Just wondering how many of you actually use airline miles programs. I don’t but probably should considering I have to leave the country every 6 months. Do you have to fly a lot to take advantage, or can just a couple trips a year (one of them being back to the States) really get you some nice perks? Any suggestions on good and bad miles programs? Thanks.
I use them…or at least have started to. I think the best answer to your question would be to ask the airlines. Check out the airlines that you fly the most often, see what their mile plans are like and sign up. It is free and can only benefit you.
I have mileage plans with JAL, United, and Alaska Air. JAL’s payout isnt bad…about 3 trips to the US should buy you a free ticket. They have some great upgrade plans too.
With United I can also gain miles through my shopping cards at grocery stores, gas stations, etc. They even have hotel partnerships that give you bonus miles too. United’s payout isnt as good as JAL…I am about half way to a free ticket.
I’ve been pretty happy with Alaska’s program, and have been able to get upgrades, free tickets, with few hassles. They also offer 1/2 price tickets for a certain amount of points, but this airline program is probably best for people who live on the North American West coast. Their partners are pretty well covered–Northwest, Continental, Cathay, KLM, Air France, plus online stores and such.
I am surprised how many miles I have been able to accumulate on EVA, partly due to earning miles from an ROC (Fubon) credit card. I have yet to redeem anything on it–does anyone have any experience with EVA’s program?
I’ve been flying back to the states once or twice a year for hte past 6 years and now my wife joins me. We only fly on China Air (despite the allegedly bad safety record), because the arrival and departure times and flight days work well for us. We’re members of their mileage plus club and have enjoyed good benefits such as use of their lounge before takeoff (including free food, alcohol, internet, comfy chairs), upgrade to business class and free flights. We also use our American Express cards as often as possible because it earns us miles. If you’ll be living in Asia for a while and returning home from time to time you should definitely join, as the long flight racks up lots of valuable miles.
I’ve been a member of different miles programs and have enjoyed the odd free flight or benefit. However, I;ve tended to disregard sticking iwth theprogram in preference to grabbing the best fare or departure/arrival time. In most instances the cost-savings have been considerable.
No great around the world free tickets, but I could have bought them with what I’ve saved by not adhering to a given program.
Mind you I now have my credit card linked to Asia Miles, while I haven’t bothered to fly according to Asia Miles carriers, I have logged up enough for decent free flights just by using the card.
All depends which direction you fly of course and if you want to be a frequent flyer of their programm…
Collected more than 150.00 miles on Skypass, but Asia Miles is cheaper “per mile” if you compare.
EVA and China Airlines tickets are cheaper in general, so miles more expensive to collect.
Over the years I have earned over 1.1 million miles on NWA Worldperks. I think I still have over 500,000 in the bank. I also have ff accounts with Eva and China Airlines which I use for my trips within Asia.
Alot of people complain that it is very difficult to cash in your miles with NWA. I haven’t had too many problems, but one thing that does piss me off is that you can’t buy the cheapest economy ticket and use miles to upgrade to business class. In order to upgrade, you need to buy a more expensive ticket.
I’m on the SIA Krisflyer program and am quite impressed. Scored a free return flight after just 3 return trips on the same sector.
Don’t use it now though as I don’t have much chance to fly SIA anymore.
China is easy to get high level and easy to redeem go to flyertalk.com to find out how bad skyteam is KLM NW etc, Star Alliance aint much better and both very difficult to redeem now unless you live in USA