27th January 2011 at 07:52 #431776
Anonymous27th January 2011 at 07:52 #431778
As recently did quite a bit of research in an attempt to secure the great vacation for me and my woman using Eurobonus pts, I have found there is something that is a bit odd.
I’ve tried to pick First tickets, I had expected the availability of these to be limited, although not to the extent it was, and certainly not limited to one airline?
Granted, I did not check them all. I limited myself to SIA, LH, LX and TG.
But, of all the destionations and times I asked the clerk, the only airline they could come up with was TG, which actually had a few alternatives.
So, it strikes me. Is there an A team and a B team in *A (Perhaps even a C team)?
If I was TG I would be rather annoyed if I was the only airline contributing First seats for the *A members to buy for pts.
I can’t help it but have a feeling that if I had been a Senator instead of SK Gold and had all my pts in M&M I would have been told there were seats on LH/LX.
Obviously the airlines have the right to do as they please. But I have to say it seems almost impossible to secure First seats on some member airlines. When this is true when you are flexible on both dates and destinations it turns the whole scheme into a joke.27th January 2011 at 13:41 #431779
As a BMI gold member I have exactly the same problem. In fact I struggle to even get dates in premium cabins, never mind into First!
As you, I am taking a trip to Sin in Feb, and was only offered in and out with TG. Eventually, I got a flight out with Lufthansa, but had to be extremely flexible with my dates.
I find I have to book a LONG time in advance, and never get offered a ticket on a premium airline or route! i.e SQ fly direct between Sin and Man, why didn’t they offer this? I booked 4 months in advance.
*A, A or B class, i don’t konw, but there is definitely some preferential treatment going on!27th January 2011 at 13:45 #431780
Hi, interesting to hear I am not the only one.
FYI, I booked 330 days in advance… Which is as early as it gets.
I’ve also tried destinations where popularity depends on the season, choosing a presumably bad season, same outcome.
Now, I haven’t tried shorter long haul, like the US and near Asia, but still…27th January 2011 at 13:54 #431781
Mr Jonathan Kemp, SQ is using B737-300ER on MAN-MUC-SIN route which hosted their new cabin. Apparently their new business class (A380 and B773ER) redemption has been prioritised for Krisflyer and VS Flying Club (Virgin is 49% owned by SQ) member with at least Standard Award (Double the saver award) and Full Award (Tripled Saver Awards).
I don’t know about *A, A or B class, but my advice, enrolled as a member of the airline you fly the most or your favorite.27th January 2011 at 15:02 #431782
I also cannot answer if there is an A or B list, but I do know you are better off if you enroll in the programme of the airline you wish to fly with. In my case it’s Miles and More and apart from Cape Town this Christmas (admittedly tried to book just a week in advance) I have rarely had a problem with LH or LX.
What I have found out though, is that while free tickets may not be available in First on a particular flight, they often are if you buy a business ticket and then upgrade with miles. This can often be done at the time of booking.
Alternatively, if you use a travel agent that puts a lot of business the airline’s way, they can often get you a seat or two for miles on “full” flights.28th January 2011 at 09:34 #431777
I hold Diamond Club and Continental Gold cards ; both *A airlines.
Last year, I was denied access to the Continental Lounge in Newark, flying first/business when I presented my Continental Gold card.
I was allowed access using my Diamond Club Gold card! Once again BMI came to the rescue.
I’m still trying to work out the logic of it all!28th January 2011 at 10:41 #431783
“SQ is using B737-300ER on MAN-MUC-SIN”
Put of a stretch MUC-SIN on a 73 😉28th January 2011 at 12:56 #431784
I hold both SK gold and LH Senator card – and yes there is big differences in what your get when you show the cards. From upgrades to lounge access. And yes its a lot easier to get first class for points with LH M&M than SK eurobonus. Even months in advance its impossible with eurobonus. It should be the same for all – but no its not.
Anybody knows if its the same with ONEWORLD or SKYTEAM? Maybe time to switch alliance!31st January 2011 at 09:00 #431785
It is often impossible to book any cabin in BA from Asia to London in December – even booking 330 days in advance. Sometimes they release “seats for miles” closer to the travel date – but that’s a bit risky if you want to be sure of flying1st August 2011 at 07:17 #431786
Certainly with Oneworld the card you hold does make a difference.
I was Silver with BA and looking for free seats, only economy about a week later than i wanted, which was no use.
I then reached Gold and “additional seat were made available” according to the site and i got 4 J class on the date i wanted.
I logged in with my wife`s Silver account just to see if the flight had opened and she was offered no seats.
So Gold with BA does have extra benefits.1st August 2011 at 09:15 #431787
I have a colleague who has a BA EC Gold card and I am AA EXP, a couple of years back it was interesting the effect that had on Fist Availability in AA and BA. It was not that is was available to me on AA but whenever they sent a request to revenue (330 out) it was accepted even on the busy routes. Similarly the BA Gold card worked wonders on BA. Since those times now BA charge a fuel surcharge as well as the security and Taxes to on a trip to LAX from LHR one is paying 200-300 GBP more than on AA, there is good availability on BA for me too. I can only hope the playing field has levelled for BA EC on AA too. The problem now is JAL who have some bizarre allocation rules that vary by each route.1st August 2011 at 09:51 #431788
each airline has differing policy, I know on BA routes to Asia or US I have never found seats or timing to suit me but there has been some available that didnt suit me. I am silver BA. I have not tried to cash in any BMI points yet. On QR they always have seats available to gold members guranteed, however at peak times or if allocation is full then it does cost double points.1st August 2011 at 11:09 #431789
Going back to the original post of availability and preference within Star, perhaps a few things to think about:
Lufthansa is now scaling back from up to 16 seats to eight seats across First Class. Releasing two seats for awards is now 25% of the cabin
Swiss is replacing the A330-200s with A330-300s going from 12 to eight seats. The same apply.
In regards to Lufthansa, they have a unique policy that a SEN or HON can request an award seat on a flight that is closed for redemption. I have used this policy twice to get business class seats released on DUS-EWR and FRA-DEN for travel companions. I’ve also had friends who have managed to get SK to release seats for SK flights in business to EWR and BKK.
I know that some members have certain redemption booking classes only available for its own elite members. Some like SQ does have clear restriction for the B777-300ERs and the A380s. The question is what they will do once they have upgraded the entire fleet with the same products and/or replaced all B777-200ERs and B747-400s.
I don’t think there is any A-class and B-class members. I think it comes down to:
Availability, especially in First with fewer seats
Time of the year
The customer service rep’s skills
Own research through ANA, ExpertFlyer or Continental1st August 2011 at 11:42 #431790
Senator, the LH policy on requesting availability on closed flights for Elite members is the same as AA and a number of other carriers. So I guess there are A and B members for redemption to the extent of your elite status in the airline FFP but this is not *A specific nor do I think this is news to anyone.
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