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Perhaps OT?: Questions re AA Plat Challenge

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by tuapekastar, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Apologies if this isn't the appropriate forum, and for the length of this post, but I know there are people here who are clued up on this. I have read up on it somewhat myself, but just want to clarify some points, and ask a few questions. Also, the link I have to the "unofficial" AA Plat Challenge guide, whilst comprehensive, is reasonably old, so don't know if the scheme has changed since...

    I will be flying MEL-SIN on 27/12/05 and return on 02/01/06. The dates are almost unmovable (perhaps if there was a significant advantage, then just maybe, but only by a day or so...)

    I am QP(paid) NB, but would like to do the AA (lack of, as it is aptly called) Plat challenge to get OW Sapphire status in preparation for a possible OW RTW next year (for priority check-in, lounge access etc.)
    Also wish to check out WT+ seats in prep for same trip (I don't suspect my budget for RTW would extend to a DONEx, though I won't rule it out yet)!!

    I have checked a number of sources for fares: (BA Website, Harvey, STA, Jetset in person/by phone) and all give a price of about $1862 incl. taxes, give or take a dollar (the interesting exception was zuji.com.au which presented me, under the banner of "Star Special of the Week" or some such, a price of $2003)!! :roll:

    Some questions and assumptions, based on purchasing BA WT+ ticket for MEL-SIN-MEL as per dates above (BA0018/BA0017):

    1. I'm presuming my travel dates are a pretty "high" season and I'm not likely to better the price I have, but if that is a wrong assumption, or there are any suggestions out there I'd love to hear them.

    2. When I sign up for the challenge, it's irrelevant whether I have already purchased a ticket or not? I can just allocate my AA details to an existing ticket, and if purchasing ticket prior to signing up for challenge, it would be the correct action to just leave any FF details for the booking blank for the time being, and add after signing up?

    3. When I sign up for the challenge, is that automatically joining AAdvantage? And is there a fee for this?

    4. I assume I will still be able to access QP in both MEL and SIN, by virtue of my paid membership? But would relinquish priority checkin rights?

    5. I will get about 11,250 Qual Points with AA (c. 3750 miles * 2 = 7500, * 1.5 for WT+ = 11250, and around 8250 miles (base + 10% for WT+).?

    6. The AA Plat status would last (barring any renewal) until end Feb 2007?

    7. As (I think) the flights are codeshare with QF, do I need to ensure my booking is under BA flight number and not QF flight number, to ensure the right amount of earning?

    8. Can I specify BA seat allocation ahead of time? Or just "request" a seat? Or just turn up early to check in on the day, unfortunately necessitating spending extra time in the QP :). Any ideas re best seats? Have had a look at seatguru.com, and that appears straightforward enough, though there are two BA 747 configs there:

    -"744" w. 38 business class seats, 36 WT+ seats (rows 17 - 21) and
    -"747" w. 70 business class seats, 30 WT+ seats (rows 28 - 31).
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    BA website says aircraft is "Boeing 747 Jet" - anyone know which aircraft config I will get?

    Any clarifications, confirmations, corrections, other suggestions most welcome.

    Thanks in anticipation, and sorry again for the size of this post!!
     
  2. QF WP

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    What - this isn't quite Flyertalk - this Forum is as good as the QF Forum (because as least you've mentioned QF).

    Woah, you weren't wrong with the length... :p

    Okay, a lot depends on what fare basis and which carrier (as you haven't mentioned), but I would assume QF. That being the correct assumption, then you need to look at the AA Airline Chart for QF flights. For you to achieve 10K EQM's with only MEL/SIN/MEL sectors (which is 3,749 miles x 2 = 7,498EQM), you are well short even flying up to H or K class (I wouldn't think you could trump up for B or Y class @ 1.5 EQM's).

    Either way, regardless of whether you get Plat on the first sector or at the end of the second, it's still only going to get you AA Plat status until 28 Feb 07, so there is no benefit. The biggest benefit is when you achieve the AA Plat between July and end September in a year....not at the end of the year.

    Now you are seeing the light...

    Check out my response to CO BNE's thread. Look for any T class availability, but as you say, you're in the high fare season.

