Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
While anyone can comment on regular blog post, registration is required in order to post a question in this space. Creating your account is free, and you'll be able to see when your question is answered, as well as like comments from other users. And of course, you'll earn status points for offering helpful answers!
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so please jump in and share tips!
Best Loyalty Program for Frequent Travel to UK
Starting in September 2017, I will be making frequent trips between Washington, DC and London, and then between DC and Argentina. I currently have platinum status through Aadvantage and was wondering if it’s worth keeping that program while DC is such a Star Alliance hub, especially IAD. I also have the Citi Executive credit card, if that makes a difference. I’m willing to switch to a United branded credit card, though. My main concerns are 1) ease of elite status qualification and 2) potential for award mileage qualification. Essentially, is Oneworld still the best bet moving forward, or make the switch to Star Alliance?
hi [USER=3043]@Matias Weikert[/USER], really depends on what fare classes you are flying and how much you prefer direct vs connection flights.You’ll have to run the numbers for your trips and fare classes you’d buy to see where you’d end up better off. You could fly BA nonstop to LHR but for most other places you’re likely looking at a one-stop trip.
[USER=79]@Gaurav[/USER] is right – you’re going to have to do some math to figure out what works best for you.
The pros for going with United is that since IADA is a hub, you have a wide variety of non-stop flights to Europe and Asia and plenty of one-stop options to other areas in the region. A handful of Star Alliance partners also serve IAD directly. You can also open Chase & Chase co-branded United cards. The former’s UR rewards are transferable to United (in addition to several other airlines) and the latter has PQD waivers (for up to Premier Platinum) if you reach a spending threshold on the card. Furthermore, having the United card gives you access to more awards on UA metal. For awards, UA awards dont pass on heavy fuel surcharges and you can get somewhat creative with award routings. Star Alliance has some great products for TATL travel. Additionally, their Star Alliance partner Avianca has an extensive network in South America.
On the flip side, UA’s business class hard product isnt the best and they still have 8 across in business on some planes. While their Polaris soft product is great, the hard product is only on the handful of 77Ws they have. Additionally, the seat manufacturer is behind on production, meaning further delays.
Sticking with oneworld would mean BA for the direct flight and their business class isnt so great. Other itineraries would require additional stops. Furthermore, AA (and other oneworld TATL partners) award space is stingy and awards on BA carry heavy surcharges. However, AAdvantage miles are still great for business class awards to Asia, if that’s something that interests you.