Star alliance - help

squid01

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Hi,

I will be doing some flying between countries in Central America later this year. Avianca and Copa Air are both in star alliance I believe and seem to be the main players in that region.

The flights are ridiculously expensive so looking at how I can get some points to use for award flights. I only have experience with QFF and the other alliances and FF programs confuse me a little lol.

Is there any star alliance FF program which allows me to earn points on the ground? Preferably a credit card with sign on bonus points.

I read virgin used to be able to swap their points for KrisFlyer points who you could then book avianca and Copa air with, but wa suspended. Is that coming back?

Any tips would be helpful!

Thanks
 
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Re Virgin (or Velocity to be accurate) - suggest having a look at what points you can earn in various ways with VA, divide them by 3 to get the equivalent KF miles (because points transfers are working again) and then maybe look at those CA airlines.

Others can advise re Star Alliance CCard signups.
 

RooFlyer

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Is there any star alliance FF program which allows me to earn points on the ground? Preferably a credit card with sign on bonus points.

You can buy miles in the Avianca Life Miles program and they are a good currency over all Star Alliance. I've never done a direct comparison between buying their miles to redeem Vs paying $ for the flight, but it would be interesting to see. The best value is when they have 'bonus' miles on offer, but that occurs fairly regularly IIRC. @boomy may be able to comment.
 

squid01

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Re Virgin (or Velocity to be accurate) - suggest having a look at what points you can earn in various ways with VA, divide them by 3 to get the equivalent KF miles (because points transfers are working again) and then maybe look at those CA airlines.

Others can advise re Star Alliance CCard signups.
Oh so velocity conversion to KF miles is possible again? Do you have a link? All I could find was articles where virgin were saying that function would be returning “soon”.

You can buy miles in the Avianca Life Miles program and they are a good currency over all Star Alliance. I've never done a direct comparison between buying their miles to redeem Vs paying $ for the flight, but it would be interesting to see. The best value is when they have 'bonus' miles on offer, but that occurs fairly regularly IIRC. @boomy may be able to comment.
Yes I did read about that too. And apparently they have bonus points promos often too. I did a quick calc on one flight and with a small 20% bonus promo it would cost approx $200 for the flight instead of over $500 (per pax).
Is it a fixed base rate of 3.3cents (off the top of my head) to purchase them?

Really looking to do it via a credit card sign on bonus so I don’t have to outlay anything (or minimal card fee).
 

trooper

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Have you tried looking at flights on the "local" websites? It seems that "residency" requirements might be a thing of the past, and I have heard reports of much better pricing that way... 🤔
 

BriarFlyer

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Oh so velocity conversion to KF miles is possible again? Do you have a link? All I could find was articles where virgin were saying that function would be returning “soon”.
Not yet possible, but reportedly returning "soon" as per the articles you reference. I'm sure once "soon" arrives, you'll read about it here on AFF.
 

squid01

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Apparently Virgin have announced the ability to transfer velocity points to KrisyFlyer miles will be back within a couple of weeks.

I search on Singapore airlines website for award availability on the routes I want but nothing comes up. It just takes me back to the search screen again and resets. When I search for a busier route like SYD>SIN then some results come up.

Does SG Website not show Avianca and Copa award availability? If not then how do I book them with KF miles?
 

BriarFlyer

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Does SG Website not show Avianca and Copa award availability? If not then how do I book them with KF miles?
The default for redemptions is on Singapore Airlines flights. You need to switch to Star Alliance and there is a trick to that, but I don't believe either Avian or Copa flights are bookable online at SIA. You will have to call to book with KF.
 

squid01

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The default for redemptions is on Singapore Airlines flights. You need to switch to Star Alliance and there is a trick to that, but I don't believe either Avian or Copa flights are bookable online at SIA. You will have to call to book with KF.
Is the SIA call center ok to book with? Coming off the QF call center anything will be a treat.

But I will most likely be in Central America at time of booking so hopefully don't need to chew up too much time/money being on hold for hours? Are they very competent?
 

