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Which Star Alliance FF program is the best?

Discussion in 'General Airline Loyalty Program Discussion' started by jlou, May 4, 2005.

  1. jlou

    jlou Junior Member

    May 30, 2004
    19
    0
    Brisbane
    Future MIL is about to fly RTW with *Alliance - not sure of exact destinations but know that she will be flying to FRA, LHR and then to the US.
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    She has yet to join a FF program and departs on Saturday.

    She is unlikely to do a lot of o/s travel in the next few years so would probably want something that doesn't expire. Most domestic travel is BNE - CNS a couple of times a year.

    Any suggestions to help me really get in the good books?? :twisted:
     
  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    What class of travel? How does she want to use the points in future?

    If not travelling o/s in the next few years then status isnt a consideration for joining a particular FFP, unless she has say QF status and can be comped (unlikely in just a few days before travel starts).

    UA Mileage Plus doesnt expire as long as have activity every 3 years (stay at one of the chains and credit miles to Mileage Plus will do it). Also has advantage (currently) of some cheap redemptions in Australia/South Pacific region.

    NZ Airpoints probably easiest to add points to in future (as can do credit card spend) but points expire after 4/5 years. Worth considering if the RTW is in business or first as the earning rate is quite high.

    With only a few days to go I doubt MIL will receive any card before the trip, so whatever FFP is chosen will need to print out member number for adding at check-in along the way (you may be able to FFP # added by TA or ringing each airline but I wouldnt count on this working 100%). Or alternatively, if the trip is shortish, keep all the BP and send in for missing credit at the end of the trip (can earn some brownie points by taking the hassle out for her!).

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you want more info.
     


  3. jlou

    jlou Junior Member

    May 30, 2004
    19
    0
    Brisbane
    Thanks

    She will be in economy and I expect she would want to either use the points for local trips or save them up for a long haul flight in the future.

    Will suggest UA and tell her to save the BPs.

    Does Singapore not rate?
     
  4. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Singapore Kris Flyer is an option. But miles expire after 3 years and awards are expensive to most places (there are some bargains too). One of the ANZ credit cards can earn miles to Kris Flyer.
     
  5. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Forgot to mention one of the big advantages of NZ - awards for NZ operated flights are always available if there's a seat and you have enough airpoints dollars to buy it. Useful if redeeming trans-tasman or to south pacific.

    Do you know what product RTW has been purchased? If its a RTW Star 1 (29k mile limit), 2 (34k mile limit) or 3 (39k mile limit) then generally booked into M class so earns at full economy rate. IIRC RTW Star Lite (26k mile limit) then its a lower booking class and so may earn full or discounted economy rate depending on the FFP. If the RTW isnt a *A product but is combination of airlines (eg Singapore Four Corners) then would need to check the product as to booking class and whether treated as full or discount economy for mileage earning. In a lot of *A FFPs, discount economy earns significantly less (or none) mileage.
     


  6. jlou

    jlou Junior Member

    May 30, 2004
    19
    0
    Brisbane
    OK, she has joined Air NZ program and is booked in M class.

    I would like to be able to work out how many miles she will earn - can I do that on Air NZ website without being a member myself?

    Thanks again
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    5
    Absolutely. Assuming MIL lives in Australia use this chart. There's a different chart if live outside Australia (as NZ currency is used).

    A reminder Airpoints uses (Australian) Airpoints Dollars (airbucks) as currency. 1 airbuck = A$1. For longhaul and partner awards there is a special chart (cost is generally much less than for paid tix).
     
  8. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    189
    14
    Sydney
    Resurrecting this post...as I'm about to do a RTW trip on *A airlines (H class). Normally I fly QF/AA/BA, but on this occassion *A was just too good to miss in terms of $ (over $1000 cheaper!)

    The trip is as follows:
    UA SYD-LA-Vegas
    US Vegas-Phoenix
    UA Phoenix -DC
    SAA DC-Jhb (SA)
    SAA Jhb-SYD (on a QF flight)

    I have dormant Voyager and UA memberships and was wondering which one I should use for the trip...any thoughts?

    Am I correct in assuming that I wouldn't be able to assign the QF Jhb-Syd leg to my QF account seeing that it will be a SAA ticket/codeshare?

    Thanks.
     
