Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > TravelBuzz
Reload this Page >

Which airline elite status is hardest to attain?

Which airline elite status is hardest to attain?

Old Aug 12, 15, 3:19 pm
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: JNB
Programs: Asiana Club, Mileage Plan, Skywards, Flying Blue, HHonors
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by burbuja0512 View Post
I've already spent that much this year and will spend more in the coming months.

It's not that difficult if your company pays for business class. Luckily, my job requires that I go to different cities, but if your company had a lot of business in Angola, it would be different.

I sincerely believe that any company that's serious about their international business strategy should pay to keep their employees happy and well-rested.

...Well, I can see why start-ups or small businesses can't afford business class, but international efforts can cost millions, if they can't fork over the cash to pay for a decent plane ride, perhaps they need to re-evalute whether they're ready to go global.

Note: this opinion is coming from someone who has worked at a small company and a large company, with tons of int'l economy experience. It's just not worth the toll it takes on your body if you travel more than a few times a year.
I know people who do huge amounts of travel and those I know that fly AF, BA and EK 1st to Luanda monthly are paying in the region of $250,000 a year just on this travel and only visiting Luanda for a day each time. With all the other countires they visit in the reat of each month, their annual spend must be substantially more.

I perhaps should have named the thread "is DT's the world's worst frequent flyer program?"! There are clearly a few elite statuses such as LH top tier which may well be more expensive to earn. But I think they would certainly be easier to earn. The benefits are certainly much better!
groundops is offline  
Old Aug 12, 15, 3:24 pm
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: JNB
Programs: Asiana Club, Mileage Plan, Skywards, Flying Blue, HHonors
Posts: 131
Originally Posted by Efrem View Post
Let's not confuse "hard" with "expensive." There's no minimum flying requirement, just a minimum spending requirement. Many people think $60,000 is a lot of money (I certainly do!), but others, and many companies, don't.

I would argue that any status level that requires 100,000 or so actual "butt in seat" flight miles is HARDER - not more expensive, but HARDER - to attain than one that essentially gives you status for writing a sufficiently large check.
One would have to fly over 165,000 miles (OK only 7,700 in Y) on DT in J to get Umbi Umbi Gold on my outlined itinerary above (imagine that with 106 DT check ins)! If you tried to obtain Umbi Umbi Gold status on DT in Y, I think you would be looking at well in excess of 400,000 miles flown. One could of course achieve DT Gold status a bit quicker by flying F (probably only around 90,000 miles needed if all in F).

If you had to do domestic flying in Angola, you would need even more miles flown as the fares are cheap. But in my experience of flying DT, Y is often full or nearly full and J and F have one or two passengers at most. I would imagine there are fewer than 100 Umbi Umbi Golds and may be not many more than you can count on your fingers!
groundops is offline  
Old Aug 12, 15, 3:27 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: MSP
Programs: Delta SkyMiles, AmEx, NorthWest WorldPerks, Jelly of the Month. S&H Green Stamps, Subway sub club
Posts: 1,754
Originally Posted by groundops View Post
One would have to fly over 165,000 miles (OK only 7,700 in Y) on DT in J to get Umbi Umbi Gold on my outlined itinerary above (imagine that with 106 DT check ins)! If you tried to obtain Umbi Umbi Gold status on DT in Y, I think you would be looking at well in excess of 400,000 miles flown. One could of course achieve DT Gold status a bit quicker by flying F (probably only around 90,000 miles needed if all in F).

If you had to do domestic flying in Angola, you would need even more miles flown as the fares are cheap. But in my experience of flying DT, Y is often full or nearly full and J and F have one or two passengers at most. I would imagine there are fewer than 100 Umbi Umbi Golds and may be not many more than you can count on your fingers!
You realize it's Angola right? How much did you really expect?
DaveBlaine is offline  
Old Aug 12, 15, 11:44 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,591
Originally Posted by groundops View Post
What would typical annual spend be to obtain UA GS?
The informal consensus on UA's forum is >$40000. With the condition that some amount (how much percentage - still matter of debate) should come from bookings in First/Business on international routes.

In other words, if you spend >40K booking Y fares only, you won't get GS.
invisible is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 5:41 am
  #20  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 91,450
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
The informal consensus on UA's forum is >$40000. With the condition that some amount (how much percentage - still matter of debate) should come from bookings in First/Business on international routes.