BriarFlyer

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They also have had staffing issues but I've read a few recent comments on these forums that indicate calls are being answered promptly. As to competence with *A awards, I don't know. You might want to ask on the SQ forums; perhaps the SQ Tips forum where the experts hang out.
 

andye

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Hi,

I will be doing some flying between countries in Central America later this year. Avianca and Copa Air are both in star alliance I believe and seem to be the main players in that region.

The flights are ridiculously expensive so looking at how I can get some points to use for award flights. I only have experience with QFF and the other alliances and FF programs confuse me a little lol.

Is there any star alliance FF program which allows me to earn points on the ground? Preferably a credit card with sign on bonus points.

I read virgin used to be able to swap their points for KrisFlyer points who you could then book avianca and Copa air with, but wa suspended. Is that coming back?

Any tips would be helpful!

Thanks
Krisflyer miles can be earned with Amex and St George Amplify cards

Best place I've found to look for *A awards is on United website. Can then contact SQ to book.

Not called SQ recently but waits~30 mins a month or two back.
 

squid01

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Krisflyer miles can be earned with Amex and St George Amplify cards

Best place I've found to look for *A awards is on United website. Can then contact SQ to book.

Not called SQ recently but waits~30 mins a month or two back.
Thanks!

Do you know of any credit cards which I can convert their rewards points directly to Avianca lifemiles? Would prefer to get lifemiles instead of KrisFlyer miles, as I can then book direct on the avianca website. Trying to avoid using a call center while I am away if possible.
 

andye

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Thanks!

Do you know of any credit cards which I can convert their rewards points directly to Avianca lifemiles? Would prefer to get lifemiles instead of KrisFlyer miles, as I can then book direct on the avianca website. Trying to avoid using a call center while I am away if possible.
Only way I know is Amex to Marriott to Avianca but the transfer rates end up being pretty poor (unlike a few years back).
Avianca miles are best bought during a bonus offer I believe
 

auriga

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Is the SIA call center ok to book with? Coming off the QF call center anything will be a treat.

But I will most likely be in Central America at time of booking so hopefully don't need to chew up too much time/money being on hold for hours? Are they very competent?

They also have had staffing issues but I've read a few recent comments on these forums that indicate calls are being answered promptly. As to competence with *A awards, I don't know. You might want to ask on the SQ forums; perhaps the SQ Tips forum where the experts hang out.

I called SQ multiple times last week. Calls always answered very quickly, but somehow the redemption department was never available each time. Leave details and await callback. They do call back varying from 1 hour to 24 hours later.

I cannot comment on their competence. Award flights which I can see available online on SQ site, somehow the call centre cannot see. I was trying to book a paid stopover on a saver one way award.
 

squid01

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I called SQ multiple times last week. Calls always answered very quickly, but somehow the redemption department was never available each time. Leave details and await callback. They do call back varying from 1 hour to 24 hours later.

I cannot comment on their competence. Award flights which I can see available online on SQ site, somehow the call centre cannot see. I was trying to book a paid stopover on a saver one way award.
Hmmm a call back wouldn't work as I would probably be calling off of skype or something, from overseas. Thanks for the info.
 

auriga

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Hmmm a call back wouldn't work as I would probably be calling off of skype or something, from overseas. Thanks for the info.
Could just be a rush on awards at that time due to imminent devaluation. Later this year situation may be quite different.
 

squid01

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Could just be a rush on awards at that time due to imminent devaluation. Later this year situation may be quite different.
As in devaluation of Krisflyer miles? Or something specifically to do with Avianca? Little confused by your statement can you please expand?

Think I have found the best route to take with this. Will get this St George Amplify Platinum rewards card which has 100k Amplify points for $29 card fee. Then transfer 2:1 to get 50k Krisflyer miles. Hopefully that will be enough for a couple flights in Central America. I will try calling the SQ call center to see how pain free making a straight forward booking of this type would be on Avianca, and how much they will charge in KF miles exactly.
 
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