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is the AA Platinum Challenge worth it for me in your opinio?

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bigjobs

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Hi all,

i have been doing some reading about the AA Platinum Challenge and wonder if it is worth me doing.

let me outline my circumstance as it currently stands for you.

i am a Platinum QF Frequent Flyer close to half a million points on the QF scheme. i have earned 2950 SCs from 01 May 05 will not be reassessed for WP until 30 April 2007 (they reassessed me early). Next week i will get lifetime silver to the QF scheme.

from now until may/june this year i have 5 trips to the US/Canada all in Business Class with QF (LAX and then internal flights). i am not likely to travel to the US for pleasure for some time until 2007 when my wife and i do a RTW trip.

i am going to continue travelling for work with QF in australia and nz mostly for a number of years still. this will most likely expand to europe and continue to the US at least a couple of times per year and will continue to be with QF.

i would just like people's thoughts on if you think signing up for the challenge is something that seems worthwhile given my current situation.

thanks in advance for your help and i am happy to clarify any information i have left out.
 

Kiwi Flyer

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One thing perhaps worth considering is whether QF Gold Lifetime status is worth anything much. If you keep up current rate of travel then it wont take long to achieve. May be better to get it earlier rather than later (in case qualification requirement goes up)?
 

NM

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I stuck with QF to get to lifetime Gold as that has some tangible benefits for me. However, with your current travel pattern, it would be possible to retain Qantas Platinum status each year, thereby retaining OneWorld Emerald benefits as well as QF Platinum benefits such as status on waitlist queues, and at the same time reach AA Platinum in a single flight and certainly retain at least AA Platinum status and possibly AA Exec Platinum status.

If I was in this position, I would be carefully selecting the flights to put to QF to retain Platinum each year, and then the rest to AA and trying to reach AA EXP status as well.
 

BlacKnox

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Re: is the AA Platinum Challenge worth it for me in your opi

bigjobs said:
...from now until may/june this year i have 5 trips to the US/Canada all in Business Class with QF (LAX and then internal flights)...

...thanks in advance for your help and i am happy to clarify any information i have left out.
For your domestic US flights do you usually take AA, AC or other? If using AA alot internally, then AA EXP could be useful. And certainly AA's redemption rates are more attractive if that's appropriate to your needs (though doesn't sound it).
 

Dave Noble

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I would say that it is worth switching; with 5 trips to the US in business class you will easily get EXP status with AA to maintain Emerald status plus you will have the much cheaper award costs for redemptions

SYD-LAX for example is 7488 miles, so 5 r/ts is 74,888 miles. This will earn 112,332 Qpoints and so qualify you for Executive Platinum through to end Feb 2008 and give you 8 systemwide upgrades for you to use on your personal travel next year

74,888 miles flown in business class as a Platinum/EXP member will earn you 168,498 spending miles ( same as would be earned to QF ) however 168,000 is enough FF miles for a business class atw ticket or a 1st class return to Europe or USA, whilst if credited to QF will be enough for a World Traveller Plus return to Europe ( or similar )

In the future 2 r/ts to the USA will be enough ( just about ) to maintain the Platinum status in itself leaving other travel to attempt to maintain EXP, plus of course , you have the cheap redemptions

Dave
 

QF WP

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bigjobs, as you can see from my signature, I'm in your position with relation to being Lifetime Silver (I'm 140 SC's short) and whether to credit future flying to AA or QF. Now that's where the comparison ends....because I don't have your planned future flying (either in J class or over to USA).

Look at why AA Platinum (or Executive Platinum) is important to have, because that should be the major reasons:

The ability to upgrade AA metal flights in the USA
The systemwide upgrades (only on AA metal)

I would agree with the points from both NM and Dave Noble. I don't think there is any definite correct answer, it all depends on what your thoughts are on the earning/burning points ratio in both programs, the value of status in both programs and the $ spent in gaining both Emerald levels.

FWIW, I have seen the benefits of having both an AA Plat member (as I put my wife through it 18 months ago) and a QF Plat member in our household. On our recent trip to the USA, we were able to upgrade 6 out of 11 sectors for us both:

QF BNE/LAX/BNE using my QF Plat staus and points
LAX/DFW/MIA...MBJ/MIA/SFO using her AA Plat status and points

Now thankfully the other sectors on AS metal, that weren't able to be upgraded, weren't long. But there is nothing more valuable than being able to sit in comfortable seats on flights longer than 2 hours.