    Correct, irrelevant at that point. Yes you can allocate your AA FF number to any booking.

    No, you need to join AA first (on line is easy), then ring up and get an AA CSA to sign you up to the Plat Challenge. Note my previous comments about NOT ringing SYD AA (as they are truely clueless about the Plat Challenge). You need to ring AA USA to talk to a CSA who will know straight away what you are talking about and sign you up on the spot. This way there are no nasty surprises, as you can't sign up for it retrospectively.

    Correct. You walk into the MEL Intl QP with your QP card and BP (which will have your AA details on it). No, you can still use your QP card to get check-in rights, the CSA might not like it but have the QP card in your pocket. As your AA FF will be in the booking, then it should be no problem.

    Looks good to me...

    Correct.

    If you're travelling WT+ cabin, then it can only be a BA flight number.

    Yes, you can allocate ahead of time, but know that there is a finite allocation (arournd 30%) made to non FF's before allocation is closed (sometime pior to flight, only to be opened up the day of flight when check-in is opened). As you won't be a tiered (AA) FF, then you can't access the open rights to allocation up to check-in. Best seat - personal situation, but as it's 2-4-2, I dislike the centre section. Check SeatGuru (see The Ultimate Qantas Guide).
     


  3. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thank you Lindsay Wilson, for the detailed response. It is much appreciated.

    Indeed I should have have mentioned my intention to fly BA WT+ at the start of the post...would have saved time and effort. :oops:

    My only remaining confusion, though relatively unimportant, regards priority check-in. This excerpt from QF Website seems to indicate I would need to be flying QF, though perhaps I am misinterpreting it. Does the last sentence quoted apply to dedicated QC check-in or Business Class check-in or both? Can dedicated QC check-in actually check me in to a BA flight?

    "Dedicated check-in
    To help avoid queues, members may use The Qantas Club priority check-in areas available at most airports. If there is no dedicated Qantas Club check-in, you may check in at the Business counter before any Qantas flight, regardless of your fare class. You must be travelling on a Qantas operated service with a Qantas flight number".

    The only other thing I am unsure about is what config plane flies this route.

    Thanks again!!
     
  4. QF WP

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    No troubles, had trouble getting to sleep last night and ended up watching the Cricket until stumps at 3.45am. So had the time to do the associated research.

    No, you don't need to be flying QF, just any OW carrier. But if you are flying BA ex-MEL, then you'll check in at the BA check-in area (hmmm, I'll go back and check exactly where that is - I checked in for this exact flight 2 years ago on my honeymoon).

    So it will be at one of the adjacent check-in rows that you'll check-in.
     
  5. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Cheers Lindsay.

    So if I understand you correctly (and I'm by no means sure I do):

    If I am travelling on BA WT+ MEL-SIN-MEL and have a paid QP membership (but no QF status) then I can (and should) check in at BA J(?) check in counter at MEL, and at the dedicated QC check-in counter at SIN. I hope I have that right!?

    Hope the cricket picks up a little tonight!
     


  6. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

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    Actually, I think if you are travelling on BA and checking in at BA, your QP membership doesn't give you access to the Business check-in.

    I've never checked in internationally in MEL - does BA have a separate check-in area, or does it share with QF? If the former, then I think you will need to check-in with the masses. If the latter, I would use the QP/Business check-in and flash the QP card if questioned.

    I see you still have an unanswered question about the 747 config. The SIN-SYD format seems to be consistently the "70 business class seats" one. That won't necessarily help though! I've tried a few options to see a seatmap, but I've come up blank. Have you phoned BA or your travel agent (if applicable) and asked them where WT+ starts? Even if the maximum allocation has been reached they should be able to give you that much info.
     
  7. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thanks Alan in CBR

    Will be booking flights in next day or so, so assuming I book via a TA, will quiz them about config (if I book online I'll find out another way). As you say, if they can give me row numbers for WT+ I can work out config. I'll quiz QF and/or BA re check-in. And I guess it won't kill me to queue for a little while, much as I enjoy (love!) jumping in the shorter queues. :lol:
     
  8. QF WP

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    As Alan in CBR suggested correctly, your QP card is useless for the right to check-in at BA - it's your OW FF status (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald) or if your're in Businesss or First that will designate which BA check-in desk you have to queue at.
     
