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

Loyalty vs Cheap fare

Loyalty vs Cheap fare

Old Dec 16, 18, 11:36 am
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
How frequently are we talking here? If it's only two or three times a year I'm not sure it's worth trying to get status. On the other hand, India is far enough that one might not need that much spending/flying to get some form of lower-end status.

I fly at least 3 times a year and it's all personal trips. I am looking to see if just blind loyalty to one brand is beneficial in the long run. Thing is, tickets vary to wildly in prices through the year. Usually BA is the cheapest but I am looking at February 2019 prices and BA is 5K and Qatar is 4K. A 1000 dollar difference to maintain elite status?
Sereisina is offline  
Old Dec 16, 18, 11:37 am
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by tmiw View Post
Upgrades for personal trips are nice, though (assuming the trips to India are for work and that OP flies in Y the rest of the time). If OP flies in business for personal trips too, however, I'm inclined to agree.

I see what you both are saying. Thank you!
Sereisina is offline  
Old Dec 16, 18, 11:41 am
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Sereisina Welcome to FT


For me the money is more important than ff miles. For a few % may chose one airline over another. Anyway schedule is first on my list when selecting flights.
Flying business class you are getting many of the benefits of ff status.

Of those 4, Etihad, BA and Qatar are all ff partners of AA. Emirates & BA are ff partners of Alaska AS. So you could have been earning AA or AS ff miles/status.

As this is FT, did you earn any ff miles for all those trips. I note you earned & had/have EK status. [Here on FT is a [i]crime to fly and not earn ff miles ]
Hahah. Thank you for your reply! And yes, it would be a crime not to earn FF miles. I earned FF miles on Emirates, BA and Qatar. My biggest problem has been that these miles expire. On Emirates I ended up buying unnecessary jewelry on their website. I need to figure out a way to better use these miles. I cannot seem to stick to one airline every time I fly as it depending on the time of year - the connecting flights, duration of flight, overall prices change.
Sereisina is offline  
Old Dec 16, 18, 11:43 am
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Welcome to FlyerTalk, Sereisina. There's a lot of good advice in this thread already.

Elite status matters a lot when you're buying coach tickets but less so when you're paying for business. That's because a lot of what high tier elite status provides-- lounge access, premier queues, economy-plus seats on airlines like UA, and a chance at an upgrade to business class-- is part of the package in business. For an economy flyer these make a huge difference in travel comfort and can easily be worth several hundred dollars per international roundtrip. For a business flyer the difference you're left with is... what? a points multiplier and premier customer service phone lines. It's hard to see these as worth paying $500-1,000 more to fly one airline versus another.

That said, when you see similar fares across airlines with acceptable seat comfort and schedules, it does make sense to focus your travel with one airline-- or within one alliance-- for the benefits. That's especially important if you're also making a lot of coach trips, where elite benefits make a big difference in travel comfort as noted above.
Thank you so much for your reply. I totally get what you are saying. I do switch between coach and business, and I've noticed that's where elite status pays off big time - when you get upgraded from coach to business for free.
Sereisina is offline  
Old Dec 16, 18, 11:53 am
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
If I were flying paid J, I'd probably just stick with lowest fare assuming all of the J products are adequate, as the four you list are. The benefits of "loyalty" (status) come into play most when you're flying Y. If you're in paid J, you already have access to the elite queues, a lounge, etc. Status gives you a few other nice-to-haves like better phone support and a few bonus miles, but I'd never buy a $4000 ticket if a satisfactory $2500 ticket was available just because of miles/status.

I've flown U.S.-India J on BA and Emirates. It was about the time I started doing this that I discovered that Alaska Airlines (AS) was a nice place to dump the miles. They have pretty solid class-of-service bonuses, although I do not intend to redeem J awards to India - I'll use the awards for elsewhere in Asia. (I don't know what their India award chart looks like and I know they're *not* a good option for redeeming EK.)

Part of me wants to try Etihad on my next trip just because, but I'm sure in the end I'll book Emirates again.
Is Alaska Airlines a place where miles don't expire? Would that be a better option for me with my FF miles spread out over multiple carriers?
Sereisina is offline  
Old Dec 16, 18, 1:48 pm
  #21  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: SEA (the REAL Washington); occasionally in the other Washington (DCA area)
Programs: DL PM 1.4MM; AS MVPG 75K
Posts: 18,669
AS requires activity (earn or spend) in a rolling 24-month period to keep miles from expiring
jrl767 is offline  
Old Dec 16, 18, 3:33 pm
  #22  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: MEL CHC
Posts: 18,848
Originally Posted by Sereisina View Post
... but I am looking at February 2019 prices and BA is 5K and Qatar is 4K. A 1000 dollar difference to maintain elite status?
BA & QR are freq flyer partners. So have a look if a ticket on one will earn status on the other. Some times they do and sometimes not. Info will be in the airline ffp web sites

