Which of the SkyTeam carriers is the fastest to earn premier status?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Whiskers, Jul 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Hello,
    I am a frequent flyer on UA and AA but this month I had no choice and got booked on Delta (work thing)on one of my trips. Of course, I will sign up for FF program, although I doubt I will fly with them often. Is there a better carrier than Delta to credit my miles to?. They are not running any bonus currently for sign up I think I've heard something about Alaska Airlines, that it's easier to reach premier than on DL or AF. I don't want my miles to go to waste. Any thoughts how to use it in a smart way? Thank you!
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Welcome to MP

    A lot of DL's FF program benefits consist of free domestic upgrades to elites, although higher level elites are much more likely to be upgraded according to the priority system. If you're not elite, it's extraordinarily hard to redeem DL miles for good award tickets, although last minute availability tends to improve, especially for higher level elites (who ahve increased inventory for domestic coach awards). You can get Silver ( at 25K status miles, good for free bags, early boarding, and separate lines in many airports) and Gold (at 50K status miles, this gives SkyPriority on all DL flights) status through DL credit card (which gives one free checked bag for to up to nine people in your record locator) spend or having it gifted to you by an elite, but not Platinum and Diamond, where the good benefits and treatment are.

    OTOH, you can redeem DL miles for stuff like magazine subscriptions, gift cards (where elites and DL AmEx credit card holders get deals closer to one cent per mile), and hotels (depending on the cash rates being offered especially by overseas properties, these can be reasonable deals).

    If you don't see yourself flying DL enough to either make elite status or earn enough miles (which now don't ever expire) to use for something, consider crediting to Alaska. There miles are valuable and flexible for award trips. A big advantage of Alaska's program is that miles can be earned and spent on a variety of carriers in different alliances. Hence, you could top up your account with AA miles (which then wouldn't count for AA status or upgrades on those flights) and spend them on some interesting airlines.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Note that status on Alaska is status on Alaska; they are not part of SkyTeam. You get some benefits when flying DL, but you're low priority for upgrades on DL "domestic" flights. AFAIK Alaska status is not recognized by other SkyTeam carriers.

    To get SkyTeam ElitePlus, you need Gold on DL at 50K status miles, less with carriers like AF IIRC, depending on your residence, but some flights don't earn 100% on AF, so it's tough to compare. You can get DL GM with zero flying.
     
  4. mynameismud
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    mynameismud Gold Member

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    30 skyteam flights or 40000 miles and you get Gold on AF Flying Blue
     
  5. MSPeconomist
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    Don't the requirements for AF Gold depend on the address/residence associated with your account, with more miles or segments being required for French residents?

    Note that AF/KL elites can get free upgrades on DL "domestic" flights, but they are very low in priority, below DL Silvers.
     
  6. GenevaFlyer
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    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

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    Only the miles threshold changes for French residents, who require 60K miles for gold. On the flip, domestic French flights do not count as segments for French residents.

    To the OP: DL has the advantage over AF when it comes to miles expiration, since they have now removed expiration.

    Cheers,

    GenevaFlyer
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    DL also has the advantage that if you reach Silver or above, your excess status miles rollover to the next program year. For example, if you earn 35,000 status miles (MQMs is the DL term) this year, you'll start the next year with a credit of 10,000 MQMs and be 40% of the way toward requalifying for Silver for the following year.
     
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  8. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I just want to reemphasize what MSPeconomist said. First 1) AS (Alaska) is NOT part of SkyTeam. They are, however, partners with many SkyTeam (DL, AF, etc) and oneworld (BA, AA, CX, etc) airlines. They are also partners with a couple non-allied airlines (FL - Icelandair, FJ - Air Pacific). So if you credit your miles to AS then you will have lots of flexibility with redeeming your miles.
    Here's the link with more info: http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/partners/partner-overview.aspx
    One of the main advantages of AS is that it gets you access to both SkyTeam and oneworld (although not full access).

    To earn MVP (e.g. their version of silver) there are two ways to do this:
    If you fly 20k qualifying miles on AS/QX metal, you earn MVP
    If you fly 25k qualifying miles on any combination of partners you earn MVP. Not all partners earn elite qualifying (e.g. QF), check the link above for more info.

    Then there's MVP Gold at 40k/50k, and MVP Gold 75k, at 75k/90k and that's their highest level. You can also qualify on segments (30, 60, 90) for the levels in order - doesn't matter if they are AS metal or partners.

    One of the main benefits for MVP and up are free upgrades on AS and domestic DL flights (although I think you are behind DL Silver). (here's the info link: http://www.alaskaair.com/content/mileage-plan/benefits/elite-levels-and-benefits.aspx). There has been talk of getting some kind of upgrade or priority boarding benefits for MVPs on AA, but so far its just talk.

    If your non-*A flying is going to be primarily DL, I would credit to DL.
    If your non-*A flying is spread around two or more of DL, AA, and AS, I would credit to AS.

    If you want your status to mean something for international flights, I would go for DL, as MVP means squat if you're not flying domestically.
     
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