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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 4, 10, 10:12 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Exclamation Need advice on which *A FF scheme to join? - please post here

Please see post below.....

Last edited by Markie; Dec 26, 12 at 4:06 am
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Old Nov 6, 10, 11:45 am
  #2  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/AA-Plat/HY-Globalist/BA-CCR/GGL/Gold for Life
Posts: 10,407
Exclamation Need advice on which *A FF scheme to join? - please post here

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 Premier, 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 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.


Markie - Mod *A

Last edited by Markie; Jan 17, 12 at 5:57 am Reason: deleted multi-posted question/updated advice
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Old Nov 6, 10, 12:06 pm
  #3  
Moderator: Hyatt Gold Passport & Star Alliance
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: London, UK
Programs: UA-1K 3MM/AA-Plat/HY-Globalist/BA-CCR/GGL/Gold for Life
Posts: 10,407
Held for future use.
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Old Nov 7, 10, 10:57 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Programs: BA, AC, BMI
Posts: 4
Best *AA to join?

(1) My home airport is LAX
(2) When I travel on business I fly business class and when I travel on holiday I buy econ or prem-econ and try to upgrade with miles to business
(3) I fly 25k-50k per year
(4) I am looking to gain status in *AA so when I fly out of LAX with my family I can check in business class even if we are not flying business. Also for good upgrades options when purchasing cheaper tickets.
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Old Nov 8, 10, 4:15 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 179
(1) SFO
(2) Y (some domestic, some international)
(3) 10-20K
(4) Upgrades to F
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Old Nov 10, 10, 12:56 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: European: ZRH, Asian: SIN
Posts: 7,113
(1) What is your home airport?
ZRH

(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Y, mostly in S booking class, unfortunately on SQ can't collect miles

(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year?
Approx 40k per year in S Economy, much more in non-milage classes (thank you SQ)

(4) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Lounge access, upgrades

More information: I'm already FTL with LH and do like it, but with my amount of travel which is unfortunately split in between LH/LX (in S economy) at around 40k/yearly, 25k on EK, and around 100k in non-milage SQ, I would absolutely love to make *G so I could access the *G lounges.

I don't need to requalify on LH for the next 2 years, so I could easily use any program which has a 2-year qualification period.

I looked into TK and Asiana, which seems to have the lowest needed amount of miles, especially Asiana with only 40k during a 2 year period seems extremely low.

I've around 16 European flights (8 R/T on LX, giving me around 1000 miles with exec bonus there each) and a couple of intercontinentals. The intercontinentals will net me the same amount of miles with Asiana (minus the 25% exec bonus) but how about the European ones? With LX/LH, you get a fixed amount of miles (750) no matter how far the distance was for European flights, how would that be with Asiana?

I could hit *G with Asiana over 2 years apparently, when I just drop the intercontinental flights there..

How is the award scheme with Asiana, is it bad? I mean, getting *G seems so easy with them.. there must be something bad about it, no?

Or would any other *airline be better in my case?

Thanks for your help
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Old Nov 10, 10, 11:29 pm
  #7  
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: FRA / YEG
Programs: AC Super Elite, Radisson Platinum, Accor Platinum, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 11,263
Originally Posted by finiteyoda View Post
(1) SFO
(2) Y (some domestic, some international)
(3) 10-20K
(4) Upgrades to F
Sorry to disappoint you, but with 10k-20k miles / year youre unlikely to get any meaningful status, if any at all, with any *A airline. Id probably join UA MP and hope for the occasional upgrade as a 3P/2P member (afaik 3P status can only be gifted to you by another status member), but as youre flying out of SFO, your chances of a comp. upgrade (unlimited domestic upgrades on UA/CO) are quite slim.

Please check the stickies in the United MP forum for exact info, but afaik as a 3P/2P member you get *A Silver status incl. business class check-in with UA and 2nd bag free.

Also UAs mileage requirement for upgrades arent too unreasonable.
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Old Nov 10, 10, 11:50 pm
  #8  
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: FRA / YEG
Programs: AC Super Elite, Radisson Platinum, Accor Platinum, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 11,263
Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
(1) What is your home airport?
ZRH

(2) What types of fares do you usually buy ?
Y, mostly in S booking class, unfortunately on SQ can't collect miles

(3) How many miles do you usually fly each year?
Approx 40k per year in S Economy, much more in non-milage classes (thank you SQ)

(4) What is most important to you in a FFP?
Lounge access, upgrades

More information: I'm already FTL with LH and do like it, but with my amount of travel which is unfortunately split in between LH/LX (in S economy) at around 40k/yearly, 25k on EK, and around 100k in non-milage SQ, I would absolutely love to make *G so I could access the *G lounges.

I don't need to requalify on LH for the next 2 years, so I could easily use any program which has a 2-year qualification period.

