Advice needed: Which Star Alliance program?

8 replies

andrewjason81

Member since 02 Jan 2019

Total posts 37

Here's my quandary:


I am a member of KrisFlyer and Thai FF programs. Silly, I know. I should only have one however there was a reason. Anyway, I am now living in HK and fly a bit within Asia but also my return trips back home to Melbourne/Adelaide so I would usually go with Qantas (yes I am a QF FF member) or Singapore Airlines. I also would be travelling to Europe.

I want to credit my miles with one program as I don't amass huge amounts so would prefer to accumulate and then reward myself with a cool business class reward (or upgrade). I have heard that United points don't expire (as they do with KrisFlyer and Thai) as long as one earns or burns points.


Is it worth crediting all future flights with United Mileage Plus? It is unlikely I would ever fly with United so would this be a problem?


Thanks in advance for your help.

Madhatter49

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 11 Dec 2016

Total posts 65

Are you staying in HK for the long term? It makes sense to use the airline that you will be able to easily get most use of to build up some status with. Which in your case will be Cathay Pacific who also have just about the best service level in Asia, coming close to SQ as equally as good, depending on who you argue with that is. Both SQ and CX win all the awards regularly.


If you are flying to Adelaide sometimes too. It's the logical choice as they are the only one with direct flights there from HK. All other airline's will need a transfer in some location.

Although if you're moving to another city again down the track, it is worth considering how long you will be based there. From what I assume based on your post, I think that you have moved about a bit. So it's important to also consider where you could be based in the future too. To build up status with one home airline and then move to a different city again where a more suitable home airline will offer better deals would be frustrating I personally feel.

Madhatter49

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 11 Dec 2016

Total posts 65

Sorry. Just realised that you specifically posted this in the *A forum as your post title says.


Then stick with SIA as they're going to be the most suitable. Why stick with a *A only option? That seems quite restrictive I think. As every trip you will need to transit via Singapore. Seems a whole lot more effort and likely higher cost for each trip than going to Oneworld and use CX.
The alliance itself shouldn't matter too much if you're looking long term.

andrewjason81

Member since 02 Jan 2019

Total posts 37

Sorry. Just realised that you specifically posted this in the *A forum as your post title says.

Then stick with SIA as they're going to be the most suitable. Why stick with a *A only option? That seems quite restrictive I think. As every trip you will need to transit via Singapore. Seems a whole lot more effort and likely higher cost for each trip than going to Oneworld and use CX.
The alliance itself shouldn't matter too much if you're looking long term.

Thanks. I actually am also a QF member so I use them as much as possible BUT many times return flights to aus using QF or CX is about $25-30k round trip in $HKD but SIA is usually about $20k. That's why I also want to have a *A program to funnel all my SIA and TG points to :)

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,091

Headline expanded and acronyms in the question have been replaced with 'real words': this helps all readers understand what's being asked and said. We ask users to avoid abbreviations like 'J', 'Y' and so on, because your average person doesn't know what those letters mean, nor should they need to on a mainstream travel website.

jch

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 15 Nov 2017

Total posts 143

Asiana has the lowest annual requirement of ~30k miles every two years once qualified (40k). If you make it to Europe once a year and can jump on four Agean flights (i.e do some island hopping or transfer through Athens) then their requirement is only 12k. Advantage of crediting to Singapore would be to combine points with Virgin Australia, but their status requirement is 40k a year.

Last editedby jch at May 17, 2019, 12:23 PM.

Sk4nder

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 11 May 2015

Total posts 11

Seconding Asiana here. Ditched SG in favour of OZ a few years ago and haven't looked back.

levinn

Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 19 Mar 2018

Total posts 9

Hong Kong sucks!

Really, Hong Kongers may believe they live in a democracy or something but the territory's hypocrisy in that they have no open skies agreement with any nation, means that fares are high, mileage earning is low or non existent. Hong Kong - Australia fllights ex HKG is twice the fare of the same flights ex AU

Book all youir Star Alliance flights as a non frequent flyer.

In spite of the benefits stated, non-frequent flyer passengers are the ones who are prioritized, called first, wayyyy before the elites. With elites airlines have achieved what they wanted, you sir, without a Star affiliation and just flying back and forth, are an income opportunity.

Also be open to looking at other airports. Many Hong Kongers recommend booking SIN-CAN then transferring to high-speed rail for West Kowloon being the cheapest way to fly SQ. Hong Kong sites also recommending flying 3K SIN-HKG and connecting at SIN for QF or SQ flights. Nobody does nonstop anymore. Why spend $2,500 on CX Economy nonstop when u have so many more options.

No one will recommend you do this, but you can jump straight into PPS Club if you fly SQ in economy flex, premium economy, business with weighted trips skewing toward business to the tune of S$15,000 within a 12 month period. You'll magically start receiving a gift package offer to join Singapore Airlines and an offer into PPS Club.

Especially if you're flying Northeast Asia, you'll most certainly experience situations where due to conflict of interest, you may not find any tangible benefits to a use as a member of frequent flyer program.

Asiana will find you earning nothing on Star Alliance flights, KF earns you nothing on TW - JP flights etc. As part of Northeast Asia Union's Golden Circle routes, everybody flying between Haneda, Gimpo, Songshan, Capital and a few other city pairs, everybody in premium classes who are not connecting, earns 0 miles. Economy 100% mileage. Even HK - TW earns you 0 miles,

Besides my above suggestion of going a la carte, I'd recommend either HSBC or DBS World Elite UnionPay MasterCard. (If you're not used to paying with ApplePay, Google Pay, and by extension the rest, UnionPay is like the equivalent of Singapore's Citbank Dining Rewards, except it's on retail and food.

good luck

levinn

Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 19 Mar 2018

Total posts 9

Regarding 3K,

travel sites say it is the fastest way to get to HKG, being elapsed at 3hr45min with 99% OTP.

This is compared to SQ, which averages 4h25min with 76% OTP.

CX is even wotrse.

Prior to protests, SIN HKG was already facing an issue of over bunching, with SQ, CX often canceling last flights, or accomodating passengers on each other's flights. It really depends. SIN-HKG friday nights are bad... real bad. SQ sends some PPS and Solitaire PPS on Scoot redeyes to Macau, so that could be a flight to check out.

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