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Topic # 94950 22-Dec-2011 22:44
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Given that I got my SmartOne card recently.  I just wondered how much I still use these air mileage companies.  How much are you guys into them now??

In the past I used to get international rewards with AirNZ but since they gone to Airpoint Dollars it's been too hard.  Also with the introduction of low cost carriers such as Air Asia and Jetstar my last AirNZ was the reward i got to Japan in 2004, the only rewards I got then was just domestic flights to connect my international flights. 


The cheap fares don't get any points.  So it generally means a $1900 fare to Asia or $2200 to Canada or $2600 to Europe or a bit of discount involved at times but not toooo much so it gets points. 

Some people speak highly of Silver and Gold status.  More easy to get them off another carrier like Star Alliance so you can enjoy them with AirNZ as well.  But even if you got Silver or Gold it means you need a full service carrier like Star Alliance to get enjoy the priviledges.  You cannot get Gold and then purchase a Air Asia departing flight. 

So given that price difference, what do you guys do?  I mean NZ - Singapore is like $1200 anytime with Air Asia generally vs $1900 for AirNZ.  That's $700 diff per trip.  I guess if people were really keen maybe join one of the other Star Alliance fly once to the USA or EU to get Gold, much quicker than with AirNZ.  Then maybe stick to the really cheap fares of Star Alliance which does not give airpoints other than status points but you can enjoy the priviledges but for those you need to hunt for them cos they are not that frequently available and you need to be pretty flexible with the dates or simply pay the higher fares.  Would not it be a lot less fuss just to use the discount carriers and not bother with these loyalty schemes?



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  Reply # 560837 22-Dec-2011 22:50
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Flew to India recently via Singapore Airlines and entered my airpoints number in the rerwards scheme. Came back, waited about a month, nothing was added to my airpoints, submitted missing airpoints dollars form to AirNZ who came back to me after couple of days saying that because I flew 'N' class in Economy class, Singapore airlines does not hands out krisflyer miles or airpoints for it. There were few other classes they mentioned in the email. Was annoyed and angry that I was not told or shown which classes are eligible for airpoints or krisflyer miles on Singapore airlines website, when I paid for and booked my tickets. Did not even get any status points either.




Do whatever you want to do man.

  

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  Reply # 560838 22-Dec-2011 22:57
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billgates: Flew to India recently via Singapore Airlines and entered my airpoints number in the rerwards scheme. Came back, waited about a month, nothing was added to my airpoints, submitted missing airpoints dollars form to AirNZ who came back to me after couple of days saying that because I flew 'N' class in Economy class, Singapore airlines does not hands out krisflyer miles or airpoints for it. There were few other classes they mentioned in the email. Was annoyed and angry that I was not told or shown which classes are eligible for airpoints or krisflyer miles on Singapore airlines website, when I paid for and booked my tickets. Did not even get any status points either.


This exact thing happened to me a few years ago, 5 people going to the UK via Singapore airlines.

Booked with Flight Centre and was told at the time i would have more than enough points from the flights to take the whole family to Australia.

Came back and redeemed the points only to find you don't get any with a 'Y' class ticket.

That was the last time i flew with them or booked through flight centre. 



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  Reply # 560847 22-Dec-2011 23:53
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the nz site is also limuted. Other carriers list all the letter classes of each carrier and tell you if eligible and if so how many points. For more cheap fares if no air points airnz is the only one that give status i think. Partners don't. I joined asiana but not sure if i use star alliance.... just need a air asia link to usa

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  Reply # 560878 23-Dec-2011 08:56
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Note Star Alliance is not a carrier. It's a consortium of carriers sharing somethings.

I went all the way up to Gold Elite, now back at Silver. Upgrades are a good thing, and for the last five years I mainly flew business class, paying coach tickets. But they are making it harder and harder to get points, or use them.

In essence, airlines are the companies that will do anything to charge you everything.






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  Reply # 560884 23-Dec-2011 09:15
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I was meaning Star Alliance as in other carriers that NZders could choose instead of AirNZ.  But yeah we don't get the AirNZ itself benefits like upgrades if we belong to Singapore Airlines Krisflyer for eg. 

Upgrades doesn't really appeal to me.  People are more talkative and I rather get a reward flight instead.  I tend to use long haul only so upgrade points would cost a lot more.  But AirNZ for Silver is too hard.  3.5 trips to Asia return.  A no. of the other Star Alliance partner airlines gives you it in 1 return filght. 

The likes of Aegean or Asiana Airlines make it possible to get Gold a lot easier. 

But I was thinking that even though if you got Gold, you are at the mercy of needing to fly a Star Alliance airline like AirNZ, Singapore, United, Air Canada etc etc .. just to access the privileges.  If you flew with Air Asia you can't access them.  And even if you are to flog off the airpoints and just get a grab a seat special or other specials with a Star Alliance just would not it be a lot easier and cheaper to just go with the likes of Air Asia.  1.  One you don't need to look for grab a seat specials and then 2.  hoping the dates are compatible.



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  Reply # 560897 23-Dec-2011 09:50
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Just had a thought with these schemes. I know it is in place and some people may manipulate it. But for some people who fly often enough and which the company may pay would not it be a lot simpler for people to get what they pay for. Or just reward people for loyalty from how much they have paid instead.

Most of us go to the petrol station of the supermarket frequently enough, it's not that we ask for special treatment there.

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  Reply # 560902 23-Dec-2011 10:01
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jbard:
billgates: Flew to India recently via Singapore Airlines and entered my airpoints number in the rerwards scheme. Came back, waited about a month, nothing was added to my airpoints, submitted missing airpoints dollars form to AirNZ who came back to me after couple of days saying that because I flew 'N' class in Economy class, Singapore airlines does not hands out krisflyer miles or airpoints for it. There were few other classes they mentioned in the email. Was annoyed and angry that I was not told or shown which classes are eligible for airpoints or krisflyer miles on Singapore airlines website, when I paid for and booked my tickets. Did not even get any status points either.


This exact thing happened to me a few years ago, 5 people going to the UK via Singapore airlines.

Booked with Flight Centre and was told at the time i would have more than enough points from the flights to take the whole family to Australia.

Came back and redeemed the points only to find you don't get any with a 'Y' class ticket.

That was the last time i flew with them or booked through flight centre. 


That’s pretty standard.   I signed up a few years back fro various airmiles programs but quickly realised that I almost never took a qualifying flight.  If I choose to take a qualifying flight I might accrue some airmiles, but the flight would cost me several hundred dollars more than the non-qualifying one, and it was never ever worth it.

 

It’s like purchasing your washing machine from somewhere that gives you flybuys, even though that shop charges $100 more than other places.  You might get $10 worth of flybuys, but it cost you $100 to get them.  Massively false economy.

 

The only ‘points’ thing I do now is on my credit card because that is what I would otherwise use, but if any retailers want to charge me for using credit, then I use eftpos.



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  Reply # 560910 23-Dec-2011 10:13
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I am coming to the same conclusion.  Why bother when 1) you have cheaper flights with AirNZ or partners that does not get points and the like and 2) you have discount carriers where you don't necessarily need to look for sales and hope the timing is right and if you do look for sales the discount carriers are even cheaper.  Given that they now go to Asia and then on-route to Europe. 

I pretty much now just use my GlobalPlus to get domestic flights to Auckland for my international flights.  We are not even with Contact Energy anymore since they are so much more expensive.  And I think Telecom may have pulled out but are with Orcon anyway with our landline.

I think Air Mileage only appeals to people who really only travel in the peak periods where discount seats are not available and discount carriers blacklist them or at times more expensive than the traditional larger carriers.  Like if you travel only in the Christmas/New Year and School Holidays.

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  Reply # 560920 23-Dec-2011 10:38
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rayonline: I am coming to the same conclusion.  Why bother when 1) you have cheaper flights with AirNZ or partners that does not get points and the like and 2) you have discount carriers where you don't necessarily need to look for sales and hope the timing is right and if you do look for sales the discount carriers are even cheaper.  Given that they now go to Asia and then on-route to Europe. 

I pretty much now just use my GlobalPlus to get domestic flights to Auckland for my international flights.  We are not even with Contact Energy anymore since they are so much more expensive.  And I think Telecom may have pulled out but are with Orcon anyway with our landline.

I think Air Mileage only appeals to people who really only travel in the peak periods where discount seats are not available and discount carriers blacklist them or at times more expensive than the traditional larger carriers.  Like if you travel only in the Christmas/New Year and School Holidays.


yup, or business travellers

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  Reply # 561529 26-Dec-2011 13:30
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I joined United Milage Plus many years ago. All those airpoints were wasted as they kept changing their agreement, and communicating with them was near impossible (This was back when websites tended to be just an advertising page for the company rather than anything functional.) If I was going to join a flyer programme, I'd use an airline that operates in the country you live in.

I signed up with AirNZ's as it's free to join now. I used to not bother too much with using the card, because it seemed that very few flights actually gave you airpoints. With one overseas flight this past year, I've got enough to buy an expensive umbrella (which I might do, as I've heard trying to redeem points for flights can be pretty tedious).

