Best Star Alliance Airline to Bank Miles for a Brazilian not wanting to use TAM's program

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by yousavvy, Jul 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. yousavvy

    yousavvy Silver Member

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    My friend in Brazil flies a lot for business, and is currently banking all his miles in TAM,,,, The problem is TAM miles expire annually, so he's always having to use up miles instead of saving them.

    Which Star Alliance partner would you recommend for accumulating miles flown on TAM in a partner airline without expiration?
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    What fare class does the friend usually purchase? And roughly how many status miles does he fly per year? Does TAM give him any upgrades?
     
  3. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    BMI usually has great redeption schedules, but not sure of availability. Most mile plans will expire the miles if there is inactivity for a period of time. But most plans let you buy a few miles, or use a credit card linked to the plan to keep miles going. Except LH, where miles expire after 36 months if you're not a high level elite with them. As MSP mentioned, there are other variables that go into determine if/where to park miles. having miles go to another plan eliminates a lot of potential for upgrades, etc.
     
  4. yousavvy

    yousavvy Silver Member

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    I believe he flies over 100k miles a year. Yes, Tam gives him upgrades,,, but he often flies from Brazil to the U.S. to China on United. The upgrades withing Brazil are not as important, because a lot of the TAM planes he takes don't have a first class section. I'm not sure what class he purchases, but probably the cheapest flights.

    I believe the problem with TAM is that they expire even with activity. Unlike other star alliance members like united, where you can carry a mileage plus card, fly, or have any other activity to keep miles from expiring. With Tam you loose them after 24 months of earning the miles.

    I tried TAM, myself for a year, and lost 50-70k miles due to this rule before I was very knowledgeable about frequent flying...

    So I am looking for the best place for him to acquire a second stash of miles, that he can bank on a star alliance partner. Maybe attain Gold Status, and use as a back up program.

    thanks for all your help guys!!
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    From what you've said, UA looks like a good fit. With 50K status miles, he would earn *Gold for lounge access, free checked bags, elite counters and elite security, etc. and he'd also have a shot at some nice upgrades on his domestic flights within the USA as well as E+ access on all UA flights. The bad news is that he wouldn't get UA lounge access within the USA unless he has a (*A) international flight that day, so no lounges if he travels within the USA on other days as part of his trips. The cheap version of Priority Pass (about $100 per year plus about $30 per lounge visit) could help to remedy this as well as serve as a lounge "insurance" policy for his far flung travels. Note that at least some credit cards that include Priority Pass exclude the UA lounge network.

    A concern with any program would be whether his TAM and other fare codes earn 100% miles under their program rules.
     

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