Jump to content

  •     

Photo

Best airlines for reward seats


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 reader

reader

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,304 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 May 2018 - 09:18 PM

From CNBC

 

Reward-Seat-Survey-Graphic-2018.jpg

 

Ready to cash in some of your frequent-flyer miles? You're in luck.

 

The chance of getting an award seat has improved from several years ago.

 

Availability is now about 74 percent, according to the CarTrawler Reward Seat Availability Survey, which was released Wednesday. Eight years ago, award tickets were available 66 percent of the time, and 71 percent by 2013.

 

"Five years ago it was a pretty ugly sight," said Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks Company, which conducted the study for CarTrawler.

 

Airlines want loyal customers so it is in their interest to make award seats more available, Sorensen said.

 

Airlines also generate revenue from selling frequent-flyer miles to banks when customers with co-branded or rewards credit cards use those cards, another reason for keeping those travelers happy, spending and returning to the airline.

 

Major airlines have made it more difficult for many travelers to earn miles by flying. Instead of the old model of rewarding travelers for how far they fly, they now reward them based on how much they pay for their tickets.

 

https://www.cnbc.com...-best-shot.html

 



#2 ggobkk

ggobkk

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 648 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berkeley USA

Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:58 AM

Looks like American has significantly improved.  As I understand the survey, it tested both long haul and commuter award availability on major routes.  To date the best value for my miles has been for international business class.  



#3 PeterRS

PeterRS

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 554 posts

Posted 17 May 2018 - 12:45 PM

I pay very little attention to this sort of poll. Fact is they are only as good as the specific questions they asks and the specific routes they check. My experience has been that long haul non stop biz travel between the UK and Thailand is very difficult unless dates are locked in up to 10 months ahead. Sometimes availability is better with a plane change en route. But then the problem can be lengthy delays. I once had an 8 hour connection in Dubai. Even with biz class this was exhausting and a waste of the extra miles.



#4 paulfort

paulfort

    Contributor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 89 posts

Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:04 AM

When I first started flying to Thailand normally twice a year from London about 14 years ago, As the cheapest and I felt a change of flights preferable to such a long trip in economy,  I used Gulf air changing in Bahrain, booking in economy, but after a few flights reached their loyalty higher tier and whilst the change of flights became a pain in the neck, benefited from lounge access and probably every 5th or so flight got an upgrade at the gate in to business (usually on the Bahrain to Bangkok leg)   in addition to there very occasional planned miles upgrade but that was not very generous. I have since used Jet a bit via India, their miles upgrade gives you an upgrade from economy in to business after about 3 to 4 return trips, but Mumbai was stressful  for a change of flights!

More recently I have enjoyed EVA direct from LHR to BKK normally traveling in their premium economy "Elite" cabin, but once at their "Infinity Miles" star alliance silver level the rewards stack up quick giving an upgrade from Elite which I found pretty good into Business "Royal Laurel" which is excellent  after only a few flights, so much so that now I am booking their Royal Laurel going out and Elite on return, which yes does cost a lot more but the miles rewards will stack up even faster and for me at 6ft 2" means I can look forward to both legs (well at least my outward trip!) Needless to say lounge access at both ends just a further added bonus so would suggest well worth the effort and signing up to their loyalty program !  



#5 GWMinUS

GWMinUS

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 239 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Posted 18 May 2018 - 08:06 AM

I can see that both American and United are in the middle of the list.

Once got a "free" trip on United traveling to the Philippines.

But it was not really worth it.

Had to change to ANA in in Japan. Arrived at 11PM and the flight to Manila was not until 7AM the next day

Had to cough up for a short term nap in the Airport Hotel.

On the return flight from Manila, ANA tried to bump me.

I had to show them all my onward flights on United to my home airport.

I was the last passenger they put on board.

After that I cancelled my United Credit Card and said, NEVER AGAIN!!



#6 vinapu

vinapu

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,744 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 May 2018 - 09:48 AM

My best reward when flying to Asia  is fast connection at cheapest price and for quite a few years I don't bother with collecting miles as my loyalty is to my wallet.



#7 reader

reader

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,304 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 May 2018 - 06:06 PM

Used to be a loyal Dela customer until they pulled out of BKK and began partnering with some mainland China carriers. I, too, now shop by price and favorable arrival and departure times on the more dependable carriers.

 

For a while the three major mid-east carriers were offering great business fares but all three have since jacked up prices. Qatar has now adopted first-class pricing for its biz class product and is highest in the industry into BKK from most US locations.

 

On next trip I'll be using ANA for second time. I think the Japanese handle transit passengers very efficiently at Naraita and Haneda.

 

I avoid British Air, AIr France and Lufthansa because of frequent job actions that could disrupt a trip.

 

Although I have not flown Cathay Pacific, they have some great short duration flights out of many US and Canada locations that all connect in Hong Kong.

 

 



#8 z909

z909

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,712 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:20 PM

I kind of see the attraction of points for frequent travelers with legacy airlines & in particular, for those who make frequent business trips, with the employer paying for the flights and the employee picking up the points.    I presume the latter point is what oils the wheels of this strange system.

 

For the rest of us, as far as I can see, points have no relevance.

 

Last year, I made one long haul business trip and one long haul holiday flight.   Total 4 flights, or 2 returns.

I think it was about 6 short haul holiday flights and 4 short haul business flights, all with low cost carriers & no points.

