6th January 2011 at 22:11 #431749
Anonymous6th January 2011 at 22:11 #431750
I have been a Gold member of Star Alliance with Thai Airways now for seven years. It is relatively easy to attain Gold status with Thai, only requiring 50,000 miles in a year or 80,000 miles over a twenty two month period up to the end of last year (2010).
The benefits are obvious, such as lounge access, priority waitlist, extra 20kg weight allowance. The unspoken and unwritten benefit is an upgrade when the cabin is overbooked. However, this has only happened to me on a handful of occasions in the last seven years, while I often see Thai nationality ROP *G members get upgraded.
I have also, on many occasions seen Thai nationals going through the Thai Airways Premium Immigration and security lanes, with economy class boarding passes in their hands. These are not crew as they have a separate Immigration desk, and most of them are too old to be crew anyway. Thai strictly enforces the policy of only allowing Business and First passengers through these lanes…….unless of course you are Thai with connections.
The first point I am making is that there appears to be one rule for the non-Thai ROP *G members and another one for the Thais…..which of course should not come as a surprise to me as I live in Thailand and am exposed to this “two-tier’ system on a daily basis.
While I have become used to it in relation to Thai law, it irks me when I see it being employed unofficially by a commercial company with whom I spend in excess of 70,000 euro per year. It doesn’t bother me when I get charged 20 baht extra at a roadside stall for a souvenir because I am a foreigner, but it does when I am spending serious money on an annual basis.
Also, I believe Thai should introduce a higher level, above Gold, like SQ Solitaire or PPS or LH HONS or Senator to truly reward those (like me, of course…..why do you think I am making this suggestion!!) who fly a lot of miles on Thai, and not just those who buy their miles with credit card affiliations etc. etc. I personally fly about 250,000 miles a year and about 200,000 of those are with Thai, with about 40,000 on other Star Alliance carriers and the balance on non-Star Alliance carriers.
Gold is becoming too crowded now and they should go Platinum or some other form of higher recognition, where better benefits are offered such as automatic upgrades, more often than the one return trip upgrade every time you re-qualify….and so on.
Having said all of the above, I still believe that Thai is one of the best FF programmes around….very easy to find redemption seats and make upgrade redemption requests as opposed to the seemingly endless complaints I read on this forum about BA, Cathay and SQ, and the occasional promotion as long as you are keeping watch for them because Thai do not “promote” these promotions very well.7th January 2011 at 00:49 #431751
Hello from your home base Bangkok. I can related to your post.
Let’s hope the Thai Airways ROP membership Department understand the important of retaining a “Big Spender” like you by creating a higher catagory of elite membership level so as to truely reflect a high value customer like yourself as other SA air carriers such as LH, SQ and UA already have this higher level of PPF membership for which I am one of them for a long time.
I really appreciate the higher recognition and the “roylal” treatment that comes with that level. Many of the Oneworld group of carriers offer the same level of elite membership to their flyers.
Gold levels in both SA or OW has became too crowded recently and in defecto lost some it’s prestige and benefits.
By the way, I have always been wondering why there were so many Thai nationals who received special preferential treatment on board a Thai flight when they clearly appeared not to be from a very well travelled gorup. Now I unsterstood from what you have said in your posting. Connection Connection Connection!!!
TG must act fast so as not to loose a VVIP7th January 2011 at 10:47 #431752
James, with that sort of mileage you should sign up to Lufthansa Miles and More. You still get status miles flying Thai, who are also Star Alliance, but this would then give you HON status for which you need 600,000 miles over 2 years – and you are virtually there by the looks of it.7th January 2011 at 23:54 #431753
But, LP, as I live in Thailand and tend to fly TG more than any other airline, how will the HON status benefit me? Surely that status is only of benefit when flying LH, which I rarely do………
I would still only be *Gold and would receive second class treatment on TG especially when it comes to upgrades.
Likewise, I could join SQ and would probably attain a higher level than Elite Gold, but would have to spend more time on SQ for this to be of benefit. As it happens, most of the 40,000 non-Thai SA miles I fly are with SQ, so I could make better use of that I suppose8th January 2011 at 09:42 #431754
Sorry, I did not realise you were Thailand based, so I understand that LH or LX will not be that convenient for you,
I’m surprised that Thai, being part of Star, do not have a level above Gold as does LH with the HON status level. It shows how despite being one alliance, rewards, status levels and earning levels can all be so different.
Not sure if Thai does the same, but with Miles and More you also receive a 25% status mileage bonus? This helps towards re-qualifying and once or twice I would have missed Gold if I had not received those extra miles.8th January 2011 at 10:09 #431755
Hi LuganoP, yes, you get 25% bonus for traveling in Business and 50% for First…is that what you mean?8th January 2011 at 10:55 #431756
Until Thai airways wakes up to the fact there is a need to create a higher elite level to keep their best and highest yield passengers happy, I am afraid James just have to be contented with the present level of privileges, which always comes with friendly, polite and smiling attitudes. No FC check-in/lounge for now for Gold status. Mai Pen Rai!!!8th January 2011 at 11:30 #431757
Yes, I did mean that. Again a difference though, with M & M you only get 25% of the base miles, even in F, but you do get them for all classes and all fares.
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