AAdvantage VS. QFF

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by meljfk, Apr 1, 2007.

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  1. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    Hi all;

    I will be moving to the U.S shortly for the final 3~4 years of my high schooling - and would like advice on the Frequent Flyer program which best suits my needs.

    Both my parents are Qantas Club members and QFF 1 plat/1 gold members with 1,000,000+ points. I am currently a QFF Bronze with ~ 42,000pts and am considering changing to AAdvantage for my future mileage accural.

    I will be travelling - (BOS-JFK-LAX-MEL r/t) roughly 3 times a year in ecomony and will be hoping to gain some status enabling priority checkin and (possibly?) lounge access (travelling alone) if possible. I would also like the option of upgrading myself after a few years if possible.

    Basically what I am asking is - which program will allow me Trans-pac privilages and give me the most 'bang for my flights :D'.

    Thanks in advance!
     

  2. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    BOS-LAX-MEL r/t is around 21000 miles so 3 trips in economy on AA will enable you to get Platinum status ( OW Sapphire ) giving lounge access when travelling internationally whilst on QF you would likely be short of QF Silver status (Ow Ruby)

    It would seem a no brainer to go with AA to me

    Dave
     
  3. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    Qantas Club Lounge Access using AA Plat for under 18's? Is it possible when travelling alone?

    Is an 'AA Challange' obtainable with the above?

    What is it like obtaining upgrades etc.. with AA pts on QF?
     
  4. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    I am not aware of a restriction that restricts lounge access on age

    If you pick the correct AA fare basis then a oneway BOS-LAX-MEL would complete the challenge on its own giving you Platinum status for your trip back.

    You cannot upgrade on QF using AA points ; as an AA PLT member you can use your upgrade credits or miles to upgrade the AA sectors ( could do BOS-ORD-HNL-SYD-MEL and use 15,000 miles to upgrade as far as HNL for example )

    Although you cannot upgrade do consider that the cost of a r/t AA business class award from BOS-MEL is 125,000 AA points and a 1st class award is 145,000 points whilst using Qantas points it would cost 192,000 QF points just to upgrade from economy to business from MEL-JFK

    btw, welcome to AFF

    Dave
     
  5. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,438
    245
    Brisbane / Sydney
    Attaining the ChAAllenge would depend on what fare class you're booked into. Book everything (including the long transpacific leg) into the AA code as only AA segments will qualify for the ChAAllenge.

    You cannot upgrade on QF flights with AA miles, however it can be cheaper using AA miles to purchase return business class awards on QF/AA (125 000 for All partners awards North America-South Pacific) than it is to use QF points to upgrade (72 000 points for one way LAX-MEL discount economy to business; or 45 000 points for the same if you're booked on a full economy (Y) ticket) . Be prepared for a very difficult time doing either as the transpacific route on QF is an extremely busy route for the premium cabins.
     
  6. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    If I booked (with the AA Challange taken into account...)

    MEL - LAX
    AA7349 (N fare)

    LAX - JFK
    AA7365 (V fare)

    (assuming the first letter of the 'fare basis' is the fare type)

    would that = 100% of the 10,396 miles because it is an 'AA flight #', or 50% of the miles because it is a QF flight? (Assuming it was booked on aa.com with the AA flight #'s)?
     
  7. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,438
    245
    Brisbane / Sydney
    The flight number determines your accrual rate. So it's 100%.

    However, for ChAAllenge purposes, you need to look at the elite qualifying points earned which are per mile earned:
    "+Qualification Requirements+"


    N attracts 0.5 EQP/mile while V gets a 1:1 ratio. You need 10 000 EQP within 3 months.
     
  8. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    The mileage accrual rate on the AA flight number would be 100%.

    As far as a challenge goes, then you want to book in V class on MEL-LAX as well since N only earns 50% qpoints whilst V is a 100% qpoint earning. Book in V the whole way, then you will complete the challenge on arrival in JFK. If you fly in N class from MEL-LAX, then you will be about 2400 qpoints short of completing the challenge

    Dave
     
  9. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    #9 meljfk, Apr 1, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
    Last 2 questions... I hope...

    Is it possible to book the flights on the AA flt # from Australia (aa.com won't let us use an Australian billing address?!) otherwise will I have to settle for 50% with the QF#?

    Is it possible to change the booking class which aa.com selects for me? 'Economy w/ restrictions' always returns N/V/V/V whilst economy w/o restrictions is 3x the price with Y/Y/Y/Y!?

    p.s - is there any way to determine fare type on the QANTAS flight numbers (so i can see if they will earn 100% eqp?)

    EDIT: Does Melbourne = AA Airport or Ticket Office?

    From aa.com -

    7. Country of Residence:

    U.S. & All Others Canada U.K. Note: If you are not a resident of the U.S., Canada, U.K., or select countries in Latin America or the Caribbean, tickets cannot be purchased online but may be placed on hold for purchase at an AA airport or ticket office.
     
  10. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,438
    245
    Brisbane / Sydney
    #10 Keith009, Apr 1, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
    AA USA cannot accept Aussie credit cards. That means you have to call up AA Australia (India) at 1800 673 486 to pay for your booking and get it ticketed after holding it online. You will be emailed a credit card authority form which you'd have to fax to the Sydney office with the requisite details. You might be able to get away with an online booking by pretending to live in the UK and having the country of residence as UK but this is known to have failed, especially if the amount payable is too high or if the fare rules do not allow the fare to be purchased outside of Australia.

