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Reasons to Join AAdvantage over QFF...

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yeldarb8

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I'm a 20-year+ veteran of AAdvantage and Lifetime Platinum. I do have a QFF membership but never use it because:

1. I have found more AA award seats available on QF metal than QFF award seats on QF metal. Tested this many times. I have no explanation.
2. QFF will charge you 5000 points to make ANY change to a booking. AA will charge you ZERO unless you change start/end points and/or carrier. No AA fees for date changes or routing changes subject to availability. I have changed individual AA award bookings over a dozen times at zero cost in $$$ or miles.
3. Better customer service. When I call AA from my registered cell phone it picks up and answers me by NAME... "Hello Peter"... and I get routed directly to the AAdvantage Platinum desk. Very cool.
4. Point to point awards are independent of routing. Example, on AA a flight from Perth to Tokyo is 45000 in J class regardless of routing (direct, or via Sydney does not matter). On QFF you get hit additional points going PER-SYD-NRT versus the direct PER-NRT route.
5. I get to allocate my own seats. Last time I tried this was impossible with QFF.
6. The inventory of AA award seats on alliance carrier Cathay Pacific is higher than QFF award inventory on Cathay... If you fly in Asia as much as I do this alone is a big deal. Again, I have tested this many times, can book an AA award but no availability on same flight for a QFF award.
7. Four free system-wide upgrades on AA every two years as a lifetime member. Try getting that on QFF. You are out of luck.
8. Better "buy miles" promotions. I can get up to 80,000 miles a year at AA for $1500 during the usual end-of-year bonus promotion period. Try to beat that at QFF. No chance.

I'm sooo glad I joined AAdvantage years ago... has paid off in spades. The telephone agents at AAdvantage are just amazing in comparison to QFF (where it seems you are just an inconvenience by calling).
 

samh004

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There are many thread extolling similar virtues of AAdvantage here, and a few members who also choose it over QFF, not me, but I last was a member of CX MPC which is also miles based and didn’t have a lot of luck there.

This might be a bit too personal, but just wondered as you say you’ve been a member for 20+ years… how close are you to 10 million miles? Are you looking forward to the milestone and rumoured extra privileges, if you are close? :p

I haven’t seen Up In The Air yet.
 

yeldarb8

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There are many thread extolling similar virtues of AAdvantage here, and a few members who also choose it over QFF, not me, but I last was a member of CX MPC which is also miles based and didn’t have a lot of luck there.

This might be a bit too personal, but just wondered as you say you’ve been a member for 20+ years… how close are you to 10 million miles? Are you looking forward to the milestone and rumoured extra privileges, if you are close? :p

I haven’t seen Up In The Air yet.
I have not joined MPC (although I LOVE flying CX) because once you get to Lifetime Sapphire on any OneWorld carrier it doesn't really get you much benefit to split your mileage over multiple programs... all the doors are open to you regardless of which alliance member you fly.

Indeed I have a multi-million mile Program-to-Date balance. For me, AA was a no-brainer because you earn credit for miles flown AND for $ spent on your linked CC's and they all count towards lifetime status. QFF can't match this. Also, through BusinessExtrAA, I get additional credit for the $ value of tickets purchased by my company for AA flights... 1 point for every $10 spent I think... I just redeemed a First Class round-trip ticket based upon my spend for the last three years, that's in addition to the miles and elite credits I earned; again... QFF can't match this.

As for Lifetime Executive Platinum... your guess is as good as mine.

From a practical point of view it's hard to foresee much difference since I have not flown in coach on any AA flight (or OW alliance carrier) for years... I'm either flying on a J/F award or got upgraded based upon my Platinum status.
 

anat0l

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I'd almost go out of my way to pay anyone who can suggest a better FFP than those by the main international carriers in the Americas.

This is not a topic for debate, it's a truism.

The only thing that QF has over AA is that it is easier to get status with QF than it is for AA (i.e. it is easier to become a QF Platinum than a AA Executive Platinum), but then the lifetime statuses kick in and AA edges out (except like QF there's no Lifetime OWE).