 

I've never bothered researching this, but if I use the same airline alliance (another word for cartel), exactly how many long haul flights do I need in a year, before the points become useful ?     Bear in mind, I would purchase the lowest cost ticket for any class of travel.

 

Also, for long haul flights, the choice of carrier may be very limited.   From home, I have 5, possibly 8 candidate international airports within easy travelling distance.  5 airports within 1.25 hours, including Heathrow, which remains one of the busiest international airports.    

Yet, for any DIRECT route, there will be a limited number of options.   To Bangkok, it is 3 airlines.    



#9 PeterRS

PeterRS

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 554 posts

Posted 05 June 2018 - 08:42 PM

I fear z909 is never going to accumulate enough flights and miles apart perhaps from one from London to Jersey. When these schemes were first introduced (by an American airline, I believe) there was basically two classes of service in that country - coach and first and a very limited number of different fares. They were primarily a means to get customers to keep rebooking the same airline.

 

For some years those who travelled a lot did gain a lots of miles. There were even websites devoted to mileage junkies. Up would pop a special fare for a round trip from Denver taking in Seattle, San Francisco, Colorado Springs, Los Angeles and back to Denver. These last minute cheap specials could generate as much as 10,000 mlles in the space of a day for those mad enough to take them. 

 

Now economy is split into something like 15 basic classes. Fly on the cheapest fare? Forget miles. Fly on a mid-price fare and you'll probably get half miles. Only the top payers get the full 100%. Since the difference between the lowest and the top fare can be well over 150%, who in their right mind will cough up so much for so few miles. Unless they are business travellers whose travel is paid by their companies.

 

Now even business flyers are getting miles according to the price they pay - not the fact they are sitting in business class. A few years ago a Bangkok to Singapore business class ticket could be achieved after about 7 return flights. Now think more like 12. 

 

Maybe the best way to accumulate miles is to get a credit card attached to a mileage programme and keep using only it. In the US, you can get up to about 100,000 miles just for spend around $2,000 on the card in the first three months. AFIK that is not available elsewhere. The most I have seen is a sign up bonus of about 6,000 miles. Use that card for all your purchases, though, and you could well end up with an economy ticket to somewhere within a year.

 

But watch your chosen airline's profitability. A friend of mine in Oz had accumulated 370,000 miles on Ansett. When it suddenly went bust, he lost the lot.



#10 paulsf

paulsf

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 607 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ft.lauderdale

Posted 05 June 2018 - 09:07 PM

A round trip to Bangkok earns me 40,000 miles. So 2 trips earns me a Business Class ticket.
While I don’t totally disagree with you about mileage earning, it’s not all that bad. Miles can be used for upgrades also.
That’s where I use most of mine.

#11 PeterRS

PeterRS

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 554 posts

Posted 06 June 2018 - 12:53 PM

I am genuinely curious. How is it possible to get 40K miles for one return trip. Is your flight from SFO to BKK? Are you getting those miles in Coach or Biz? The basic mileage should be around 8,000-9,000. With 25% biz bonus, that should not be more than about 22,500. Even at 80,000 miles, how does that earn a free biz class ticket? I am obviously flying on the wrong airlines!

 

If you fly Europe to BKK in biz, you get around 6,000 x 2 x 1.25 = 15,000 miles. For a free ticket you need 120,000 to 150,000 miles - i.e.after a minimum 8 return trips.



#12 paulsf

paulsf

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 607 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ft.lauderdale

Posted 06 June 2018 - 08:49 PM

My trips are from Miami. I fly Miam-Boston-Hkg-Bkk. I get about 8k base miles and about 9k miles for fare and status. This is in Premium Economy. If I fly American Airlines I can buy Economy fare and upgrade to Business. Trip last month was 17,530. That’s one way. Round trip 35,060. This is with Cathay Pacific. Then throw in the miles I get from Miami to Boston, or LAX or SFO, if I go that way, and I’m just about at the 40k point.

A Business Class ticket on One World airlines is 70k miles. Upgrades can be had for 25K . When I retired I had 1.5 million miles.
I used miles mostly for upgrades, that way you still earn miles. Do free trips when fares are high.

#13 PeterRS

PeterRS

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 554 posts

Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:17 PM

Many thanks for the info. Very interesting. It doesn't seem fair that a business class return London to BKK is 120,000 miles using the CX Asia Miles programme and soon to go up to 130,000.  70K miles for a trans pacific return on a longer route is a huge bargain.



#14 paulsf

paulsf

    Connoisseur

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 607 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ft.lauderdale

Posted 06 June 2018 - 11:30 PM

I’m not using Asia Miles, when I fly Cathay I post my miles to My American Airlines account. I use my American miles for Business seats on Cathay. It’s true there is lots of wheeling and dealing trying to use miles. British Airways would work great for me, but their fee’s on a mileage Business seat is more than buying an economy seat and upgrade on American.

A few years ago all the airline programs were pretty much the same. Not so much anymore. You really have to do some homework to keep up with it. Many on here say they just look for cheapest ticket they can find and don’t care about mileage accounts. Nothing wrong with that. For me, I’ll continue to play with alliances as long as it works. So far I have never in 10 years have had to fly to Bkk in Economy. I’ve never bought more than a PE fare. Hopefully I can keep it going. Time will tell.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users