I looked into TK and Asiana, which seems to have the lowest needed amount of miles, especially Asiana with only 40k during a 2 year period seems extremely low.

I've around 16 European flights (8 R/T on LX, giving me around 1000 miles with exec bonus there each) and a couple of intercontinentals. The intercontinentals will net me the same amount of miles with Asiana (minus the 25% exec bonus) but how about the European ones? With LX/LH, you get a fixed amount of miles (750) no matter how far the distance was for European flights, how would that be with Asiana?

I could hit *G with Asiana over 2 years apparently, when I just drop the intercontinental flights there..

How is the award scheme with Asiana, is it bad? I mean, getting *G seems so easy with them.. there must be something bad about it, no?

Or would any other *airline be better in my case?

Thanks for your help
If I understand you correctly, you are always booked into deep discount economy fare buckets which dont earn any miles or 50% miles. Personally I would stick with M&M as their mileage redemption chart is reasonable (but not great), you get *S privileges at your home airport and you likely earn quite a few award miles through your CC etc.

If I were you Id probably become a member of the Maple Leaf Club Worldwide which gives you access to all *A business class lounges and contracted lounges where theres no *A business class lounge. Alternatively Id check out Priority Club, although their lounges arent as good as most *A lounges.

Regarding upgrades, youre unfortunately out of luck. Discounted economy fares on SQ/LH/LX are not upgradable, youd have to spend about twice the amount of money for your tix in order to be eligible for an upgrade (which again would be pretty expensive).

Another option to check out is AC Aeroplan. You need 35k status miles per year in order to earn Elite status (=*G status). Long-haul discounted Y on LH/LX earns 50%, all long-haul flights on UA/CO/US/AC earn 100% miles (in case youre willing to add one TATL roundtrip to NA per year for leisure) Redemption rates are excellent, but their program obviously is much more beneficial (upgrades on AC operated flights) if you actually fly to NA on a regular basis.
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Old Nov 11, 10, 1:14 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: European: ZRH, Asian: SIN
Posts: 7,113
Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
If I understand you correctly, you are always booked into deep discount economy fare buckets which dont earn any miles or 50% miles. Personally I would stick with M&M as their mileage redemption chart is reasonable (but not great), you get *S privileges at your home airport and you likely earn quite a few award miles through your CC etc.
Thanks for your advise. Actually LX S booking class isn't deep discounted but gives 100% on M&M, and Asiana as well. It also gives 750 miles on European flights no matter the distance (deep discounted Eco only gives 125 miles)

I would have 1x North America return, 1x South America return and probably 2x far/middle east return on them per year. Around 20-25k miles (without exec) I think.. so I would make *G on Asiana after 2 years?

The Maple Leaf sounds nice too, but is probably a bit too much for me as I only having approx 15 airport visits where I don't get lounge access a year (those on SQ, and those few with LX where they don't have lounges for *S like GRU, PVG.. at Montreal for example, FTL gets you into the AirCanada lounge when flying LX already, plus any European places I can enter their lounges)

But probably you're right, it's not worth so split up programs just to make *G..
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Old Nov 11, 10, 2:02 am
  #10  
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: FRA / YEG
Programs: AC Super Elite, Radisson Platinum, Accor Platinum, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 11,263
Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
Thanks for your advise. Actually LX S booking class isn't deep discounted but gives 100% on M&M, and Asiana as well. It also gives 750 miles on European flights no matter the distance (deep discounted Eco only gives 125 miles)

I would have 1x North America return, 1x South America return and probably 2x far/middle east return on them per year. Around 20-25k miles (without exec) I think.. so I would make *G on Asiana after 2 years?

But probably you're right, it's not worth so split up programs just to make *G..
If you fly 35k miles on LX in booking class S (1 TATL trip, 1x Middle East, 1x Asia and 1x South America) I would definitely go with AC/AP as S earns 100% miles and youd get *G status. Overall Id say AC is superior to OZ Mileage Club. If your travel plans are uncertain, Id go with OZ as LX S class also earns 100% miles.

Originally Posted by YuropFlyer View Post
The Maple Leaf sounds nice too, but is probably a bit too much for me as I only having approx 15 airport visits where I don't get lounge access a year (those on SQ, and those few with LX where they don't have lounges for *S like GRU, PVG..
Youre right, if you only dont get lounge access on 15 flights/year, the MLL Club membership isnt worth ir.
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Old Nov 11, 10, 11:03 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: BCN
Programs: Bombay Sapphire; Sephora Plat
Posts: 802
Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Sorry to disappoint you, but with 10k-20k miles / year youre unlikely to get any meaningful status, if any at all, with any *A airline. Id probably join UA MP and hope for the occasional upgrade as a 3P/2P member (afaik 3P status can only be gifted to you by another status member), but as youre flying out of SFO, your chances of a comp. upgrade (unlimited domestic upgrades on UA/CO) are quite slim.

