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Old 02-26-2016, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
7,235 posts, read 4,128,251 times
Reputation: 15614

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
Alaska Airlines has code share agreements with the three major alliances. There was a devaluation recently with their FF miles, but for now, it still remains a really good program for those who for whatever reason can't be loyal to just one alliance. Just be aware that you might not earn 100% of the points flown for each partnership flight, which is not ideal, but a good way to keep from having orphan points with an account in each alliance.

You don't have to actually fly Alaskan Airlines, just fly with any of their partners and credit the flights to your Mileage Plan account. You can then use the miles for any of the airlines in their partnership.


https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...-overview.aspx

It's Alaska Airlines, not Alaskan.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:57 AM
 
2,288 posts, read 3,932,287 times
Reputation: 2055
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gramercy View Post
Alaska Airlines has code share agreements with the three major alliances. There was a devaluation recently with their FF miles, but for now, it still remains a really good program for those who for whatever reason can't be loyal to just one alliance. Just be aware that you might not earn 100% of the points flown for each partnership flight, which is not ideal, but a good way to keep from having orphan points with an account in each alliance.
A few comments regarding the above and the OP:

OP mentioned he wanted upgrades to business class. You cannot upgrade on partner airlines using Alaska miles, you'd need to have miles for the whole ticket. You can only upgrade on Alaska flights.

Alaska doesn't have (award) agreements with alliances, they have agreements with specific airlines within those alliances, and unless I'm mistaken none of their partner airlines are in Star Alliance.

Dd714 got it right -- if you don't spend/fly much, you're not getting status, so you aren't getting upgrades unless you pay for them. With United MileagePlus, you can upgrade to business on United flights from basically any paid coach ticket, but be prepared to pay miles+cash ("co-pay") to do so (e.g. 30k miles + $600 co-pay for an upgrade from discount economy, when the business award itself is 70k-80k miles). But if the flight is on other Star Alliance airlines (e.g. Air China, ANA, Thai, Singapore), you likely won't be able to pay miles to upgrade at all if you bought a discount economy ticket.

I agree with Aredhel that the biggest downside to KrisFlyer is the unconditional points expiration. If you don't fly much your points may expire before you are able to use them, but given the many options to credit to KrisFlyer, if the OP is ready to play the credit card game (and the award travel availability game, which is just as important) then he could get some good value out of it.
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Old 02-26-2016, 02:03 PM
 
1,789 posts, read 1,448,665 times
Reputation: 3680
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh12 View Post
I have been travelling all my life (25 years) but have yet to join a Travel Rewards program (i.e. KrisFlyer, United Mileage Plus, etc). I recently opened up the Chase Sapphire Card so that I could gain points to transfer to its rewards programs. I was just wondering which program I should join? I was thinking of join one that participates in the Star Alliance (as that contains the most airlines). Also, I don't travel too often (a couple of times a year by plane) so I'm mainly looking for programs that could allow me to more affordably upgrade to business class. I mostly travel to Asia from the United States.

Any advice would be helpful
I would go with Krisflyer if I was wanting to purchase business or first class fares with miles. They make spending all those miles on a First class ticket worth it. Hard to beat SQ first class.

Upgrades are generally not worth spending Airline miles on. You generally want to spend them on Award tickets.

With an upgrade you have to buy the ticket, then pay the mileage cost then then pay the fees and taxes which are usually substantial. Its almost always cheaper to just use the miles to get an Award ticket.

If you have tickets/itens from recent trips you may be able to persuade the Airline to credit your account for those miles. They usually have a way to submit stuff like that but there will be a cutoff day.

If you need to fly to other locations in Asia say...Japan on a regular basis and its out of the way or costs too much to use SQ then you should look at airline programs from the big 3 in the US. Its going to be your best option.

Really there isn't much difference in United or Delta programs. Delta set the bar for the worst program in the world and United matched it at the bottom as quick as they could. If you see Delta making a crappy change to their mileage program you can be sure that United will make the same change in a few months. American is now moving in the same direction also.

They all are making it more difficult to earn miles by flying, greatly increased the number miles it takes to get a ticket, and have watered down the other program benefits at the same time. Its a really big change. I feel like its gotten to the point where people would save more money by just buying the cheapest ticket and ignoring the frequent flyer programs. Unless you get lots of miles from a credit card program or your job has you flying a lot then I think its something that has lost most of its appeal.

Last edited by justanokie; 02-26-2016 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:00 PM
 
Location: NYC, CHI, UK
465 posts, read 430,210 times
Reputation: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
It's Alaska Airlines, not Alaskan.
My deepest regrets for mistakenly adding a letter "n" at the end, despite identifying it early in the post as Alaska Airlines and providing a link to the Alaska Airline's site.
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:12 PM
 
Location: NYC, CHI, UK
465 posts, read 430,210 times
Reputation: 739
Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
A few comments regarding the above and the OP:

OP mentioned he wanted upgrades to business class. You cannot upgrade on partner airlines using Alaska miles, you'd need to have miles for the whole ticket. You can only upgrade on Alaska flights.

Alaska doesn't have (award) agreements with alliances, they have agreements with specific airlines within those alliances, and unless I'm mistaken none of their partner airlines are in Star Alliance.

Dd714 got it right -- if you don't spend/fly much, you're not getting status, so you aren't getting upgrades unless you pay for them. With United MileagePlus, you can upgrade to business on United flights from basically any paid coach ticket, but be prepared to pay miles+cash ("co-pay") to do so (e.g. 30k miles + $600 co-pay for an upgrade from discount economy, when the business award itself is 70k-80k miles). But if the flight is on other Star Alliance airlines (e.g. Air China, ANA, Thai, Singapore), you likely won't be able to pay miles to upgrade at all if you bought a discount economy ticket.

I agree with Aredhel that the biggest downside to KrisFlyer is the unconditional points expiration. If you don't fly much your points may expire before you are able to use them, but given the many options to credit to KrisFlyer, if the OP is ready to play the credit card game (and the award travel availability game, which is just as important) then he could get some good value out of it.
My bad for the mistakes. Why did I think they had partner airlines in Star Alliance? Also, looking back at my post, I did mean to specify that it wasn't the alliances as a whole, but only specific airlines within the alliances. Oops!

But yeah, if you're not going to fly much --> no status.
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Old 02-26-2016, 09:24 PM
 
17,256 posts, read 10,183,539 times
Reputation: 28775
I am member of multiple airline programs.

I have used Delta Skymile program the most, but haven't flown with them the past few years. Maybe it's just me but their flights just seemed to have gotten more and more expensive.

Their economy flights to some destinations are nearing two grand, and business class? Christ, as much as first class on some airlines.
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:05 PM
 
189 posts, read 255,258 times
Reputation: 101
Would I be able to get award seats when booking through Kayak or Expedia? Or do I have to book it through programs like KrisFlyer or United Mileage Plus?
Also, would I be able to earn points from miles while booking through these programs? Or do I have to book it through a specific airlines (like Avianca, etc)
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Old 03-02-2016, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,581 posts, read 11,067,923 times
Reputation: 10292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
I take the cash rewards from our heaviky used credit card instead if miles. We fly coach and my ex accountant brain says we're ahead by getting cash instead if miles.
Depends on where you fly and when. For example, my flights back and forth to Calgary from Houston when needed were running about $1100 return. United values that flight on saver at 25,000 miles. If I just convert the points to dollars, the return is usually a penny a point, so my 25,000 points is worth $250 of airfare.


I get over 4x the value by using points and being beholden to availability of reward seats, which generally has been very good overall.


The three of us are flying Africa this summer. 270K points, or at the time $1030 a ticket. It turns out to be a wash value wise.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:51 PM
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11,386 posts, read 10,513,096 times
Reputation: 6606
Since you have the Chase Sapphire card and will presumably be getting the sign-up bonus, put all your spend on that to get United miles. Myself, I'm loyal to JetBlue and Delta.
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:55 PM
 
12,275 posts, read 18,397,848 times
Reputation: 19098
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oistrakh12 View Post
Would I be able to get award seats when booking through Kayak or Expedia? Or do I have to book it through programs like KrisFlyer or United Mileage Plus?
Also, would I be able to earn points from miles while booking through these programs? Or do I have to book it through a specific airlines (like Avianca, etc)
You get award seats by booking via the airlines web site or calling them.
For that matter, you should be booking ALL your air travel through the airlines web site to ensure the best service, best price, and least hassle - after using a good search engine to identify cheapest route and price. You aren't getting any bargains using Kayak or Expedia - you know that right? You are probably paying too much for an airline ticket.
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