Dear fellow travelers, I will be taking two return Business Class trips from Germany to Sydney in May and June 2016 by myself.

11 replies

Rooster

Member since 12 Jan 2016

Total posts 3

Dear fellow travelers, I will be taking two return Business Class trips from Germany to Sydney in May and June 2016 by myself. In July, I will relocate my family of 5 (spouse, three kids and myself) to Australia in Business Class. After that I will be taking economy class trips within Australia and NZL twice a month and approx. three intercontinental Business Class flights per annum. None of the flights are booked yet. Which airline program would you recommend optimizing (a) lounge access, fast track lanes and upgrades on the local economy class flights and (b) miles redemption for family vacations in ANZ and Asia. I'm silver with Brirish Airways and Lufthansa, but assume that I might better change to an Australian Airline... Thanks in advance for your advice. Best regards from Germany!

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Keep your German address and stick with BA.

Just make sure those flights you'll be taking are on OW carriers. 

If you switch to Qantas' FF programme (QFF), you will be penalised when flying some OW carriers. To get the most out of QFF you will also need to fly QF. That means for flights to Europe, you may have to fly on Emirates half the time.

Furthermore, presuming you'll be Asia-Pac based, Cathay and Malaysia offers better options to the region from Australia and has the network and frequency that Qantas cannot match. If you're with QFF, you'll be tied down or be penalised when flying these carriers. BA does not discriminate; you will still earn the standard amount of TP and Avios.

I'd give Virgin Australia a miss unless you don't mind flying EY or SQ on long haul trips. They're not in an institutionalised alliance with VA, so I am sceptical of the consistency and extent of benefits. While they have a good relationship with Air New Zealand for trips across the Tasman, there is nothing stopping you flying on NZ ticket and metal and accruing to your LH M&M account. But since you're not an elite with M&M, it might be better to stick with BA and leverage off your OW Sapphire status. 

 

Serg

QFF

Member since 12 Apr 2013

Total posts 870

Agree - BA miles are better. I was eyeing on it for ages, but they do not issue membership in Australia.

Richard Brown

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 26 May 2012

Total posts 132

The QF/EK tie up is quite useful if you are going to be based in Australia, especially too for flights to NZ, where the A380 generally scores well. I have flown Emirates on numerous occasions and always been happy with them. They also offer good connections out of Dubai into Europe.

My experience of BA has always been that avios miles are quite hard to redeem, whilst I have been perhaps luckier on Qantas, with fewer issues.

I would keep your Lufthansa Star Alliance card for flights on Air NZ/Virgin and once you are down this way, work out which Alliance works best for you.

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Aug 2011

Total posts 384

Note - Star Alliance status won't do anything for him on VA, only NZ. 

Richard Brown

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 26 May 2012

Total posts 132

tronixstuff - thanks for clarifying. It does work on Air NZ flights across the Tasman where you can often find yourself on a Virgin plane, but clearly not on all Virgin flights within Oz.

ap_spd

Member since 12 Jul 2013

Total posts 28

I would suggest that given you can family pool all your SC's into one account for all flying members it is best that you start with VA and set up family pooling before you fly. This should easliy make you gold..

VA will get you into SQ lounge in Australia and other ports. Also, I think if flying business that often you will be able to retain Platinum for a period of time. And as you said, intercontinential flights would be business so you should not have a problem with any of the lounges.. VA platinum does have a family booking reward flight guarantee but have neven availed it so no clues on how good or bad it is.

markpk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Nov 2013

Total posts 436

Not sure I agree with TRB - I can see some real value in going all in with Qantas - the business class trips will accelerate Rooster very rapidly to QFF Platinum and the travel frequency he notes would pretty much keep him there. Rooster notes he'll be based in Sydney so why not focus on Qantas where he'll utilise the best of their lounges (plus network)?

To address the questions:

  • Lounge and preferential lanes etc - Qantas
  • Miles redemption - Qantas again; they regularly have nice points earners for hotels booked through qantas.com so he can stock pile points for class upgrades when vacationing
  • Hotel loyalty - suggest signing up with Accor or Starwood - both have a growing range of business hotels and leisure hotels

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

markpk,

The point here is that you can still utilise the fabulous QF lounges and get fast track access via OW. Being a QFF member is not a prerequisite nor the only way to benefit from these perks. Hence this is a moot point.

Given the difference in benefits (lounge and fast track) is negligible, one has to consider the differences in earning and spend.

Earning: As indicated before on the matter of earning, QFF penalises when flying other OW carriers. Given too that the QF Asian network is not up to par and that there are no material detrimental effects to earning TP/Avios on QF's domestic network, then the opportunity cost of not using QFF is immaterial.

Spend: While it's true spending Avios is rubbish and is accompanied with significant copayments, the extent to which QFF is any better is questionable. If spending miles/avios/points is a criteria, then Aadvantage is the way to go. However I do not get the impression from Rooster that redemptions is an important factor for her/him (admit it...most of you assumed Rooster is male!).

Rooster

Member since 12 Jan 2016

Total posts 3

WOW! Thank you VERY much for all the detailed replies!! Very much appreciated... and yes, I'm male ;-)

Can you comment on/confirm below points I gathered from websites and your input. Actually the order also refelct my preference for the according perk:

  1. Fast Track when flying economy domestically: Are for both OW and Quantas FF really only Emerald/Platinum customers eligible for Fast track security?
  2. Quantas Domestic Lounge Access when flying economy domestically: On https://www.oneworld.com/ffp/lounge-access it says that neither OW Sapphire nor QFF Gold can access Qantas Domestic Business Lounges. What are the frequent traveller lounges like that this tier of customers have access to - if any?
  3. Upgrades on domestic flights: My impression is that Quantas first considers QFF customers and then OW. So basically OW customers have no chance. Is this correct?
  4. Family pooling with VA of course sounds interesting in my case, but can I easily redeem miles when I take return flights to Germany with my family via VA? Are the redemption opportunities better with BA or QF in this regard?
  5. How long will it take with VA to become platinum given the flight programm I descibed. Do they have regular promotions to accelerate?

Best regards from Germany!!!

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,109

Hi Rooster, just to touch on a couple of your questions:

  1. Fast track in domestic economy: Qantas allows Gold/Sapphire frequent flyers to use this too, despite the Oneworld rules for Emeralds only (you'll spot the Sapphire gemstone on the appropriate sign at the airport.)
  2. Qantas lounge: Sapphire/Gold can access the Qantas Club lounges which are separate to the business class lounges. Have a look at this review we published of the Qantas Club in Brisbane for a rough idea of what to expect: http://www.ausbt.com.au/qantas-club-domestic-lounge-brisbane-airport.

Rooster

Member since 12 Jan 2016

Total posts 3

Thanks Chris, for the Infos on questions 1 and 2!!

Does any of the other fellow travellers have answers on questions 3-5?

Thanks again and best regards!!

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