  9. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,688
    216
    Canberra / London
    Flying economy, I would normally say the way to go is with Mileage Plus (UA). Although in your case, I'm not clear on whether you will exceed the 25,000 miles to become UA Premier (I'm too lazy to do the math, but I'm sure you will know). However, it all depends on what additional Star flying you plan do in the next year or two.

    In any case, 20,000 Mileage Plus miles will get you a free ticket to many places in the Pacific.
     
  10. futaris

    futaris Established Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    2,768
    72
    Brisbane
  11. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    189
    14
    Sydney
    Thanks Gentlemen...I'll do the trip on my UA membership...

    On another note, and this may be a silly question...if I want to earn UA points via internal travel within Australia, which airline would I book with? Is it as simple as contacting UA (or another *A airline) and just booking a flight (eg Syd-Mel)?
     
  12. futaris

    futaris Established Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    2,768
    72
    Brisbane
    There is no Star Alliance airline in Australia, ever since Ansett went into administration. The closest that you can get is Air New Zealand.

    There has been some talk that perhaps Virgin Blue may join Star Alliance in the future, but I doubt that will happen.

    NB you may want to try for a status match / challenge on UA if you have status with QANTAS or another airline.
     
  13. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
    12,215
    1,290
    London
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    As futaris commented, there are no *A airlines doing regular domestic flights in Australia. Sometimes carriers like United do flights (eg MEL-SYD), however these are not bookable by people unless part of an International Itinerary with that carrier.
     
  14. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    189
    14
    Sydney
    Hi Futaris...I'm a Silver QC member, but couldn't resist the *A value for money for the trip I'll be taking (it's ended up $1,500 cheaper than the QF/OW fee)...as such I'll be starting from 0 points with UA (it's a dormant account that I haven't used for over 5 years)...how does one get a status match? Do I simply call UA and request one or is there some other method? Cheers.
     
  15. futaris

    futaris Established Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    2,768
    72
    Brisbane
    Yep. See the Flyertalk Status Match Master Thread for more detail.

    If you're lucky they'll give you 2P (Premier) or 3P (Premier Associate) and you'll get access to the Economy Plus seating on the UA flights.
     
  16. Friends of None

    Friends of None Junior Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    24
    2
    Branson didn't get rich following the crowd. Funky focus and Flipping the Norm.

    Hence V in bed with Emirates and whomever else. I don't see them joining *A, once V flies ex E/coast Au into W/Coast USA, you'll have Emirates into Europe, the Gulf and AU to NZ, and VBlue domestic and V Aus into the USA so you can accrue points into Europe the Gulf and USA via such a program. Only missing piece is Seth Effrica and Asia.
     
  17. mbeder

    mbeder Member

    Jul 3, 2002
    189
    14
    Sydney
    At this stage UA have given me Premier status, along with a very manageable "miles" hurdle to maintain this status in 08 and beyond...thanks very much for the advice, it's much appreciated.
     
  18. MelUser

    MelUser Established Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    1,675
    110
    Melbourne
    Does anyone know if the UA Mileage Plus frequent flyer program requires you to fly with UA to get status. EG: QF requires 4 flights per year on their metal to go up in status.

    If I fly on Lufthansa, Swissair etc but nothing on United, will my status with United still grow?

    I got the impression that the star alliance airlines are much more star alliance focussed than the one world airlines are one world focussed.
     
  19. Keith009

    Keith009 Established Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    4,430
    244
    Brisbane / Sydney
    I don't remember seeing any 'min x segments on home airline' requirement on any of the *A FFPs for *S and 'entry level' *G.

    However, to get to their top tier statuses, you usually do need to fly the home carrier substantially, eg HON Circle (600k EQM on the M+M group of airlines over 2 yrs), UGS (based on revenue you send to UA), PPS (based on revenue spent on SQ/MI flights) etc. So there's still a degree of home carrier-centricism with the major *A carriers. The mid tier *G statuses are more like a recognition of your commitment to *A whereas the top tiers are to reward those who give their loyalty to that specific carrier with some extra niceties and better differentiate them from other *Gs.
     
  20. trooper

    trooper Established Member

    Apr 16, 2007
    1,343
    248
    Canberra
    Excellent summary.... and you can add NZ to that list.... The highest level on the Airpoints program (currently anyway!) - "Gold Elite" - requires a significant amount of flying on NZ metal.... whereas S/G do not....

    So I'll stay just Gold.....;):D
     
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