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What's the best FF program on Star Aliance?

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geordie

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I am using Thai Airways for flight to Europe this summer, and would like some opinions on which FF program is best to join. I am not a FF with any of the Star Aliance airlines.

Should i just go with the Thai program, or Singapore Airlines? What's going to be the easiest to redeem points in/from Australia.

Your feedback is appreciated.
 

QF WP

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Best FF program on Star Alliance??

According to Business Traveller (Asia/Pacific) magazine Sept 2001 issue (where they reviewed FF programs) and their latest issue October 2002 (where they polled 782 of their readers, including me), Singapore Airlines wins.

They won Best Frequent Flyer program (2nd Cathay, 3rd United, 4th Qantas, 5th Thai, 6th Lufthansa, 7th BA, 8th Northwest, 9th Korean and 10th Swiss).

Quoting from the editors note:

So clearly delighted are you with Singapore Airlines that you also voted its Frequent Flyer program the best in the world - despite the fact that these days most US-based programs offer more flexibility through non-expiry of points, as well as no blackout dates...
In addition they won just about everything else worth winning - Best Airline, Best Asia-Pacific Airline, swept all the Best Classes of travel as well. Need I say more....the readers of BT vote with their dollars.

Also, quoted from the Sept 2001 issue about FF programs:

The World's largest FF program, American Airlines AAdvantage, now has 43 million members and is growing at the rate of 11,000 new members a day.
Some 13 million free award tickets were given away last year (I would prefer the words earned!!).
The world's airlines have more than 3.5 trillion miles in liability.
In a typical year, members earn around 500 billion FF miles. Some 62 billion miles expired unused in 1998 (now they have just about abolished miles expiration).
An average of 82% of all awards earned are redeemed over time
The record for the largest number of FF miles in one account stands at just over 23 million miles.
 

dajop

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I think one word of caution though, if this trip is a once off and you are not likely to travel internationally (with Star Alliance) very often, it might be difficult to obtain enough points to redeem on any program, as there are obviously no domestic rewards! If this is a once off trip, I'd just go for the Air NZ program - because there are plenty of credit cards (Amex, Westpac Altitude, Bendigo Bank!) and other local partners that are linked to it that you can use to supplement the points you get from flying. Also, it is only a matter of time (subject to ACCC approval) that Air NZ will be linked up with Qantas, I suspect. Regardless, if you are web-savvy enough to find & use this site, I'd spend some time checking out the Singapore Airlines, Air NZ & United programs on their websites before you decide.
 
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shillard

Re: Best FF program on Star Alliance??

Lindsay Wilson said:
According to Business Traveller (Asia/Pacific) magazine Sept 2001 issue (where they reviewed FF programs) and their latest issue October 2002 (where they polled 782 of their readers, including me), Singapore Airlines wins.

I'm waiting for them to hold a competition for the airline with the least regard for safety vs profit. Singapore airlines would have to win hands-down.
 

QF WP

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Best FF program on Star Alliance??

Shillard, the joy of only having flown with SIA 3 sectors in my lifetime means I haven't had the pleasure of really seeing what their safety record is like... sounds like you don't like them either. Although I will admit, when I did fly with them, Raffles Class is not bad. Their cabin service and staff certainly rate equally with Cathay and well ahead of Qantas and others.

As for safety records, yes, I suppose losing a plane with a couple of hundred pasengers on board wasn't the best advertisement for SIA's safety record..even though Qantas has parked a couple of Jumbo's off the runway, at least they haven't been dropping engines or out of the sky.
 

donjsimons

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Flew with the much vaunted SIA once from Bangkok to Syd. The blokes and girls smiled continuously, even to all those pests who have to have special meals. But the seats were jammed together as close as I can ever remember.
On the subject of "special meals" I saw one person who was given a "normal meal" and complained "Oh no I ordered a vegetarian meal". When the vegetarian one arrived she looked at it and then asked if she could have the normal one back. Hard luck love, by that time all the normal ones had been distributed. Justice is sometimes done!
 
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