Bronze QFF - stick to Qantas or join AA?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by bighdad, Jan 16, 2007.

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  1. bighdad

    bighdad Junior Member

    Jan 16, 2007
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    Hi. Most useful forum info so far. Have noticed some differing opinions on QFF vs AAdvantage, but mostly for people with big points. If you could help me before I build up some status credits, I'd be most grateful.

    Have booked Jetstar Starclass SYD to HNL return (don't mind the class, like the status credits - 280 I think), and economy HNL to NYC (Q/N with SFO connection), WAS to MIA (Q), MIA to HNL (Q/O with LAX connection) all with American Airlines. I think I earn around 60 SCs for the US flights with AA, and around 11000 points, but I'm not sure about the classes, and Qantas website is down, again.

    I have 10 SCs since Oct 06, but will probably earn 70-100 domestically on Qantas this year.

    Is it worth going for Qantas Silver, or should I get equivalent on AA, and use oneworld levels? And what is all this about challenges?

    Many thanks


    Andrew
     

  2. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    Welcome to AFF bighdad

    There is a pretty detailed thread about the challenges in the AAdvantage forum. Basically they are an express way to get status on AA. Earn 5,000 points in 3 months to get AA Gold (QF Silver) or 10,000 in 3 months to get AA Plat (QF Gold). You then need to retain those by earning 25,000/50,000 points annually. You need to work out for yourself what the likelihood of earning that is.

    The big aadvantage of AA is the that the rewards cost less to redeem - for example a business class return SYD-LHR costs 120,000 points as opposed to about 240,000 on QF. Also AA dont charge fuel surcharges on award flights - quite a saving.

    The problem with AA is that there are few Oz based Credit Card programs that you can effectively transfer points to AA. So if you are a small flyer with big CC points then AA may not be ideal for you. That said - lifetime status on AA is based on total points earned rather than "butt-in-seat" points like QF.

    Also - not sure you will earn any AA points on the JQ flight to HNL - JQ isnt oneworld or a partner for AA - but someone else can clarify that.

    I know that's probably a bit vague - but its very person specific what program you choose. AA works well for me as my CC spend is quite low compared to my flight earning (roughly 250K points planned to be earned from flying compared to 80K points from CC). ALso I only want int'l J awards mostly as I have little interest in domestic flying.

    S
     
  3. Altair

    Altair Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
    803
    82
    Wellington
    #3 Altair, Jan 16, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
    Welcome to AFF bighdad:D
    First up only QFF will get points on your JetStar Starclass flights.
    Qantas Silver will get you 25% points bonus on QF, AA and BA flights as long as they are over the 1,000 minimum. You will also get 10 kg additional luggage on QF flights only and 1 QP voucher. All other benefits are the same as OW Ruby.
    With your itinerary you can do an AA Challenge. I am sure that Dave will help you ascertain what challenge is best for you, go for the Platinum or Gold challenge this trip and gain the benefits but if you cannot get 50K or 25K qualifying points next year you may want to put your flights on QF when your AA status disappears. AA Gold, which you will drop down to from Platinium for one year, will give you OW Ruby benefits and 50% status benefits on points. AA is also cheaper to redeem points, mile and no fuel taxes. However I find that short haul in the premium cabins then status in QF is easier.
    Regarding your current travel patterns make sure your flights qualify for AA as there are some QF fare classes and other OW economy flights that do not earn points eg. CX.
    I myself am reviewing my programs and my switch to AA or even LAN as I see a few LAN flights coming in the next year or two.

    Edited to reflect my straightened out thinking thaks to Dave
     
  4. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    The AA flights should nicely complete a Gold challenge for you and earn about 11,000 points which would seem to be better value than crediting to QF and earning a max of 5,400 miles, though possibly less since I am not sure whether all of O,Q and N are valid for earning miles and the QF website is down at the moment so I cannot check

    I would also consider seeing how much extra it would cost for a V class on AA ; that way you would be able to complete the Platinum challenge and so gain Lounge Access , plus an extra year of elite status guaranteed

    I wouldn't say that AA is harder to maintain elite status if travelling in discount economy since 30 sectors or 25,000 miles or points will get AA gold.

    On short runs , such as SYD-MEL, QFF needs 30 cheap economy sectors ( though only 15 in K/W/B/Y ) to retain Silver vs 30 on AA.

    When it comes to longhaul economy, then AA definately tends to beat QF for status earning

    For travel in business/1st , QF is much easier to maintain status

    Dave
     
  5. futaris

    futaris Established Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    2,804
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    Brisbane
    Credit the Jetstar to QF (if it's JetFlex or Starclass), and put the rest on AA. Try and sign up for the AA Challenge, if you can.
     