I've joined AA but I want the status, which I can't attain on AA on whatever flying I have alone.

Most of the mentioned comparative benefits of AA over QF are a function of the markets they primarily serve (i.e. US vs Australia), but let's go through it the list:
1. I have found more AA award seats available on QF metal than QFF award seats on QF metal. Tested this many times. I have no explanation.
I don't know how AA can just rip up seats on any carrier they want when they want, but they will do it for anyone regardless of status. All the Americas programs are like that. Why do you think there are so many US non-status members making a mockery of *A F awards?
Frankly, it's a common anecdote in the US that if you can't get the class, date and flight you want on first request - especially if you are an elite - then nothing less than the head of a staff member is mandatory.
2. QFF will charge you 5000 points to make ANY change to a booking. AA will charge you ZERO unless you change start/end points and/or carrier. No AA fees for date changes or routing changes subject to availability. I have changed individual AA award bookings over a dozen times at zero cost in $$$ or miles.
Just like every other Americas program. Especially if you are an elite, often you can do whatever you like with whatever ticket you have and pay nothing in fees.
3. Better customer service. When I call AA from my registered cell phone it picks up and answers me by NAME... "Hello Peter"... and I get routed directly to the AAdvantage Platinum desk. Very cool.
Can't comment since I never called AA before. But I wouldn't be surprised. I'm assuming the quality of service is much more than just being greeted by your name.
4. Point to point awards are independent of routing. Example, on AA a flight from Perth to Tokyo is 45000 in J class regardless of routing (direct, or via Sydney does not matter). On QFF you get hit additional points going PER-SYD-NRT versus the direct PER-NRT route.
Again, all Americas programs are like this. In fact, a lot of FFPs except QF and OZ (the only ones that come to mind) are like this. Redemption is based on geographical zones and not mileage.
More back to the Americas programs, however: they have the most generous routing rules on awards around the world. It's quite difficult to find another FFP which allows free stopovers or transit points on the same award. Most Americas programs allow at least one stopover and/or one open jaw, sometimes in both directions, plus people often exploit the 24 rule of a stopover, i.e. if your transit is 23h and 59min, it's not a stopover, so no extra charge. QF covers off these kinds of rules.
5. I get to allocate my own seats. Last time I tried this was impossible with QFF.
Unless you're in Y this shouldn't be a problem. Of course, your seat selection may be limited because of better quality seats being blocked off for QF elites.
6. The inventory of AA award seats on alliance carrier Cathay Pacific is higher than QFF award inventory on Cathay... If you fly in Asia as much as I do this alone is a big deal. Again, I have tested this many times, can book an AA award but no availability on same flight for a QFF award.
Once again no idea how AA elbow this kind of inventory.
Most QF Platinum members can request seats and have a good chance of getting it, although they do have to pay the telephone assistance fee (and we are back to the truism again).
7. Four free system-wide upgrades on AA every two years as a lifetime member. Try getting that on QFF. You are out of luck.
Rather a shame you can only use those SWUs on AA flights. I'm not even going to entertain a discussion on the upgrade system in the USA (it's tantamount to criminal, really).
8. Better "buy miles" promotions. I can get up to 80,000 miles a year at AA for $1500 during the usual end-of-year bonus promotion period. Try to beat that at QFF. No chance.
And frankly this is close to criminal as well. We complain enough at QF that it takes a lot of miles to redeem awards. And there are co-brand credit cards that also award miles. The true loyal customers of an airline deserve to be able to have the best award availability and when they have the miles ready to redeem that award, they can redeem it before some rich no-status upstart can buy the points and get that seat at grossly less effort and probably on the cheap.

The Americas programs are never going to change their ways above because the first one to do so will probably commit commercial suicide, i.e. within 1 year or less, they'll be filing a Chapter 11. All of them are competing against each other for benefits (much more than vs. the rest of the world), so none of them are going to back down. Meanwhile the rest of the world is wondering why their elites can hardly book good seats without pulling a few tricks (notable is SQ, NH and LH blocking premium inventory from cross-alliance redemption).