In other words, if you spend >40K booking Y fares only, you won't get GS.
Not even FULL Y fares?
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 1:36 pm
  #21  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: JNB
Programs: Asiana Club, Mileage Plan, Skywards, Flying Blue, HHonors
Posts: 131
So Umbi Gold is almost 50% more expensive than UA GS!

I wonder what LH aficiondos reckon is spend requirement for LH Hon Circle?

Perhaps Umbi Gold is the hardest to achieve of published FF statuses!?
groundops is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 1:50 pm
  #22  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,591
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Not even FULL Y fares?
AFAIK, no. It has to be Business/First. There was a statement of a guy who spent $50K on fully refundable Y fares over the year and he did not get GS.
invisible is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 1:57 pm
  #23  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 48,864
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
The informal consensus on UA's forum is >$40000. With the condition that some amount (how much percentage - still matter of debate) should come from bookings in First/Business on international routes.

In other words, if you spend >40K booking Y fares only, you won't get GS.
Do the GS requirements still vary based on your home airport? Seems like a few years ago there was discussion how it was easier to qualify GS from a smaller outpost than if all of your travel initiated at a hub.

I thought that sounded strange...why would some guy from Des Moines get GS for a fraction what it took for someone flying out of Dulles or SFO every week? But like many of these things, no one was 100% sure if it was true.

In general, I put elite statuses reserved for corporate travel planners in their own category. I think hotels have these too - sometimes unofficially more than anything. You're more likely to end up in a Presidential Suite by being a large event planner or some other type of corporate travel decision-maker than you are to be, say, Marriott Platinum.
pinniped is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 2:12 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: RDU
Posts: 690
Originally Posted by groundops View Post
So Umbi Gold is almost 50% more expensive than UA GS!

I wonder what LH aficiondos reckon is spend requirement for LH Hon Circle?

Perhaps Umbi Gold is the hardest to achieve of published FF statuses!?
Is there a spend requirement for HON? I thought it was just 600k miles in a rolling 2 year period?
Gunner14 is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 2:15 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: Star Alliance
Posts: 5,591
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Do the GS requirements still vary based on your home airport? Seems like a few years ago there was discussion how it was easier to qualify GS from a smaller outpost than if all of your travel initiated at a hub.
That one as well. 40K for SFO was not enough for many.
invisible is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 2:36 pm
  #26  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 28,783
Originally Posted by groundops View Post
So Umbi Gold is almost 50% more expensive than UA GS!

I wonder what LH aficiondos reckon is spend requirement for LH Hon Circle?

Perhaps Umbi Gold is the hardest to achieve of published FF statuses!?
There is no spend requirement for LH Hon Circle. I would drop this Umbi Gold thing. It's nowhere near the hardest to obtain! Plus it sounds like a membership to lap dancing club!
LondonElite is online now  
Old Aug 13, 15, 2:40 pm
  #27  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 48,864
Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
Plus it sounds like a membership to lap dancing club!
+1. "What happens in the Umbi Umbi Room stays in the Umbi Umbi Room..."
pinniped is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 2:46 pm
  #28  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, SW Florida, and Toronto
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Discovery Black, and assorted others
Posts: 28,783
Sounds too much like what Berlusconi got up to in the Bunga Bunga parties...
LondonElite is online now  
Old Aug 13, 15, 2:54 pm
  #29  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: JNB
Programs: Asiana Club, Mileage Plan, Skywards, Flying Blue, HHonors
Posts: 131
"UMBI UMBI (CicorniaAbdimi), its a very commun Angolan bird, that, in traditional belief, brings good news, aspire to fly higher and call other birds to fly with him."

I still hold Umbi Gold is hard to achieve. Flying on LH is a delight. UA is pleasant. DT is hell!
groundops is offline  
Old Aug 13, 15, 3:25 pm
  #30  
Moderator, Trip Reports
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: 6km East of EPAYE
Programs: UA Silver, AA Platinum, AS & DL GM Marriott TE, Hilton Gold
Posts: 9,577
No one has mentioned AA Concierge Key - not an easy get either - similar to UA GS.
Madone59 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: