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Best Star Alliance FFP Program?  
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3206 posts, RR: 9
Posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15575 times:

I'm about to get another Star FFP (besides LH Miles & More), and it seems like TG and AC have pretty good plans. With TG, I reach Gold status with 50K miles, and with AC I reach Gold status with just 35K miles (compared to LH where it takes 50K miles just to reach silver, and 150K to reach gold).

I'm currently thinking of choosing AC (as it gets me to gold the soonest), and was wondering if anyone had any inputs on the relative merits/demerits of AC vs. TG vs. LH FFP program?

The main advantage I see of the LH program is that it entitles me to 25% bonus miles when I fly LH or UA (I'm already Silver on LH), which means it's much faster to get enough miles for a free ticket.

However my priorities are:

1. Maximize lounge access so long as I fly with any Star carrier (getting me to gold the fastest, it seems like AC has the best option?)
2. Priority waitlist, upgrades, checkin etc. on any star carrier (once again getting me to gold the fastest, it seems like AC has the best option?)
3. Maximize my miles earning/spending potential (Here LH has the edge due to the 25% bonus miles so long as I fly LH or UA. LH also has the edge as I can earn LH miles flying AI).

I'm based in India, and need to travel often to Europe & the US, typically with the "cheapest" carrier.


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9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3697 posts, RR: 28
Reply 1, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 15580 times:

Well if you are looking for the best overall *A FFP then I'd say bmi, although since you are in India you wouldn't be able to join. If you travel to Europe frequently and have an address there you may be able to join. Superb cash+miles deals, 80,000miles + £540 for SQ First LHR-SIN-LHR for example. Also *A Gold is only 54k (16k for Silver, reset to zero and then another 38k)

If you can't join BD and you are looking for low renewals then AC is the way to go.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offlineBananaBoY From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1572 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 15513 times:

Nimish


Have a look at this chart.. will show you all of the Star Alliance FFP's and their full details for comparison.

http://members.shaw.ca/deercroft/starall.html


One thing to think about is where you will be doing most of your travelling. I am with UA which is a pretty good scheme IMHO, but the benefit of free Region 1 (US Domestic) upgrades is of limited benefit to me here. Not that I really want to change at this stage.

Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 15508 times:

I am a member of Air Canada's frequent flyer programme 'Aeroplan.' It is very good. I received Silver Status and my mum has Gold last year. We were rewarded with system- wide upgrade certificates which were managed to use when we flew to America last summer. They also gave us North America and Canada upgrade cert's however we did not use them.

Perks for Silver users are not as good as they are for Gold, however you do get a fast check in which is always a bonus.

Paul



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3206 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 15488 times:

I've done some more research on this - for India members, Aeroplan is not a great option due to availability of reward flights only on AC and some other regional airlines. There's no option to get reward tickets on other Star carriers! Flight awards on AC are reasonable - as an example DEL-SFO on AC is just 75K miles, compared to about 90K miles on other Star Carriers.

However, I still went ahead with the Aeroplan membership, since it gets me to Star gold the soonest  Smile



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User currently offlineAirlinerfreak From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 15465 times:

I would have to say that the AAdvantage Program has great perks because you can use your miles all throughout OneWorld which is great because it consists of the best Airlines.

User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3206 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 15452 times:

Quoting Airlinerfreak (Reply 5):
I would have to say that the AAdvantage Program has great perks because you can use your miles all throughout OneWorld which is great because it consists of the best Airlines

While the airlines might be the best (which is also debatable!), their main carrier in India is BA, which does not give any miles at all except on full fare economy tickets. That's a reason I avoid BA like the plague, though they often have good fares, and plenty of availability.



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User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 15447 times:

Quoting Nimish (Reply 4):
Aeroplan is not a great option due to availability of reward flights only on AC and some other regional airlines. There's no option to get reward tickets on other Star carriers!

Sorry but that is incorrect. You can claim reward flights on all star alliance carriers.

I too am an Aeroplan member, have been for 5 years.

I flew in Business class MAN-IAD-BNA-IAD-MAN last July on BD and UA.
I used an Aeroplan reward ticket - 80,000 miles it cost me. Very good value as well  Smile

Thanks

Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 15426 times:

Quoting Nimish (Reply 6):
That's a reason I avoid BA like the plague, though they often have good fares, and plenty of availability.

Me too, same reasons - they should make a good FF programme without restrictions. and LH will have to suffer the same destiny.. their "Booking class xxx only credit yyy miles, in combination of abcde... " pisses me off..


User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3206 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (9 years 2 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 15429 times:

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 7):
Sorry but that is incorrect. You can claim reward flights on all star alliance carriers.

Am I glad to be wrong!! Looks like I did not go through the Aeroplan site in too much detail - but you're right - I can get rewards on any * carrier. Thanks for the correction and information! (https://www.aeroplan.com/en/rewards/rewards_star_alliance.jsp)

Quoting Mrniji (Reply 8):
LH will have to suffer the same destiny.. their "Booking class xxx only credit yyy miles, in combination of abcde... " pisses me off..

My experience actually has been that it's a good FFP program, especially as it provides 25% bonus for Frequent Travellers (Star Silver level). Redemption is also not too expensive (60K for India-Europe compared to 70K that's standard for other Star carriers, including Aeroplan).

The only mess with the LH program is it's strenuous requirements to reach Silver and Gold. But I guess there must be enough travellers on LH doing that, else I won't see a stream of Senator and HON members at Frankfurt airport  Smile

Hence my decision to switch to Aeroplan (in addition to the fact that I've got 60K miles on LH now, so I can get a free India-Europe ticket, so this is the right moment to switch FFPs).



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