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28K miles later... I think I chose a wrong airline for miles?

28K miles later... I think I chose a wrong airline for miles?

Old Jul 21, 19, 10:24 am
  #1  
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28K miles later... I think I chose a wrong airline for miles?

Hi gang! I'm new here. Did a bit of research, but don't seem to find all the answers... yet

Basically, I fly a lot due to work (I work in film), but mainly have flown BA/OneWorld (Silver level there). But this year it has changed and I've actually amassed 28K miles on my United account (which was my airline of choice to collect the Star Alliance miles). I genuinely don't know why I went with United while I don't even fly that much to US, and definitely, don't fly much internally US. So... I ran into an issue where I have 28K of miles (giving me silver level), but no silver level - as I have zero United flights (and need 4).

My question is - what would you do, continue collecting miles on the United in hope to get them 4 flights (might take like 2 years), or switch mid-year to something like Miles&More?.. Seeing that United's PQMs will reset on Jan 01, there's probably zero benefit for me to continue with them? I will probably get to around 50K if stay with United. I understand there is no waver for the 4 flights at all? What if I get something like 50K miles, maybe they will waver?

My flight history with United this year: Air N Zealand LAX - LHR, Air N Zealand LHR - LAX, LOT WAW - LHR, LOT ODS - WAW, Turkish Air IST - ODS, Turkish Air LHR - IST, Lufthansa FRA - PEK, Lufthansa LHR - FRA
Thanks team!
E

Last edited by canoned; Jul 21, 19 at 10:27 am Reason: typo
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Old Jul 21, 19, 7:40 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by canoned View Post
I understand there is no waver for the 4 flights at all? What if I get something like 50K miles, maybe they will waver?
They will not waver on the no waiver policy.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 2:18 am
  #3  
 
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UA will not waiver. Anyways silver on any *A is generally useless unless the airline offers its own *S' some benefits. Very few do.

If you're chasing STATUS only/mainly then UA is a not for you. If you're chasing redemption primarily then UA might be a good option.

If you're going to be hitting 50k miles a year you should be looking at status as well because that will make you *G where the real benefits are.

However M&S is a pretty crappy program both for earning & redemption. I would suggest you look at TK (maintaining status once achieved & low redemption rates is much easier) or A3 or something similar. Also try and align it to your credit cards - see which airlines you can transfer miles to (to be able to redeem them sometime), and when the miles expire for that FFP.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 4:31 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn View Post
However M&S is a pretty crappy program both for earning & redemption.
M&M, i suppose
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Old Jul 22, 19, 4:51 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Maux View Post
M&M, i suppose
Yeah M&M... you're right.... M&S is TK's programme!
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Old Jul 23, 19, 1:16 am
  #6  
 
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If you are chasing *A Gold, flying on various airlines, TK is not great option. The best is Aegean, Miles&Bonus.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 2:51 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by canoned View Post
I understand there is no waver for the 4 flights at all?
Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
They will not waver on the no waiver policy.
Originally Posted by PiperAtGatesofDawn View Post
UA will not waiver.
I am surprised no one knows this, thinking there is no waiver. But in fact, there is a waiver.

This waiver is relatively simple - you simply need to have the Presidential Plus or the Club Card as primary cardholder.

However, it does not sound like OP will qualify for that as OP sounds like he is from the UK. One of the cards has been discontinued and both cards are U.S. based.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 3:38 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by canoned View Post
My question is - what would you do, continue collecting miles on the United in hope to get them 4 flights (might take like 2 years), or switch mid-year to something like Miles&More?..
4 flights with United (or United Express) would have to be flown EACH calendar year for elite qualification purposes.

