Won prize to see Santa in Lapland - is it worth becoming a FF member?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by richard, Nov 18, 2006.

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  1. richard

    richard Newbie

    Nov 18, 2006
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    My daugther has just won a kids competition and the prize includes a trip for 2 adults and three children to see Santa in Lapland. Among other things the trip includes return economy flights from Sydney to Helsinki (via Bangkok?) flying Qantas and Finnair and a packaged sightseeing trip which includes return flights to Lapland flying finnair (Hel - Rovaniemi-Hel).

    I am not a member of any FF prgram and do not regularly fly.

    I have some questions...

    Qantas FF membership

    1. If I became a member of the Qantas FF program would I get credit for ALL the mileage associated with ALL these flights?

    2. Would each traveller have to be a Qantas FF member or just mum and/or dad? My kids are 4, 6, and 10 years old?

    3. If FF points could be accumulated, any idea about how many points would be accumulated and the redemption value of these points in terms of Award flights?

    4. What is the cost of becoming a FF member?

    Qantas club membership

    I've had a quick look at the flights schedules and it appears that the connections would see us at the various airports at odd times (eg. late night/very early hours of the morning connections) and sometimes more than 3 hours between connecting flights. This is a bit tough with three young children.

    5. Would it be worthwhile becoming a member of QantasClub to get access to their lounges at these airports?

    6. What is the cost of this membership and would it include all my family?

    Finnair side trip

    7. A travel agent friend told me that Finnair is one of a number of European carriers who offer a "free" return side trip to many destinations in Europe as long as it originates from their Helsinki hub. Is this correct?


    I would apprecaite any help you can offer in answering my questions.
     

  2. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Congratulations to your daughter and you.

    Qantas FF membership

    1. If I became a member of the Qantas FF program would I get credit for ALL the mileage associated with ALL these flights?Normally not since most prize flights do not earn miles. Check the T&C's of the competition.

    2. Would each traveller have to be a Qantas FF member or just mum and/or dad? My kids are 4, 6, and 10 years old?Each traveller (note that you may not earn miles anyway)

    3. If FF points could be accumulated, any idea about how many points would be accumulated and the redemption value of these points in terms of Award flights?Tough question; it the only real answers relate to indivual needs and various situations.

    4. What is the cost of becoming a FF member?$82.50 per person resident on Oz.

    Qantas club membership

    ...

    5. Would it be worthwhile becoming a member of QantasClub to get access to their lounges at these airports?Possibly, you can only access Qantas Club Lounges before travelling QF, BA & AA. This leaves the Finnair flights as ineligible.

    6. What is the cost of this membership and would it include all my family?It would not include all your family; you would need three memberships to get all five admitted to Qantas Clubs. 2 normal @ $685 each & 1 Partner @ $385. Both include a joining fee and one-off Frequent Flyer membership.

    Finnair side trip

    7. A travel agent friend told me that Finnair is one of a number of European carriers who offer a "free" return side trip to many destinations in Europe as long as it originates from their Helsinki hub. Is this correct?Dunno :confused:
     
  3. NM

    NM
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    As serfty says, it is quite possible that the flights will not be eligible for earning FF points. It all depends on how the flights have been obtained. If the airlines are sponsors of the competition and have donated the flights as part of the prize, then it is most unlikely that they will be eligible for earning FF points. But if the flights have been purchased by the competition promoter as standard commercial airline tickets, then you may be able to earn points.

    The only way to know will be to check the competition terms and conditions and to specifically ask the competition promoter about it. If they say you can earn FF points, then you need to find out what fare class the tickets are booked in. Different fare classes earn FF points/miles at different rates on different airlines and FF programs. The booking class is enerally the first letter of the fare basis and will be something like N, O, V, S etc. This is not the "Cabin Class" such as economy, business or first, but the actual fare class within the range of economy fares.

