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Best Air-mileage Program In Your Opinion?  
User currently offlineJedtai From Australia, joined Feb 2002, 46 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

Forgive me is this topic is not appropriate to this forum. I was not sure where else to place it. I know that this query might seem not only a little naïve but also very debatable, but nonetheless I would really value your opinions on this matter!!

Which is the best air-mileage program to join in terms of 1) Rewards (free trips) 2) Coverage (partners) 3) Basic airfare price? I am currently based in Singapore, although live long-term in Australia and travel most often to Europe and travel 3 times a year and have no air-mileage linked credit cards or other incentives which would induce bias.

Not being a business traveler, I have always valued price over inducements that airlines offer to ensure customer loyalty-AIR MILE REWARDS, since the difference in price for the specific trips that I took was in the region of 30% and my first experience joining a mileage club was terrible-with Air France not acknowledging my two trips. However this viewpoint seems to be not to be totally valid anymore.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineRogueTrader From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2968 times:

The best program is the original and most popular program, as judged by its 45 million worldwide members: American Airlines AAdvantage.

kind regards,


User currently offlineAir Taiwan From Australia, joined Dec 1999, 1519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2964 times:

If you want to be upgraded to a Gold Status very quick Air Canada Aeroplan is the one for you. You only have to fly 35000mi to become a Star GOLD member.


User currently offlineSegmentKing From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

but with AAdvantage you have to PAY for last minute trips ($75) fee while United charges zilch.

Plus with United, almost *everything* is electronic or can be done electronic...

But then again, for the routes the traveler is looking for, neither AA *OR* UA can help....


User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

Seeing as you live in Singapore/Australia, and you travel to Europe as well, Scandinavian's Eurobonus would be a good programme. Besides being able to fly SQ and other Star Aliance partners, you will also earn miles on Qantas flights (except to/from USA and Asia-Europe sectors).
So, ifyou fly domestically in Australia, there's a good chance you will fly QF, and flying Aust/SIN/Europe, you could do it on SQ or some other Star partner.
It's free to join and you can enrol on line.

User currently offlineAdam84 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 1400 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2916 times:

Yeah I would guess any Star Alliance member program because of the huge network.

I will also NW and CO have quite a good program. It is nice not having to stick with one single domestic carrier and you can even earn miles on competing routes (IAH-MSP, IAH-DTW, etc.).

Thats just my opinion. I cannot judge on international carriers as I don't know anything about most of them.

User currently offlineAir Taiwan From Australia, joined Dec 1999, 1519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2907 times:

Gardermoen, I quite agree with you.. I've had the SK Eurobonus (as well as 20+ other FFPs) for a while now and I never realise that I could earn QF points AND Star points at the same time!!

Thanks for reminding me...  Big thumbs up


User currently offlineAfitch7881 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2904 times:

Not that CO or NW will help this person out. However, when it comes to domestic US flying, CO and NW by far have the best programs.... CO has a great first class cabin and service, NW while not as good as CO isnt too far behind. Both carriers offer unlimited domestic upgrades for Elite members which is nice, and they are also automatic. No need to use miles like on AA or UA.... HP is also unlimited domestic upgrades and automatic upgrades.

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 8733 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2884 times:

Skymiles - especially if you live in Europe


Join +10k free miles

Until June 16th +25k bonus on LGW ATL

So, if you join and fly Delta LGW -> ATL between now and June you get

10k + 25k + 9k miles = 44k

And you only need 50k for a free Europe - Anywhere in USA ticket.

Dont forget to register for the 25k free.

The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineJedtai From Australia, joined Feb 2002, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2882 times:

Thanks for all the great information, it's greatly appreciated-I'm definitely going to join one of the star alliance group (that QF deal is a great tip also-has it been that way for a while?).

I'm really curious now though....wanting to research to a greater depth so have the following questions:

1) Is there any site on the web where one can compare rewards and benefits of each star alliance member? I couldn't find it on www.star-alliance.com. Since there are 12 different programs running perhaps one is more competitive than others in terms of easier rewards etc I notice that with a few exceptions one cannot use points to UPGRADE over partners.

2) For the Star-Alliance partners when one attains "Alliance-silver" etc status, is that permanent (like Thai)or does it expire? (like KLM's used to)? Does anyone know with all 12 partners have the same permanent (royal wing) deal that Thai does?