Only you can decide which program would work best for you. It may be LH's MM, and if you decide to transition, miles you have earned with UA are not transferrable to LH, or any other airline program. You can, however, redeem flights of other *A carriers from your UA account - e.g. intra Europe flights on LH award through UA.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 5:57 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Repooc17 View Post
You can, however, redeem flights of other *A carriers from your UA account - e.g. intra Europe flights on LH award through UA.
Thank you for all the answers! This is interesting - you think I can redeem the LH flights (I have two) even after they have been assigned to the UA Miles?! Thatís good news if so! And same for TK if I go with their miles? I guess Iím choosing between the LH and TK programmes. As the key for me is lounge access and priority check in/boarding.
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Old Jul 23, 19, 6:18 am
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by canoned View Post


Thank you for all the answers! This is interesting - you think I can redeem the LH flights (I have two) even after they have been assigned to the UA Miles?! That’s good news if so! And same for TK if I go with their miles? I guess I’m choosing between the LH and TK programmes. As the key for me is lounge access and priority check in/boarding.
I think you might be confusing 2 separate things. The miles that you have already credited to UA for past flights are stuck with UA, there's no way around that at this point. However those miles can be redeemed for flights on any other *A carrier, including LH. This means you buy a ticket from UA using your UA miles for an LH (or other *A flight), however you will not earn additional miles when you fly on that ticket. Mileage tickets are exempted from mileage earning.

Going forward you probably should choose a different *A program for your mileage earning that does not require a certain number of segments flown on their own aircraft to earn status. A3, TK, and OZ are the popular ones, but don't overlook SK either. All the above programs have somewhat easier standards for earning Star Alliance Gold. LH is ridiculous at 100k miles per year, not even worth pursuit for most people.

There's nothing wrong with using UA's program, but if you stick with them, then you must make an effort to get the 4 UA flights per year on UA metal. That's honestly not difficult, even if you only fly to the US (or even Canada, Mexico, etc.) once per year. Just force yourself to take a connection at a UA hub in each direction, so instad of LHR-ORD direct, you would go LHR-EWR-ORD and then return the same way, boom, you have your 4 segments required for premier status.

At the end of the day, you need to examine what type of tickets you are flying on (fare code) and compare that to www.wheretocredit.com to see what you would earn in each program. If you find yourself on discount economy fares often then you will find that many don't earn miles in A3, OZ, and TK. In those cases you'd be better to stick with UA or maybe SK. If you're flying mid to high end economy fares or business fares (excluding LH P fares) then you are safe on about any of the mentioned programs. LH P fares are a sticky situation and are excluded from earning in most *A programs, so be careful there.

Last edited by dvs7310; Jul 23, 19 at 6:24 am
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Old Jul 23, 19, 7:23 am
  #11  
 
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LH M&M is only worth pursuing if you are going to fly in F & C a significant amount and some of it with them. Beware also of the fees they charge for redemptions which are among the highest there are.

Look at OZ, A3 and SK for a better deal.
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Old Jul 24, 19, 8:11 am
  #12  
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Note that you also have to fly A3 a few times to get status with them If you don't fly A3, your target doubles.
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Old Jul 25, 19, 8:54 am
  #13  
 
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As a Brit who is with UA, I would say that UA is totally useless unless you fly to the USA regularly. If you do, then it's great, but not as great as it was since earning miles has been massively reduced and mileage awards have gone up astronomically. Fortunately I'm lifetime Gold with UA and also I fly to the US regularly so it still works for me. But if neither applied, it would be a very unattractive programme.
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Old Jul 28, 19, 12:16 pm
  #14  
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Thank you so much everyone! Lot's of good info! Will be looking at TK, and OZ then, I don't fly A3 at all, LH is tricky as I do fly half the time economy. Thanks!
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Old Jul 29, 19, 11:54 pm
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Originally Posted by canoned View Post
Thank you so much everyone! Lot's of good info! Will be looking at TK, and OZ then, I don't fly A3 at all, LH is tricky as I do fly half the time economy. Thanks!
Keep in mind the importance of your fare codes for economy. If you're flying on K or L fares on LH (deep discount economy) then TK, OZ, and A3 all earn at 0%. You need a T fare or above for OZ and an S fare or above for A3 and TK. Not intending to send you back to the drawing board, but if you're on K, L, and T fares very often, then SK may be a better choice, giving you at least 25% miles on the lower of those fares and it's one of the few programs that still gives you 100% for LH's discount business fare (P code). Qualification is 45k per year for Gold, of course not nearly as good as OZ (40k for 2 years), but if you earn 0% miles on OZ then it doesn't matter how low their threshold is.
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