Airline Status

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  IanFromHKG 4 May 2017
at 05:40
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  • GreenScot
    Participant

    I have just achieved OneWorld Emerald status in 3 months through the joys of BA back and forth to Singapore and now have about 20 months to ‘enjoy’ BA Gold.

    So my request for is for collective your wisdom on whether I stick with OneWorld and work out what the perks are, or would you, if you were me, status chase for Star Alliance Gold where I hold no status. I would really only be doing that to achieve lounge access on S* for when I am shorthaul and not in a premium cabin.

    I probably have about 4 months to achieve it and then long haul travel will likley dry up hence thinking about it for lounge access for the coming 18 months on short haul S* flight when back in Europe.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    I think it largely depends on if you are paying for your tickets, or if paid by employer/clients.

    If it’s the former, I would suggest that chasing any form of status is pointless, particularly if all you want is lounge access, which you can buy under various options.

    I had Senator status on Lufthansa/Star Alliance when my tickets were paid by a third party, and the only real benefit which I enjoyed was the 40 kg. baggage allowance which enabled me to do most of my shopping, including wine, in South Africa ad bring it over to Europe. Now that I mostly pay for my own tickets, I generally travel premium economy which on most airlines in 2 x 23kg, and anyway the cost of paying for an extra suitcase on most airlines, as long as you do it in advance, is minimal.

    I have long held the view that FF programmes are a scam devised by the airlines to lock you into flying with one particular carrier or alliance. Ditching them is liberating.


    esselle
    Participant

    I think it will also be driven by where you are flying. Star probably nudges it it most of your travel is going to be in Europe, but OW takes it if you are going ME/Asia. I’m GCFL and haven’t had to fly longhaul on BA for many years, but I get into their lounges when flying domestic and benefit greatly when using CX and QR.


    rferguson
    Participant

    Greenscot why not try for a status match with a Star carrier? Not sure if they are offering them currently but I achieved a Oneworld Emerald to Star Gold status match via Avianca recently.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    I think it largely depends on if you are paying for your tickets, or if paid by employer/clients.

    If itโ€™s the former, I would suggest that chasing any form of status is pointless, particularly if all you want is lounge access, which you can buy under various options.

    I had Senator status on Lufthansa/Star Alliance when my tickets were paid by a third party, and the only real benefit which I enjoyed was the 40 kg. baggage allowance which enabled me to do most of my shopping, including wine, in South Africa ad bring it over to Europe. Now that I mostly pay for my own tickets, I generally travel premium economy which on most airlines in 2 x 23kg, and anyway the cost of paying for an extra suitcase on most airlines, as long as you do it in advance, is minimal.

    I have long held the view that FF programmes are a scam devised by the airlines to lock you into flying with one particular carrier or alliance. Ditching them is liberating.

    This.


    ASEANTraveller
    Participant

    GreenScot. The simplest way is to get a status match, as rferguson suggests. The *A programs that do status match change continuously and there are a number of websites that track this and can guide you accordingly.

    If you want to earn Gold through flying, then I would recommend Aegean Airlines (don’t laugh…). They have one of the lowest thresholds to reaching Gold (even though they have been increasing them over the years), which if planned properly can be reached with 3 return long haul flights (if you don’t take at least 4 flights on their metal) and half that if you do. Thai Airways is the sweet spot for earning miles on Aegean, giving you 200% of miles flown in J (most other carriers only give you 125% or so). So if you are still doing the regular “commute” to Singapore, try doing it with Thai (via BKK), and you should be well on your way to Gold. The other benefit of Aegean is that once you are Gold, you only need 24K miles to renew Gold (without ever setting foot on an Agean airplane), which can be achieved by just one return long haul Thai flight in J. Safe travels!


    CathayLoyalist2
    Participant

    Greenscot, before you ‘jump’ check the small print in BA’s FF programme. Prior to CX revamping their MPC in April 2016 I took up this issue with CX of MPC members achieving, in my case Diamond renewal, and then flying on other airlines to get status elsewhere. Renewal for me is 1200 Club points. Currently at 1815 points. At 1600 points I get 4 upgrade vouchers valid for a year just used two to upgrade from PEY to Business. At 1800 points you can nominate a member for a Gold Card membership from your /my redemption group which I have done. All very good reasons to stay with CX but appreciate your travel patterns will influence that decision. Whether BA has the energy to think like that I’ll leave others to comment on.


    Jackanory
    Participant

    If you are unfortunate enough to work at one the of larger US or European banks you will almost certainly find status match details through you internal travel website/department. Same with one or two of the oil/E&P majors too I think.