For expiry look here Miles/Points that Do and Don't Expire. Click to open the wiki.
As post above, with ffp's with some you can keep ff miles/points alive with an eligible activity every 18-24-36 months (varies by ffp). FFP's that have hard expiry are not the best for an infrequent flyer or have many FFP's. The ff miles/points will expire before they can be used effectively.
Mwenenzi is offline  
Old Dec 17, 18, 3:01 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: London & Sonoma CA
Programs: UA 1K(until 2022), MM *G for life, Hertz PC, BAEC Silver
Posts: 9,676
Originally Posted by Sereisina View Post
Usually BA is the cheapest but I am looking at February 2019 prices and BA is 5K and Qatar is 4K. A 1000 dollar difference to maintain elite status?
You will earn lots of very useful BA tier points for your QR flights.

The issue is that all the FF programmes are differently constructed with different sweet spots. For example, BA gets very easy status for flying in Business (as long as you take 4 BA flights a year) whereas some of the US ones are less generous (they tend to penalise economy travel rather less). I'm familiar with the BA programme and aware that many Americans like it for its ease of earning status, the usefulness of that status in the US because of its partnership with AA, the ability to use lounges on domestic US flights and a redemption sweet spot for short haul domestic US flights. You sort of have to make the same analysis for all the FF programmes in order to determine which works best for you, but I wouldn't bother at all with those that aren't allied with one of the US carriers - since it would be difficult to benefit from that status.
lhrsfo is offline  
Old Dec 17, 18, 8:35 am
  #24  
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: 51,158
Originally Posted by Sereisina View Post
Is Alaska Airlines a place where miles don't expire? Would that be a better option for me with my FF miles spread out over multiple carriers?
You just have to post some kind of activity to your AS account every 2 years and that keeps all of your miles active. No earned miles, no matter how old they are, will expire as long as you do that.

You'll find different opinions on whether to consolidate in a single program vs. spreading across programs. I think most Flyertalkers consider miles to become worth more per mile when you reach the level where you can redeem at least 2 long-haul round-trip J tickets. In some programs, there are pockets of great value for short-haul Y, but those are often a rare exception. So someone on a long slow crawl to 200,000-ish miles probably doesn't want to embark on two or more even longer slower crawls. If the crawl is too slow, you're exposed to devaluations...lengthening the crawl even more.

On the other hand, if you're regularly buying paid J to India, you can be pulling down 40k-ish miles per trip. Banking in two programs gives you more redemption options and you're still not waiting too long before you're at a level where you can redeem great awards.

Whatever you do, I just know I wouldn't want to be in a position where I felt like my FF choices were causing me to buy the $4000 ticket when the $2500 one is available. On J fares with that kind of range, none of the FF benefits are going to make up for $1500 per trip.
pinniped is offline  
Old Dec 20, 18, 4:38 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 7,207
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Whatever you do, I just know I wouldn't want to be in a position where I felt like my FF choices were causing me to buy the $4000 ticket when the $2500 one is available. On J fares with that kind of range, none of the FF benefits are going to make up for $1500 per trip.
Apparently on United domestic first class (if even you can call it "J") it does, because if you have no status you get no meal choice.
Wait, is that the same on United domestic business too?
s0ssos is offline  
Old Dec 20, 18, 6:13 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: WN A+ CP, UA 1MM/*A Gold, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Dia
Posts: 5,951
You think getting your first choice of meal even comes close to justifying a $1500 fare difference? Especially on UA?
darthbimmer is offline  
Old Dec 20, 18, 6:28 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 7,207
Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
You think getting your first choice of meal even comes close to justifying a $1500 fare difference? Especially on UA?
Depends on whether you think business class should be a pleasurable experience.
s0ssos is offline  
Old Dec 21, 18, 8:13 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Programs: DL PM, HH Diamond, Marriott Plat, AA, WP
Posts: 835
Welcome to FT, Sereisina, we hope you stay awhile, learn some stuff and make some friends!

$1000 or $1500 does not seem to be worth the loyalty. But it may make sense to narrow your four carriers down to three -- Etihad, BA and Qatar, and collect AA miles. Presumably, you may fly domestic now and then, or even more, so focusing on one program could still give you a selection of international airlines but concentrate your miles and status. By eliminating Emirates, yes, sometimes you could pay a little more. You have to decide how much a little more is worth it -- $100? $500? Maybe, and maybe not $1000 or $1500.

Since these are personal trips, you are paying for the tickets. Given that, if it were me, I would pay something less than $500, but if it were more, I would take the lowest cost carrier.
daloosh is offline  
Old Dec 21, 18, 8:35 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: NYC
Posts: 8,378
AA would be the best as it has the best options in C and F to India and the best availability and lowest award miles requiered. You can do a status match and get platinum in one trip on AA/BA. Get one or more credit cards with the 50k bonus sign-ups and you will start out with a very healthy balance.
erik123 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread