Which Star Alliance Membership Program?

2 replies

subichow

Member since 06 Jun 2015

Total posts 3

Which Star Alliance Membership Program?

Hey guys,

I'm looking to sign up for a Star Alliance membership but am not sure which program to choose. I used to have a KrisFlyer account but it was inactive for a while and has been cancelled so I'm trying to find which airline offers the best points scheme. My emphasis has mainly been on status rather than mile redemption and I've think I've narrowed it down to my three options.

1. Asiana - Asiana Club

Asiana seems to have long life for mileage expiry (10 years from what I've read) meaning more time to potentially save up for a flight, as well as generous time for points accrual for status (2 years, 20k silver and 40k gold).

Also if I've read the terms correctly, if I reach a status early, I get to keep it for the remaining time up to the two years from when I signed up PLUS another two years from that date.

Membership also seems to be for a long time itself, so hopefully I won’t be automatically wiped off the system. I did find details of how long until it expires but forgot the details (something like no points balance and inactivity for years). However, the tempting part of this is that over a ‘lifetime’ period if I fly 500k miles then I can keep Star Alliance Gold membership for life. Which brings me back to the being deleted bit.. Makes me think they are less likely to delete someone if they’re offering memberships based on your entire history ‘lifetime.’ This is attractive as I’m relatively young, and even if I don’t meet certain status criteria for gold membership every two years I may still be able to get something after a while of flying on Star Alliance flights and keep it for life! Ambitious thinking I know, but no harm in planning even if it takes 30 years haha!

There are also perks of bonus mileage on Asiana flights, however I haven’t flown nor do I really plan on flying Asiana any time soon (may change, however most upcoming trips are better served on other carriers). I would purely be using their membership program.

Thai - Royal Orchid Plus

This program also has generous time for reaching status and reaching silver is a very easy milestone (10k/1yr or 15k/2yr). However reaching gold status is still harder than Asiana as it requires more miles in one year let alone over two years (50k/1yr or 80k/2yr).

Status is kept for two years however miles expire 3 years from date earned, much less than Asiana but still ok.

The attraction for the Thai program is that upon reaching gold status you are entitled to one round trip upgrade on Thai. This seems like a type of reward I would actually use and even if I can never save up enough miles for an entirely reward mile flight, I might be able to at least get a free upgrade trip if I do 50k/1yr or 80k/2yrs.

There do not seem to be any bonus miles for flying on Thai with silver or gold status.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Of my three options this is the least attractive in terms of status and time. Time frame is only one year and needs 25k/50k for silver and gold and once reached the status is only for one year as well. I previously held a KrisFlyer Gold membership, however I didn’t fly much the following year hence lost it quickly. Mileage expiry is 3 years like Thai and as mentioned, my account was inactive for a while and got deleted.

The attractive part of KrisFlyer is the bonus mileage when flying on Singapore Airlines once reaching silver status (25% bonus miles). I’m more likely to fly with Singapore Airlines especially if it is an economy flight. Also the partnership with Virgin Australia means it could be more useful than either of the Thai or Asiana options. I don’t fully understand it though so if someone can clarify the relationship between Virgin and Singapore Airlines it would be much appreciated. Do you only earn points on flights which are codeshared with Singapore Airlines? For example, say I fly Virgin Australia from Sydney to LA, or even say Sydney to Melbourne, I assume I won’t get any points for that. Also reads as if these miles on VA won’t count towards status, purely mileage.

Less important but still possibly more useful are the non airline partners like car rental etc.. but really this is something I would rarely use.

SO if anyone has any advice or any other input about which program to join that would be much appreciated! I’m not so interested in programs that work on a calendar year as it seems less flexible.

I understand that these membership plans and rules can change but from current information this is what I have been able to establish. Personally I don’t fly a hell of a lot, but I do like travelling and my family is big into travelling and seeing places. The reason I’m contemplating which program to choose is because I have a few trips coming up and I want to be able to make the most of them.

Cheers!

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,060

Call me crazy, but if I had to start from scratch and had to fly on Star Alliance carriers, I'd go with United's Mileage Plus programme. 

I will always opt for a programme that allows me to purchase lounge access.

subichow

Member since 06 Jun 2015

Total posts 3

Yeah I had a read about it but it works off a calendar year which means my trips before the end of the year will be for nothing.

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