    GreenScot
    Participant

    Thanks all for the advices. I think I am as much reflecting my tiredness with BA’s Club World product, 10 flights this year including last night where I was kept awake by a loud snorer immediately behind me. (Not BAs fault but put me in a grumpy mood and the office today is proving painful as a result.)

    I summarise the above as 3 things:

    1) Be alliance agnostic and choose the airline

    2) Go for Star status – my company has basically paid for all my tickets that have given me status and in essence would do if I went for status on Star. I’m actually already an Aegean member with some European short haul business credits against it meaning I think I can do 2 round trips on Thai to Singapore and I will hit gold. (Might need to hop an Aegean flight to Greece for a long weekend but not sure that would be a driver for me.)

    3) Continue to accumulate Avios bu sticking with OneWorld. At least with BA I also get 100% Avios bonus credit if flying with them. I did check on ASEANTraveller advices on what additional benefits we get at Gold with additional tier points but it is not as generous as CX although it does seem harder to achieve top tier status initially on CX.

    So I need to book my next flight back to Singapore next weekend today. So it is case of Thai for the status miles; Singapore for the convenience, experience but lower status miles; QR for the experience and some Avios credit offset with ME stopover mid route; or finally BA for convenience, and higher Avios credit but not so good product. Something to ponder in my next dull meeting. ๐Ÿ™‚


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Plenty of good advice above. I would also add, as things for you to think about:
    (1) What benefits you like most. *A Gold, for instance, does not get you access to F lounges (unlike the equivalent OW status), although this is unlikely to matter if (as seems to be the case) your driver is to get access on short-haul trips, where F lounges may not be available anyway.
    (2) How easy it is to get and maintain status. BA is fairly easy and simple – earn the relevant number of points, get the status, and off you go, and I believe they also have a “soft landing” so you will get silver status the following year even with no travel. Their structure is also such that you can get a very long initial year, which you seem to have achieved! Conversely, with CX you have to earn status tier by tier – so you need 300 Club Points to hit Silver and your balance is reset to zero, another 600 for Gold and a reset, and then another 1,200 for Diamond, so 2,100 in total. Once you are in, you only need 1,200 to renew, but it is a lot harder to get to that status in the first place. This means, as you say, that getting to a particular status level is much harder.
    (3) What other “special” benefits come with particular cards. For instance, we are about to switch from CX to MH, not least because when the Memsahib achieves Platinum (OW emerald) this year, we also get a spouse Platinum card. Two OW emerald for the price of one! Woo-hoo! So we will both get F lounge access, extra luggage on all OW flights, priority bag handling ditto (except BA) and so forth. Like BA, you can charge straight through the tiers without a reset. No soft landing, though.
    (4) How easy it is to accumulate and burn miles. BA has family avios accounts so, if you have a family it may be easier to earn pooled points and therefore to spend them (whereas historically we have used Asia Miles – although one family member can redeem for another, each account has to have a minimum amount in order to redeem and we can’t pool them together). Given that much of your travel is paid for, how are you most likely to want to burn your miles? Which alliance will give you the best redemption options for leisure travel? MH, for instance, is good for us since although burn prices are higher, the earn rates are much higher (e.g. 165% PLUS status bonus for business class flights compared to a straight 125% on Asia Miles).

    Also, think of the longer term. While it would be wonderful (apart from all the travel involved!) to have top status in two alliances, if you cease earning on one in order to achieve status in another, how hard will it be for you to renew either?

    Finally, also think of unpublished benefits. BA, I believe, are quite good at upgrading high-spending Gold Card members (a friend I bumped into a few days ago was saying he was a little crestfallen on his last flight to the UK not to be bumped up from WTP to CW as he had been upgraded on all his previous four flights on the route). CX are rubbish, MH apparently don’t really do it at all (ditto SQ). While these are not “rights” or “entitlements”, they are certainly “perks” that can come with status.

    Having said all this, from what you have written, it seems to me that Aegean seems to be a good option for you since you already have the card and it sounds as though you can fit your travel in quite neatly to earn status fast with some trips on THAI. However, although I am not sure how familiar you are with Suvarnabhumi Airport, my own opinion is that it is a pretty dreary place to transfer – VERY long walks, a somewhat (but not very) efficient transfer system (i.e. the immigration/security part) and decidedly ropy lounges by the standard of many hub airports. The THAI lounges, in particular, are way below par for a flag carrier at its home airport. You may regard that as a small price to pay for the other benefits that come with *A G.

    One last point – Gold in three months by flying BA. You poor bugger. LOL

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