Last week, I wrote about my hotel strategy for 2013 that is rather clear. The situation, when it comes to airlines, is murkier.
What makes my life easier is the lifetime Premier Gold with United (1 million miles) and lifetime AA Platinum (2 million miles). I didn’t qualify for 1K last year with UA and will soon drop to my lifetime status. I qualified for Executive Platinum status with AA and will have the status until sometime in 2014.
Due to BMI merge to BA, I now have BA Gold until 2014 as well. My earned Emirates Gods is about to expire in March, 2013, but I may credit some flights there to renew the status. I had quite a few SkyTeam flights in 2012 that I credited to Delta. My Delta Gold (SkyTeam Elite Plus) is valid until early 2014.
I have bunch of statuses that I have matched i.e. Alaska MVP Gold(due to being able to credit EK flights), Etihad Gold (useful for Etihad and some other airlines such as UL/MH), SAS Eurobonus Gold (cannot trust United to get my Star Alliance credentials on time), and just did status match with Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue to Gold as well, although haven’t received the confirmation yet.
So, what IS my plan for 2013?
I am glad that I have the two lifetime statuses with alliances that I prefer most. I do fly SkyTeam once in a while, but they seem to be the weakest and most dysfunctional alliance.
It seems unlikely that I would renew AA EXP or BA Gold statuses, although I do take quite a few flights yearly with QR that I could easily credit to either of these two airlines once QR joins oneworld (late 2013/early 2014).
Now, that I am going to lose my Premier 1K status with United, I will likely start crediting my Star Alliance flights towards AviancaTaca’s LifeMiles that is likely the best Star program for long haul business/first class awards.
I will continue crediting Oneworld alliance flights to American’s Aadvantage program. I do fly a lot in the South East Asia. The joining of both Malaysian and Sri Lankan in to the alliance, will help me a lot.
Emirates and Etihad? I do like flying with Emirates, but I am not a huge fan either Dubai or the airport transit experience. Also, using the Skywards miles is not very rewarding experience.
As you can see, my plan with the airlines( and their programs) is pretty much up in the air compared to hotel ones. The lifetime statuses with United and American help me a lot and allows freedom to credit flights to other frequent flier programs while using their (UA’s/AA’s) status related alliance benefits.