QFF program or AAdvantage?

Discussion in 'Qantas Frequent Flyer Program' started by JohnK, May 31, 2007.

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  1. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Mal posted an interesting statement in another thread that got me thinking. Am I making the right decision staying with the QFF program? Why not switch over to the AAdvantage program? After all AAdvantage is meant to be Utopia.

    If you are someone doing multiple DONE4s a year then AA is a good FF program. If you are travelling on a LONE4 every 2 years then the AA Platinum challenge is good for you.

    If you are a self funded traveller buying deep discount red e-deals then AA is not as rosy as it would first appear. I have been trying to embrace this FF program but just do not see how I could make it work for me. There is no way I could earn AA EXP or even maintain AA Platinum without the challenge. I could easily earn QF Platinum with deep discount red e-deals and a few carefully planned short haul J trips.

    I really have no interest in point to point J/F awards SYD-LAX or SYD-LHR. I know this is a selling point for many. I do occassionally look for one way awards, which are not offered on AA, and something like my recent round Australia for 70,000 FF points would have been difficult, almost impossible, on AA. Also as a QF Platinum/Gold I get access to additional economy seats on QF than I would if I was with AA.

    My only interest recently has been in the Oneworld RTW economy award. On QF this would be 140,000 FF points + $700-$1000 or on AA this would be 140,000 miles + some small loose change. As a QF Platinum I could earn the 140,000 FF points quicker and cheaper than it would take to earn 140,000 miles on AA and would still come out in front even taking into account the high surcharge on QF.

    Now one day I may want to do Oneworld RTW business award. On QF this would be 280,000 FF points + $700-$1000 or on AA this would be 190,000 miles + some small loose change. As a QF Platinum I still think I could earn the 280,000 FF points quicker and cheaper than it would take to earn 190,000 miles on AA and would still come out in front even taking into account the high surcharge on QF.

    Please note that the above calculations take into consideration a lot of domestic red e-deals, some SE Asia trips in Y and short haul business which gets rewarded highly on QF. No LONE4s. No DONE4s. Also have taken into consideration earning QFF points through Credit cards, car hire, hotel stays etc.

    I think I am making the right choice sticking with QFF program . Am I missing something important in my calculations?

  2. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    Nope JohnK I dont think you are missing anything. The only comment I might make is in regards to the qualification - will you fly 100 flights per year- that might make a difference to you.

    The other benefit that you might want to consider is the lifetime status - probably not a determing factor (and I would be LTS if I had stuck with QF) but remember you can earn status without actually flying ;)

    For me AAdvantage works as I do high value high mileage flying - I should qualify twice on qpoints, 1.5 times on mileage but only 0.6 on segments.

    I only want J/F awards as with the level of flying I do which is all (except for the one KA flight) in J/F, I am not interested in flying whY and not used to it. Whatever whY flying I do is going to be a massive shock (rectified only by a lie down in the Cabanas at HKG). I am also lucky in that mrssimongr is not interested in flying often so as I accrue points we only need to spend them occasionally and thus fly J.

    I think I might qualify for QF SG in my 2007-2008 qualifying year so I am good for 2008-2009 (I have 800SCs of flying in Sep/Nov) just for the hell of it - I dont need the AA miles and I might have a few QF flights where being SG could be good when requesting F upgrades.
  3. Evan

    Evan Established Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    SIN / MEL

    I looked at really from all angles recently and i have to agree with you, i can make SG on QF without any stress (Wish i had a couple more months and i think i may have made WP) but a lot of my flights are Y in and out of Asia and used to be but less now QF domestic.
    AA looked apealing but there is not way i would make status and keep it (ok i could make itin a challenge but not keep it)

    Also you never know when they may start enforcing the AA minimum sectors/year requirement like QF (not that i see this as a big issue)

  4. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
    Flight Map:
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    #4 serfty, May 31, 2007
    Last edited: May 31, 2007
    Then there is the YUP run of course (from $3½K ex OZ)!

    If crediting to QF the one trip can readily earn the 700 SC's for SG and oneworld Sapphire. Do two and you have QF WP! If crediting to AA, the same trip can earn ~¹/3 the required 50K Qpoints. Also, of course, one could do the Plat Challenge here as well.

    Of course for QFF this still requires you to have flown four QF segments. (You can do this by flying QF to the US with 2 segments each way, e.g. SYD-MEL-U/S-MEL-SYD).

    With my normal travel patterns my earn/burn/benefit points slightly towards QF, FWIW, status is more useful to me than award flights. So, I am happy as a QF WP for now If I ever attain QF LTG, my calculations indicate AAdvantage would be the better fit; AT which point I would consider a change.

