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Help! Need some advice on which frequent flyer program to join

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Shazand

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Hi All, new to overseas travel and to this website, so far has taken me many attempts to even get this post up!!!! my details are as follows, 3 adult tickets and 1 child RTW with star alliance flying on the following airlines
MEL-LAX with ANZ
LAX-SANFRANCISCO with United
SANF-LAS VEGAS with United
LASV-NYC with Continental
NYC-PARIS with Continental
PARIS-VENICE with Swiss
ROME-MEL with Thai
would like to join a frequent flyer program that would benefit us the most, and will we all have to join seperately or can my husband and kids all be on the same membership??? Thanks in advance to anyone who can help me.
Sharon:confused:
 

Joshua

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Welcome to AFF!

I'm certainly no expert on the *A side of things but before those that do weigh in they'll probably want a few more questions answered such as...
What class are you flying in? -discount economy often doesn't earn with partner airlines programs
What are you trying to get out of a program? Points & free flights? Status and priority privileges?
Do you plan to fly much with such carriers in the future?

You will most certainly all need to join separately with everyone earning points to their own account. You will probably be wanting a program that offers relatively easy family transfer of points in case you need /want to pull your points afterwards.

Hopefully the others with a lot more experience with Star Alliance can help. Best of luck!
 

Shazand

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Hi Joshua,
We are travelling Economy Class, we would love for this to be the start of many overseas trips in the future, so at this stage we are unsure of what our next destination would be, ideally looking for a rewards program that offers free flights. Hope this helps.
Cheers
Sharon
 

Sprucegoose

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Hi Joshua,
We are travelling Economy Class, we would love for this to be the start of many overseas trips in the future, so at this stage we are unsure of what our next destination would be, ideally looking for a rewards program that offers free flights. Hope this helps.
Cheers
Sharon

any status or regular travel to bolster Shaz?
spruce
 

dajop

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Shazand, welcome to AFF, very good question, a problem that many face, indeed your question is similar to one posted before.

You can review answers to this here. I suggest you do this, and if you have more questions, I am sure someone will be able to answer, at some stage (there are a few of use who travel star alliance, just nowhere near as many as those who travel on Qantas and oneworld!)

And reading the other thread in the context of your itinerary - I estimate that you will travel approx 25,100 miles. Enough to get you all to silver on most mileage based star alliance program
 
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Fantic125

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Shazand, welcome to AFF, very good question, a problem that many face, indeed your question is similar to one posted before.

You can review answers to this here. I suggest you do this, and if you have more questions, I am sure someone will be able to answer, at some stage (there are a few of use who travel star alliance, just nowhere near as many as those who travel on Qantas and oneworld!)

And reading the other thread in the context of your itinerary - I estimate that you will travel approx 25,100 miles. Enough to get you all to silver on most mileage based star alliance program


Most of the *A programs require 25k miles for *A Silver & 50k miles for *A Gold, and re-qualification every 12 months.
Asiana Club is 20k miles for *A Silver, 40k miles for *A Gold, and re-qualification is based over 24 months. Their Award requirements are a bit more restrictive than the other programs however.
If doing more of the travel in the US then CO OnePass and United MileagePlus tend to offer more upgrades for full fare Y seats.

It really depends what you want to gain the miles for, and where you will mainly want to fly as to which *A program will best suit. :(
 

Shazand

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Thanks for all the posts, I have started looking back through the older messages and will work my way through them, there is alot to go thru, so will start sifting now:p
 

MelbMan

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Hi Shazand without wishing to tip cold water on your plans I've found FF schemes outside Qantas (and Virgin to a lesser extent) problematic. Most of the Asian carriers (SQ and Emirates) put time limits on using your pts, Qantas does not. Someone here mentioned some of the SQ cheaper flights do not earn points. It's the same with Air NZ. Emirates if you accumulate a few points and wish to redeem for a small appliance you have to pay the freight from Dubai.

I think a good credit card linked to Qantas is the way to go. Look for allied carriers. We've recently flown Alaskan Airlines in the USA who are tied to Qantas. A few friends joined United to get into Star Alliance rather than more logical choices like SQ or Air NZ.

Others here may disagree but like it or not I think most of us have to decide on OneWorld or Star Alliance. If you end up with points in both schemes it's hard to get the pts you need to really go places. I only use pts to claim overseas flights, not domestic. Have never had any problem getting a Qantas or BA flight even on very short notice. I won't pay extra to get a fare that earns points over one that won't. With Jetstar, Tiger and Air Asia flying into Asia there are some cheap choices to get you into Asia and from there onto Europe.

