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AFF on Air Discussion thread

AFF Editor

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Hi Matt.

Thanks for producing a great podcast. I look forward to listening to episodes as soon as they're released. My question relates to redeeming with Alaska Air. I have been curious about Alaska after hearing your podcasts, seeing that it's possible to buy miles on sale and with bonuses and importantly because they fly to USA (or partners). Every time i look to book in Business there are only "mixed cabin" options available in Business or First, with the international leg between Australia and the US always in Economy which defeats the purpose of trying to score Business. Have you ever seen a Business class seat available when redeeming with Alaska? Any tips to find one?

Thank you. Mike
I've answered this question in the latest episode: Podcast Episode 15: The Qantas Oneworld Award

Hi Matt,

Fantastic podcast, this coming from someone who doesn't normally listen to them!

My partner and I have our sights set on business class tickets next Feb/Mar, Perth To Japan return. We currently have 70k Qantas points with another 250K+ arriving throughout the next 6 month.

My question is, was this the most sensible choice of a rewards program for these flights? Also what is the best method for newbies to find the correct program once they have chosen the destination.

I of course do know about your sister website, frequent flyer solutions, however I have not explored throughly.

Is it as simple as using rewards programs that allow transfers to different airlines programs? I hope this has not been answered before and was hoping you had an answer to help all newbies.

Please note, at this stage, chasing status is not a priority.

Thank you in advance Scott
Thanks Scott, I will talk about this in a future episode.
 

Revenge

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Still really enjoying the podcast, fantastic content every episode! Thank you for this great resource.

On a constructive note the sound quality of the interviews continues to be very poor. In the last episode the voices of Matt and the guest were at completely different volumes, so I had to keep turning the car sound volume up and down to be able to hear properly. Would really appreciate some volume balancing before release. If it's to be taken seriously as a podcast, outside of subscribers to this site, proper sound production is a must.
 

PhilOsman

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Matt,
Just listened to the podcast, many thanks for your comprehensive answers!
I will probably need to listen to it once or twice more for the info to sink in :)

At this stage I will look to use Velocity points to get to Ireland, as you suggested, and save the Qantas points for an American or European trip in the future.

Star Alliance was great to learn about. I will look to get a status match with United.

Phil
 

Revenge

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@Revenge, I've also responded to your feedback in the episode.
Hi Matt

Thanks for the shout out in the last episode.

Sound quality was great in the last 2 episodes. :)

Regarding the question you answered about whether it is worth sticking with the VA and QF frequent flyer programs while moving overseas, I found the biggest reason to not do so is that it's really hard to get the 4 minimum flights per year on the airline needed to retain Gold status. I spent quite a few years living in the UK and ended up crediting all my OW flights to BA instead of QF after a while because I wasn't able to maintain QF status without the 4 QF/JQ flights.

Initially I was actually crediting OW to QF and *A to my BMI membership, but when BA took over BMI and absorbed BMI diamond club into BAEC, I went full commitment to BA.

Sow now I have a lot of life time status credits split evenly between QFF and BAEC. :(

Dan
 

Hvr

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Hi Matt, have just listened to the podcast where you interviewed jb747. Loved it and found out more about his amazing career. He is very generous with his time, both on air with you and on line. Also liked getting a mention in dispatches as it were.

Will listen to more as I can, but do they need to be so long? At 45 minutes it is a big ask to sit at home to listen, and it is too long for my train journey where I actually listen to a podcast that is about 20 minutes long which is just the right length.

Or maybe even having two parts so I don't have to remember exactly where I was when I resume listening?

It would be interesting to hear other opinions on the length.
 
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Hi Matt, have just listened to the podcast where you interviewed jb747. Loved it and found out more about his amazing career. He is very generous with his time, both on air with you and on line. Also liked getting a mention in dispatches as it were.

Will listen to more as I can, but do they need to be so long? At 45 minutes it is a big ask to sit at home to listen, and it is too long for my train journey where I actually listen to a podcast that is about 20 minutes long which is just the right length.

Or maybe even having two parts so I don't have to remember exactly where I was when I resume listening?

It would be interesting to hear other opinions on the length.
45 minutes is okay for me - I have it at 1.5 speed so it works out to be 30 minutes long anyway
 
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45 mins is perfect. Most other podcasts I listen to are similar length or longer.

I use Google podcasts and it is easy to resume, skip back, etc with voice commands as I mainly listen in the car.

I find I listen to some twice because these so much info to sink in! Thanks Matt and team.
 

AFF Editor

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Thanks everyone for your comments on the length - all feedback is welcome! In general, I'm aiming to have episodes last around 30-40 minutes. Sometimes they will be longer, e.g. if there is an extended interview (as there was in the episode with jb747). @Hvr, I'm not sure where you're listening but in Apple Podcasts (which I use to listen to podcasts) you can pause and come back later where you left off.