    Qantas Club membership will only get you lounge access when departing Australia (assuming Sydney) and at Bangkok on the return. Qantas Club membership only provides lounge access before departure on a Qantas, British Airways, American Airlines or US Airways flight. It does nto provide access when departing on Finn Air flights.

    Assuming its an eligible fare class and depending on the fare class paid, you may be able to undertake the AA Platinum Challenge and earn OneWorld Sapphire status during the trip and that would entitle you to both Qantas and Finn Air lounge access once the status has been confirmed.
     
  4. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    I was waiting for that ;)

    I would say that given this is a one-off that if the flights are elligible for FF points then teh platinum challenge would be the best option for lounge access. Mind you you might even find it better to pay for lounge access on this short trip.

    Interesting if you all joined AA then points earned by each member could I think be transferred to one person - giving that person a reasonably good award flight.
     
  5. wiz

    wiz Member

    Jun 7, 2006
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    Perth
    This is "kind of" true... It works like this: Most long-haul European carriers must route through their "hub" city on the way to your destination. For example; if you booked a BA fare from Sydey to Athens, you would fly SYD (SIN) LON ATH, and vice versa, usually allowing a stop at your final destination (ATH) and of course the hub city (LON). This works because BA do not (and can not) fly directly between Sydney and Athens.

    So in your situation the competition promoter / authority responsible, could technically ask for, say, a ticket to London without increasing the fare cost (most major western European cities are in the same "zone"). Because of Fin Air's routing, they would fly something like SYD (BKK) HEL LON, or whatever city you choose as a side trip (but it must be a major hub). One thing to note though is that the actual ticket cost would increase because of the taxes payable (for the side trip to London). You could perhaps reach an arrangement with the organiser to pay the difference (in taxes) out of your own pocket. If they don't let you do this, you could also get the tickets reissued with the side trip included, but I wouldn't recommend this option, especially if the tickets were not "paid" for in the first place.
     
  6. bambbbam2

    bambbbam2 Active Member

    Feb 13, 2005
    857
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    Perth, WA
    If you get a Westpac Earth card, they will give you free QFF membership..
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    You are assuming the european destinations are common-rated. While sometimes true this is often not the case. I would doubt you could add another destination to your prize.
     
  8. TonyB

    TonyB Intern

    Mar 20, 2006
    67
    0
    Perth
    Mate, congratulations to you and your daughter, what a fantastic prize to win!:D :D

    Just my 2 cents worth but even if the terms and conditions say that you are ineligible to receive FF points because it is part of a competition I would still join QFF on the off chance that you can get them credited. My mother recently flew from perth to melbourne on a QF sponsored J ticket and was specifically told that no FF points would be awarded for the flight but when she checked in the lady at the desk asked if she had a FF number. When she replied that she couldn't get FF points for the flight the check in agent had a look on the system and said that she could so she gave her the number and had the points credited:D

    This is probably the exception rather than the rule and you would be best to assume that you won't get anything if that is what the T&C's say but...you never know;)

    Either way, enjoy the trip! Totally jealous.
     
  9. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    The only problem with taking a punt on this would be the A$80 fee per person - $320 for 4 people. Given that the AA program is free .... ;)
     
  10. TonyB

    TonyB Intern

    Mar 20, 2006
    67
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    Perth
    Good point. I will try and get my AA number added to a sponsored J ticket next week and see how I go. Nothing lost if it doesn't work but a nice little bonus if it gets accepted:D
     
  11. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

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    Umm - why are you able to get so many sponsored QF J tickets if you dont mind me asking?
     
  12. TonyB

    TonyB Intern

    Mar 20, 2006
    67
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    Perth
    Nothing too exciting really, QF are sponsoring an event and J tickets are part of the deal for those that are participating. I imagine this would be typical when QF get on board as a major sponsor.
     
  13. richard

    richard Newbie

    Nov 18, 2006
    2
    0
    Thanks to all for the great advice.

    To sumarise my understanding...