Do you think we both thought the trip was the best of both worlds...you bet :!: :wink:
 

NM

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Another thought is that given the number of SCs this year, there is a reasonable chance (based on past experience) that Qantas will renew your Platinum status next year even if you are posting to AA. However, this is not assured and take that path at your own risk.
 

duffshot

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It's a dillema isn't it? One only hopes the QF exec's start to realise that their best travellers are slowly moving to a new airline program which may eventually lead to less travel on QF. If nothing else they are losing a marketing edge over their big spenders.

I'm in a similar dilemma to big jobs. I am passed the LTS hurdle and enroute to LTG (63%) and current thoughts are to stay on the flat chat QF earning approach to get to LTG and then abandon ship to AA. It is very tempting though to jump ship early. If I had LTQC like Lindsay I'd be off.

One thing that is currently stopping me going is that the upgrades are the big attraction but when I travel on AA there is rarely an upgrade path. I generally travel J (AA F) on 2 class flights LAX / ORD and Y on single class to YUL / JFK / ORD. I assume all the extra upgrades you get from AA can be banked though? This would make a big difference to me.

I'm already requalified as WP and reach partner gold this month (which doesn't mean much to me anyway but might as well get), 6 months into my QFF year . As such I'm poised to jump ship early and do 6 months of AA if one of the AA converts can convince me. (there's a challenge Lindsay!)
 

NM

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duffshot said:
I'm already requalified as WP and reach partner gold this month (which doesn't mean much to me anyway but might as well get), 6 months into my QFF year . As such I'm poised to jump ship early and do 6 months of AA if one of the AA converts can convince me. (there's a challenge Lindsay!)
With that rate of earning, you should easily qualify and retain AA Exec Platinum status. Start your Challenge after June 16th and you retain the Plat status until Feb 2008, although you will not have any problems requalifying so long as your earning rate continues at current levels. Mine is sporadic, so guaranteed renewal is a good thing for me. My next trip will not only complete the Plat challenge (status through to Feb 2007), but will also re-qualify me for Platinum (status through to Feb 2008).
 

QF WP

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Sorry, NM, what programs gives guaranteed renewal :confused: ...certainly neither QF nor AA (unless you are talking about your maximised DONE4's giving yuo guaranteed Pla renewal). It's BIS mileage for QF (even through they do comp us from time to time). I'm not hanging around hoping that QF are going to comp me Platinum for 2007...as I don't think I'd make Plat renewal SC's and I doubt they'd comp me 2 years in a row.

Sure, my recent trip BNE/PER/ADL/BNE would have earned me 110 SC's and 9140 FF points, but it earned me significantly more (in my eyes) in the AAdv FF program.

duffshot, I do consider myself to be in a fortunate position...but it cost me a lot for LTQC even though I have never used it (I have always been Gold or Platinum in thenew program).

duffshot said:
I assume all the extra upgrades you get from AA can be banked though?
Only have a limited time period to use them (1 year), but that's generally long enough (particularly for you as you're doing travel to USA frequently. But given yuor travel routes and plane configs, it might not make as much of a difference to you (given you can't upgrade on those sectors that you mentioned you travel).

duffshot said:
As such I'm poised to jump ship early and do 6 months of AA if one of the AA converts can convince me. (there's a challenge Lindsay!)
From the sounds of your extent of travel, you'd do an AA Plat Challenge, make Plat on your first sector (QF SYD/LAX) and probably re-qual Plat and qualify ExPlat by year end (31/12/06).

Just ask IainF who did the Plat Challenge earlier this year, re-qualified Plat on BIS miles 2 weeks ago and is nearing 75% of ExPlat this week. Or Alan in CBR who made it to ExPlat last year.

My reasoning isn't behind the VIPOW's (yet)...as my (business) travelling is decreasing but my fare basis remains constant. In time, I'll be back travelling (for pleasure) with USA being a regular destination (friends, family and skiing).
 

NM

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Lindsay Wilson said:
Sorry, NM, what programs gives guaranteed renewal :confused: ...certainly neither QF nor AA (unless you are talking about your maximised DONE4's giving yuo guaranteed Pla renewal). It's BIS mileage for QF (even through they do comp us from time to time). I'm not hanging around hoping that QF are going to comp me Platinum for 2007...as I don't think I'd make Plat renewal SC's and I doubt they'd comp me 2 years in a row.
I was referring to the fact that since my travel is sporadic (last 12 months included 3 x ATW in 3 months, plus several Asia trips, then nothing for 9 months), any status requalification needs to be based on the known travel and not rely on any regular pattern of trips.

So with a DONE4 I can complete the Plat Challenge by the second segment, and also guarantee my re-qualification of Platinum for the next 12 months. Hence guaranteed renewal of my stolen candy. And yes, its only guaranteed by putting in the BIS miles required by the published program rules.
 
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