    I guess this is a classic case of YMMV.

    This all relates the current situation and further program 'enhancements' would necessitate a rethink.
    :confused: :shock:
  5. garyjohn951

    garyjohn951 Active Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Yes I tend to agree with john. QF siuts me as a small business I alway look for cheapest in Australia and do quite a bit, Y for business overseas and only J on private spending. Over last 5 yrs have averaged 700 points per yr but one year was only 380 and then the next was 875. Have been gold all the time and not a query at all from QF. This year due to a couple of private J trips will see WP for 12 months, but expect to frop back to gold after that.
  6. tscharke

    tscharke Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    AA has worked well for me for this current qualification year with the fact that B class economy fares earn the same qpoints points as a J or F fare (x1.5)

    Before my company introduced the new J travel policy I was traveling in Y on typically B class seats. Therefore I have already requalified platinum (OW sapphire) this year by flying the following:

    SYD-NRT return in economy (B class)
    SYD-SIN return in economy (B class)
    SYD-ADL return in economy (B class)
    SYD-NRT return in business
    SYD-SIN return in business

    I dont know the QF program that well but Im sure economy B class seats for international travel would earn next to nothing
  7. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    I don't fly anywhere near 100 flights a year. Maybe 30-40 but not all have AA codeshares available.

    I don't earn anywhere enough credit card points to have a worthwhile conversion to AA and with earning less than 50,000 EQMs a year it would take around 20 years to reach lifetime Gold on AA.

    On QF I should reach LTS in another 3 years and then lifetime Gold in another 5-6 years. That is assuming that this benefit is still available in 8-9 years and at currect qualification requirements.
  8. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
    B gets full eco SCs - so you would have 680+ SCs YTD - so QF gold
  9. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    You are missing some parts since mileage requirements can be lower than that

    An AA ATW can be done for 120k in Y, 150k in J and 230k in F; with the economy award there is not a great difference in cost to QF, it is in premium awards where AA wins hands down

    The 230k in F vs 420k in F using QF points and 150k in J vs 280k in J are greatly different , plus taking into account the fuel fines , there is a huge difference in cash cost

    When booking an AA ATW award, only the mileages between stopover points count rather than the individual flight mileages, so it can be possible to get a decent trip within the 25,000 miles of that lower award; e.g. SYD-HKGx-FRAx-LHRx-LCA on an AA ATW award would count as a having travelled 8936 miles rather than the 12726 that QF will have counted it as.

    Also, AA does not have a restriction of no more than 5 stopovers on the award, only that you may not have more than 1 stopover in any city

    Even if ending up using the 190k award in J, that is a low cheaper than the 280k on QF and can nicely make up for the difference in mileage earning when on cheap QF tickets

    AA does offer One Way awards , just that they have to be done using an OW award. With some clevery trickery with the use of the rule of only counting mileage between stopover points, it is possible to get a One Way award v v cheaply by just throwing unwanted sectors away

    Also remember that 100% mileage earning is available to those with mid-tier Platinum status

  10. tscharke

    tscharke Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    actually I just checked and qantas regards B as 'discount economy' for international flights
  11. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Internationally, B only counts as discount economy, so would have earned 340 SCS rather than 680 which would not actually have reached a silver qualification ( though would have met a requalification requirement )

    It is only on domestic services within Australia where KWBH earn full SCs

  12. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    Brisbane / Sydney
    I do admit that I'd have got status much more easily with QF - however from my perspective I care more about the cheaper redemptions on AA. Most of my redemptions are going to be point to point awards in J or F, some are going to be repositioning awards to/from various stops in DONE4 itineraries.

    Also, most of my travels this year are just going to be point to point to various places in Asia - mainly SIN, BKK and KUL. My choice of travel to these places would be BA in WTP when flying oneworld. Both comfort and Qpts/mileage earning are a consideration here. With AAdvantage, I get 1.5 Qpts, the same as J and F, for the price of near-discount economy and a cheaper fare than Star Class on JQ. Plus I get a 10% bonus award miles for the WTP ticket, AND the 100% status bonus.

    I think TP/SC-based FFPs are usually easier to get status in, ie QFF and BAEC. Admittedly just 2 of those trips on Star Class (plus intra asia tickets on CX J) would get me QF SG or BAEC (Euro)Silver but to me the more expensive redemptions really offsets the quick status. I'd rather redeem 2 trips in J MEL-LHR return on AA miles than 1 or 1.5 trips in J on QF points.