I know people are just doing what's best for themselves and exploiting (not a malicious use of the word) whatever system there is out there.

If I could fly enough to get AA EXP every year, I'd go with AA over QF.
 
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JohnK

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We have this debate a number of times. For some people it is much easier to get status on QF that it is to get status on AA. Burning miles is not the only issue. Earning points and status is also important.

Some key points

- No need to pay extra for QF airfares to ensure they are not in E, N, O, Q classes (We all do not have a cash cow to fund our travels)
- Oneworld Emerald affords access to First Class Lounges and generally better treatment by other Oneworld airlines
- Not all of us want to redeem point to point awards, some of us are quite happy booking Oneworld awards and I have never really had an issue redeeming awards anyway

and lastly

- Horses for courses. eg

-- Credit flights to QF for earning status
-- Credit car hire to VS
-- Credit Hilton stays to VS
-- Credit Woolworths shopping to QFF
-- Transfer Amex points to SQ
-- If necessary purchase AA miles for awards

With my travel I can easily make QF Platinum or Oneworld Emerald and have no chance of attaining AA Exceutive Platinum. What can AA offer me as most of my flights are on QF, self funded in discount economy? Why would I even attempt to credit to AA? Why would I want to settle for Oneworld Sapphire when I can easily have Oneworld Emerald?
 

markis10

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It sounds like it has been sometime since you had a close look at QFF, as your points are somewhat valid had they been posted a year ago, even if we ignore the unfairness of comparing a program from a status holders view with one where you dont have status:

1. I have found more AA award seats available on QF metal than QFF award seats on QF metal. Tested this many times. I have no explanation.
Qantas status allows much better availability of awards and this is being extended down the ranks shortly, with ASAs in fact any seat for sale can be redeemed as an award at a cost, and that cost can be interesting at times, 12000 points + $400 will get me a HBA-BNE via MEL flight with the MEL-BNE leg in J that earns 80 SCs and returns 2700 miles, so a net cost of 9300 miles + cash that also results in 13% of the SG requal target.

2. QFF will charge you 5000 points to make ANY change to a booking. AA will charge you ZERO unless you change start/end points and/or carrier. No AA fees for date changes or routing changes subject to availability. I have changed individual AA award bookings over a dozen times at zero cost in $$$ or miles.
Again the introduction of ASAs remove this PITA, as fare conditions apply which means $0 fees on changes/cancellations for higher fare buckets, in fact ASAs in J offer very good redemption options as per the above example with total flexibility.

3. Better customer service. When I call AA from my registered cell phone it picks up and answers me by NAME... "Hello Peter"... and I get routed directly to the AAdvantage Platinum desk. Very cool.
Not to different to QFF, I get called by my name once they have verified I am who I am.

4. Point to point awards are independent of routing. Example, on AA a flight from Perth to Tokyo is 45000 in J class regardless of routing (direct, or via Sydney does not matter). On QFF you get hit additional points going PER-SYD-NRT versus the direct PER-NRT route.
Thats certainly not the case with QFF in most cases but there are some very nice loopholes to that rule that allow for excellent redemption's.

5. I get to allocate my own seats. Last time I tried this was impossible with QFF.
Its a benefit of status and as frequently reported here, no issues getting very good seats in most cases including previously blocked seats on QFF.

6. The inventory of AA award seats on alliance carrier Cathay Pacific is higher than QFF award inventory on Cathay... If you fly in Asia as much as I do this alone is a big deal. Again, I have tested this many times, can book an AA award but no availability on same flight for a QFF award.
7. Four free system-wide upgrades on AA every two years as a lifetime member. Try getting that on QFF. You are out of luck.
8. Better "buy miles" promotions. I can get up to 80,000 miles a year at AA for $1500 during the usual end-of-year bonus promotion period. Try to beat that at QFF. No chance.
AA Advantage is an advantage here ;)

If you travel to the US on a regular basis I can see how it makes a more attractive option for some, even if your an infrequent visitor it may make sense, as always the choice of a frequent flyer program depends on the individuals travel patterns and spending as well as what local options are available. Programs also change and benefits are added/diluted, so ongoing discussion on the merits of various programs is a good thing.
 

moa999

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yeldarb8 - if I was a global resident like yourself
Location - Perth, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York - I might have a different choice
but for an Aussie resident flying a mix of Dom and International, predominately albeit not exclusively on QF, and not enough to hold status on both programs here are my main reasons for remaining loyal to QF.

