Booking flights to Europe through CX Asia Miles or SQ KrisFlyer

Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
I have an Amex Platinum Charge card and can transfer points to CX Asia Miles or SQ KrisFlyer as well as QFF. We are planning to travel to Switzerland in Feb/Mar 2023.

We will look for flights SYD-ZRH, SYD-CDG or SYD-LHR. If we transfer to CX we can book any of those for 90,000 Asia Miles in J. If we transfer to SQ we can book a Saver J ticket for 116,000 miles and with QFF we will need 159,000 points. If we book with CX it will be on BA flights which have the higher taxes etc but we don't mind doing that for the lower number of points needed. We could use CX miles to also book JL to LHR but it's probably easier to fly ZRH-LHR-SYD with BA since that can be booked on one ticket for 90K points.

I retired 9 months ago and will no longer have the opportunity to earn points through my business so our spend on cards will now be a lot lower than previously. If we book flights through CX we will have enough points to do three return trips to Europe for both of us in the future at 90K each way so 360K points for each return trip. If we decide to use SQ in the future at 116K each way for each of us so we will need 464K points for each return trip so I'm leaning towards using CX Asia Miles at 90K each way.

The main reason I'm considering whether I should do this is that there is talk that CX may not survive due to the current Hong Kong restrictions. I know that if I only transfer Amex points required to CX a few days before I book the flights and not leave a balance in Asia Miles, once the BA ticket is issued there should be no problems even if CX were to cease to exist. However I worry about what could happen if the Covid situation does not improve in 12 months time and we decided to cancel. IF CX is still operating our Asia Miles used for the BA flights would be refunded but if they are not operating I don't know what would happen. I wonder if BA would allow re-booking to a later date?

Has anyone heard of what has happened in this situation in the past when other airlines have failed. It could still be better booking SQ flights at this stage since there is still some doubt about the future of CX and we are looking at flights nearly 12 months away when I book them. I have read that Asia Miles is a separate entity to CX so I don't know if that could make a difference.

We are booked to go to Antarctica in January 2023 (originally booked for 2021 then changed to 2022 then changed again) but have decided to change that booking to 2024 as soon as the 2023/2024 season itineraries are released. There have been some Antarctica cruises with Covid cases on board over the last few weeks cancelled or cut short and future cruises in the next few weeks cancelled. Some people have arrived in Ushuaia to find that their cruise has been cancelled while on the way there. We can only afford to do this trip once so hope that by waiting 2 years the world situation will be a lot better. We have decided to book to go to Switzerland instead since at this stage it seems that travel to some countries in Europe seems to be going well.

Thanks for any thoughts and advice you can offer about this situation.
 

Gold Member

Established Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Posts
1,414
I don’t recommend pursuing Cathay due to their current predicament which I expect will only get worse.

I’d go with Singapore for all the obvious reasons, but just be mindful of the challenges with their Philippines call centre.
 

madrooster

Established Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
2,406
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
I know that if I only transfer Amex points required to CX a few days before I book the flights and not leave a balance in Asia Miles, once the BA ticket is issued there should be no problems even if CX were to cease to exist.

It will be a CX issued ticket. If CX is dead by then, the ticket will not be valid for travel irrespective of which carrier the ticket is for travel on.

but just be mindful of the challenges with their Philippines call centre.

BOM too. CEB is actually relatively OK...
 

HappyFlyerFamily

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Posts
5,334
I think the risk going via CX is the airline (and thus their program) being effectively bankrupted at some point this year, and a BA ticket not flying (eg BA could also cancel the flight) and you not being able to find a replacement flight to be ticketed meaning points are 'stuck' in AsiaMiles.

After reading an economic article, I think the writing is on the wall for CX - massive debt is written to the HK Government. This can be used to wipe out the entire airline if CX defaults on debt. This process might take 3 years.

