Star Alliance What airline to join

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by QANTASLM, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. QANTASLM

    QANTASLM Junior Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    12
    1
    As an old Ansett Star member and now ONEWORLD - I have around the world ticket first class doing MEL- SFO (UA) - SFO - FRA (LH) FRA - LHR (LH) LHR- BER (LH) BER - BKK (LH) BKK - MEL (TG) - PLEASE advise if I should join TG -UA or LH frequent flyer - what one will give me High membership status and best for free flights! Or should I join SQ or NZ?
    Help!!!
    I am doing this as a FirstClass fare is around 45% better than any thing I could do with One World carriers
    Registered Users don't see this and have the option of removing all other advertisements.  Register HERE
     
  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Welcome to AFF QANTASLM

    The best *A FFPs for earning for flying first or business class are Air NZ Airpoints, BMI Diamond Club, and Lufthansa Miles and More - these all give 300+ % miles for first (except NZ which uses a different currency but the multiple compared with econ is also 3 to 5 times). United Mileage Plus isnt quite as good as these for first/business, but once have status get a generous status bonus when flying on United (and also Lufthansa between US and Europe).

    TG Royal Orchid Plus isnt as generous, but has much lower qualification level to get status and some awards cheaper than eg LH Miles and More. I'd be a bit nervous about BMI because they are currently making major changes to the airline it is quite possible/likely that the FFP will be revamped in a big way.

    NZ and LH awards are relatively expensive, but there are some good ones there too. UA awards generally much cheaper so net earn/burn rate may be comparable with the others.

    NZ has unique feature of being able to "buy" any fare on NZ only itin using airpoints dollars - ie not restricted inventory as usually the case. NZ is good scheme if fly Air NZ a lot, if mostly fly other *A airlines then it isnt so good (has lower earning on partners).

    *Gold status is what you should be aiming for - this gives reasonable benefits. Of the FFPs mentioned, TG has the lowest requirement at 50k and LH the highest at 100k. However on LH status lasts for at least 2 calendar years - so if qualify in say Oct 05 it would last until Feb 2008 and need another 100k to retain in either 2006 or 2007 calendar years.

    SQ has relatively poor earning rates and awards arent cheap enough to offset. If you fly SQ in first or business often it is worthwhile registering with Kris Flyer for the PPS credits - put miles somewhere else and at the same time earn PPS status, which is helpful for clearing waitlists, getting awards etc on SQ.

    Another consideration is non-flying earning - ie credit cards and other. For someone based in Australia, credit card options are fairly limited. Westpac links to NZ and Amex links to a few airlines. But thats it as far as *A goes.

    I presume your RTW ticket is a 29,000 mile FRWSTAR1. Note your itin is only about 25,000 miles so there is plenty of opportunity to add more sectors to increase earning. Earlier this year I did a carefully constructed CRWSTAR2 (34,000 mile in business) which netted me enough miles for an award return business class to europe.
     
  3. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,689
    216
    Canberra / London
    "Earlier this year I did a carefully constructed CRWSTAR2 (34,000 mile in business) which netted me enough miles for an award return business class to europe."

    Goodness, how did you do that? If I fly 34,000 miles on UA in Bus class I get 76,500 miles credited, which is far from a bus class award ticket to Europe (120,000 miles).

    Please let me in on your secret. :)
     
  4. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
    14,246
    5,926
    Brisbane
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Twitter:
    Facebook:
    Linkedin:
    clifford, I hope you have a large drink in hand when you read Kiwi Flyer's Trip Report...it can be done.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    I probably should have added to "carefully constructed", "... and with the help of some promos". However the promos only added a little bit, the main thing was use of minimum miles (quite generous within europe in C for LH Miles and More) and arbitrage (some sectors much better crediting to certain FFPs than others).

    Thanks Lindsay Wilson for posting the link.

    As I said in post #2, UA Mileage Plus isnt the best earning rate if flying business or first (other than on UA if you are getting elite bonus).
     
  6. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    15,698
    1,179
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    My best on a OneWorld business class RTW was 87,000 QF FF points - way short of the 256,000 points required for a business class return SYD-LHR. But it was way more than enough travel to reach QF Platinum FF status. So if the goal is free flights, follow Kiwi's lead!
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    On OW, serfty has constructed a DONE4 to maximise SC earning which comes to around 110,000 QFF points. Other variations on this routing earn 120,000 QFF points (optimum routing differs depending on whether SC maximising or QFF point maximising).
     
  8. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    15,698
    1,179
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    Although I will do some optimisation of my DONE4s, I won't go to that extent. I still use these for legit business trips and have places I need to go to meet people :eek: .
     
  9. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,689
    216
    Canberra / London
    Thanks for the link to FT, Lindsay. I did read quite a bit of it, but found it hard to compare the AirNZ FF scheme to Mileage Plus. But it was quite some itinerary... By the way, I did start with quite a large drink, but it is now quite small (I'm just going to refill it).

    Now that we are including promos, etc, I can readily see how Kiwi Flyer earned a free bus class ticket to Europe. I did a similar thing myself in April (however, with far fewer segments) with Mileage Plus (April was a big month for promos with UA), and for 40,483 actual flight miles, I accrued 132,103 Mileage Plus miles, of which 120,000 are needed for an Aust/NZ to Europe free ticket in bus class. Here are the details:

    .....................................................Actual..Bonus..Total Miles
    28-Mar-05 UA S Class SYD to LAX 7,487 14,974 22,461
    2-Apr-05 UA S Class LAX to SYD 7,487 22,461 29,948
    17-Apr-05 OS M Class SYD to KUL 4,114 0 4,114
    19-Apr-05 UA C Class SIN to NRT 3,328 6,656 9,984
    19-Apr-05 UA C Class NRT to LAX 5,451 10,902 16,353
    20-Apr-05 UA C Class LAX to LHR 5,456 16,368 21,824
    26-Apr-05 UA C Class LHR to SFO 5,368 16,104 21,472
    26-Apr-05 UA F Class SFO to LAX 500 1,500 2,000
    27-Apr-05 UA C Class LAX to NRT 5,451 10,902 16,353
    29-Apr-05 UA C Class NRT to SIN 3,328 6,656 9,984

    All of these flights were booked in economy and upgraded to Bus/1st class wherever possible.

    As a lifetime *G (Mileage Plus Million Miler), I think I'll stick with UA.

    :)
     
  10. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    My impression is UA has a lot more promos, and some very good ones (in terms of mileage earning), than the FFPs I have.

    However in my *A RTWs I try to get close to enough points for business class award to europe even without promos. From this trip I easily had enough thanks to minimum miles and particular routing. My next one isnt quite as optimised but still earns around 3/4 of the award even without promos.
     
  11. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
    36,836
    6,701
    MEL
    Flight Map:
    View my flight map
    The construction was an interesting excercise and with QFF one could get 2440 SC's. However as with NM, there are some people/places that I need to or would rather visit, so the actual routing I travel will only garnish 2300 SC's. (720 this "year" to get Emerald and the rest next year).
     
Loading...

Share This Page