Points on all fares - still get points on the red e-deals
Points on Jetstar (some fare classes) - given they are getting more and more routes in Australia
Op-ups - QF treats its own better
Upgrades - Can only upgrade QF flights using QF points
Achievability - With some usage of premium fares, the QF status is more achieavable
Credit Cards - No Australian based cards earn AA points, only way is to launder through other programs (eg SPG) but bad ratios
Other bonuses - Various local partner bonuses - eg Woolworths, restaurant program
Access to US lounges - As an AA elite don't get lounge access on AA domestic flights
JASAs - need I say more
 

serfty

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This has been discussed frequently on this forum, but as a Qantas Platinum who frequently travels N, E and Q class on Qantas flights, I am better off with earn/burn ratio's for QFF rather than with AAdvantage.

If I had no status then AAdvantage would generally be better.

For a start a WP on a Qantas flight number earns double miles.

It is far easier to earn status with QFF.

e.g. Later this month I am flying from Los Angeles to Aruba in first/business class. The return air fare cost $1300 and will earn 600 QFF status credits. This is 50% of my WP re-qualification.

The same travel when credited to AAdvantage as a Platinum or Executive Platinum will earn about 13,650 EQP - this is 27% of AAdvantage Platinum qualification and 14% of Executive Platinum qualification.
 

wandering_fred

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Re: Best way to book an AA (US dom) flight?

Firstly it should be apparent that I am biased on the AA vs QF FF question. :cool:

John - QF O class does earn AA miles - Alas because it is cheaper than E, Qantas does not offer it domestically very often.

If you buy mostly international tickets (at least until recently) sourced in SIN or HKG QF ticket classes are not an issue. And the premium for V class is not very great. And exNRT sometimes K class isn't all that bad. And T class ex HKG is probably the most useful. Pity it only exists to SYD/MEL/LHR

Serfty - How is running off to the USA to find instant upgrade fare classes on AA any cheaper than trying to find those O or S class fares domestically? OTOH if you can afford long haul J - by all means qualifying in QF's program is dead simple. Had I credited my CX flight CMB-HKG-LAX/JFK-HKG-CMB in D class a few years ago that would have been almost enough for QF Gold. Do it twice for Plat.

A far bigger pain in the FF program (from the AA perspective) is then lack of reasonable Cathay economy fares in SE Asia that will credit.

The other issue - which is sometimes mentioned - is the Sydney centric nature of the QF program (and flight schedules). From Perth it is far easier to ignore QF completely and still find OW flights. And you can get to LAX/SFO/YVR/ORD/DFW/JFK/YYZ one stop from PER and avoid SYD.

Wandering as usual

Fred
 

JohnK

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Re: Best way to book an AA (US dom) flight?

John - QF O class does earn AA miles - Alas because it is cheaper than E, Qantas does not offer it domestically very often.
I knew one of N, O did not earn but was not sure which one. Anyway I do not want to have to search before booking to make sure I get the right class nor do I want to spend money on a Super Saver to ensure I have a valid AA earning class on QF metal.

Generally I can pick up a QF SYD-BNE flight in E, N class for ~$75 whilst the lowest super saver costs $210. There is no way I am spending that much money. But if one had a cash cow and really wanted to credit to Aadvantage then it would not be an issue.

If you buy mostly international tickets (at least until recently) sourced in SIN or HKG QF ticket classes are not an issue. And the premium for V class is not very great. And exNRT sometimes K class isn't all that bad. And T class ex HKG is probably the most useful. Pity it only exists to SYD/MEL/LHR
I am fine with international flights booked ex-SIN but the 60+ domestic sectors in E, N class are the issue.

