me. Its ticketed by Lufthansa so will only seem to earn a relatively small amount of miles based on , compared to crediting to other FFPs. Most of our miles accrual is via credit card spend (350K miles with BA, 100k between us with Virgin, 50k with Etihad which expire at the end of this year!). I dont fly enough to get status, so my plan is to generally accrue enough to redeem for a pair of long haul flights in business or above (or upgrade to that) at some point in the future. Long expiry and decent redemption rates seem to be the key - who should I go with? Planning a long haul holiday each year from now on to various destinations, so I am likely to be able to add to them later. Thanks
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Old Oct 18, 19, 4:25 pm
  #2204  
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 14,259
Originally Posted by dmm27 View Post
(1) What is your home airport? London/MAN
(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ? discount economy in Europe several times a year. 1 long haul discount business class a year
(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 15K
4) Do you have any kind of status at present? What is it? None
(5) What is most important to you in a FFP? Given my flying patterns, probably redeeming rewards flights.
(6) Which routes do you fly most often: none (apart from LON-TLS)
(7) Preferred Airlines: none
(8) Do you travel for work or pleasure? Pleasure

I've got an upcoming MAN-PVG rtn via FRA with LH in F for my wife and me. Its ticketed by Lufthansa so will only seem to earn a relatively small amount of miles based on , compared to crediting to other FFPs. Most of our miles accrual is via credit card spend (350K miles with BA, 100k between us with Virgin, 50k with Etihad which expire at the end of this year!).

I don't fly enough to get status, so my plan is to generally accrue enough to redeem for a pair of long haul flights in business or above (or upgrade to that) at some point in the future. Long expiry and decent redemption rates seem to be the key - who should I go with? Planning a long haul holiday each year from now on to various destinations, so I am likely to be able to add to them later. Thanks
With so few short cheap flights a year, other than the LH PVG flight, you will not earn much with any ffp. The LH flight will earn, but you will need more for a good/long haul business award.

Some ffp's earn on distance/class and others based on cost (less real taxes) But many combinations. Some ffp's are going to dynamic awards (high ff miles cost) and no published award chart.

A guide to earning--->https://www.wheretocredit.com/lufthansa/f

Expiry can be a problem. Some ffp's have a hard expiry and others expiry after a time period if no eligible activity. 18 months is common. 3 years with BA.

UA is a LH ff partner and now has no expiry, but is partly revenue based (so good & bad). With a LH issued ticket UA ffp may be distance based (200%). Needs research.

There are other Eu based Star Alliance ffp's that may be OK. Others will (hopefully) reply.

Be mindful of expiry Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire. Click to open the wiki.
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Old Oct 19, 19, 4:42 am
  #2205  
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Programs: BA AVIOS , Qanats
Posts: 61
Please check Turkisk Or Aegean milage program as these are one of the best for redemption and also for status in Star alliance
LH will credit to them too
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