Airpoints & Mileage Plus

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by mella2007, Apr 2, 2007.

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  1. mella2007

    mella2007 Established Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    1,090
    208
    Melbourne
    I am a member of MP and have around 30,000 points. I am flying ANZ for my next trip to the USA and have been told by the travel agent that I cannot organise an upgrade as Air New Zealand do not do this?

    IS this correct? I thought they were a part of Star Alliance?

    So it looks as though i will have to join Airpoints, but was wondering whether i can combine both flyer programs to use on a long haul sometime in the future.

    Anything appreciated.
     

  2. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,432
    244
    Brisbane / Sydney
    Despite being a member of the Star Alliance, Air NZ is not a participant of the Star Alliance upgrade awards program. The participating member airlines are ANA, Asiana, Austrian Airlines, LOT, Lufthansa, Swiss, TAP Portugal and Thai Airways. It is indicated, however, that 'Additional Star Alliance member airlines will be added in the future.' Also, only fares booked in C, D, Y and B classes are eligible for Star Alliance upgrades using UA miles.

    Unfortunately you can't combine miles from 2 programs.

    OTOH 30 000 points is enough for an economy award from Australia to Oceania, subject to MPM. So something like MEL-AKL-PPT return is possible, and you're allowed to make one stopover enroute. So if it's any comfort, your MP miles are not entirely orphaned if you elect to switch to Airpoints.
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Even if NZ was already in the *A-wide mileage upgrade scheme, I would say very unlikely to be able to use it for Oz/NZ-USA. NZ mostly sells out business class (yes times I've been unable to buy even full business fare). It is also a popular upgrade route for it's own elites - there are always more people requesting upgrades than are available. I've had times when waitlisted, for 8 months, for an upgrade as NZ top tier elite and it didn't clear.

    Also, and I suspect this is the reason NZ hasn't joined the *A upgrade program yet, on 747 and 777 a/c NZ treats economy -> business as a double upgrade (since premium economy is a separate cabin and class of travel).
     
  4. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,451
    283
    Canberra
    Sorry to go off the original topic....

    But.. Kiwiflyer you have confirmed what I thought... that upgrades NZ/LAX are rather difficult to get... I felt VERY fortunate to actually GET a "standby" upgrade from PE to Business coming home from LA in March...

    I also got a similar (standby) upgrade from Economy to PE on the way over... but ONLY after pointing out to cabin staff that I had the SAME seat number on the BP as another pax! (I had asked at the "desk" whether the upgrade had gone through.. and been told "no"... the departure area in AKL was a zoo as usual for US flights) and I wonder whether the staff member simply couldn't be bothered.... yet since the upgrade had gone through my original Economy seat had been reallocated?? Just a theory...

    I showed him the printout of the upgrade request and presume that it gave him a "simple way out".... as there was, coincidentally, ONE empty seat in PE.... Hmmm... No real evidence of course.... but interesting.

    BTW... I am wondering whether there is a "new" policy on upgrades at ANZ... - a new "fill the Premier cabin" philosophy? That would help explain how a "low status" program member like me could actually GET a Business STANDBY upgrade? I think there were at least two of us upgraded at the departure gate ( new boarding passes had already been printed) AND PE was full as well... so at least 2 people must logically have been upgraded there....

    The Business Premier experience was almost "too much"..... got to love being able to lie flat of course!

    I intend to keep flying PE with ANZ.... it's not worth the money really but is a nice way to travel.. If I get another (standby) upgrade then that's just a bonus!
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    I don't think there is anything new. For some time now NZ has been pushing on departure and standby upgrades. Once they are sure there will be no last minute purchases they are happy to take your airbucks (or complimentary status vouchers) as payment for the upgrade.

    My issue, is on the flights I most want to upgrade there is not enough availability due to the business class cabin being too small. When they did the refit premium capacity was reduced and since then they have only added some premium economy seats on 744. Business class unchanged.
     
  6. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,451
    283
    Canberra
    Thanks Mate, that makes sense...

    Yup.... got to agree... there seems to be too few Business seats... particularly on the 777.... My travelling buddy was sitting next to two in PE who had tried to buy (full price I'm assuming) Business tickets... and not been able to for that flight...

    They were understandably miffed when he mentioned my upgrade... of course the seat I got was probably a last minute cancellation.. and they must not have been able to or bothered to put in for an upgrade after purchasing PE tickets... (I do that as a matter of course as I see upgrades as the best value redemption by far ..... which attitude paid off last trip!)

    Having looked at my (purely recreational) travel over the next year I've just discovered I'll make Silver in October.. then Gold in March/April.. which will be nice for the trip in June!

    SO.. another question.. (Sorry!) Upgrade certificates.... How does one use them? Do they become an option online once you HAVE them... to use instead of AD's? Or do you have to call in?

    And when they say Silver/Gold certificate upgrades can be confirmed 48/72 hours before travel respectively..... How do you do that? And what if you want to use one on the return leg? Is it 48 hours before "travel commences" or do you have to remember to contact them (somehow?) whilst overseas???

    I'm a pain I know!:D
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Yes can use online. Put in the request. They are standby so no guarantees if or when they will clear. GE clears first then G then S.
     
  8. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,451
    283
    Canberra
    Again.. that makes sense! And again... Thanks!
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    If the flight is fairly full then upgrades can clear very late, even for Gold Elites (I've had some only clear at check in).
     
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