Confused!

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by cookie, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. cookie

    cookie Newbie

    Apr 3, 2005
    6
    0
    I have not posted before but have read with interest a lot of topics and now I need help.
    I am travelling to Atlanta USA via LA & Chicago from Sydney in mid April with United Airlines which I am told earns me around 23000miles. I have joined United Mileage and also Kris Flyer but am unsure which one to use as my travel agent suggests United is a bit dicey because of Chapter 11 therefore thinks Singapore Airlines would be the best but on reading a few posts it seems they don't often give the best value (depends on class you fly)and as I usually fly economy at the cheapest fare I can get maybe this puts me at a disadvantage?
    I have been a member of Qantas FF club for many years and have used my points for free flights often with them but lately feel the need to join a Star Alliance Programme as I am tending to use some other airlines. Thai Airways was another I considered joining but I only want to be a member of one in the Star Alliance group but need to know which would be the best one to consider.
    I hope someone out there can give me some sound advice as time is running out and I want to make sure I clock these miles up to the best FF programme for me.
    :?
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  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Welcome to AFF, cookie :)

    For your trip to Atlanta you will earn much more on United's Mileage Plus than you will on Singapore's KrisFlyer. However when considering where to put the miles also take account of possibility of getting status (with extra benefits) and future *A (star alliance) travel as this impacts on what awards you may possibly be able to redeem in future.

    If your future *A travel is likely to be in economy and mainly on United then I think its a no brainer - pick Mileage Plus. This is because their earning is generous if flying on United, and awards can be very reasonable.

    I wouldnt pick Singapore unless you fly them quite a bit, or especially want to buy upgrades on SQ (Singapore) - which you cant do with miles from any other program. This is because their earning is not as generous (unless flying SQ) and award value may not be as good.

    Thai is reportedly easier to get *Gold status (*A equivalent to OW's emerald) so may also be worth considering.

    NZ Airpoints isnt so good for those travelling on discounted economy fares, but does earn much more when flying NZ and has the advantage of awards can be any seat (points can be used as $ equivalent fare).
     
  3. cookie

    cookie Newbie

    Apr 3, 2005
    6
    0
    Thankyou Kiwi Flyer

    I don't know that I will always travel on United and am a bit worried of them being in Chapter 11 and accumulating points when they could end up like Ansett did and then I would lose them all that is why I was considering another Star Alliance partner to join but not sure of which one is the better. The reason I was considering either Thai or Singapore is because I will be travelling South East Asia a few times over the next couple of years due to my small business but also plan to travel mid next year to LA/Vancouver/Seattle/New York/Ireland/Hong Kong or Singapore and back to Sydney for a holiday so have to work out which would be the best to use for this route to gain the best points as we would be using a World Fare as it works out so much cheaper. I was hoping to use points for at least one ticket but it seems a bit difficult to organise this type of routing on points.
    I can't seem to get my head around the "status points" yet as I am having enough trouble figuring out the standard points! :oops:
    This is a great forum with lots of tips and hints so I am sure I will get to understand in time all that is available to ensure I get the best value out of these programmes especially from the input of the likes of yourself who are so willing to help us novices. Thanks once again I really do appreciate the much needed help :lol:
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Re: Thankyou Kiwi Flyer

    In the short term I dont think there's much risk with United - but then again I dont have any points at stake with them. No point in losing any sleep over it!

    If you will be travelling south east asia that implies either Thai or Singapore. Note the cheapest fares on Singapore dont earn any miles. So if you want cheap mileage earning, that would lean toward using Thai as the airline, assuming they fly where you want to go.

    If you want to use miles (or vouchers that come with status) to upgrade then it would seem to me that your choices are United (for travel to US and maybe europe the long way) and Thai (for asia).

    If you only fly around 30-50,000 miles a year then probably best to go to Thai unless a significant part of this is trips to US. This is based partly on how easy it is to get *Gold status, and also usefulness of ability to upgrade.

