2015 is just a couple of weeks away and that means us frequent flyers will soon be going from XXXXXXXX number of status miles to 0 status miles overnight. As far as my loyalties go, I only have airline elite status that I’ve earned and continue to re-qualify for, I do also have SPG Gold (thanks to the AMEX Platinum Card), Hilton Gold (thanks to the Hilton credit card), and Club Carlson Gold (thanks to the credit card also). Even if I didn’t have hotel elite status, I wouldn’t go out of my way to earn it since the past couple of years I’ve only stayed at hotels for only around 15 nights in a year… so no value there! When I do have to stay, I usually redeem hotel points or find super-cheap hotels on Expedia since I could care less about how the hotel looks like since I am out in the city exploring the whole day and only sleep in the hotel.
For 2015 I will NOT be switching my airline frequent flyer programme. I have been loyal to Miles & More since 2009 and I think (while the mileage requirement for status is high), the benefits in return are well worth it. Let’s just say the two upgrade vouchers, executive mileage bonus, booking guarantee, improved flight award availability, and etc. are super valuable to me and I will gladly go out of my way to earn Senator status, which requires 100k status miles in one year and then the status is valid for two consecutive years in one of which you have to re-qualify. So for the past couple of years, I’ve been following this method: revenue tickets in year 1, award tickets in year 2, revenue for year 3, award for year 4 and so on. This is awesome since I do not have to re-qualify each year and I can use the miles earned in the previous year on trips the next year. Generally it works well and the ‘enhancements’ haven’t been as bad as U.S.-based airlines’ frequent flyer programmes. When I am in the U.S., the only option I have is to fly United and I’m perfectly happy with that, oh how I love flying United on ‘A’ fares and then crediting to Miles & More.
My hotel elite status will be renewed when the credit cards renew and since the annual fee isn’t so much (except for the Platinum card), they are worth keeping for the few nights that I do stay at a hotel.
Going back to airline elite status… I was actually thinking about earning elite status with oneworld since there are more and more oneworld airlines flying into several Polish cities starting next year and I thought it would be nice to have that. I need help choosing a oneworld frequent flyer programme. From my research, AAdvantage seems like the best option but Executive Club isn’t bad either… so I would love to hear what you guys would suggest.