  6. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    With AAdvantage, there's definitely no mile earn earn when travelling QF in N & Q Classes. O class on QF earns Qpoints at ¼ per mile travlled (min 500). N, O & Q classes within US earn QPoints at ½ per mile within US.

    As for Qantas FF earnings on AA Flights, I have extracted the following from a cache of the QFF T&C recorded on 8th January '07:
    Code:
    American Airlines® (AA)  GLMNSV    Discount Economy     0.5     -
                             BHKY      Economy              1       -
                             DIJ       Business             1       25%
                             AFP       First                1       50%
    
    So, if crediting to QF you get ½ QFF point per mile in N class and zip for O and Q classes.
     
  7. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    To summarize:
    1. You need to Credit the JQ Flights to QFF for 280 SC's and ~12500 FF points.
    2. If you credit your AA flights to QF, you would earn only for the N class SFO to NYC; ~1350 FF points & 25 SC's.
    3. If you Credit you AA flights to AAdvantage you will earn ~10,800 miles & 5,400 Qpoints.
     
  8. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Having verified that the only AA sector which would be eligable for QFF miles is the SFO-JFK ( earning 1293 miles ) , I think it would be foolish not to credit the AA flights to AAdvantage and undertake the Gold Challenge and earn Gold status plus 11,000 AA FF miles

    The details of the AAdvantage challenges are on the AAdvantage forum

    Dave
     
  9. bighdad

    bighdad Junior Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    22
    0
    Thank you all for such brilliant detailed advice, and within 7 hours!!!

    Am enrolling for AAdv, and checking V class seats. Had a run-in with the call-centre yesterday but fortunately didn't have to spell my name. Looks like I'll need to call to request a challenge.

    Andrew
     
  10. bighdad

    bighdad Junior Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    22
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    Two more (dumb) questions if I may:

    - do my spouse's flights (same itinerary) accrue points on my AAdv, or should I enrol her as well?

    - do you fine people use the AA.com site to book flights, or is there a better option?

    Andrew
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    No the person flying gets the miles, so enrol her too.

    Various means. AA.com is convenient but cannot book circle pacific, RTW etc online.
     
  12. serfty

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    #12 serfty, Jan 16, 2007
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2007
  13. straitman

    Moderator

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    1. You should enroll your spouse seperately as points only accrue to the individual.
    2. Look through the forums as there is a lot of recent discussion re the best way to book with AA. It really depends a bit on your specific situatlion.
     
  14. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    If booking AA flights, then aa.com is typically a good place to book

    Dave
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Welcome to AFF bighdad :)
     
  16. bighdad

    bighdad Junior Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    22
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    Thanks guys.

    On AA.com, have clicked no restrictions on exactly the same dates, and the price for 2 has gone from 1432 to 5627 USD for two. Up almost 300%! Ouch.

    Classes are YYPYY.

    Will try to find V on restricted - chances??

    Andrew
     
  17. Altair

    Altair Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
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    Wellington
    Yes you are right Dave I got my thinking muddled up as I have recently been able to fly J short haul and found the QF status points were stacking up. I was tempted to do the AA Platinum Challenge but the would have missed the challenge by 1K which I will be travelling a week after the 90 days. I could not delay the challenge as it would have required a 1 January start date and there were no AA codeshares on the flights I took. Now plans have changed of course and I would have made it....now I am 10 SC short of SG, which I will get before my FF date, or 50 SC before the honeymoon and my QP anniversary date and AA Platinum would have been so good for the honeymoon.
     
  18. serfty

    Moderator

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    Suggest you try for "Economy" and select the "with restrictions" option.

    Just for Fun, you could try "First/Premium" with Restrictions and get a KUP fare for approx USD3550 for two. Barring any issues You would travel at the front of the aircraft in First Class and score over 15000 Qpoints each on AA or 500 SC's on QFF.

    Other than that, in March there are fare options from USD753 each.
     
  19. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    To find V class , the best way to do it is to phone AA in the USA and ask . Booking no restrictions , as you can see, moves to full economy with one of your sectors being in First Class

    The lowest of any full qpoint earning fares is what you are looking for; V is typically the lowest full qpoint earning , but do also check if L or W are cheaper

    Dave
     
  20. serfty

    Moderator

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    To find the class you would be booking in, select the "Detailed Fare Rules" link on the Book Flights - Passenger Details Page" and look at the entries under "Fare Basis" in the popup window.

    You will see something like "GWE21SHN" or " MWE7HHN" with the first letter being the booking class.

    (note that the KUP I mentioned in a post above actually books into A class when available)
     
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