    I'm unclear whether your trip next year to north america, europe and asia is intended on a paid ticket or award ticket. Either way the routing is an around the world one. If paid ticket then probably can fit this into a 29k mile (RTWSTAR1) depending on exact routing and any extra stopovers you want.
     
  5. cookie

    cookie Newbie

    Apr 3, 2005
    6
    0
    Thanks Again!

    I think with the information you have kindly given me I am swaying towards Thai especially as you have mentioned the Gold Status and upgrade flexibility. I understand that United seem to have the better programme but after reading a few reports(some on this forum) one in particular that said there was a freeze on using points for flights within the states it scares me off them a bit.
    Sorry if my explanation of the trip for next year was a bit confusing. What I meant was I would love to use points for one ticket and pay for another RTW as it seems the cheapest way to do this type of holiday BUT I have been lead to believe its quite hard to get this type of itinerary on points.
    For instance when I rang Qantas they said for me to get from Syd to Vancouver I would have to go via LA then to Dallas then to Vancouver as American Airline, which is one of the partners of Qantas, has their hub in Dallas and they fly to Vancouver from there! This seems to me to be a bit of a ploy to make it more difficult for you to get from A to B easily as my travel agent said that AA definately fly from LA to Vancouver when I enquired about this trip with her. I wonder if I were to utilise the AFF booking request service might give me a better chance? Have you ever used this service?
    We do tend to fly to Bali on a regular basis but you can't gain points now on Australian Airlines only redeem them for free flights but that is becoming harder to do also and as for Garuda or Air Paradise,well they don't seem to be linked with anyone and at this stage these three are the only airlines flying to Bali direct from Australia.
    May I ask what FF programmes you use and how they work for you? I will understand if you do not wish to divulge this information and would like to thank you once more for the information you have given me.
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Re: Thanks Again!

    I havent seen anything like that (here or other places). Can you give me a link or point me to it?

    The RTW awards I am most familiar with offer much less flexibility than paid RTW - ie less stopovers, less segments, etc. It may be quite tricky for 2 people travelling together to have one paid and one award, or at least the paid ticket wont be making the most of what is allowed within the rules of that ticket.
     
  7. cookie

    cookie Newbie

    Apr 3, 2005
    6
    0
    Still Looking!

    I have been trying to find the article I read about the freeze on UA domestic flights using points to no avail at the moment but will keep looking. I was trying to finding my way through the board looking at past discussions and came across it but can't remember where! :oops:
    Thanks for the info on the RTW fares, I think you are right as far as the flexibility goes so might give that idea the flick and save the points for other flights or maybe for an upgrade.
     
  8. cookie

    cookie Newbie

    Apr 3, 2005
    6
    0
    Sorry Kiwi Flyer

    I cannot find the article I read about the freeze on domestic flights on UA within the states. I have looked in various areas on this site to no avail,yet I remember reading it somewhere in my navigation around the AFF site. I found this link on someones opinion on points with UA which you have probably seen. http://www.uawatch.com/


    I rang the UA office in Sydney yesterday and asked them about the situation regarding points and the person I spoke to said they were doing better than ever lately and could not see any problem with anyone losing their points and that they had been in chapter 11 for sometime quote"FOR PROTECTION" unquote.
    I am swaying towards this programme especially as I also received my membership card yesterday with an offer if I fly within 90 days of joining (which I will be) that I receive double the mileage points as an introductory offer which is very enticing so thought this might be the way to go and then choose where I want to go too asap and redeem my points so as to not take a risk just in case they go down the gurgler in the near future!
     
  9. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    The only thing I remember recently that is vaguely similar is that SQ put a hold on issuing rewards on SQ flights using UA points. They claimed it was a glitch in the computer systems between UA and SQ at the time. All sorts of rumours were circulating about the real reason. As fas as I am know, it has now been sorted out and such rewards can now be booked once again.
     
  10. cookie

    cookie Newbie

    Apr 3, 2005
    6
    0
    Thanks NM

    I guess a lot you hear around the traps are rumours or assumptions and it seems a lot of people on this forum say that UA have one of the best programmes so as Kiwi Flyer says "its a no brainer" I guess.
    Thanks for your input also.
     
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