I personally would go 3 return flights freer from worry than say 2 return flights with worry, and then 1 flight worry free (as by the time you get to the 3rd return flight (CX might well and truly gone kaput) and the 50k saved from the two worry flights contributing to the 4th return flight.
 

kamchatsky

Established Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Posts
3,256
Qantas
Silver
Virgin
Gold
We have QR flights MEL-MAN in J booked with AsiaMiles points, so you aren't limited to BA.
But that is still as CX ticket. So if they go bankrupt, QR won’t have to take you onboard.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Thanks everyone for your replies.

I was under the impression that once a redemption flight is ticketed, so in these examples if I book to fly with BA, JL or QR with CX Asia Miles, CX would have paid the airline with the value of the points I used, so that ticket would be already paid for once a ticket number has been issued and that there would not be an issue if CX were to fold unless I wanted to make a change to the booking or it is cancelled, but it seems I am wrong about that.

Either way I don't think it's worth risking when I start booking our flights next month for 2023 so we will book with SQ KrisFlyer. I'd rather use the extra points and not be worrying over the next year if CX will still be operating.
 

Matt_01

Established Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2016
Posts
3,909
......

Either way I don't think it's worth risking when I start booking our flights next month for 2023 so we will book with SQ KrisFlyer. I'd rather use the extra points and not be worrying over the next year if CX will still be operating.
Just my 2 bobs worth, if looking for SQ saver flights to ZRH in J these maybe difficult to come by however SQ to/from LHR, CDG, FRA are normally easy to find and book, I have just been through this process and came to he conclusion I may have to pay for one or two internal EU flights. All that been said and by your own statement you have now retired but that does not mean one does not stop earning points/ miles. The 90k Asia miles compared to 116 SQ miles is around $26K in real AMEX dollars. Depending on your situation I would guess it is quite easy to spend more than $26K per annum on just living expenses.
 

aikman

Active Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2009
Posts
666
Just before Virgin went into administration, I used my Velocity points for a SQ award. That ticket remained valid and intact.

I realise now that its because Velocity never went into administration. I assume Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles would be separate companies so Cathay's failure would not necessarily mean Asia Miles would also stop operating or that Asia Miles tickets would be dishonoured.

Having said that I still wouldn't take the risk though.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Just my 2 bobs worth, if looking for SQ saver flights to ZRH in J these maybe difficult to come by however SQ to/from LHR, CDG, FRA are normally easy to find and book, I have just been through this process and came to he conclusion I may have to pay for one or two internal EU flights. All that been said and by your own statement you have now retired but that does not mean one does not stop earning points/ miles. The 90k Asia miles compared to 116 SQ miles is around $26K in real AMEX dollars. Depending on your situation I would guess it is quite easy to spend more than $26K per annum on just living expenses.
Thanks Matt_01. We plan to go to Strasbourg at the start or end of the trip to meet our Son who is living in Europe before or after our time in Switzerland. When I was planning to book BA flights to LHR through CX I was thinking we can travel by train on the Eurostar and TGV to Strasbourg and after our week there we would go by train to Switzerland from there.

Now that we have decided to travel with SQ we will try for SYD-ZRH or SYD-CDG otherwise SYD-LHR. I'm seeing a few different SYD-LHR flights released each day when I've checked over the last two days, as well as some to CDG and ZRH. I hadn't thought of looking at FRA so I'll check that as well.

If we can't book SYD-ZRH in J and we fly to LHR we can book BA LHR-ZRH with QFF points for 20K in J if we want to go straight to ZRH.

Yes I'm sure we will be able to spend more than $26K over the year so that won't be a problem building the Amex points balance up again. It just won't be as easy as when I was working and getting points for business expenses.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Just before Virgin went into administration, I used my Velocity points for a SQ award. That ticket remained valid and intact.

I realise now that its because Velocity never went into administration. I assume Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles would be separate companies so Cathay's failure would not necessarily mean Asia Miles would also stop operating or that Asia Miles tickets would be dishonoured.

Having said that I still wouldn't take the risk though.
Thanks aikman. Yes, I've decided not to take the risk and will book to fly with SQ. CX may still be around in 12 months time but that would be 12 months of worrying about what if! We've never flown with SQ so that's something to look forward to.
 

