Backup FF Program - which Star Alliance Partner?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Jobu, Aug 27, 2006.

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Which Star Alliance FF Programme do you recommend?

  1. United Airlines - Mileage Plus

    6 vote(s)
    66.7%
  2. Virgin Atlantic - Flying Club

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Air New Zealand - Airpoints

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. Another Star Alliance partner's programme

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. Jobu

    Jobu Member

    Dec 24, 2005
    496
    76
    1K
    Hallo,

    I've read various threads which explain some of the benefits of various Star Alliance FF programmes, but have struggled to pull all of it together.

    I recently travelled on Singapore Airlines to Europe. I now want to use those boarding passes to get some miles on a *Alliance FF programme (how long do I have by the way?). I'm based in Perth if that makes any difference...

    I've gathered a few advantages of one FF programme over the other, but is it possible for someone to summarise them in one place? And which would you choose as a backup programme?

    > United's Mileage Plus: Best value award redemptions?
    > Virgin Atlantic's Flying Club: 20% bonus for a limited time with AMEX
    > Singapore's Kris: Good for people who travel business class? (PPS Club?)
    > Air NZ's Airpoints: Good availability of award seats?

    Hope this makes sense... appreciate your comments.

    Cheers,

    JOBU
     

  2. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
    39,071
    7,706
    MEL
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    Calling Kiwi Flyer; who is top level in both *alliance and oneWORLD ...
     
  3. Tiki

    Tiki Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    449
    32
    BNE
    Virgin isn't in Star Alliance, they may have a partnership with SQ though. I think UA has the best award opportunity 20k for Australia to NZ or Pacific Islands. They are a pain in the butt to get though. If you are flying on actual United planes to the States before 31 Dec, I can give you an invitation to Mileage Plus that gets us both bonus miles. Has to be United, no codeshares.
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    There are some key questions first to help narrow it down. Different travel patterns suit different programs - there is no one program that is best for everyone.

    1) What airlines do you fly most of (*A, but non-*A partners could be relevant also)? What class of travel? Is it full fare, discounted or heavily discounted? How much per year (distance, typical routes)?

    2) What are you most wanting to get out of a FFP? Awards, upgrades, or status (ie lounge access and other status benefits)?

    3) Is non-flying earning important to you? Most major chain hotels and car rental firms belong to many FFPs, so the major distinction tends to be for credit card earning. This in turn depends on residency - eg there are some fantastic affiliated credit cards in USA but hard to get for someone not living there.

    As for crediting your recent trip. It varies by program - some strictly wont credit any past flights, some will credit up to 1-6 months in arrears, others 1-6 months but only for flights on that airline. Also check what fare class your trip was on. The cheapest economy fares on SQ are non mileage earning for all FFPs.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Virgin Atlantic is a full partner of SQ Kris Flyer (ie counts for status as well as earning and redeeming options), and a partner of BD and NZ (ie doesnt count for status but does have earning and redeeming options).
     
  6. LenLen

    LenLen Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    22
    0
    Excuse me hijacking this thread, but I'd like to know which Star Alliance Partner I should go with as well as I'm using a RTW with Star Alliance and I'm not part of any of their frequent flyer program as yet.

    1. Fare is Sydney-SanFran, LasVegas-NY-Frankfurt-Manila-Singapore-Sydney, carriers are United Airlines, US Airways, Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

    2. I have an AMEX rewards Maximiser card and a Citibank Gold card.

    3. Travel once a year (if that).

    4. I don't have a preference on whether I go with oneworld or star alliance, future trips will be based on price.

    5. Already a member of QFF.

    6. Would prefer free membership.

    7. What I would like to use my points for? I guess upgrades, free flights, or free hotel rooms. I guess anything.

    Any help would be appreciated, I have done a search, but it looks like it depends on each person's circumstances.

    Thanks
    Len
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    It does depend on each person's circumstances. IIRC you are travelling on the special economy *A RTW. That generally books into booking class H, which is a reasonably high economy category.

    With none/little other *A travel I'd concentrate on free awards as the main benefit. Perhaps UA Mileage Plus would suit? No joining fee. Cheap awards. Eg one RTW should (I haven't checked your itin though) get enough miles for round trip in economy oz/nz (or maybe even as far as Tahiti PER-PPT) and with little taxes. You might even get *Silver status (25k status miles), which has some (limited) benefits - eg E+ seating for free subject to availability on UA flights. Earning is 100% miles in H. You will need to have some activity (could be hotel, rental car, flights, bought points) every 18 months.
     
  8. LenLen

    LenLen Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    22
    0
    Ok, that looks good. Should I take into consideration my AMEX rewards points? e.g. maybe joining KrisFlyer? Or is it not worthwhile for me since I don't travel often.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Sure. Depends on how significant they are and whether there are other good uses for the Amex points.

    Kris Flyer free to join. Also 100% earning on H. Awards not too expensive, but more than UA Mileage Plus in general. Good if you want to redeem or upgrade business or first on SQ (especially 77W flights which has virtually no availability on partner FFPs), but probably not relevant to you. Points expire after 3(?) years. Also 25k for *Silver. Earning rates generally not as good as UA Mileage Plus (eg no minimum miles on short flights).
     
  10. LenLen

    LenLen Junior Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    22
    0
    Looks like you're swaying towards UA, I'm convinced. UA Mileage plus it is. Thanks KiwiFlyer.
     
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