Good luck with your plans. Whichever airline or FF scheme you join, the secret is to be a member of that scheme. It doesn't take long to be flying for free.
 

maxs

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I have been a long term United member based on trips to Chicago 2-3 a year for last 20 year (and past membership of Ansett). However for Australian flying I have been using qantas and when I turned 60 (or was it 55) took out a senior lifetime membership of the qantas club.

I use the points for 2 business class trips every 2- 3 years to europe for my wife and I rather than upgrades. I also book way in advance (ring USA rather than the local number which i susepect is the phillipines).

United have been a good to me in that as a premier flyer I often get an empty seat next to me. I also like the extra leg room that give in the premier seating. They have looked after me on a couple of ocassions when things went awry (my fault not theirs)

However agains that I think they have the worst food and lack decent entertianment in their ecomomy and premier economy on flights from australia. They just have not improved when other airlines have. [they have improved business class which just re-inforces how bad economy is. This may be a problem with US airlines rather than specifically United.

I have had some recent qantas flights to europe rather than to chicago and found qantas to be better than united. {ia actually preferred qantas 380 to the singpaore 380] so I have been giving thougth to changing my travel to qantas since I am a qantas club member (I am also about to use all my united points). I did a calculation on how many trips it would take to for 2 business class trips to europe and decided it would take less on united.(the comparison was rough since it is difficult to compare 2 unlike programs. I think it was 3.5 years rather than 2.5. I did not keep the spreadsheet.

You should give consideration to what actual airline you are likely to travel on most frequently since they will often give you increased points.
 

romano

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Re: "Miles & Smiles* from Turkush Airlines the easy Star Alliance Programm

The fastest way to attain and maintain the Star Alliance Gold status offer Turkish Airlines with "Miles & Smile" evben if you never use TK.
The status is valid for two full calendaryears. For renewel you need (if you reside outside Turkey only 25.000 miles. And if you miss status miles for maintain/renewal you can buy up to 10.000 Status (Status not Bonus!) miles. For almost 15.000 miles each first year of the following2 years you can maintain all the Star Alliance benefitts: Priority Check-in, Lounge access, extra lugagge etc. And: If you travel in Businessclass you get 200% of Status and Bonus Miles!

Card Advantages

Membership advantages
Classic
Classic Plus
Elite
Elite Plus
To qualify

25.000 Status Miles within the last 12 months
40.000 Status Miles within the last 12 months
80.000 Status Miles within the last 12 months​
Validity

2 years
2 years
2 years​
To requalify

17.000 Status Miles either within the first membership year or 35.000 Status Miles within 2 membership years
Members Residing in Turkey
30.000 Status Miles either within the first membership year or 45.000 Status Miles within 2 membership years
Members Residing out of Turkey
25.000 Status Miles either within the first membership year or 37.500 Status Miles within 2 membership years
40.000 Status Miles either within the first membership year or 60.000 Status Miles within 2 membership years
√​
The opportunity to purchase Status Miles


Up to 10.000 Status Miles for Elite membership renewal
(1000 miles= EUR 30)
Up to 10.000 Status Miles for Elite Plus membership renewal
(1000 miles= EUR 30)
To Check-in at the Business Class counters

both on domestic and int. flights
√ both on domestic and int. flights
Percentage of mileage accrual on Business Class flights
(150%)
(150%)
(200%)
(200%)
Percentage of mileage accrual on First Class flights
(200%)
(+200%)
(300%)
(300%)
Free Upgrades (twice in a year)



√​
Validity of the collected miles
3 years
3 years
3 years
3 years
One complimentary Elite Card for any person you wish
 

Astronz

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Jun 17, 2010
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Having been a member of UA, NZ, and SQ frequent flier programmes for many years and having had some difficulty at times using points from one programme to book seats on a partner airline I suggest the following:

Choose the programme of the airline you think you will most use. That probably means one that flies from MEL (if that is home) and goes to the majority of places you have in mind.

Of the three, SQ requires the least points for flying to Europe on SQ flights but my experience is that there appear to be limited seats available on non-SQ flights.

For ease of use and the ability to take advantage of low price specials when they occur I would choose NZ every time. You know exactly where you stand and there are always seats available, even though they may cost more in terms of points if you book late. Yes, some trans Tasman and Pacific Islands special fares might not earn points, but they are still full service and cheap whether you pay in cash or with air points dollars. To me it is the most upfront, transparent programme that I have seen.

Hope that helps.
 
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Astronz

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Re-reading your original query, yes I believe all programmes will require each member of your family to join separately, and so joining fees become an issue. If you are wanting to accumulate points over a number of years and so qualify for substantial free flights then the life of points is also important. For UA it is only 18 months whereas for NZ and SQ it is 3 years. The ability for one family member to gift points to another may also be relevant if, say, one of your children wants to go on a school trip to another country.

Sorry, there are no simple answers but I would still plump for joining up with the airline you are likely to use most often.
 
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