Mwenenzi

Established Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Posts
2,026
Qantas
Silver Club
I have an Amex Platinum Charge card and can transfer points to CX Asia Miles or SQ KrisFlyer as well as QFF. We are planning to travel to Switzerland in Feb/Mar 2023.

We will look for flights SYD-ZRH, SYD-CDG or SYD-LHR. ion.
Are other international airports not that far away (by fast train)


Edit
added more airports
 
Last edited:

madrooster

Established Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
2,406
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
I was under the impression that once a redemption flight is ticketed, so in these examples if I book to fly with BA, JL or QR with CX Asia Miles, CX would have paid the airline with the value of the points I used, so that ticket would be already paid for once a ticket number has been issued and that there would not be an issue if CX were to fold unless I wanted to make a change to the booking or it is cancelled, but it seems I am wrong about that.

The operating carrier gets paid when the coupon is lifted ie. when the flight has flown.

I have just been through this process and came to he conclusion I may have to pay for one or two internal EU flights

If it's a connecting flight, consider turning the award into a star alliance award (ie. using OS/SN/LX/LH/TP etc) for 1500 more miles per direction. A better idea than separate tickets in the current climate. You may need to call to book.

I realise now that its because Velocity never went into administration. I assume Cathay Pacific and Asia Miles would be separate companies so Cathay's failure would not necessarily mean Asia Miles would also stop operating or that Asia Miles tickets would be dishonoured.

VA still continued to operate throughout which is why their tickets were still accepted. In the event VA ceased operating but Velocity was still alive, other carriers would cease to accept VA ticket coupons because of VA (who owns the ticket stock) not being operational.

Think of it as Velocity buying you a gift card from VA. VA still needs to be alive for the gift card to be spent (ie. partner carrier charging VA).

Now that we have decided to travel with SQ we will try for SYD-ZRH or SYD-CDG otherwise SYD-LHR. I'm seeing a few different SYD-LHR flights released each day when I've checked over the last two days, as well as some to CDG and ZRH. I hadn't thought of looking at FRA so I'll check that as well.

If you can't get into ZRH directly, consider a KrisFlyer star alliance award which is just 1500 KrisFlyer miles per direction more than an east coast AU to Europe SQ saver award, fly into FRA and connect on the same award to STR or BSL, or even better, fly into MUC and connect to SXB. You may need to call to book.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
If you can't get into ZRH directly, consider a KrisFlyer star alliance award which is just 1500 KrisFlyer miles per direction more than an east coast AU to Europe SQ saver award, fly into FRA and connect on the same award to STR or BSL, or even better, fly into MUC and connect to SXB. You may need to call to book.
Thanks madrooster. This will be our first time flying with a Star Alliance airline so I wasn't aware of the KrisFlyer Star Alliance award. I have used the QF One World Award several times in past years. I always booked the first flight online when seats were released and then called QF to add flights as they were released which eventually triggered the OWA when two non QF airlines were used and points required came to more than the 280K which it was back then.

So with the KrisFlyer Star Alliance award - does this mean you can do this on one way bookings for 1500 miles more, without having to make it a round trip on the one booking? We will book to fly SYD-ZRH if we can get it as soon flights for the date we need are released and then book the return flights when they are released later. If I can do this on one way bookings do I book say SYD-MUC online and then call to add MUC-SXB later and have the 1500 miles added? I've just tried a search on the SQ website and if I try to search MUC-SXB it doesn't recognise SXB as an airport, even when I select "Star Alliance" or "Other Partner Airlines". It does show flights for MUC-BSL. If I wanted to book to fly to SXB I guess I can check which Star Alliance airlines fly that route and check flight times before calling SQ to get it added to the booking.
 
Last edited:

madrooster

Established Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
2,406
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
So with the KrisFlyer Star Alliance award - does this mean you can do this on one way bookings for 1500 miles more, without having to make it a round trip on the one booking?

Yes.

Stopovers are also permitted on return star alliance awards for 100 USD. On return awards one stopover is free, additional ones are 100 USD.

