Points upgrade - One World.

6 replies

Wendyabroad

Member since 31 Jul 2016

Total posts 7

Points upgrade - One World.

Wendyabroad

Member since 31 Jul 2016

Total posts 7

I am really new to this, and while I have been loyal to QFF for sometime, am looking at changing. I am wondering whether any OneWorld program allows participants to use points to upgrade with another carrier. So, for example, if I have Cathay's Asia Miles, can I use my points to upgrade on a BA flight? 

I believe this is a lot more possible with Star Alliance, I just tend to travel more with OW. 

Thank you for your help!

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Hey Wendyabroad,

The only programmes that allows reciprocal upgrades is BA/IB and AA's programme. There is however a catch.

Upgrades only work from the highest fare inventory and only to the next class of service.

So for example:

  • If you're BAEC member flying AA JFK/LHR, you will need to be booked on Y or B in Economy to upgrade using Avios (BA's equivalent of points) to Business. Now, the reality is Y or B fares tend to be considerably cheaper than Business fares in I or even D inventory. So the upgrade feature is pretty much useless.
  • The same goes if you're an Aadvantage member flying on a BA service. Upgrades using Aadvantage miles are only available in Y or B bookings and in the case of BA, it is to PY since BA offers PY cabin in most mid/long haul segments.

When considering programme changes, think about:

  • The type of flights you'll take - long vs short haul, regional/domestic vs international - distance impacts upon status earning when gaming the system
  • The type of cabin you normally fly - this impacts ability to earn status, when gaming the system
  • The type of rewards/benefits that are important to you - not every programme is designed the same
  • The frequency of travel
  • Of course your budget

I suggest using your historical travel pattern as a starting point (unless future travel will be materially inconsistent). Work out what you'll earn, the cost and benefits for each programme. The right programme for you will emerge from this analysis.

 

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

Now, the reality is Y or B fares tend to be considerably more expensive cheaper than Business fares in I or even D inventory.

Wendyabroad

Member since 31 Jul 2016

Total posts 7

The Real Babushka, Thank you so much for your detailed post. Doing this kind of research is so confusing for me, and whilst I enjoy the game of it, it is a bit too much sometimes. Thank you for presenting it in an easy to understand way. The reality for me is that I don't live in Australia (I live in Asia) and the QF points just don't tend to get me too many places. I fly within Asia the most, with 2 or so long-haul flights to EU, Aus or US each year. I did also sign up for Singapore Airlines rewards program, but found it extremely hard to get any status. Asiana or Aegan seem to be working better for status. If anyone knows of any awesome OW programs for an Asian dweller, please do say! Thank you so much.

TheRealBabushka

Member since 21 Apr 2012

Total posts 2,059

If based in Asia, why dont you focus on CX's Marco Polo and BAEC.

In terms of awesomeness, only you can tell what's awesome for you - its very subjective. For me BAEC is awesome because I get the chance to earn Lifetime Gold. But CX's Marco Polo may be better as you would earn more club point on mid-tier inventory (thereby earning status sooner/more easily).

Start by establishing a set of typical sectors that you would fly annually. Work our what you'll earn under each programme and evaluate for yourself, which works out better.

I'd be very careful about accepting a third party's recommendation of a good programme, as what's good for that person may not be good for your set circumstances.

And airlines know, people generally cannot be arsed to investigate the best programme, so they lace their programme with all sorts of marketing fluff to give you an impression that you're signing up to something good. At the end of the day however, numbers do not lie.

 

 

Himeno

Member since 12 Dec 2012

Total posts 289

The only ways to upgrade on oneworld flights are:
- pay extra to either reissue the ticket in the higher cabin, or pay an upgrade fee should an airline happen to offer such for that flight.
- get an "opup", not something the pax can control.
- within the rules of a frequent flyer program. eg, QFF can only upgrade on QF coded, QF operated flights using points, while BA/AA can upgrade on each others flights as noted above.

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