Please help!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by StellaFaye, Aug 27, 2006.

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  1. StellaFaye

    StellaFaye Newbie

    Aug 27, 2006
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    Hi all,

    I am wondering if someone could tell me the advantages/disadvantages to joining a FF program, and which one I should join? I have just finished university, and am looking to do a world trip in October. My travel agent has given me 2 different itinerarys, one that is exclusively Qantas/BA (oneworld carriers?), and the other is made up of different airlines, and is about $200 cheaper. I am unsure whether to join the Qantas FF program, as when I fly domestically I usually fly through either Virgin or Jetstar. When I go overseas, I will be flying to Bangkok, London, Washington, then LA to Brisbane, so I should get some good mileage up. What is the expiry on Qantas FF points? Should I also join VB's velocity for my domestic, or just start flying with Qantas to retain and keep earining those points? I need to book my flights tomorrow, as from 1 Sept, there will be an additional fuel levy introduced to all bookings... As I'm a poor student, this is something that I am not going to want to pay up for, so any help asap would be very muchly appreciated, so I can book these flights!
     

  2. Emkay

    Emkay Intern

    Aug 2, 2006
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    Hi Stellafaye,

    You have asked a simple question that is difficult to answer. I have been a QFF member for many years but am new to the boards, and there are certainly many other members more capable of helping you than I. However, as you are desperate for an answer today, here goes:

    At least with the Qantas FF program, you won't have a problem with points expiry. Even if the big international trips are infrequent, you would almost certainly do enough occasional discount domestic Qantas flights (for which you earn at least 1000 points, even on Red e-Deal fares) to keep the account alive.

    FF points are not great value for award domestic travel. You won't get many domestic award flights from the points earned on your big international trip, and these flights wouldn't cost you much to buy anyway, with the current availablity of deeply discounted fares. And remember that even if you use award flights, you still have to pay for the taxes, fuel levy etc.

    The best use of FF points is for international travel and especially international upgrades. You will get the best $$/point value for these. So if you join up, it is for the long term benefits - you won't see the benefits until your third or fourth international trip. You can help build points for this international award flight by getting a credit card that awards FF points, and putting all your expenses on it.

    But which loyalty program? It's a tough call for a someone at your stage of career. If you go for QFF you will find yourself paying a bit more for the tickets you buy to accrue points, can you afford the extra $200? If you can, I'd go for it, as you are flying with very good airlines in the oneworld alliance, and Qantas is arguably the best of these. You could perhaps save a little bit by going for a Star Alliance membership, still get good airlines like Singapore and a few others maybe not quite as good. Or you could recognise a present need to save every dollar you can, forget the loyalty program until you are more financially established, and go for cheaper tickets on airlines that operate more cheaply, which shows up in many little ways other than the absence of a loyalty program.

    I guess in summary it would be fair to say that membership of the loyalty programs does not give you something for nothing. If you use them wisely there are real benefits to membership, but there is a financial contribution required from you. Look on the slight increase in current outlays as an investment for future benefits. If you can afford to start making that investment now, go for it!
     
  3. Like Emkay, I'm a relative newcomer to this forum and learn daily from the wisdom of those more experienced. There is a cost to joining the QFF program, so if money is tight, why don't you consider joining American Airlines AAdvantage FF program which costs nothing. You can do your international flying with Oneworld Carriers and accumulate points. Other members of this forum might be able to advise you of the longevity of points with AA. From what I have read, there are many advantages to the AA FF program compared with QF. Having said all this, I have been with QF since Sept 2001 and I am fairly happy with the service I get. I suppose it keeps me flying with QF and Other OW carriers.

