What are peoples thoughts on Frequent Flyer Programs of partner airlines that advertise "full earn and burn" or "fully reciprocal FF programs.

10 replies

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

What are peoples thoughts on Frequent Flyer Programs of partner airlines that advertise "full earn and burn" or "fully reciprocal FF programs.

I ask, as many of you know I am sure, you can use QF points to book on Oneworld partner airlines, but can you upgrade on a partner airline using QF points. Similarly you can book a flight on EY using VA points, but you can't upgrade on EY using points. To me full reciprocity or earn and burn, would mean if I can do anything with points with my "Home" airline, I should be able to do the same with a partner airline that claims such a statement. Thoughts?

anonymous

Member since 24 Dec 2013

Total posts 105

Why not just redeem a business class award seat on the partner airline? You then won't have to put up with the uncertainty of joining the points upgrade lottery.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

A vanilla upgrade is "empty calories"! You don't earn FF points/miles towards elite qualification. That's why upgrades are better! So if you're on a long- haul sector, you've wasted the opportunity to make a dent in your targets. The choice between comfort and hitting your target can be quite compelling! 

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Correction! Meant to read "a vanilla redemption is "empty calories""! Apologies. I've started to wind down for Christmas!

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

I agree TRB it is quite compelling. I am thinking along similar lines to you. I have to travel on a partner airline to get to a destination and would want to at least cash in on some SC points for the flight, but would also be nice to be able to upgrade that ticket to a business class one. Not being able to do this highlights the fact to me that FF programs are not fully reciprocal.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Agreed. Perhaps airline marketing departments have their own definition reciprocity?

Then again I don't expect much from the PR fluf and double talk of these organisations. They take you for fools, assuming you can't see the blatant inconsistencies in their comments; or how they try to hide bad news under a veneer of so-called positive fluf. Oh please!

Perhaps a great deal of the public are simply that naive/dumb (look who's in Canberra!)?

The best we can do is understand the rules and play them at their game, whilst developing contingency plans for when they decide to shift the goal post. 

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

Great advice TRB! I'm sure the marketing Depts do have their own definitions, but they should have to use language like everyone else does. If you can earn points between co-operating airlines but only "burn" those points on certain "purchases" then that that's would should be stated. Airline A and Airline B have reciprocal FF programs with point earning and redemption on a range benefits. Not full reciprocity. Organisation like the ACCC should have a few more teeth and be able to direct companies to not use such misleading ploys.

Merc25

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Jun 2013

Total posts 317

I agree with anonymous ,get  a buisiness class award ticket ,rather  than put inning up with uncertainty off an upgrade.

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

Sorry.

Which airlines advertise this?

I wouldn't think any slogan means anything apart from marketing fluff - you need to read the T&Cs of every program.

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

Totally agree that the T&Cs are a must read! Airlines such as Etihad, Virgin Oz and Singapore airlines "advertise" they have reciprocal "earn and burn" programs.

Of course I don't expect any corporation or company to be totally transparent and mean what they say 100%, It's just rubbish these days how much BS is spouted by individuals and companies

iFLYflat

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Nov 2012

Total posts 40

Because frequent flyer programs are a structured marketing program to drive more commerical business, that is their sole purpose.

Commercial decisions are always their first priority, hence why different airlines alliance commitments and reciprocity are applied differently.

IMO Airlines always look after; 1) Fare paying passengers 2) Top status non-fare passengers, 3) Own loyalty program non-fare passengers 4) Alliance non-fare passengers, 5) Bi-laterial partner non-fare passengers.

If you can play the game well, and don't expect the world - then the benefits can be substantial, otherwise you will be annoyed.

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