    Making a booking over the phone with AA Australia will also mean you can get the booking class you want. This can however be arduous at best as you'd be speaking to people who won't be able to understand your accent and neither would you be able to understand theirs. Always impress on the agent you're speaking to that you do not care about the cheapest fare, and you're after a specific fare class. Spelling in phonetics also helps.

    AA.com should also show fare types for Qantas flight numbers AKAIK. When you get to 'flight summary' the website will list the fare classes by flight. This is the stage just before you make the actual purchase. AA.com tends to give priority to their codeshares before the Qantas flight numbers though.

    If you're refering to qantas.com, I've had Super Saver fares booked into V before.

    But again do note that points accrued on QF flight codes do not count towards the ChAAllenge.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    I would suggest making the booking online and once the flights are selected, there is an option to place the reservation on hold for purchase later

    Once the booking is on hold, I would then call the UK office on 0011 44 207 365 0777 and ask them to change the booking so that the MEL-LAX sector is in V class and then pay for it with them over the phone

    You will pay a booking fee with AA UK telephone reservations , but you will avoid any need to deal with the India office plus you can pay for the ticket over the phone rather than have to start faxing credit card authorisation forms and they will issue the ticket

    You can do this by phoning the Australian office on 1800 673 486 , but I try and avoid having to use them whenever possible

    once this is done, you can phone the AAdvantage Customer service desk on 0011 1 817 700 2500 and sign up for the Platinum Challenge

    For future trips you will not need to worry about this since any AA fare basis will be ok for accruing miles on AA and renewing status, so for the next trip can just book on aa.com and just make sure that you are booked on AA flight numbers

    Dave
     
  12. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    Thanks for all your responses;

    A few more queries....

    (If) When I complete the AA Platinum challenge, will the 100% mileage bonus be availble on the AA coded QF trans-pac flights? For example; If i booked a discount economy JFK-LAX-MEL on QF with the AA flt number, would i earn points based on the AA accural rate (1:1 for every fare class + 100%) or the QF rate (0.5:1 for V + 100%)?

    RE: Lounge access using oneworld sapphire status....

    from qantas.com;

    10.11 Qantas Club Members under the age of 18 years must be accompanied by an adult when visiting any Qantas Club lounge.

    from aa.com;

    Membership -
    Membership is open to all persons 18 years of age or older.

    from ba.com;

    Can an Under 18 Gold or Silver member enter a lounge if they are with an over 18 non-Executive Club member or a Blue Member? Yes, an Under 18 Gold or Silver member may use the lounge as long as they are accompanied by a responsible adult. This adult may be admitted to the lounge as the guest of the child.


    Does the above mean that I cannot use the Qantas Club in MEL, the Admirals Club at LAX or the Terraces lounge at JFK even with the oneworld sapphire status without an adult? Would it be O.K to just offer a single Economy pax access to the lounge as my guest so I could get in myself? I don't feel right doing that (if possible) but is it the only way? Could my parents speak to QF as Plat/QClub members themselves? Any other way!?
     
  13. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    The rules that matter are those for AAdvantage Platinum status, not those for QFF , BAEC or AC memberships

    I am not sure if there is a rule restricting lounge access to an AA Platinum member under 18, best have a look at the AA Platinum T&Cs

    You will earn the Platinum bonus on the flight on which you complete the challenge. Doing JFK-LAX-MEL , then LAX-MEL should complete the challenge and so earn 100% bonus. The earning of mileage is dependant on the flight number; assuming you book the AA flight number then you will earn 1 mile per flown mile

    Dave
     
  14. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Find a "responsible looking" person over 18 years of age at the airport and invite them to the lounge as your guest.
     
  15. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    Thank you all for your help;

    Just to finally clarify... If I book the following through a travel agent - (obtained from 'ita search tool')


    Fare (A1): AA MEL[​IMG]NYC VKRTAU fare (rules) AUD 1233.50 Fare (A2): AA NYC[​IMG]MEL VKRTAU fare (rules) AUD 1233.50

    Would that credit the full 10,967mi to my AAdvantage account, completing the 'Platinum Challenge'?
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Yes it will complete the challenge. However, the routing will determine the AA miles you will earn. If you take a single AA flight number for JFK-SYD and then SYD-MEL you will earn many more AAdvantage miles than if you book JFK-LAX-MEL routing.
     
  17. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    Thanks for the confirmation NM;

    I am currently routed:

    MEL->SYD (AA7306) SYD->JFK (AA7365)
    returning...
    JFK->LAX (AA7366) LAX->MEL (AA7356)

    Would I earn +100% of the miles for AA7365 (~10,000mi) Since it completes the challenge during the flight?
     
  18. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Yes, you get the 100% status bonus paid on the qualifying flight. It normally takes a few extra days to post and is shown on the statement as a separate entry.
     
  19. gracekelly

    gracekelly Junior Member

    Sep 24, 2003
    34
    6
    Hi - I agree on the finding a nice person and offering them to go to the lounge. Because of having kids and time off, I let my Qantas Club lapse - and would have loved to have met you on my last flight to LAX! If you don't meet anyone on the plane, just look at the people who walk by the lounge door and sigh -and grab one.

    Secondly, once you get to the US, one good way to get a credit card is to go to a bank and get a debit Visa card. You can have funds deposited to start buying plane tickets and it gives you a US based credit card. And, of course, being young, it is much easier to get a debit card than a credit card. Good luck in Boston.
     
  20. meljfk

    meljfk Junior Member

    Apr 1, 2007
    32
    3
    The VISA Debit idea sounds good.... But I have heard varying reports that you need a 'social security number' to open a U.S bank account. Is that true? (non-'frequent flyer' question;))
     
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