    BTW welcome to the forum:!:
     
  4. I had better make another post because that was post #87 (devil's number) and I should get off 87 ASAP. I am sure that as a recent graduate you will be eminently employable and will soon be earning comfortable $$$. Think strategically about FF membership, like Emkay said. Good Luck:!:
     
  5. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Like QF, AA points do not expire unless you have 3 years of account inactivity. Personally I would recommend AA to someone starting out rather than QF due to the much better value awards and the fact that AA does not charge fuel fines on awards

    Dave
     
  6. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I agree. The only reasons to consider QF if just starting out are:
    • Heavy earning potential from credit card other than Amex
    • Desire to use points for QF flight upgrades rather than "free" flights
     
  7. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    #7 serfty, Aug 28, 2006
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006
    There is another reason that needs to be considered:
    • Red e-deals normally book to Non AAdvantage earning classes (N/Q).
    :( (gets me bigtime as 60-75% of my flights are affected)

    YMMV ....
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    I have never fly on N fares so did not consider that one.
     
  9. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    The cheapest domestic red-e-deal is O class and is mileage earning. The higher priced one is N class and does not earn miles. By booking the S class on AA ( for same or v similar price as QF priced N class ) it will earn miles

    Dave
     
  10. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    What are the airlines involved in the other itinerary? That may also help answer your question.
     
  11. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    Hi StellaFaye,

    The main benefits of joining the Qantas FF program are:
    a. earning points that can be used later for redeeming award flights
    b. lounge access if you attain Gold status or above from OneWorld flights

    Lounge access while travelling overseas would be very handy and possibly save you some money by giving you access to free food and drink. Assuming that you won't be flying enough to gain status and knowing that you want to save some money, I'd suggest joining an FF program that is free. For example:

    1. Velocity - if you have any flights on Emirates, Virgin Atlantic or Hawaiian then you can earn points that can easily be used on Virgin Blue flights back home in the future.

    2. Star Alliance - e.g. if you have flights on Singapore Air, Air NZ, United Airlines, et al. Using points later on won't be as easy as either Velocity or QF because there is no longer any Star Alliance domestic carrier, but you could use them to go to NZ or Singapore.
     
  12. StellaFaye

    StellaFaye Newbie

    Aug 27, 2006
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    0
    I'm not sure what the other airlines are by full name, I just have their abbreviations. They are TG, VS and NZ. Does this help much?

    Cheers
     
  13. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    TG = Thai Airways
    VS = Virgin Atlantic
    NZ = Air New Zealand

    These are all Star Alliance members. Of these, VS can be used to accrue points on a Velocity FF account and therefore used on Virgin Blue.
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    And of course the S fare from AA.com is upgradable while the O and N fares from qantas.com.au are not.
     
  15. NM

    NM
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    When did VS join Star Alliance? They are 49% owned by SQ who are a *A member, but I was not aware VS was a member.
     
  16. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    Virgin Atlantic, Thai and Air NZ all share membership of both Air NZ's Airpoints program, and Singapore AIrlines Krisflyer program, and therefore you could earn points on either program, depending on the type of fare being used. The catch with Air NZ is that it costs $50 to join, and you could get around $200 in Airpoints dollars, which you can then use on Air NZ, so there is a benefit, but not huge. With Singapore Airlines, you could earn up to 22,000 miles, which doesn't quite get you a return to NZ.

    It sounds like joining American AIrlines program, coupled with the QF/BA flights may be the best option for you - but again that would depend on the type of fare being used.
     
  17. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

    Dec 6, 2004
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    Hmmm... I think they joined up in a few year's time. :oops:

    Don't know why I thought that. I guess they have partnerships with a number of the larger *A members so made the assumption. :shock:
     
  18. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    N class MEL-BNE Sat 9th September is AUD195 inc, same flight via AA.com in S class is USD175 inc. XE.com converts that with 1.5% fx fee to AUD$235.

    Same date, SYD-BNE and QF N class is AUD150 inc; AA gives USD115 for S class or AUD154.

    In the first example $40 is a significant difference; but only $4 in the second. I would consider AA.com for the second but not the first.

    FWIW, TO BNE using S class via Qantas.com is AUD226 ex MEL and AUD169 ex SYD.
     
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