P.S. If you're enjoying the podcast, please don't forget to also leave a review on Apple Podcasts ;)

Hi Matt
Regarding the question you answered about whether it is worth sticking with the VA and QF frequent flyer programs while moving overseas, I found the biggest reason to not do so is that it's really hard to get the 4 minimum flights per year on the airline needed to retain Gold status. I spent quite a few years living in the UK and ended up crediting all my OW flights to BA instead of QF after a while because I wasn't able to maintain QF status without the 4 QF/JQ flights.

Initially I was actually crediting OW to QF and *A to my BMI membership, but when BA took over BMI and absorbed BMI diamond club into BAEC, I went full commitment to BA.

Sow now I have a lot of life time status credits split evenly between QFF and BAEC. :(

Dan
The easiest way I've found to earn the 4 QF/JQ sectors when living in the UK is to book a round-trip with Qantas from somewhere like Aberdeen (or elsewhere in the UK) to Singapore, via London. You can get a QF coded flight on the domestic UK sector which is operated by BA. So the routing would be ABZ-LHR-SIN-LHR-ABZ, and this gets you the 4 sectors. Obviously this was a little easier when Qantas flew from LHR to DXB.
 

Revenge

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The easiest way I've found to earn the 4 QF/JQ sectors when living in the UK is to book a round-trip with Qantas from somewhere like Aberdeen (or elsewhere in the UK) to Singapore, via London. You can get a QF coded flight on the domestic UK sector which is operated by BA. So the routing would be ABZ-LHR-SIN-LHR-ABZ, and this gets you the 4 sectors. Obviously this was a little easier when Qantas flew from LHR to DXB.
Genius!
 

daft009

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aah yes, forgot to add ~35-40mins as standard is a great length.
special interviews like jb747, deserve that extra time so keep it up!

the production quality has improved in leaps & bounds since the beginning 👍
 

Revenge

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I just caught up on my episodes. The interview with Princess Fiona in the second-last episode was great, very interesting!

I have also wondered about the inability of Australians to join BAEC. I'm a member registered at a friend's address in London, but I wonder whether this is potentially anti-competitive behaviour by BA and Qantas. Usually agreeing to divide territories by competitors is unlawful. I wonder what the ACCC would have to say about that.
 

trippin_the_rift

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how about an interview regarding the ACCC loyalty schemes report in one of the next episodes? perhaps with @trippin_the_rift ?
could be interesting
Feeling the love <3

Wild guess - trippin_the_rift talking about ACCC and loyalty PROGRAMS and DATA would be super insightful! WATCH THIS SPACE.... :down finger point emoji:


...
I have also wondered about the inability of Australians to join BAEC. I'm a member registered at a friend's address in London, but I wonder whether this is potentially anti-competitive behaviour by BA and Qantas. Usually agreeing to divide territories by competitors is unlawful. I wonder what the ACCC would have to say about that.
Many years ago as part of the BA/QF JV on AU/UK, both programs carved out their own territories and put up barriers to protect each market. Eg: QF wouldn't signup customers in UK and BA wouldn't signup customers in AU. At the time, any existing FFers in those regions who were signed up under the 'wrong' program were merged into the 'correct' program. Eg: QF FF signed up in UK had their account/points/status rolled over into BA, and their QF account closed.

Fast-forward to the end of the JV - Qantas allowed anyone from almost anywhere to signup as a member. BA... well.... that's what Oneworld is for, right?

At least, that's the word on the street.
 
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Mcvague

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Hi Matt
As a very very new subscriber and internet “poster” I hope I am posting this in the correct place:). Just wanted to say I am loving the podcasts Matt, I listen with notepad and pen and jot down the numerous pearls of wisdom passed on by yourself and your guests.
I am currently in the midst of booking a oneworld award, my first and and with only bronze status as my points were generated mainly through credit cards. I commenced my itinerary in Manila after listening to episode 15 and your fantastic interview with James Green. I couldn’t believe how much we saved in surcharges! Thankyou! One question though do you or does anyone know when I add flights to an itinerary (through the QANTAS call centre) that is commencing in Manila are the fuel surcharges still reduced. Do you just pay taxes/surcharges on the flights added or is the whole itinerary’s taxes recalculated? Any pearls of wisdom greatly appreciated!
 

Jacques Vert

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Welcome to AFF.

When you add to an itinerary (or make changes) the taxes are recalculated. While I have never tried this with an itinerary starting in MNL, there is anecdotal evidence on another thread that those nasty fuel surcharges may reappear. This may depend on whether the agent has to manually calculate the taxes or whether their computer does it for them. @Mattg may have a better idea on this one.

Like everything to do with contacting the call centre, the answer may depend on which agent answers the phone.
 

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