I'm about to be based in Manila, travelling frequently in SE Asia, especially Singapore and Hong Kong, and likely Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta as well.

9 replies

adambreen

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jun 2014

Total posts 8

I'm about to be based in Manila, travelling frequently in SE Asia, especially Singapore and Hong Kong, and likely Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta as well. I will return to Australia occasionally, but I want to maximise my rewards and quality lounge access in Asia (and ideally Europe and the USA). I have virtually zero points to begin with.

My top priority is to ensure quality lounge access in as many places and as easily as possible, particularly as we're coming into Typhoon season.

So far, it looks like Qantas Club is still the best place for me to start. I had thought of perhaps also joining Asia Miles or just Marco Polo for the HK flights.

Any advice guys?

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

Have you looked at Priority Pass? I understand it's quite good in Asia (but rubbish domestically).

Qantas Club (QP) is good, you will get access to lounges in MNL, SIN, HKG and CGK lounges on both Qantas metal and Jetstar metal. Unfortunately, the Jetstar network out of MNL is not especially great, and you won't get access on Cathay Pacific (not that access is buyable with them - you need to earn status on Marco Polo).

adambreen

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jun 2014

Total posts 8

Hi @watson374, I've only experienced Priority Pass lounges domestically (Sydney = Virgin, good!), and internationally in Hong Kong (pretty average).

Based on the Hong Kong experience, I'm more inclined to go with a known brandname, such as the StarAlliance offerings.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Qantas Club is the worst option for you. Qantas' network in Asia is disappointing and your ability to access lounges is mainly limited to the Singapore and Hong Kong lounges, as these are the two lounges still operated by Qantas and will guarantee you access as a Qantas Club member.  

However a condition of entry is that you fly Qantas or Jetstar. Now seeing is you'll be based in Asia, the chances  of you accessing these lounges is low as Qantas does not operate intra-Asia flights. Jetstar flights, while operated intra-Asia May be operated at times when the Qantas lounges are shut (Qantas operates these lounges for the benefit of Qantas passengers not Jetstar's).

Star Alliance has a good network of Asian carriers. May I suggest you investigate United Club, United's paid membership lounge service. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how agreeable their proposition is.

adambreen

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jun 2014

Total posts 8

Thanks @TheRealBabushka, that's good advice. Would you suggest joining the Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program in that case?   

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

No worries. Happy to help. No check out United Club. Google "United Club". As a United Club member you become a member of United's frequent flyer programme.

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

No, in my view SQ's program is quite poor unless you frequently fly their own premium cabins on revenue fares.

I would agree that United Club is the better proposition (wish I'd thought of that!), much better than QP.

adambreen

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jun 2014

Total posts 8

Yes, United Club looks good from a lounge perspective, and now I understand you are recommending their frequent flyer programme as well.

It appears to me that Singapore is probably my best bet within StarAlliance for actual flights. Do you agree?

Have you any experience with upgrades via United points on non-United metal, particularly within Asia? 

aerodude

Member since 11 Sep 2013

Total posts 11

SQ and CX have both poor lounges in Manila but have good ones elsewhere. Hope that improves though  when they move to Terminal 3. They're the airlines to choose from when flying into Asia and Australia from the Philippines. The United Club will definitely open up more lounges for you and more choices of airlines as long as you stick with Star Alliance carriers like SQ, Eva, Asiana, or Thai then you will have lounge access wherever you go. I have a Krisflyer account and they're not bad in using miles for upgrades say like Manila to Singapore which is only about 15,000 miles. I think within Asia they're good. SQ's cheapest fares will still allow you to earn frequent flyer points but you do need the pricier flexible fares to redeem upgrades. I use SQ on my shuttle trips to Manila for years and have always been happy.

adambreen

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Jun 2014

Total posts 8

Ok folks,  so upon further Investigation it looks like United/Star Alliance only really helps in BNE,  SIN and MNL if you have Gold status. 

Anyone have a tip for someone with no gold status? Keen to do some work in a nice environment during a 6 hour layover in SIN. 

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on I'm about to be based in Manila, travelling frequently in SE Asia, especially Singapore and Hong Kong, and likely Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta as well.

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