Best Skyteam alternative to Flying Blue

Discussion in 'SkyTeam' started by grand voyageur, Mar 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. grand voyageur
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    grand voyageur Silver Member

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    I used to be a big fan of NW program and used to have KL status which has now become FB. I still stick with FB for their promo awards, EQM earning with the FB Amex card, and one way awards. It's a pretty mediocre program but I find DL even worse due to their high cost of awards, foreign award fee, and refusal to publish their non-US award chart until very recently. Is their a BD like gem (or even Aegean like outcast) in Skyteam that I should consider instead? I fly KE quite often, but find their status levels difficult to attain, and not sure how good they are for earn/burn. Aeroflot, Czech, Alitalia... let me know your recommendations
     
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  2. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    Hiya. KE's good about redemption once you hit 500k; AS and EK awards alone +Skyteam makes life lovely. I hear good things about AZ's program though..might want to check that out.
    (Later edit: HA's now a partner for redemption)
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    AZ might have attractive earn and burn rates, but their customer service and, in fact, this airline in general, is pretty bad.
     
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  4. BondAir007
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    BondAir007 Gold Member

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    Old AZ bad service. New AZ better service . I can't speak for KE.
     
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  5. bakedpatato
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    bakedpatato Gold Member

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    KE's service is good enough; they don't mind stupidly silly routings for award tickets, IRROPS are handled ok etc...
     
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  6. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    For me the AF Amex is the killer reason for sticking with FB. That and about 90% of my ST flights are on AF/KL and KQ.
     
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  7. jetsetter
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    jetsetter Silver Member

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    I have to agree AZ has been bad with customer service and the airline in general but my recent trips with them has shown great improvements. I took 5 flights in the span of two weeks within Italy and I think they did a good job.
     
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  8. grand voyageur
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    grand voyageur Silver Member

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    I see Skyteam is slim pickings when it comes to FF programs. It looks like I'll just have to stick with FB for now for lack of an interesting alternative. There were rumors of the FB Amex no longer offering status miles, but I think they turned out to be false.
     
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  9. stimpy
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    stimpy Silver Member

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    Yes, if I couldn't get status miles with the AF Amex, I would probably give up any focus on ST. And Amex.
     
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  10. Gargoyle
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    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    I'm not sure how it is now, but the AZ program used to be great for non-Italian residents. Tiers were lower and easy to achieve, and there were good EQM bonuses if you used an Alitalia AMEX card. Also, award redemption was easy. But this was 3 or 4 years ago, so YMMV.
     
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  11. beaubo
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    beaubo Silver Member

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    The 50% off Promo Awards which change every two months allow for a N America-Europe (including North Africa and Israel) award tickets for 25K in Y, 50K in J. Even though fuel surcharges can be hefty (up to $450), it is a solid value not offered by any other ST program.

    As well, I find that awards on AF/KL metal are far more available than usind DL. And while some of FB awards are crazy high and not worth using (160K in J US-Asia/Africa/Australia), their US-Europe awards don't suffer from the ridiculous 3 tier DL structure where low tier awards are particularly scarce.

    AZ actually has a fairly attractive award redemption chart compared to its ST peers, but there are not alot of actual MileMiglia members that I know that will vouch for the ability to redeem.
     
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  12. infoworks
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    infoworks Silver Member

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    I wonder if Skyteam will overtake Oneworld in due course? It seems that way, but not much help for me yet where my travels take me.
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I am SM Diamond, my spouse FB Platinum. DL does better for awards and accrual than does FB and fees are lower or non-existent. We both fly mostly AF with some KE and DL in the mix too. I would choose between the two mostly for whim, or as Stimpy mentions, a card that coordinated with one better than another.

    Remember that FB Plat is only 70,000 miles for non-French residents, so that is a big factor too. However in france you are recognized as you attained level by the domestic chart not the international one. That takes getting used to, but the accrual works at your country level. FB has the unique advantage of being hard to understand for everyone and having exclusive, invitation-only promotions quite often. It is a decent program if you're willing to work hard to optimize it, but poor otherwise.
     
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  14. infoworks
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    infoworks Silver Member

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  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    You get status faster with a non-French address, so normally that is better. I have never used my French address with FB.
     
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  16. grand voyageur
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    grand voyageur Silver Member

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    Definitely use a non-french address if possible. I think US residents don't get Skyteam Elite Plus (and thus no lounge access) for a gold card, so that's a reason to avoid a US address also, but not sure if this is still true nowadays.
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I forgot that one. The French domestic benefits of non-French cards, including Elite+, work on the basis of your qualification as if it were french domestic. however, you still get miles and other credits for your foreign status. The foreign option is therefore almost always preferable.
     

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