Ff Help!!

Discussion in 'Other Airline Frequent Flyer Programs' started by oc7, Jun 26, 2006.

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  1. oc7

    oc7 Junior Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    24
    0
    Hey guys,

    i noe this has already been discussed but i got totally LOST in the previous thread, and have ended up SO confused about FF programmes.

    Well first of all... I have a lot of Qantas FF points. I have been reading the site and it seems that a lot of people are not happy with the Q FF system. Why is that.. Is there a FF programm that, doesn't exprire points?

    over the last 6 monts i have done several buisness class trips to Asia and Euope on thai airways. Subsequent to this i have joined Thai's Royal Orchid Plus. Now seeing as most of my travelling has been on one world i dont know much about star alliance..

    Could someone please tell me the ad's and dis ad's of Star vs Oneworld and how i can efficetively use + gain (eg. credit cards) more points. Could you please not use too technical language, cause as you can see im pretty lost..


    thanks
    oc7
     

  2. browski

    browski Established Member

    Sep 8, 2004
    1,490
    416
    Melbourne
    Hi oc7, Thanks for your query.

    It is probably best to consider that Star Alliance represents all that is good and is the bringer of light to where there was once only darkness.

    One World is the path to the dark side.
     
  3. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    #3 Kiwi Flyer, Jun 27, 2006
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2006
    Each alliance has pros and cons, but really fairly similar. Which one works best depends on your circumstances and in particular where you travel - eg star alliance is strong in europe and asia but not in australia or south america, one world is strong in europe and americas (except Canada).

    High status benefits do differ slightly between the alliances - eg *A has better baggage allowance, OW has better lounges.

    Within any alliance most airlines have their own frequent flyer program, and again each program has pros and cons. Which program best suits depends on several factors

    - do you earn a lot of miles through credit card and partner (hotel, rental cars etc) spend? If so then a "home country" program is usually best since not as many partner earning opportunities with eg european programs if living in NZ/Oz (no linked credit card for one).

    - are you flying frequently enough that status benefits (*Gold and OW Sapphire are the minimum with meaningful significant benefits) are worthwhile? The qualification requirements vary enormously and the easiest program may depend on what class you fly (cheapo economy, expensive economy, business, first) and longhaul vs shorthaul.

    - or are you mainly looking to get upgrades or free flights? In this case the rate of earning and burning of each program must be considered. Some programs that are better at this may be harder to get status and vice versa. Some programs offer special types of awards - eg discounted companion awards, ability to upgrade an award - these may be valuable or not worth anything depending on whether you can use them.

    I haven't answered program xx is best because it really does depend on your patterns and what you want to get out of it. Answer some or all of the above and it is easier to see what program is best.

    Note that unless you fly an enormous amount it is best to concentrate earning on one program - although many clued in people have a program in each alliance so they can at least get some credit for situations where they couldn't use their preferred alliance. High tier on one program is better than mid tier on 2 programs.
     
  4. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    15,778
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    My issue with the QF FF program is the very high points burn rate (cost of award flights) and the way they include fuel surcharges as a co-payment with award flights.

    So I maintain my QF FF account for the purpose of spending the QF FF points on upgrading QF flights. I supplement my QF FF account with points-earning Australian credit cards (Amex, Visa and a corporate Diners). Having Qantas Lifetime Gold status helps since I will always have reasonable status when it comes to priority on waitlists for upgrades.

    I now use my AAdvantage account for crediting all my OneWorld flights. This is the main AA miles earning opportunity I have, along with a few small amounts from hotels, car rentals, surveys, promotions etc. The AA miles are going to be used for award flights, since the cost in miles/points is significantly less than with QF (for Australia/NZ awards which are my most likely redemptions) and they do not charge the fuel fines as a co-payment.

    I tend to keep my hotel points within the hotel's program and concentrate on one or two programs, and then use those for free stays for family getaways.

    I can't help much on the OneWorld vs Star Alliance since I decided years ago to try to keep all my travel to one program and as our corporate travel policy back then was to use QF, that made my decision. But there are plenty of very experienced people here (and KF has already chimed in) who can help with that part of your query.
     
  5. Nightwatchman

    Nightwatchman Junior Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    37
    0
    I know little about Star Alliance, but understand that Air NZ (and possibly others) have a different points redemption process for flights - whereby you book a flight as you ordinarily would if paying for it, only when you come to submit payment, you offer frequent flyer points instead.

    Sounds too good to be true. Is it?
     
  6. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Yes to a point. As long as you are on a all NZ itinerary then you can use airbucks to pay for a seat instead of credit card - but they still require credit card for taxes (excludes fuel surcharge!). So using this, any seat on NZ flights can be purchased as an award - no need to rely on a limited booking class. Downside is if you leave it late then only high fares left and so costs more points (but at least you still can get awards). For status members (& koru club) longhaul flights additionally have the conventional types of awards.

    AFAIK the only other FFP with the same arrangement is Velocity (although the mechanism isnt as transparent), and United has this year introduced a special affiliated credit card scheme called Choices which is also similar.
     
  7. Nightwatchman

    Nightwatchman Junior Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    37
    0
    My other, somewhat vague, recollection is that discounted fares on Air NZ don't earn Air points. is this correct?
     
  8. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Correct - the cheapest fares (smart saver and global smart saver for longhaul) don't earn any points in any program.

    On the plus side, NZ (and *A generally) includes more booking classes as full economy than QF (australia domestic excepted).
     
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