  9. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thanks Lindsay and Alan for the advice. No doubt I'll come up with one or two more questions but there's a long time before flight time (Dec 2005) to do that. :)
     
  10. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Sorry, another tangled, convoluted question!

    Folk, re one of my questions in my original post (Q4), I have re-read QC access T&C's and am now unsure how to interpret them.

    I will be travelling BA WT+ with BA flight number, MEL-SIN-MEL, and have a paid QC membership, no status (Bronze). No other status, though will be AA Plat, courtesy the challenge, at completion of the entire trip (but not relevant to this question).

    T&C's state:
    So I presume I dip out on that one (no QF flight number).

    They also state:
    The BA website says they have lounge access in MEL and SIN, part of the "network" referred to below. BA do not specifically operate a solo lounge in MEL or SIN, so presuming they refer to QC in MEL, and joint QF/BA lounge in SIN.

    My confusion is that I have a QC Bronze membership, but am flying BA, thus can I enter QP while taking a BA flight? Or because I have no BA status will this preclude me entering QC as a BA passenger? That is, will I simply be treated as an ordinary non-status BA passenger, in spite of having a QC membership, simply because I'm not flying QF.

    I know I've already had affirmative responses to this question, and I certainly thought so too, but on re-reading T&C's it is no longer crystal clear to me. If anybody can clarify (MEL and SIN) it would be much appreciated. Maybe I'm taking something simple and complicating it, but it's going to bug me till I have it positively confirmed/denied.
     
  11. NM

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    There is no need to be confused. As a paid Qantas Club member, you have access to Qantas, BA and AA lounges when flying with those specific airlines.

    Also note that in Melbourne, Singapore and London, the Qantas and BA lounges are one and the same lounge. In MEL, it is a Qantas lounge that BA share. In SIN it is a joint BA/QF lounge, and in LHR it is a BA lounge that QF share.

    When travelling on the Kangaroo route (ie between Australia and UK via Asia) you are also covered by the QF/BA Joint Services Agreement (JSA) that basically means that all QF and BA passengers are treated the same no matter if flying BA or QF aircraft or flight number.

    The places where it gets a little confusing is when you are flying on a QF codeshare operated by BA where the lounge is not actually a BA lounge, but a lounge operated by another airline that BA to use for their premium passengers. As far as I know, Paris (CDG) is the only one of these currently.
     
  12. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thank you NM, for providing reassurance, and apologies to Lindsay and Alan if I sounded like a doubting Thomas! It was just the more times I read the T&C's, the less and less sure I was becoming of my position!!
     
  13. QF WP

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    tuapekastar, sorry I have been away in SYD and MEL and unable to spend any time logged in. Good to see that you can rely onNM and Alan in CBR, both of whom I have had the pleasure to meet and their knowledge is better than mine :roll:

    Enjoy your trip to AA Plat...we're travelling at the same time.
     
  14. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thanks Lindsay. Never actually really doubted you as such, it was just the way the T&C's are worded :? . Flights booked, seats allocated (18B out and 18J back...second row of WT+, outside aisle in each instance) and have joined AA scheme. Will register for the challenge a little closer to the flight time.

    Have noticed your your trip posted elsewhere...looks good. Commencing planning of probable RTW for April-May 2006, so no doubt will have some questions for this board and/or FT boards.

    Cheers
     
  15. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Just completed this trip, and am now AA Plat as result. Lounge access/check-in etc, all went smoothly, so thanks to all who responded to my questions.

    Cheers
     
  16. straitman

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    Congratulations Chris. :D
     
  17. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

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    Glad everything went smoothly. Enjoy your Plat status!
     
  18. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thank you gents! Getting some decent use out of the status is the next "challenge".

    Cheers
     
  19. NM

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    Congratulations on attaining "Candy Stealing" status :lol: .
     
  20. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

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    Thanks NM. I'll have to confess that the baby was a very soft target. :oops:
     
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