Advice needed after country move.

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by maxgraham, Aug 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. maxgraham

    maxgraham New Member

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    So i moved from Canada to Europe (The Netherlands) and am torn about staying with Aeroplan for my points program. I'm rarely flying Air Canada now as i use United back to the US (few times a year) and SQ/LH/*A etc for Asia and Rest of World. As i don't fly AC as much i'm not getting the benefits of being SE with them like preferred seating and upgrades and *G doesn't really get you much with other airlines these days. I'm considering moving to UA MP since that will allow me to book E+ seats for free and upgrade using points. Something i can't do as a top tier Aeroplan member. I'm looking for advice on if i should make the switch. Here's the facts.

    • Gold for life with Aeroplan
    • 150k a year minimum for work.
    • Rarely fly AC after the move to Europe.
    • 1/3 of my flights are now with United (Europe to US) (previously 80% with AC from YUL)
    • Rest of my flights are Star Alliance from AMS to Asia/Europe etc.
    • Can't use my AC upgrades since i don't fly AC as much
    • Choose to fly United over AC because the flights are far cheaper from Europe to US.
    • Get SE 2x miles with Air Canada but only when flying on AC flights (rare now)
    • Would like to both upgrade and get free Economy plus seating on United. Only possible with Mileage plus not Aeroplan.
    • Closing in on 2 million miles with Air Canada and would like to hit that # but doesn't really make a diff at the end of the day.
    • Need to take into account redeeming miles on United vs Aeorplan (as an SE i rarely have a prob redeeming miles with Aeroplan but the fees are very high. Fuel surcharge etc)
    It sounds like i'm answering my own question but wanted to throw this out there anyway. I thought about Miles and More also but since i'm flying United more i think that's the way to go.
     
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You are Aeroplan Gold for life, fly 150K a year, very little of it on AC, would like UA E+ and the ability to upgrade? The answer seems obvious to me, and you did answer it: UA MP, in which you will make 1K (provided that you also spend $10K or more after this year) and get 6 global premier upgrades, guaranteed E+ at booking and still remain in *A, is the answer. A good alternative would be LH since you now live in Europe.
     
  3. maxgraham

    maxgraham New Member

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    I thought about LH but I've heard mixed reviews of Miles and More and that isn't optimum when doing multiple cities within the US. I think you're right, UA MP it is.

    oooh plus just read that Gold get E+ at booking and that's going to arrive quite soon.

    Thank you :)
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It would definitely be a drawback to join LH if you will need to do US domestic, multi-city travel. Any foreign carrier would be useless for that, which just leaves UA if you wish to remain with *A...
     
  5. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    From AMS, does it make sense to stick with *A rather than SkyTeam?

    Also, is Netherlands expected to be your "permanent" residence?
     
    anileze likes this.
  6. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    I think half the country is a Flying Blue Elite :)
     
  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Does it matter for a city like AMS? Think of the EU as being equivalent to the United States, with the different EU countries (Schengen treaty) being like the states in the US. Until the recent UA/CO merger, there were no UA hubs in the NYC/NJ area, and, yet, I did just fine as UA M+ member. Likewise, *A flights should enable the OP easy way in and out of AMS because "Star Alliance has the second largest customer offer in and out of Amsterdam with 13 member airlines operating 772 weekly flights serving 22 destinations in 14 countries." Just as in NYC from where UA flights must first go to a hub, so will it be to get in and out of AMS, but that should not be a major issue as flight time between AMS and a major *A hub like FRA is relatively short. A flight between AMS and FRA on LH would be like flying from LGA to ORD on UA, maybe not exactly flight time-wise, but conceptually. It is considered as a "domestic" flight with minimal to no passport/customs control.

    P.S. Currently, UA and US are two, with AC, of the three *A members in North America that operate flights out of AMS. They even got assigned slots at the very first *A-branded ticket counter to open at AMS Schiphol airport. With US leaving the Alliance, maybe AC would take over that slot?;)
     
  8. maxgraham

    maxgraham New Member

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    With Lots of *A airlines flying from here to pretty much everywhere there's no need to jump to (downgrade in my eyes) Sky Team. I can go direct to almost anywhere and hub through Frankfurt/Vienna or Zurich if need be. I'm not a fan of KLM i think their product is subpar and not many skyteam airlines appeal to me. Netherlands is for now, few years at least.

    I recently flew Air Canada AMS - YYZ - MEX return for slightly more than KLM direct from AMS. But with Power in the seats (among other things) it's well worth the difference.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Why not do LH through MUC? It's a more pleasant airport than FRA and has more flights than Vienna. Zurich is also good if LX serves your destination.

    Some people don't mind extra connections but others want non stops whenever possible. To me, flying *A out of AMS sounds like living in DFW and insisting on taking DL through ATL all the time.
     
  10. maxgraham

    maxgraham New Member

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    I can do LH through MUC def but i'm used to FRA as AC flies out of there, you're right though it's not great. Love Zurich and do use it happily when Swiss works out. With direct AMS to SIN on SQ and UA direct to various US hubs from AMS i'm covered for Asia/US, No need to hub through Germany unless the flight really fits. *A is quite well represented at AMS so not sure the DFW analogy fits. I've been flying direct to Newark/ORD to hub in the US recently and the price and flights have worked out well.

    Domestic Europe i fly various like Easyjet or Vueling as the price is too good or LH/Austrian if it works. For a lounge at AMS i use Privium which is great and doesn't matter what airline you're on to use it so that's not a factor.
     

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