Star Alliance - please explain?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Launa, Mar 1, 2004.

  1. Launa

    Launa Newbie

    Mar 1, 2004
    3
    0
    Perth
    I have Westpac Altitude points (85,770 pts) which I want to transfer to a FF program before Westpac halves their value. When I travel overseas I prefer to fly Thai or Singapore Air. I belong to Qantas FF and have 13,955 pts there. I use Qantas for interstate flights if the price is comparable to Virgin.

    If I join Air New Zealand FF I can transfer my Altitude pts there so I can use Star Alliance. I am unlikely to use Air NZ as a carrier, but it seemed the only way to get my WP Altitude pts into the Star Alliance program.

    This is where I come unstuck. I have searched the home pages for Star Alliance, Thai and Air NZ and am more confused than ever. I have a flight booked (using $'s) to Europe with Thai in August.
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    With Star Alliance:-
    Q.1 Do I have to join Thai FF as well as Air NZ FF to get accumulated flying points from both airlines?
    Q.2 If I fly eg. Singapore and Thai at different times, do my points accumulate in one place, or do I have X pts with Thai and Y pts with Singapore?

    Q.3 My pts could stay with Altitude and I could book flights through them but that seems an expensive use of points. Am I correct?

    I will be using my pts mainly for European travel.

    As the pts have to be moved well before March 9, this is URGENT!! :?

    Thanks in anticipation.
     
  2. straitman

    Moderator

    Apr 27, 2003
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    Launa,

    1. You only need to join one FF program in each alliance (ie One World or Star Alliance) and then allocate the points to that airline whenever you travel with one of its partners. (A little homework to pick the correct partner is a good idea as they sometimes have a few "funny" restrictions)

    2. As above.

    3. I agree that altitude is an expensive way to utilise the points.

    Look at the programs and pick the the one that is the best and most appropriate for yourself.

    With regard to the urgency. I don't believe that there is any urgency as the change only affects points earned after 9th March. Any pre existing points are unaffected. -- unless I've got it totally wrong also :!:

    Anyone else care to comment :?:

    8)
     
  3. Launa

    Launa Newbie

    Mar 1, 2004
    3
    0
    Perth
    Thanks Bill for your explanation.

    So ... as I read it I pay for my Thai airways flight through my travel agent, quoting my Air NZ FF number. Then at later stages I can book and pay for flights with eg. Singapore Air, again quoting my Air NZ FF number. All points are accumulating with Air NZ FF. When I have enough points I contact Air NZ FF and book a flight for any Star Alliance airline (eg. Singapore Air). Am I correct or am I as thick as a post. Perhaps you'd better not answer that!!

    With regard to the Altitude points, I took it to mean that any points transferred to other FF programs after March 9 would be affected. Any points used to book flights through Altitude themselves would not be affected. I hope you are right though!

    Thanks

    Launa
     
  4. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Got my altitude "notification" in the mail today. My take on it was that the changes do not affect points earned prior to March 9 (ie 1 point = 1FF poiny), but after March 9, becomes 2 points = 1 FF point (on Visa, 1 for 1 on Amex).
     
  5. Launa

    Launa Newbie

    Mar 1, 2004
    3
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    Perth
    Good news dajop. Two positive opinions against my negative one suits me! :D

    Launa
     
  6. egoode

    egoode Junior Member

    Jan 3, 2003
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    London
    I also understood the changes to mean that any points earned before the 9th March would be transferred as 1 for 1. The changes only affect points earned after this date.
     
  7. davem

    davem Member

    Feb 1, 2004
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    try and not to join Airnz ff program

    The redemption rates are terrible.

    Try instead for another star alliance, or qantas.
     
  8. tanyavu

    tanyavu Junior Member

    Jul 5, 2003
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    redemption rates

    i know that redemption rates are terrible with Air NZ Fflyer but when you have an amex or diners card the conversion rate is 1 point with Air NZ but to convert to Singapore/Thai/United fflyer programs you need 2 points.

    eg. A trip from SYD to SGN is 90000 using Air NZ fflyer points but when you convert to Singapore/Thai/United frequent flyer programs it is 50000 points but you need to convert 100000 from the Amex card so it ends up costing more points.

    In the mean time we can only hope that Air NZ changes their redemtion rates for STAR AWARDS or Amex changes theirs so we can earn 1 for 1
     
  9. tanyavu

    tanyavu Junior Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    10
    0
    redemption rates

    i know that redemption rates are terrible with Air NZ Fflyer but when you have an amex or diners card the conversion rate is 1 point with Air NZ but to convert to Singapore/Thai/United fflyer programs you need 2 points.

    eg. A trip from SYD to SGN is 90000 using Air NZ fflyer points but when you convert to Singapore/Thai/United frequent flyer programs it is 50000 points but you need to convert 100000 from the Amex card so it ends up costing more points.

    In the mean time we can only hope that Air NZ changes their redemtion rates for STAR AWARDS or Amex changes theirs so we can earn 1 for 1.
     
  10. Dalen

    Dalen Junior Member

    Oct 10, 2003
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    Just received a newsletter from Air NZ airpoints. Says from the end of this year cannot convert AMEX reward points to airpoints. I just joined Airpoints so I could convert AMEX points...sigh. Can't keep up with all the changes going on with credit card and frequent flyer programs. Oh, for the good old days....Dale.
     
  11. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
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    Well, Launa, you got 4 from 4 correct in the last paragraph, so you're hardly thick!!

    Westpac are not stupid enough to retrospectively reduce everybody's points, because there would be such an exodus that they wouldn't have any CC clients left! Like the ATO, they only make it effective from a particular date, therefore "grandfathering" the "old" points.

    After much research, I have found the best *A FF program is United's because it credits most other *A carrier flights (particularly L class) at 100%, rather than the 70% that say SQ (Krisflyer) do. Problem might be transferring your Altitude points.

    Defintely the best option is to stick to one carriers program but credit all alliance partners flights to it.
     
  12. sully

    sully Member

    Jul 31, 2003
    238
    1
    Wolloomooloo, NSW
    United also has the advantage of allowing you to accrue points if you fly with Emirates. I had to use them twice simply because I was travelling with a Skywards member (Emirates FF) and also because the connections to my eventual destination of Nairobi were horrendous with anyone else.

    The 60k odd points earned have been put to good use as I had no problem in obtaining a Thai airways return ticket to BKK for my wife. When I have to travel on SA flights, mainly Singapore and Thai, I use the United card and am in the process of now getting a flight to AKL on Air NZ.

    Plus, it's free.
     
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