I would say a lot of the people on this forum paying for their own domestic airfares would have the same issues.
 
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samiam

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e.g. Later this month I am flying from Los Angeles to Aruba in first/business class. The return air fare cost $1300 and will earn 600 QFF status credits. This is 50% of my WP re-qualification.
1. How do I get me one of those; and

2. Could I have that sort of deal on a MEL-PER trip, please :p
 

drewbles

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Re: Best way to book an AA (US dom) flight?

Firstly it should be apparent that I am biased on the AA vs QF FF question. :cool:

John - QF O class does earn AA miles - Alas because it is cheaper than E, Qantas does not offer it domestically very often.

I always believe E was below O in the order. I've only ever got super-super cheap fares on E, and O has always been more. I've seen E offered on the trans-cons (MEL/SYD-PER) more than anywhere else...
 

JohnK

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Re: Best way to book an AA (US dom) flight?

I always believe E was below O in the order. I've only ever got super-super cheap fares on E, and O has always been more. I've seen E offered on the trans-cons (MEL/SYD-PER) more than anywhere else...
Yes I think the order is E, O, N, Q class.

What can happen with sales on sales is that future sales release 'E' inventory at the same airfares as the 'O' class airfares in earlier sales.
 

NM

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The only thing that QF has over AA is that it is easier to get status with QF than it is for AA (i.e. it is easier to become a QF Platinum than a AA Executive Platinum), but then the lifetime statuses kick in and AA edges out (except like QF there's no Lifetime OWE).
That is not always true. My 2009 calendar year resulted in earning AA Executive Platinum status with 100,051 EQP. The same flights would have earned me 730 Status Credits with QFF, enough only for Gold status. It all depends on the type of fares and the routes flown. In my case it was all international Economy with a few premium economy fares. No business or first flights in my list.
 

serfty

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That is not always true. My 2009 calendar year resulted in earning AA Executive Platinum status with 100,051 EQP. The same flights would have earned me 730 Status Credits with QFF, enough only for Gold status. It all depends on the type of fares and the routes flown. In my case it was all international Economy with a few premium economy fares. No business or first flights in my list.
"Flexible" economy fares are recognised to a greater extent by AAdvantage than Qantas does.

i.e. a B class fare on a QF flight number from BNE to HKG would earn 20 SC's on QFF, some 2½% of WP re-qualification. The same trip credited to AAdvantage would earn ~6500 EQP's wich is about 6½% of the EQP's needed for EXP Qualification.
 

NM

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"Flexible" economy fares are recognised to a greater extent by AAdvantage than Qantas does.

i.e. a B class fare on a QF flight number from BNE to HKG would earn 20 SC's on QFF, some 2½% of WP re-qualification. The same trip credited to AAdvantage would earn ~6500 EQP's wich is about 6½% of the EQP's needed for EXP Qualification.
Exactly my case in point. B fares are excellent "value" on AA and about the worst possible "value" on QFF. A B fare earns the same status qualification as an F fare with AA, and it earns 12.5% of F status with QF (the same as an N, O, E etc).
 

serfty

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For me the problem is B class fares are relatively expensive and that unless one's employer is paying for these, the average punter will prefer cheaper options or travel Business class/premium economy in those cases where the fares may often be similar or not much more (perhaps on another carrier).
 

JohnK

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Exactly my case in point. B fares are excellent "value" on AA and about the worst possible "value" on QFF.
Just out of interest how many people do you think travel on a B class fare on each flight? 5? 6? Perhaps 10? How many people travel on a discount economy ticket in the lowest classes? The majority?

And then what is the difference between a B class fare and a discount economy fare between SYD-LHR or SYD-LAX? Is it really worth to spend the extra money to credit to AAdvantage instead of QF?
 

drron

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Well with mrsdrron WP and myself just AA plat I can still get a premium award on QF more often than she can.Also with the burn rates Aadvantage as plat certainly suits me more than being WP.But then mrsdrron guests me into the Flounges!
 
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