Friday, December 19, 2008

Benefits worth it to make Elite qualification before year end?

It’s nearing the end of the year and may be worth squeezing in a last flight to make the elite qualification because it is based on the calendar year (January 1 - December 31). Remember that you need ELITE miles not bonus miles.

Flew to SFO but a lot of unseasoned travelers are in the air this week before Christmas, so it is a mess at the airport with temper fuses very low.5 hour delays in New York.... The San Francisco flights on CO are all overbooked this week and I saw people getting ugly for a seat so it may not be worth it to make that flight.
Continental airlines gives Silver Elite to passengers flying 25,000 Elite qualification miles or 30 points GOLD needs 50,000 miles and Platinum needs 75,000 elite qualification miles.
The American Airlines, AAdvantage Executive Platinum requirement is fly 100 Elite qualifying segments or 100,000 miles. It may be worth taking advantage of an offer for example; -
AA has a December fare sale to fly from Washington Reagan Nat'l, DC to Cancun, Mexico for only $101.
The 2008 AAdvantage Executive Platinum requirement is fly 100 Elite qualifying segments or 100,000 miles.
One of the best benefits is SkyTeam Partner Lounge Access, available to One Pass Plat members with SkyTeam Alliance Partners:

Aeroflot , AeroMéxico , Air France ,Alitalia ,China Southern Airlines, CSA CzechAirlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Northwest

Pity the best airline lounge is not part of the Sky Team or part of the One World Alliance. Virgin Atlantics new clubhouse is the best, - with a waterside in the Poolside Lounge where you can unwind and forget that you’re at an airport.
The OneworldAlliace, AAdvantage Executive Platinum members get oneworld Emerald status, which is recognized by all ten member airlines:

AmericanAirlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, LAN, Malev Quantas and Royal Jordanian.

Benefits with this group, include access on the day of travel to the First Class lounges, when traveling internationally, plus priority services.
All levels of One Pass elite get preferred economy class seating on Continental flights but not on Sky Team. But the truth is that the "preferred status is not handed out generously because each airline likes to look after their own customers first and also because they are too big to treat us well unless you work for a company with alot of clout.

Miles and More Senator status is like gold elite in other programs(100,000 / 130,000 status miles in a given calendar year to qualify) - and their highest is HON CIRCLE Members needing 600,000 HON Circle miles.

The Star Alliance members are:

Air Canada Air China Air New Zealand, ANA Asiana Airlines, Austrian bmi EgyptAir, LOT Polish Airlines,Scandinavian Airlines Shanghai Airlines Singapore Airlines,South African Airways Spanair Portugal ,THAI,Turkish Airlines, United,US Airways, Lufthansa, South African Airways.

Star Alliance Gold Customers Travelling in Any Class have access to any Star Alliance member carriers' owned lounges with the Star Alliance Gold logo at the entrance. United and US Airways Star Alliance Gold customers are only eligible for lounge access when travelling in conjunction with a Star Alliance international flight. Lufthansa’s a Miles & More members and Lufthansa International First Class Customers have access to International First Class and/or any Star Alliance member carriers' own lounges but you would probably be a paid lounge member if you fly that much because seasoned travelers don’t buy first class tickets often.

I did buy a first class ticket last month because the difference between first and economy was only about $50 but that does not happen very often. I prefer to take my chances on an upgrade since that is the main reason that I strive for elite status.

I am elite but have had a middle seat on Continental because you have to be ticketed in J/D/Z/C/A/Y class of service to qualify for their "No Middle Seat" Guarantee.

"No Middle Seat" Guarantee: To ensure a comfortable flight they will guarantee that you receive a window or aisle seat in Economy Class if you are not upgraded to the front cabin when you purchase a full fare on Continental Airlines and Continental Micronesia operated flights. CO will automatically reward One Pass
members with 2,500 OnePass miles if they do sit in a middle seat.
So it depends on the fine print. –‘Not fun reading the fine print and searching for the ticketed letter when squashed in a middle seat.

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