    I wouldn't really requalify for AA PLT this calendar year (by 31DEC) due to the amount of flying I've put on *A - but I'm commencing a nicely timed DONE4 which will earn me PLT status by the middle of FEB 2008 before my current status expires at the end of FEB 08. ;)
  13. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    Sunshine Coast
    I agree that you must look at your own situation and there are many who would be silly to ditch QF for AA.For me my travel for the next few years will be 1 J BNE-JFK return plus 1 DONE4.This qualifies me for AA plat.However as having our first genuine grandchild later this year who will be living in New York then an extra J trip BNE-JFK in december with a return in January will get both myself and mrsdrron explat status on AA every year.
    So from 2008 the first leg of DONE4 will be BNE-SYD so we can use the QF F lounge in SYD.
    With the bonus points from status am looking at the million mile mark in 2009/10 with a genuine chance of reaching the 2 million mark before my flying days are over.
    With my pattern of flying would make silver and occasionally gold when with QF so for me AA is the best at present.
  14. Reggie

    Reggie Established Member

    Mar 20, 2006

    One reason I stay with QFF is the Priority Waitlist and this Platinum benefit.

    Seat availability is guaranteed with paid Full Economy tickets for up to two people, including the Platinum member, on any Qantas operated flight with a Qantas flight number (excluding non jet QantasLink services) and only when booking before midday on the day before travel. Normal check-in times and conditions apply. Facility may be restricted due to operational constraints.

    In my business this is a very important benefit, so much so, that my boss has ensured that a new employee who wanted to save money and fly with a non OW carrier actually flew QF to ensure he had enough SC's to obtain Platinum.
  15. Avant

    Avant Newbie

    May 23, 2007
    Does this mean we can buy an AA based ATW flight and upgrade to business class for 30k?? That would be nice eh......
  16. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Dave, thanks for taking the time to raise some valid points. I still think my decision in sticking with the QFF program is the right one.

    Premium awards is a valid point but really does not interest me in the slightest. I would rather do 2 separate Oneworld RTWs in economy than one in business. My goal would be to be able to one RTW each year but I think realistically I can only earn enough points to do one every 2 years. If I was doing this in business then I would have to wait every 3-4 years, even on AA, and forget about ever been able to do one in first.

    My upcoming RTW award with 16 sectors and 5 stopovers booked through QF loosely translates to SYD-ORD-ATH-LHR-FRA-HEL-SYD, if I remove transits and stopovers less than 24 hours, which is still 27009 miles according to GCM and would push me into Zone 8 on AA and therefore still requires 140,000 AA miles.

    Another valid point but if I understand the rules correctly you are still limited to 16 segments.

    I prefer visiting Europe and Asia and Oneworld does not have great coverage in Europe or even Asia so you need to burn segments rather than mileage to get from one city to the next.

    That is valid for premium awards but for economy even comparing 140,000 QFF points to 120,000 AA miles I would earn the QFF points much easier and at a much lesser cost.

    Don't underestimate the value of FF points generated through credit cards, car hire, hotel stays etc. To launder 60,606 Amex MR points to AA through SPG would only leave 25,000 AA miles. I have around 80,000 Amex MR points right now and will hopefully have enough for another RTW award with QF in 2-3 years. I would be silly to move these to AA.

    Yes, but I do not think that I would be able to requalify AA Platinum every year. QF Platinum is too easy. I hope to do a very short YUP trip in August which will net me 420 SCs and not many miles or even EQMs if I credit to AA.
  17. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    Unfortunately not. You can use 150k to get an around the world award flight, not buy an economy one and upgrade for 30k

  18. tscharke

    tscharke Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    i seem to be missing something here - a lot of peeps here seem to be saying that to requal for QF WP is quite easy?!?!

    from my understanding you need 1400 SC to qualify and 1200 SC to retain...

    1200 SC on QF doesnt seem 'that' easy to me? ..when you compare AA earning ability for all classes?
  19. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Don't confuse AA Platinum with QF Platinum. They are not the same. AA EXP is the equivalent of QF Platinum.

    One carefully constructed DONE4 is enough to qualify you Platinum for 2 years. You begin the DONE4 about 1 month before your membership year expires and finish it just into your new membership year.

    Other ways are cheap YUPs, QUPs or KUPs in the USA or even short haul J trips in SE Asia, Trans-tasman or Europe.

    Keep in mind that you need at least 2 DONE4s every year to qualify AA EXP. Just ask Simon the pain he is going through. I am in tears just reading the planning....
  20. tscharke

    tscharke Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    yeah cool - I understand that, its just that im thinking at my personal situation...I am set to hit AA EXP in July (note: no DONE4's or any thing like that) and I will do that quite quickly and easy with direct trips!

    I'm a neebie to this and am just concerned that I am not in the right program, thats all!

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