Alternative Frequent Flyer Program

By icllymy | Nov 02, 2017, 12:45 PM
I would be grateful for some advice. Recently, my employer has instituted that we have to go with the cheapest quote, which inevitably means VA as the company has appears to have a preferred airline arrangement with them. VA were willing to status match as I am current QF Platinum and Lifetime Gold, and although retaining platinum status is easier with VA, their benefits above gold is not fantastic. While moving to VA would be fine with flights to the US, it is hard to fly with them or Etihad to the UK/Europe as they do not have premium economy, which I mainly fly on for longhaul (SQ has PE but they almost always never show up on the VA booking site? Also SQ). It would also seem that VA has poor lounge access (e.g., the SQ lounge has no showers for VA frequent flyers). Being based out of Melbourne, is there a good alternative to Virgin Velocity? I mainly fly 1-2 trips to the US, 1 to Europe, 1-2 to Singapore/HK (economy) and a few domestic trips (economy). 
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By xtfer | Nov 02, 2017, 02:51 PM

If you are stuck with the cheapest quote, it becomes somewhat academic, doesn't it?


Arguably SQ has one of the best PE products globally, and there are lots of options in Changi. Yes, the SilverKris lounge is not great, but you can schedule a longer layover and book into any one of three excellent airside hotels, or get yourself a lounge membership that gives you access to one with showers, like the SATS lounge.
Last edited by xtfer at Nov 02, 2017, 02.51 PM.
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By Longtoo | Nov 02, 2017, 04:14 PM
It would a big drop from QF WP since VA does not have any first class lounge in Australia. To the OP: Perhap you can specify the time of your flight so that the cheapest quote will be with QF? with you travel pattern, it makes more sense to stick with QF as you can enjoy OW benefit.
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By icllymy | Nov 02, 2017, 04:50 PM
Thanks xtfer and Longtoo for the helpful suggestions. It is not quite that academic as there is some leeway in choosing flights if they can be justified (like shorter layovers or direct flights etc.). Unfortunately, QF is just so much more expensive than VA ($2k more for PE to the US) and the flights to the US are comparable in terms of duration and number of stops. A question: is it better to join SQ Krisflyer and credit VA flights to it, as at least SQ is part of Star Alliance and so would have more reciprocal lounge benefits and worldwide connections? The downside I can see is that it would require more for top tier status and the points expire over 3 years.
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By Yanni | Nov 02, 2017, 08:25 PM
In terms of benefits at Gold Status for VA vs. SQ, I'd be choosing SQ all day everyday. As you mentioned, the perks will extend across the full Star Alliance network which is much better than One World's or the partnerships with VA. The Star Alliance lounges are great too, and SQ mile redemption availability is very good relative to Qantas and Virgin. I also rate SQ's Premium Economy highly and with lots of options out of MEL with short layovers to rest of Asia and Europe, I'd be going Krisflyer provided you can reach at least Gold.
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By silvyvc | Nov 03, 2017, 10:56 AM
Sounds like SQ would be your choice, particularly if you are LT Gold with QF. VA has big issues with the lounges as they do not own international lounges and offering is inconsistent. At least with SQ you are part of an alliance (star alliance), which VA is not.
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By Spaniel | Nov 03, 2017, 11:33 AM
your international lounge access when flying VA as an SQ gold will be restricted.
eg. you can access the silverkris lounge in BNE prior to VA flight to LA but wont be able to access the Etihad and Emirates lounges that VA uses elsewhere for its Gold/plat/business guests flying to/from USA
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By green | Nov 04, 2017, 07:55 AM
One more variable, if you’ve not looked at it yet: sq or va may depend on where you go in the USA. E.g. va gold gets you into the Delta lounges and network. That might mean more pleasant/shorter connections in the USA depending on your usual destinations (Delta often seems to time good 30-40 min connections).
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