Request for help deciding where to credit SMD3 flights

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by MSPeconomist, Aug 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSPeconomist
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  2. jfhscott
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    The first question I have is whether partner airlines will award any miles at all for SMD3 flights, which I understand to be charters with negotiated RDM/EQM's being awarded.

    As for A3, I dunno what sort of fare class they would attribute to SMD3, and this means a lot vis a vis A3 earning.

    That said, I am bit of an A3 gold fan. In the spring, I found a UA DCA-ORD-SJU-ORD-DCA fare booking in A for about $1000. The 300% accrual factor plus a few DCA-BOS trips for business got me gold.

    For you, it seems you are DL hub captive, with incidental *A travel, much being domestic on UA. If it does not meaningfully impact elite earning opportunities in the future, you might consider a *A TPAC or TATL (hint here: in January the other bulletin board's Coupon Connection will surely have a fire sale on expiring UAL SWU's). Depending on fare bucket, this could get it done in one fell swoop.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    The SMD3 North American flights are CO charter and negotiated to earn DEQM on UA ONLY, so those miles (4720) must go to UA. It will prevent a few old CO miles from expiring.

    However, the European leg is not a charter. It's all LH flights with regular flight numbers booked as a Z class (discounted business) fare ticketed through their groups sales office in Germany. If I put this on UA, I don't get nearly as many status miles as crediting to LH or A3. Maybe more importantly, I'm nowhere near getting UA/CO status this year and don't really want to fly them during the merger (bad NW/DL experiences and I don't want to worry about a repeat), so those EQMs would vanish in a few months, versus on A3 where my starting date defines my qualifying year, which sounds much better to me.

    If I do UA international with SWUs, doesn't my lack of status put me at the bottom of the list, probably to clear at the gate, or can I inherit the status of the account of the gifter? I wouldn't want to risk being stuck in UA longhaul coach and if I pay for E+ to guarantee it in advance, that fee is nonrefundable if I'm upgraded, right?
     
  4. jfhscott
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    IIRC, you inherit the status of the gifter, the next tie break is your status.

    BUT, all SWU gifters are, by their nature, 1K's. And yes, if you get upgraded from paid e+, no refund.

    I think you are understanding the perils . . . .
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    Thanks for your help.

    Is there any statement by A3 about how long their status lasts? I know people have been receiving three year cards (with a delay), but the T & C talk about earning status miles within a year and dropping back to Silver. Could they be sending out long-term cards but planning to downgrade them in the computer if people fail to requal? In fact, when you use a card to enter a lounge, does the dragon swipe the card to check its validity and charge your own carrier for the visit or do they swipe a boarding pass to charge the carrier you're flying on your next segment? (This could be why they're usually so strict about these not being arrivals lounges.)
     
  6. jfhscott
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    I have found NO 411 concerning requalification. As you note, the T & C's do indicate :

    "Members who hold a BLUE Card and who have earned at least 16,000 Tier Miles (in excess of the initial 4,000 Miles) within twelve (12) consecutive months from their first miles-accruing flight on the previous tier (Blue/reach 4.000 tier miles) will receive the GOLD Card. If, however, the Blue Member, after completion of the aforementioned twelve-month period, has gathered less than 16,000 Tier Miles, then he/she shall remain a Blue Member, whilst the Tier Miles collected during that twelve-month period shall not be automatically reset, but shall rather be successively deleted one (1) year from the day of each respective flight event, effected within the 12-month period in question."

    I just do not know what this says about requalification.

    Incidentally, I also do not know if "tier" miles must be flight miles. My 1000 welcome miles certainly counted toward blue and then gold - perhaps car rental miles (at 375/rental) will too.

    I cannot imagine that a significant number of folks will be A3 Gold due to these shenanigans, but A3 is a small airline, so even a small number can make a difference. In time, I predict they will increase the miles requirements for gold, shorten the period on retains status without additional earning, or decide that Gold is no longer *A Gold, creatinga higher tier.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    However, it seems nice to enjoy it in the meantime--and for me it's not pure shenanigans in that I've flown them a number of times and I'm a real fan, especially compared to the Olympic alternative which was fun in business class ages ago when they started the Mercedes ride to the aircraft (yes, I know there's a sort of merger) but now has ancient airplanes that are falling apart and even worse customer service, even when they're not on strike.

    Getting 375 status miles for every Hertz rental worldwide would be extremely nice, but I suspect these are redeemable miles only. The website also seems to neglect to mention that the miles for free Hertz cars seems to be only in Greece, although when I got a free rental day with a business class ticket to a Greek island, it was possible to arrange in advance to pay to upgrade to an automatic.
     
  8. jfhscott
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    I am not completely certain that A3 distinguishes RDM's from EQM's. Certainly my sign up bonus were the functional equivalent to EQM's. YMMV.

    The most intriguing redemption seems to involve favorable Europe-North Africa levels on *A.
     
  9. MSPeconomist
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    I'm now looking at the part about Hertz on the A3 website. It says redeemable miles only and the rental must be booked through a special website, so the rates might be bad or it might not take a #! Gold number, but these rentals do get upgrades when available. It's also 700 miles if the rental period is four days or more,

    The thousand mile sign up bonus is being promoted as both EQM and RDM.

    I wonder how bad the fees are on award tickets.
     

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