Mileage credit question for Star Alliance trip

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by sfodandy, Jan 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Greetings,

    Here’s my upcoming trip itinerary with the family for a European and Indian vacation.

    SFO-LHR-MUC, then MUC-ZRH-GVA, followed by GVA-VIE-BOM and similar return legs all on Star Alliance.

    Metal is UA, LH, LX and OS.

    My question is - Should I credit to BMI or US Air to maximize earning and get award tickets for next year?

    I know BMI DC is going away at some point in the near future, but hoping BA (IAG) will migrate the family miles account.

    Inputs much appreciated.
     
  2. harvson3

    harvson3 Silver Member

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    I believe the answer to your question depends on the fare classes you book.
     
  3. Apologies for the omission, the international legs are on Z and the EU legs are in E and T (Flexible Economy).

    I'm pretty sure the following is true:

    Z on OS earns x2 on BMI DC and US Air.
    Z on United earns x2 on BMI DC.

    I suppose my question really is which mileage program has the better access to future award travel and which one would you credit to, given a choice?
     
  4. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    If by "mileage program [that] has the better access to future award travel", you mean the program that makes it easier for your to redeem award trips, I think that at this point you should go with the program that earns you the most redeemable miles because redemption is now rather straightforward with *A awards. After getting to HKG on UA, I just did two and half weeks touring Asia using *A awards. This consisted of HKG-PVG on CA; PVG-SIN on SQ; SIN-KUL-SIN on SQ; and SIN back to HKG on SQ. It just took one phone call and 15 min of my time to set it up, but I was able to redeem without a hitch, all in C or F.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The redemption process is highly dependent on the program you are redeeming from, particularly in terms of the cost of an award and the pain of the process (online or phone, outsourced or in-house call center, etc.). There's also the question of YQ and other fees. If you price HKG-KUL as a straight return trip you'll find that BD prices it at 45K in C while US charges 60K for the same award. But BD also charges a YQ while US doesn't. And BD's ICC is the source of many tales of pain, though my personal experiences haven't been too horrible. Oh, and that same award is 35K in C from CO/UA. Some comparisons can be run here: http://www.wandr.me/Tools/Frequent_Flier_Redemption_Options.aspx.

    To the OP's question, I am burning my BD miles; I'm not confident in the future of the program.
     
  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have redeemed yearly for trips in Asia for the past few years and my experience has not been anything like the complex mechanisms that you describe. The procedure is simple:

    1. Completely determine your itinerary -- penciling in your favorite *A carrier for each segment.
    2. Go to the charts to see what the *A awards would cost you in terms of miles.
    I still have the worksheet for my last redemption!

    HKG->PVG Dec 24: South Asia-> North Asia
    CA 108 ->PEK->PVG
    10:30am->1:50pm;3:55pm->6:05pm
    *A: Y: 15; C: 22.5; F:32.5 (all x1000)

    2. PVG->SIN DEC 28: North Asia-> South Asia
    CA or SQ

    *A: Y: 15; C: 22.5; F:32.5

    3. SIN<->KUL Jan 1-4, 2012: South Asia-> South Asia
    SQ or MI (SilkAir)
    *A: Y: 12.5; C:17.5; F: 30

    4. SIN->HKG Jan 7, 2012: South Asia-> South Asia
    UA/CO 98 SIN -> HKG
    5:30 am-> 9:25 am
    UA: Y: 25; C: 35; F: 55. Saver=A*
    (or SQ for more choices and better deal!)
    *A: Y: 12.5; C: 17.5; F-30

    Note that UA would have cost me a lot more, so I ended up taking C in SQ, which was a much better C service, anyway.

    3. Get on the horn with your FF program rep and tell him/her what you wish to accomplish, and because you have already done your homework, her/his job is easy.

    4. Pack you bags and go have some fun.

    HKG-KUL would be South Asia to South Asia, so you just get the required miles from the *A award chart -- or your FFP Rep will find you a cheaper alternative if one *A carrier asks for a higher rate.

    In fact, I did SIN-KUL-SIN and wanted to redeem for C, but SQ refused, although there was a ton of C seats. When I got there, I understood why they had refused to let me redeem in C: SIN-KUL is just a 45 min flight so SQ saw no point in charging me the standard South Asia to South Asia rate for C. In fact, they protected me from myself!

    In short, my experience redeeming award travel has been quite different from yours. It has been straightforward, as you can see... Maybe my system just works because I do the leg work ahead of time.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There is no such thing as a "*A Award Chart" that works across all programs. I have no idea what you are talking about, but it simply doesn't exist.

    The cost - both in terms of points and in cash - to redeem from the various *A programs can differ wildly on the exact same route/flights.