Please check the stickies in the United MP forum for exact info, but afaik as a 3P/2P member you get *A Silver status incl. business class check-in with UA and 2nd bag free.

Also UAs mileage requirement for upgrades arent too unreasonable.
16K will give you *G in A3
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Old Nov 11, 10, 1:50 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Florida
Programs: DL GM, QR Gold, IHG Spire Ambassador
Posts: 45
Which Star Alliance Program to join?

My apologies if this has been covered before.... I have just recently taken a job in Doha, Qatar and I am a Delta Silver Medallion. Looking at the flight schedules, Star Alliance is the best for me to fly back to my new home in Phoenix, AZ. My question is, do I join Qatar Airways program or do I join US Airways or United/Continental for my Frequent Flier miles to accrue status?

I'm not that familiar with Star Alliance as I grew up in the Dakotas where Northwest/Delta was about all we had, so any help is greatly appreciated. I try to avoid ORD at nearly any cost, but I don't mind making a connection at IAD.

Thanks for your help in advance!
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Old Nov 11, 10, 6:49 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 352
Originally Posted by dragonfirebcn View Post
16K will give you *G in A3
20k, actually - 16k on top of the 4k needed for *S.

Downside is, you frequently only get 50-70% mileage on booking classes that earn 100% on most other FFPs.
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Old Nov 11, 10, 8:51 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 8
Need to switch FF program

(1) What is your home airport? PEK (Beijing, China)
(2) Do you currently have any status? CA Platinum. It is about as useless as not having one.
(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ? regular to full fare economy
(4) Which airlines/routes do you usually fly? 30-40 PEK-PVG, and 3-4 PEK-LAX and 1-2 PEK-Intl for vacation.
(5) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 70-100k
(6) Do you mainly fly for work or for leisure? / Do you have any flexibility in choosing the airline/fare bucket etc.? Mostly for family reasons, 1-2 China-US for work on regular to full fare economy
(7) What is most important to you in a FFP? upgrades on intl travel and easy award redemption

Because I now live and work in China, I am somewhat bound by the airlines I can fly with, but I have had enough with the crappy service CA provides and looking to make a change. Thanks for your help.
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Old Nov 11, 10, 10:06 pm
  #15  
Moderator: Le Club Accorhotels
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: FRA / YEG
Programs: AC Super Elite, Radisson Platinum, Accor Platinum, Fairmont Platinum
Posts: 11,263
Originally Posted by deadlocklegend View Post
(1) What is your home airport? PEK (Beijing, China)
(2) Do you currently have any status? CA Platinum. It is about as useless as not having one.
(3) What types of fares do you usually buy ? regular to full fare economy
(4) Which airlines/routes do you usually fly? 30-40 PEK-PVG, and 3-4 PEK-LAX and 1-2 PEK-Intl for vacation.
(5) How many miles do you usually fly each year? 70-100k
(6) Do you mainly fly for work or for leisure? / Do you have any flexibility in choosing the airline/fare bucket etc.? Mostly for family reasons, 1-2 China-US for work on regular to full fare economy
(7) What is most important to you in a FFP? upgrades on intl travel and easy award redemption

Because I now live and work in China, I am somewhat bound by the airlines I can fly with, but I have had enough with the crappy service CA provides and looking to make a change. Thanks for your help.
Thats not an easy one.

I think there are two issues that pretty much contradict each other:

1. CA is the only remaining *A carrier to fly PEK-PVG non-stop. Both Shanghai Airlines and China Eastern Airlines fly this route, but both are supposed to join SkyTeam, so you may be able to get a status match to SkyTeam. (Unfortunately I dont know enough about SkyTeam to give any helpful advice)

2. Regarding intl upgrades to North America I think UA and AC are your best bets, but it will very much depend on the exact amount of miles you fly each year:

UA 1k status requires 100k miles each year, you get 6SWUs which you can use to upgrade Y -> C on PEK-SFO-LAX (I assume thats the route you usually take?).
PEK-SFO-LAX is 13k+ miles x 4 = 52k miles
2 trips for leisure (where?) = 20k-30k miles
So 1k status isnt impossible, but youd likely have to modify your flying pattern / do a MR while in the US / hope for a DEQM promo etc.

Especially if you buy the more expensive economy fares, Id also recommend checking out AC (PEK-YVR-LAX). Elite status (= *G) only requires 35k miles/year and you can upgrade from Y -> C at time of booking using upgrade vouchers, if there is availabiliry and you have bought a B/Y fare (lower fares can only be upgraded a few days before the flight)

Id probably go for AC due to lounge access in the US, better redepmtion rates, lower threshold for *G status (35k vs. 100k), but youll have to make the decision.
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