They have Status points now on AirNZ, which is another point scheme with points that expire even sooner. If you've got a girlfriend in a different city, or you're going to be doing a lot of travelling, then you might get to Silver, which gets you into the Koru Club twice per year.

The new AirNZ card also functions as a debit card, and sort of like the Kiwibank 'Loaded' card. You can put money on in different currencies. I've decided to give it a go, although I'm worried about the fees. I'm going to Australia for a brief holiday, so am transferring over some NZD and will convert it to Aussie. They only charge fees if you have money in NZD, or if you are inactive for three months. I assume if I've got nothing at all in the account (I'll clear the AUD once I'm done with my trip) they won't charge fees.

What I'd do, is join the airpoints that are free, and redeem as soon as you can. And don't expect too much from them.



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  Reply # 561595 26-Dec-2011 18:22
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I have been with AirNZ since 1998.  Membership initially cost $100 which I paid.  Before they went to the Airpoint dollar thing in 2004, I got a return flight to Tokyo, another to Sydney and some domestic flights to connect my intl flights but not anymore. 

Re: the status.  Pretty hopeless I think.  I do mainly intl flights.  To get silver I need 4x return flights to Asia.  Silver requires 450 status points.  A economy fare to Asia and back earns 130 status points.  I think cheap fares for long haul gets status points but no airpoints. 

Even if I had a close person to see in NZ, the status points only earn 16 return for those under 300km distance or 24 status points for those longer than 300km.  Like from Wellington to Auckland earns 24 status points per return trip.  450/24 = 18.75 trips required, haha, unless I fly full fare economy or something... which might give 32 per return trip = 14 trips per year.  *status points gets wiped every year and resetted.

4 return trips to Asia (AirNZ for Silver) I can get Gold with any other Star Alliance carriers with some restrictions, like United Airlines require their elite customers to have 4 flights on United Airlines per calendar year even if you meet the points.  They typically need 50,000 miles for Gold.  Silver is even easier at 25,000 miles.  A trip to Asia and back is generally 12,000 - 14,000 miles earned at a mile per point ie., Singapore or Hong Kong which I presume is gonna be similar to Korea/Japan as well. 



For free reward flights which I am more interested in.  The cheap flights don't get you points at least by AirNZ.  AirNZ needs $899 for a grab a seat to Asia right.  Each return flight to Asia that is not too cheap like a $1900 fare or perhaps $1600 at other times (I am assuming).  Each return flight gets 80 airpoints this is typically a booking class W or T fare.  So $899/80 = 11 trips required.  I am using $899 fares because other airlines don't give you peak time to travel anyway, they're pretty particular.  Of course you could get a $1900 fare, but that is $1900/80 = 25 flights required. 

BMI is pretty good at 3.5 flights and get one free with a small cash as well like $300.  Singapore Airlines, ANA (Japan), Air Canada requires 60,000 miles which is about 4 return flights done to get a reward. 

I am thinking of going to Aegean Airlines (Greek) or Asiana Airlines (South Korean), both of which are Star Alliance.  Perhaps Asiana.  Aegean needs just 4,000 for Silver or 20,000 for Gold.  Asiana needs 20,000 or 40,000 but gives you an extra year for a total of 2yr to get it.  They also depart from Australia and I do more Asia trips.  While Aegean is in Europe.


Re: the new Smartone card.  I have received mine.  To me the benefit is just the ability to use the ATMs more often.  Ie., instead of taking over $1000-2000 in cash I can use the ATMs and more safer.  As there are no fees for ATMs abroad.  But they still charge you fees in a NZ ATM.  While I do save on the FX comm charges it's not that substantial.  I don't use my credit card to take cash out, so while that might be 22.5% for a $1,000NZ withdrawal that is $22.50 but $22 isn't much by itself for a overseas trip.  If on the other hand, I swapped the cash in a NZ bank before I left the FX comm is only 1% or $10 per $1,000NZ exchanged.

For me now I just use my Globalplus credit card (AirNZ partner) and Flybuys and get the odd trip to Auckland to connect my international flight and the odd flight to Australia.  You know those grab a a seat one, haha. 

But again the thing is.  Even if I had a gold card, I cannot fly Air Asia or Jetstar and use the privileges.  I can only do that if I am flying a Star Alliance carrier.  So at least I need a gold card and fly grab a seat AirNZ fares for eg.  Low cost carriers have been tempting because the cheap AirNZ flights you gotta look for them and pray the dates suit you, while the low cost carriers have much more freq sales and greater date flexibility.


Edit.
Oh - the benefit of USA ones are that the cheap fares still get you points unlike here.  Hence some people are able to rack up impressive miles.  Particularly if you have a United frequent flyer membership and you fly continental United flights.

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