    It is South Asia to South Asia in the UA and CO programs. But the OP was asking which program they should be putting their points in, not how to redeem from UA. In fact, they didn't even mention UA. On US it would be a different award; on BD yet another one. And the ANA award is based on distance traveled, not zones, so that's yet another way to calculate things.

    Not really. I'm actually quite adept at the booking process and have a number of great successes under my belt. But that doesn't matter as I was actually trying to answer the question being asked rather than rambling on about something that was not particularly relevant to the inquiry.

    Oh, and your suggestion above to redeem *A points on a SilkAir flight won't work. Good luck with that. Unless you've got KrisFlyer points that's not an option.
     
  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This does it. As someone had indicated in another thread, it seems to me that you like to foam at the mouth and throw your weight around for absolutely no reason so I will ignore you henceforth. All of the above is addressable but I will not bother.

    Maybe this will help:
    http://www.united.com/ual/asset/United_Star_Chart_eff_after_6_15.pdf

    And an example of something really silly:
    Remember that that was my worksheet? SilkAir is partners with SQ, which is *A and can make arrangements if they so choose. But the point is I have already taken the trip. Just got back on Sunday and it went all wonderfully. What are you huffing and puffing about?

    Good luck with that...
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  9. Thanks for all the inputs, chaps. I ended up rolling the dice with BD. I will amass more miles with BD, and I am reasonably sure BD will not simply go off in to the sunset.
     
  10. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    PostScriptum:

    SilkAir "is a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Airlines and operates scheduled passenger services from Singapore to 31 cities in Southeast Asia, South Asia and China." It is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines. In other words, SilkAir is to Singapore Airlines what United Express is to United.
     
  11. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    BD will not
    BD will not go into the sunset, but more likely than not the miles will not be * miles any more. They would probably become Avios which is a very good plan for short distance redemption and quite lousy for international business or first class redemption. So - depending on your travel plan it could be good or bad option.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    This is not completely accurate. SilkAir operates as an independent carrier and sells flights directly to consumers and also offers code-shares on their flights under the SQ code. But, even as a wholly owned subsidiary, they are not a member of *A and *A benefits do not apply when flying on MI metal.
    That chart ONLY applies if redeeming miles from MileagePlus. There are 20ish other loyalty programs in *A, each of which has their own chart or rules. If you had BD or NH points that chart would be completely useless. Hence my statement that there is not a single chart which applies to all *A programs. I'm not sure why this is so hard to understand but calling me a bully because I'm trying to help the person who asked the question get the answer that is actually true doesn't seem to be a very useful or positive contribution here.
    So you were able to redeem a MI-operated segment using UA miles? I find that incredibly hard to believe as MI is NOT a *A partner and earning, redeeming and *A benefits do not apply when passengers travel on MI metal. I'd love to see some proof that you managed to redeem UA points for travel on MI metal. You might be the first person to ever actually accomplish that.

    If you redeemed SQ points then that further proves my point about every carrier having their own chart and rules.
     
  13. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You are beginning to obsess with me, disputing even things that cannot be disputed.

    Please go away, meaning ignore my posts.

    Thank you.
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Except where I've provided specific evidence to refute the "indisputable" misstatements you're sharing.
    Only if you stop providing bad information to the rest of the community. My only goal here is to make sure that others are getting the correct answers; I couldn't care less if you believe the misinformation you're posting as you seem to not care either.
     
  15. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I have no doubt that you do believe in your infallibility, no matter how unjustifiably, but at this point I must ask you to just ignore must posts. I am new here, but I do recall someone complaining about your behavior in this forum. The poster in question has not posted much since, after expressing his exasperation. I now understand why...

    This, from someone who knows very little stats and claims otherwise, or makes dogmatic statements such as
    "There is no such thing as a "*A Award Chart" that works across all programs. I have no idea what you are talking about, but it simply doesn't exist.", which is demonstrably false? Simply, incredible!

    At this point I must ask the good folks who bring us MilePoint to kindly ask this poster to just leave me alone. I no longer know how to say this, but this is bordering on the pathological...

    Please ignore my posts and I will do the same of yours. Thank you.
     
  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    What about my statement is wrong?

    Can you show me a single *A award chart that works for a person who has miles in both ANA and United's programs? Please demonstrate to me just how wrong I am by producing such a link.

    You cannot, because it does not exist.

    Yes, each program has a chart that applies for redemption from partners, but those charts are different depending on the program. If the OP was using the redemption chart from UA while deciding whether to credit to BD or US - the actual request they made which makes all the noise here about the UA charts wholly irrelevant - then they'd be misinformed in their decision making.

    I cannot ignore blatantly false information being bandied about. Sorry.
     

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