Upgrade with miles: LH, LX or AC?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Spainflyer, Dec 23, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Spainflyer

    Spainflyer New Member

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    Hello to All –

    First posting here. I will be traveling Madrid – Toronto – Madrid departing Saturday 7th June, returning Saturday 14th June.

    I want to buy a ticket in Economy and upgrade to Business with miles / points that I transfer in from my American Express account.

    It looks like my best choices are Air Canada / Lufthansa via Munich or Frankfurt (AC operates some of the transatlantic flights, LH others), or Air Canada / Swiss via Zurich or Geneva (it looks to me like AC operates all the transatlantic flights for Swiss).

    I also have the option of British / Iberia via London, but I have read that they are stingy with upgrades and costly. I would very much like to be proven wrong.

    My questions are: first, are there differences in the miles / points needed to book upgrades on Air Canada, Lufthansa and/or Swiss? Then, if other things are nearly equal (economy ticket price and miles / points needed to upgrade), I assume the hard product ranking is 1) LH, 2) LX and 3) AC but again, I would appreciate input.

    Any comments / suggestions would be gratefully accepted.
  2. mrx900
    Original Member

    mrx900 Silver Member

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    I believe the first issue will be your paid ticket....is it going to be upgradeable? Secondly, you might have to fork out a lot of extra money to upgrade along with the points, as I don't think you can just upgrade with points anymore.........
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If you are using Aeroplan points to effect the upgrade (most likely as a transfer partner of AmEx MR) then you must buy a Y or B fare on LX or LH to get the upgrade. You could also do United as the operating carrier and would similarly need a Y or B fare on UA for it to work. The upgrades are terribly expensive and are priced per segment, not per trip. And that's on top of the part where a Y or B fare would be quite expensive to begin with. Finally, the upgrades use the same inventory as an outright award so finding the space can be challenging.

    The Star Alliance Upgrade program is nice in theory but rarely a good value for passengers.

    For similar costs you can probably book an award trip in business class outright. I see options on your dates via IST both ways. Not ideal timings and a bit out of the way, but you could confirm it right now if you wanted to.

    Answering the question you actually asked, I'd rank the hard product on board in business class: LX/UA/AC > LH. Of the three which are not LH there are differences but overall very similar and solid options. LH has an inferior seat in most business class cabins and is not an option I'd seek out.

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