3) Are reward-trips transferable to others such as family? (I noticed that it was on Emirate's "Skywards")

4) I notice that "Alliance silver/gold" do not have bonus miles (such as receiving 1.5x miles for 'Gold' "Skywards" members). I assume that these benefits are in addition to the benefits given by the airline with whom you are a FF?

Thanks very much for all the help, really appreciated!


User currently offlineJedtai From Australia, joined Feb 2002, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2872 times:

I've done a little more research and it appears the 2 better airlines for me to join would be Thai or SAS.

1) Thai: Can buy miles; Good exchange rates, such as: Asia to: Australia: 45K, Europe: 65K; Standard upgrade rates; Royal Silver at 10K/year or 20K/year, valid for 2 years. 3K bonus miles on attaining that status, 10kg bags allowance. Royal Gold: 50K mile/year, one round-trip upgrade FREE, 20kg and other standards.

2) SAS: Exchange rate a little more expensive; no bonus for attaining silver/gold status (maybe I'm wrong here?), other standards and etc. However, a LOT of other partners, such as QANTAS outside of the Star.

Do any of you pros that know United or Air Canada's systems think that I would be better advised to join those given my out-of-North America-routing preferences?

Few interesting notes:
1) SIA Kris flyer info is very confusing. (or am I getting tired?) Seems to suck.
2) Air New Zealand's FF program is only for those who life in Oz or NZ!!
3) Air Alliance Transfer rates are more expensive than i expected..25%-30% more than on Thai if I were to join them.

Any suggestions would be very useful. Thanks again


User currently offlineSwissgabe From Switzerland, joined Jan 2000, 5266 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2868 times:

I still love the Qualiflyer Program.
With 25000 you get a Business Free flight within Europe and the best is, that you can combine as many flights as you want, but only one stopover is allowed and no backtraking. But this still means that you can fly eg. ZRH-IST-LIS-BRU-WAW-HEL-BSL-GVA-LUG-ZRH...

I like getting Miles also via Credit Card, making Phone calls, buying books over the internet, going to Hotels, etc. I know, you can do those things also with other FFP but I just like this. But if you like flying with LH, TG, SQ, UA etc. you should go for one of the Star Alliance Member.

Skywards (EK/UL) is also very nice, if you fly a lot of SriLankan or Emirates...

It always depends on your favorite airline you mostly fly...

Smooth as silk - Royal Orchid Service /// Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens - Springbok
User currently offlineCarnoc From China, joined Oct 2001, 875 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2862 times:

Swissgabe, totally agree with your opinion and I reckon that it just depends on your choice!

At the moment, I'm using Singapore Airlines' KrisFlyer program, Qantas Frequent Flyer program, Air China Club program and many more other FFPs.

As my personal experience, I think SQ KrisFlyer is the best choice for me, but may not for you guys! Also, Air China Club is OK if you travel within China frequently!

User currently offline9V-SVE From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 2066 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

Best not to get Krisflyer..............not the best around. Need tons of miles to get one free flight and miles expire after only about 2 years!

User currently offlineSkystar From Australia, joined Jan 2000, 1363 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2853 times:

One of the problems with KrisFlyer is that there are many fees.

Consider UA Mileage Plus or LH Miles & More. LH M&M will give you a 25% bonus after you fly 35,000 miles, which counts towards status. There is a 1000 mile minimum on many carriers as well. LH M&M Star Silver (FTL) is also the only Star FFP that will get you into lounges.

Sorry, I'm a bit pressed for time, so I can't write too much, but try this site http://members.shaw.ca/deercroft/starall02.html

Try http://www.flyertalk.com/milesfr.shtml as well. Lots of experts on that forum, who specialise in Frequent Flyer programs.



User currently offlineJedtai From Australia, joined Feb 2002, 46 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2825 times:

Swissgabe, Carnoc, you are right. I've gotten so involved today looking at the best FFPs that I forgot about which airlines I like to fly and which hubs/airports I would prefer spending my time in....I mean, since I'm an Aussie, I guess that Qantas with it's one-world and multiple partner deal would be the best, but I've had very bad experiences on BA and I don't feel like travelling around Europe on them...

Has anyone got an opinion at QF's FFP? How long does it take their miles to expire?

Going over to try skytalk (new site to me, thanks!) skystar..


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