Reader Question: How To Choose Oneworld Program Where To Credit Flights?


A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about which airline to choose from an airline for infrequent travel.

Japan Airlines

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Here’s the email from the reader:

I am based in Singapore, and travel to Bangkok quite often. I booked a holiday in December on Japan Airlines from BKK as they had very good discounted Business Class fares.

I have always been Star Alliance member, but I joined Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways frequent flyer programme in the past due to one-off trips and not accumulated many miles.

My question is for my upcoming trip, should I sign up for JAL frequent flyer programme?  Or should I accrue to Cathay or any other member airline?

It would be great if I could use the miles to redeem or partly pay for either a Bangkok, Hong Kong or another holiday at longer destination (can be Japan, MiddleEast or Europe) next year.

Any other tips with OneWorld? Many thanks.

It would make sense to choose one program for Oneworld and try to stick to it especially if one is mainly Star Alliance flier and travels less frequently on Oneworld.

I would probably look into BA’s Executive Club that is quite good for short-haul flights in Asia (elsewhere as well) and fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights are reasonable or almost non-existent.

Also, you can basically buy Avios at a reasonable rate during the redemption process by substituting part by cash.

You need to book certain Cathay and Cathay Dragon flights minimum week in advance due to “fraud” ( could be revenue protection as well) when using Avios.

I credit majority of my Oneworld flights to British Airways but have lifetime status with American Airlines as well and can sometimes credit to Alaska’s Mileage Plan when it makes sense.


I have Oneworld covered with AA and BA, Star Alliance with SQ and UA (do have LifeMiles account too but not for crediting flights) and SkyTeam with DL and AF-KL’s Flying Blue. Luckily, I cleared by Airberlin account few months back by redeeming BKK-HEL on Finnair’s business class.

You sometimes must adjust your plans going forward if the frequent flier plans that you use make sense or not. I have looked at the JAL and may credit some non-flight activity there in sometime in the next 12 months after looking at their award charts.