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Frequent Flyer Programs  
User currently offlineJrebel From Sweden, joined Aug 2000, 174 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 9 months 3 days ago) and read 1930 times:

Hi all!

I'm interested in opinions on all the frequent flyer programs out there.

We all know what the airlines say in their advertising, but what is it like in the real world?

Do they live up to expectations?
Strong points?
Weak points?
How do the various programs compare?
Tips and tricks to get the most out your membership?


johan rebel

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineN312RC From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 2684 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (15 years 9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

I think that Northwest/KLM WorldPerks is a good program to use.

The miles never expire
The reward levels are set low
The premier status is easy to get (silver, gold, platnum) Silver at 25,000 miles (this includes unlimited first-class upgrades).
If you live in DTW you can set up your Farmer Jack's "Bonus Savings Club Card" for every dollar that you spend at the grocery store, you get 1 bonus mile.
Switch to Sprint, get miles.
Use earthlink ISP, get miles.
In DTW, "picture! picture!" club. Go to any CVS/pharmacy and get your pics developed, bonus miles here too.
friendly personalized service on the phone.
Use VISA card, get miles.
Rent car with hertz, get miles.
You can use the miles on KLM, which is a great world-class airline.

The thing that really turns me off to others is that the miles expire. Although i do under stand that they dont at UAL, either.

User currently offlineJrebel From Sweden, joined Aug 2000, 174 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 9 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

Northwest and KLM have carved up the world between them, so as I resident of Europe I use the KLM/Northwest Flying Dutchman program.

It is not bad at all, although points do expire unless you are on the top-tier "Royal Wing" level.

Awards other than free flights/upgrades are limited,
and after KLM spun off its help desk / call center department, service was worse that disastrous for a while. It has improved somewhat recently.

On the plus side (Royal Wing)

-lounge access regardless of airline / class of travel
-30 kg extra luggage
-guaranteed seat on "full" flights if booked 48hrs in advance.
-select seating in economy

User currently offlineBSL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 9 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 1866 times:

I had very good experiences with the Qualiflyer program (Swissair, Sabena...).

Because I'm under 22 years old, I only needed one flight (ZRH-LAX-ZRH) to get a free flight within Europe.

Kind regards,

User currently offlineB737-700 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1851 times:


how come you only needed this one flight for a free ticket ?
I'm not a member of Qualifier but a StarAlliance and soon Skyteam member and I am under 22 too. Do these airlines offer something like this too ?? What's it called ??

Thanks, B737-700

User currently offlineAA737-800 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

I like AA's. I think it is the best out there because of the Oneworld partners. Miles only expire if you don't fly every three years.

I'm taking a trip with my family on frequent flyer miles from American. Seats were available, even though you should plan ahead.

User currently offlineLowfareair From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 1849 times:

AirTran's program is good. One free flight, or 4 business class upgrades for 6 round trips in coach, three in business. One free ticket in the US on other airlines with 12 roundtrips in coach, 6 in business. The only bad part is that the points expire 1 year after the flight, but the rewards are good.

User currently offlineWaggingtail From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1837 times:

oneworld / AA is really the most flexible and giving access to cathay pacific allows the passenger to experience the best possible inservice available at this point in time...sleeper beds and asian hospitality along with the sophisticated cuisine and wine list allow an adventure for new and jaded passengers alike...

finnair is slightly different but equal to an aesthetic certain travellers appreciate...BA is of course a standard ///

AA is trying hard to catch up with their colleagues but after all it is a cultural circumstance...

User currently offlineBanfield From Austria, joined Jul 2000, 23 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 1825 times:

BSL is right, I also had good experiences with Qualiflyer, but I had to change to Star Alliance (I am Austrian and they changed form Qualiflyer to Star Alliance).
With Star Alliance you have
two different types of miles,
if you can get a free flight there are a lot of times where you are not allowed to fly
if you have forgotten to say that aou are member you have to send your boarding card (of course) AND the copy of the ticket
the miles can not be used for your partner

With Qualiflyer I could use the miles whenever I wanted and could make a trip with my partner.
With Star Alliance everything is more complicated. They have a lot of foot-notes..

Congretulations to Qualiflyer for the better service

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 32
Reply 9, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1822 times:

I agree with BSL. My experiences with Qualiflyer are always very good. I got all my upgrades and free flights I wanted.

User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1814 times:

I think CO Onepass, NW Worldperks and TW Aviators are the best in the US as far as elite privleges go. Like I am a NW Worldperks Silver Elite member, I have gotten unlimited free upgrades about 3/4 the time, on CO and NW, this is on domestic flights. TW also has this, but they have a better way of giving you elite status, they go by either how much money you spend with them, or how many transatlantics you have done, or the usual miles, or the usual segments. About a month ago I was thinking of switching the airline I fly, but if you are an Elite member with either UA, AA or DL, you have to earn upgrades which kind of confused me, thats why I am staying with NW Worldperks. The only downside to Worldperks is their agents are major as*holes. They keep tabs on you. I have encountered a few nice ones. If I was to recommend a ff program I would go with CO onepass, their agents do anything in their power to get you what you want, they treat you like you own the company and they are just great.

User currently offlineOH-LGA From Denmark, joined Oct 1999, 1436 posts, RR: 18
Reply 11, posted (15 years 9 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1803 times:

I've got all my miles in Finnair Plus, it's a lovely little program that has a lot of perks with it. For example, points accrue per kilometer (get them 40% faster than miles  ), there is a phone card number that comes on the back of your Finnair Plus card, you use it and then when you pay your phone card bill (the Telecard service is offered by Finnish telecom company Sonera) you get Plus points at the rate of 0.5 points per FIM spent (ie 2FIM=1 points).

Also when you buy duty-free products both on-board and on the ground in Helsinki, if you spend over 100FIM ($15.16) you get one point per FIM spent. The same thing occurs when you spend over 100FIM at any of the restaurants at Helsinki Airport.

20,000 points is all you need for a free round-trip flight ticket within Finland, and for an amount I don't remember (below 20,000 points) you can get a free Silja Line cruise between Helsinki and Stockholm.

Very nice little program if you ask me  


Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
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