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Thanks for yr time & contributions some very great insights…
Seems we all have our favourite Airline, & at least keep that treasured & at a premium level, juggling maybe others, but seems we are more conscious of them, thought out a strategy, maybe that reflects the times.
Earning miles is a less & more difficult, spending them takes more miles in most programs, with some Airlines like SQ, LH, endorsing higher rates to redeem or simply not allowing them like SQ & the new Business seat.
I do think at the moment fares are so high Long haul premium, it is a wise time to redeem the miles. For me KLM/ FB have -50% destinations each month & these offer a great value if you can use a route for leisure.
Within Star Alliance, I used some BMI miles the other day…”No seats” for most flights, but from Manila on Thai to BKK, then down to Sydney Business.( I take the KLM flight to Manila for -50% miles). But as it is zone to zone & you are allowed a stopover of more than 24hrs, I then added on a flight to Auckland, another 3.5 hrs business seat, which added AUS $ 1,000 to the value of the £1,100 fare.
Maybe stretching n maximising an extra flight within a zone is a good strategy for getting us better value these days?
Hilton..agree with all the comments see all sides. I just got sent the Gold card via my KLM FB membership, as Hyatt Gold , Platinum Accor (which i did 30 nights in a yr so renewed).
On the VIP preference for Hilton always found in my few stays in last few months, already upgraded, free breakfast. So i book a mid range room n et the best level upgraded, better than getting the lowest costs room n being mid upgraded?
the miles to VS or KLM are OK, but for me the perks in the upgrade & exec floor with breakfast n eve drinks. Nice when you travel solo, better in the Exec lounge, than alone in the bar or restaurant feel eh?
the points give you nothing these days, so i ignore those.
Accor i transfer the into hotel vouchers for some free weekend stays of credits of Euros 40/ $ 60 USD per £400 roughly u spend.
Accor always allocate an exec floor, with all the perks. & the Sofitel are an exquisite brand that that i enjoy with comforts. Some Hotel Brands have become a bit stayed like Starwood & Priority club hotels. Others have moved on or are more contemporary but i like the odd Boutique hotel. Certainly find Citizen M funky & laid back European Business style, & Yotels great for some hrs rest or a quick night rest at LHR for an early flight avoiding traffic. Ideal 1 min walk above T4 Skyteam Check in area!
Virgin…I flew an absolutely terrif flight with VAustralia melbourne to Thailand few weeks ago. had a great bar on board cabin first class space in a business seat, fresh young crew, n chatted a lot to them.
Turns out internally, Virgin plans to bring the brands together at the end of the year as One Global Airline! Gold membership with them will be truly global, & i think well worth aiming for…i achieved mine in dec n half way to renewing it, as credits for MH, SQ, ANZ etc all add in. Nice network some quality Airlines.
That’s what the teamwork is gearing to, & the plan is to publicise n market this end of the year …i hear…! Clever Business plan, a more contemporary model for Airlines with less fuss more laid back style of travel in most Virgin groups, but fresh & a new feel for me i value.
The Program of FClub, really pays big time when you book yr hotels flights on other Airlines by logging into FC, then shopping on line, using the Amex etc. I fly to Australia least twice a year those in themselves renew my membership for gold.
Hope that addresses the points you all so kindly raised.