    - subject to anything in the competition T&C's saying otherwise, as long as the flights have been purchased by the competition promoter as standard commercial airline tickets (and have not been donated by the airlines) then the extent of any available FF points will be dependent on the "fare class";

    - each family member will need to be a Qantas FF member at $80+ each;

    - joining AA FF program may be an option (no joining fee and points transfereable to one member);

    - something about undertaking the AA Platinum Challenge could earn me OneWorld Sapphire status during the trip and that would entitle me to both Qantas and Finn Air lounge access once the status has been confirmed. (What does this mean?)

    More questions...

    If I transfer points from other family members to my FF account, when I redeem award flights can I have those tickets issued in the names of family members or only my name?

    I assume that if I joined the AA FF program I get FF points under this program for the Qantas and Finnair flights?

    Can AA FF points be redeemed for Qantas domestic flights?
     
  14. simongr

    simongr Enthusiast

    Jul 10, 2006
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    The Platinum challenge thread can be found here and basically explains how you do it. Status within airline FF programs gives you various benefits (lounge access/quick checkin/priority baggage) but one of the most beneficial is the bonus FF points when flying. As a QF gold you get a 50% bonus. So say you were on an economy ticket to Japan you would get 4900ish base points but as a gold you get an extra 2450sih. Getting status takes time with most airlines - you have to fly alot. What AA have done is set up a challenge where you can get status very quickly - on just one return flight to Bangkok for example. The other advantage of AA is that at the equivalent level in the AA program you get a 100% rather than the 50% you get with Qantas.

    Re the family members - I think you can issue a ticket in anyone's name. I know my business uses a Credit Card to pay bills, earn points and then use those points to fly people around.

    You wil earn points on the QF flights (not sure personally about Finnair). You do need however to call the agent who is issuing your tickets to find out the fare class. that will answer a lot of questions about eligibility.

    AA points can be used for QF domestic flights. An economy return flight in OZ is 20K points. Business class is 35K

    Just a quick look at routings if you are flying SYD-BKK-HEL-BKK-SYD - that is 19K miles.

    I think you would earn (assuming it was 1 point per mile flown - but it could be a lot less if it is a discount ticket) you could earn 33K miles per person. BUT if its a discount fare that doesnt qualify for a lot of miles you might only earn 8K miles per person - so dont get too excited :(
     
  15. newflyer

    newflyer Intern

    Sep 19, 2005
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    NM (and others) - what about access to the QC during stopovers/re-fuelling? I'm off to the UK in May (2007) and will be flying QF (or whatever cheapest OneWorld ticket I can find), and a good part of that decision was made on the basis that I'd be able to drop in to the Bangkok QC to freshen up, etc.

    Newflyer
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    Yes, you get Qantas Club access in transit situations such as QF1/2 at BKK, QF5/6 or QF31/32 or QF9/10 at SIN and QF29/30 at HKG.

    Note that the Qantas Club at the new BKK airport will not be opened until some time next year (expected to be early first quarter).
     
  17. Altair

    Altair Active Member

    Aug 22, 2006
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    Wellington
    I tried looking for the exact conditions on the QF site but could not find it. However if you just have Qantas Club membership, not Gold or Platinum, you need to be travelling on QF, BA, AA, US operated flights. If you are travelling codeshares eg QF3978 CDG-SIN then you are not allowed lounge access. However if travelling QF301 codeshare on BA SYD-BKK you are allowed access in BKK, SIN, HKG, LAX etc on the technical/transit stop. If you are travelling other oneworld carriers you are not allowed access unless you have status QF Gold/Platinum.
    Bugger NM just got in before me....well it was directed to him.
     
  18. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
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    And others (in brackets). ;)

    NM thinks and types faster than the average person.
     
  19. serfty

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    Somteiems :p
     
  20. NM

    NM
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    But there is often a breakdown between the thinking and the typing :oops:
     
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