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!
Which alliance, and which airline within, is likely to get me best: upgrades, lounges, most miles?
Hi there – I am new here. Like what I see so far 🙂
I live in France, and travel a fair bit for work, mainly in Europe. I also travel between Europe and Australia at least once a year (often with Korean Air).
I guess I am hoping for two things: upgrades and lounge access.
Which alliance, and which airline within the alliance, is likely to get me one or both of those things? Which is likely to give me more for my miles travelled and money spent?
Should I consider joining the American Airlines program, given that I can quite easily build up flights on BA? I know that people based in the States get to enjoy free domestic upgrades on AA, and obviously I won’t get to savour that very often given I am Europe based. But is it still worth me joining anyway, given the good returns on miles flown with them?
What about Aegean in the Star Alliance?
I have silver status with Flying Blue, as well as the Air France Amex card (which does seem to get some good mileage returns on it). But to be honest I am yet to see great things from the program – I get enough miles for some free Europe econ flights, but as I said it is upgrades that I am after (like what you describe in your story of the two hypothetical couples).
@ Neo74 — Thanks for reading and welcome! Which routes do you mostly fly, and how often?
@Lucky: Thanks for the speedy reply 🙂
Mainly within Europe:
* London to Slovenia / Hungary / Eastern Europe at client’s expense (prefer to do AF for this, or something that can drop me off in Paris on the return leg); maybe 4 times over the next few months.
* Possible India or Sri Lanka flight next month.
* Paris to Sydney once or twice a year.
* Lots of Paris to London (but that is often last minute, and at my expense, so just go low cost flights for it); at least once a month, but for some months this may rise to once a week.
Also, just got back from Sydney (to Paris) again – this time on Etihad – and am looking for a place to bank those miles. Given that Etihad are not part of Flying Blue / Skyteam, I was thinking that either Sri Lankan or AA might be a way to credit them within an established alliance program.
Thanks again. (Been following a different blogger for the past year, but am now a convert to your cyber lot, esp given your fast replies 🙂 )
@ Neo74 — Since you don’t travel to the US very much, I probably wouldn’t credit to American, since you wouldn’t get many upgrades that way. While I don’t love BA’s program, it sounds like that might be the best option for you. That’s because they have reasonable upgrade costs and it’s fairly easy to achieve Silver/Gold status thanks to their Tier Points system. So while not ideal, there is something to be said for being loyal to the airline you fly the most, and based on your travel patterns it sounds like that might be BA. Good luck!
Thanks for your responses Lucky. I am thinking of purchasing a business class ticket Paris-Syd return; going out in December and returning in January. Should I bank those points in Korean Air’s program (of which I am yet a member) or in KLM-AirFrance (where I have silver status)? Thanks again!
@ neo74 — Can’t go wrong either way. While I like Korean Air SkyPass being based in the US, I think FlyingBlue might be more practical for you.