On a return you can do SYD-SIN-FRA, stopover for 100 USD, FRA-STR (destination) ZRH-MUC, stopover for free, MUC-SIN-SYD.

If I can do this on one way bookings do I book say SYD-MUC online and then call to add MUC-SXB later and have the 1500 miles added? I've just tried a search on the SQ website and if I try to search MUC-SXB it doesn't recognise SXB as an airport, even when I select "Star Alliance" or "Other Partner Airlines". It does show flights for MUC-BSL. If I wanted to book to fly to SXB I guess I can check which Star Alliance airlines fly that route and check flight times before calling SQ to get it added to the booking.

Yes but it'd be subject to change fees. SQ award space isn't like hen's teeth like it is on QF so you could probably chance it and book both in one hit over the phone if you aren't dead fixed on a certain date.

Many websites don't recognise the small regional ports - you need to call. You can check availability using the United site although beware that United starts to see availability 331 days out whereas SQ is 355 days and LH is 361 days, so the United site may not be all that useful if your redemption is booked around the schedule release.
 
Last edited:

Mattg

Enthusiast
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Posts
12,376
Qantas
Gold
Virgin
Gold
Yes.

Stopovers are permitted on one way SQ or star alliance awards for 100 USD. On return awards one stopover is free, additional ones are 100 USD.

I don't think stopovers are permitted on one-way KrisFlyer Star Alliance awards (even for USD100)? But they are allowed on round-trip Star Alliance awards and one-way awards when flying SQ only.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
So you can get smarter and do say SYD-SIN-MUC, stopover (for 100 USD surcharge), MUC-SXB. Same with FRA if going to BSL/STR.

On a return you can do SYD-SIN-FRA, stopover for 100 USD, FRA-STR (destination) ZRH-MUC, stopover for free, MUC-SIN-SYD.
Thanks madrooster. I am seeing several options for flying SYD-ZRH at 11am when flights are released over the last couple of days but for ZRH-SIN-SYD I am only seeing Saver fares for SQ345/SQ221 with a 14hr40 layover, arriving in SIN at 0600 and departing at 2040.

If I was to book FRA-SYD, where I see a lot of availability and call up to add ZRH-FRA as a transit and not as a stopover of over 24 hours what would be the change fee for that? Looking at fees for Business Saver it shows USD75 for cancellation, USD25 for Date changes on Singapore Airlines flights and USD25 for Route/cabin class/award type changes on Singapore Airlines flights but I haven't found a change fee for adding a Star Alliance flight.

I see that SQ have a promotion where you get Elite Gold status when transferring over 250K KrisFlyer miles by 28 February and since I'll need to transfer 232K for both of us for the flights to Europe and then the same for the flights back home this will be a good opportunity.
 

madrooster

Established Member
Joined
May 21, 2012
Posts
2,406
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Gold
I don't think stopovers are permitted on one-way KrisFlyer Star Alliance awards (even for USD100)? But they are allowed on round-trip Star Alliance awards and one-way awards when flying SQ only.

My error, you are correct - have amended my post.

If I was to book FRA-SYD, where I see a lot of availability and call up to add ZRH-FRA as a transit and not as a stopover of over 24 hours what would be the change fee for that? Looking at fees for Business Saver it shows USD75 for cancellation, USD25 for Date changes on Singapore Airlines flights and USD25 for Route/cabin class/award type changes on Singapore Airlines flights but I haven't found a change fee for adding a Star Alliance flight.

I have seen them charge just the 25 USD fee. Given LH opens their schedule before SQ, you should be able to just book the entire chain in one go.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Posts
403
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
I have seen them charge just the 25 USD fee. Given LH opens their schedule before SQ, you should be able to just book the entire chain in one go.
Thanks. I don't see a Multi City option under Redeem Flights when I log in to SQ so it seems that I would have to call to book this in one go.
 

Enhance your AFF viewing experience!

From just $6 we'll remove all advertisements so that you can enjoy a cleaner and uninterupted viewing experience.

And you'll be supporting us so that we can continue to provide this valuable resource :)


Sample AFF with no advertisements? More..
Top