A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question about where to credit a Swiss & Singapore Airlines business & first class combo that spans two calendar years.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I’m going around in circles trying to solve this puzzle myself, so thought it might be an interesting one to attack as a Reader Question. Any direction would be greatly appreciated!
As Australians living in Europe, my wife and I have booked a return trip from Amsterdam back to Sydney for Christmas. We managed to take advantage of the incredible Swiss Partner Sale from AMS on offer in January with a great value Business/First mixed itinerary.
When Operating Class Fare From To November 2021 SWISS Business P AMS ZRH SWISS Business P ZRH SIN Singapore Airlines Business P SIN SYD January 2022 Singapore Airlines First A SYD SIN Singapore Airlines First A SIN ZRH SWISS Business J ZRH AMS
The question is simply: where to credit? The default and simplest answer would be to Miles & More (our primary programme). However this is increasingly looking foolish for two reasons:
- This is unlikely to make a useful difference to Status given that the flights are split over two calendar years, and I already have FTL (Star Silver) status until February 2023.
- Miles & More crediting Award Miles based on $$ rather than class & route suggests that I’m not maximising the earnings potential of my deeply discounted fare.
So my goal is now to find the best possible crediting option, ultimately aiming to use this booking to:
- Achieve Star Gold
- Earn significantly more Award Miles than would be achieved through Miles & More
I have started looking into Singapore/KrisFlyer (as the operating carrier, an airline we will fly with often in the future, and strong award availability) and Aegean (purely due to earn rates). However when it comes to calculating the potential earnings across marketing vs operating carriers with different fare classes, I find myself in a complete muddle.
Thanks very much for any advice you’re able to provide!
Oneworld credits flights based on the marketing airlines, while Star Alliance credits are based on the operating one. If you are flying on a Star Alliance codeshare, it can be challenging to find the operating airline’s underlying fare class that can be different from the marketing airline’s one.
I have credit and redeemed with many Star Alliance programs, including United Airlines, Aegean, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Avianca, Air Canada, and perhaps some others.
Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles are useful when redeemed for their own flights. Their Star Alliance booking engine is crap and fees high. I have found that KrisFlyer has many credit cards and other partners that allow you to replenish your account when needed.
I have most recently credited all my Star Alliance flights to Aegean’s Miles+Bonus program because easy to book awards at reasonable levels due to lack of inflation from credit card and other partners.
Aegean’s Miles+Bonus works the best, in the beginning, if you can take two flights with Aegean (think of Greece vacation) and one return to the islands (four flights) to reach the Gold-status.
Renewals are more manageable due to lowered requirements with or without Aegean segments.
Here are Aegean Miles+Bonus Silver and Gold Requirements:
Let’s have a look at the flights:
- LX AMS-ZRH in P earns 500 miles (375 actual flown miles) on Aegean’s program (500 minimum per segment)
- LX ZRH-SIN in P earns 6405 miles on Aegean’s program
- SQ SIN-SYD in P earns 3908 miles on Aegean
These flights would earn a total of 10,813 miles in P if credited to Mikes+Bonus.
The reader would reach Silver status at this point if they take one return to Athens before these flights taking into account the miles earned on Aegean’s AMS-ATH-AMS (weekend in Athens?).
- SQ SYD-SIN is 3908 miles that would earn 5,862 elite qualifying miles on A3 in A
- SQ SIN-ZRH is 6405 miles that would earn 9,608 elite qualifying miles on A3 in A
- LX ZRH-AMS is 375 miles but earns 1,000 elite qualifying miles in J on A3
Note that these miles numbers could few off by a small number.
The return would be 16,460 elite qualifying miles if credited to Aegean. You would need 24,000 miles with four A3 segments to earn Gold-status.
The renewal is 24,000 elite qualifying miles without any Aegean segments and 12,000 if you have four or more Aegean flights.
You can use the Wheretocredit service to find out the number of miles earned on various fare classes.
I have started to like Aegean’s program for redeeming purposes because the rates are not, at least not yet, inflated to the levels like with other airlines such as United. There are some fuel surcharges to pay, though.
Starting with Aegean is a bit tricky because you first need to reach Silver, and your counter is then reset to zero, and you have 12 months to earn Gold.
Renewals are very easy even when you don’t fly Aegean due to only needing 24,000 tier miles, and even easier if you fly four-segment on them then just 12,000 tier miles.
Singapore Airlines KrisFflyer miles are useful when used their own flights due to much better availability than through partners. I have just found out that it is much easier, at least for me, to convert credit card points to SQ miles when needed. This is not possible with Aegean outside of some cards issued in Greece.