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CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD

CUBA IS THE FUTURE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND PERHAPS THE WORLD On my way out of Cuba, from La Habana, on COPA airlines flight to Panama, I w...

mercredi 1 octobre 2014

FREQUENT FLIER: THE GAME OF AIRLINE UPGRADES ON INTERCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS

FREQUENT FLIER: THE GAME OF AIRLINE UPGRADES ON INTERCONTINENTAL FLIGHTS
In the month of November, I have a flight scheduled from CMN Casablanca in Morocco to JFK in New York.
It is routed through Doha in Qatar.
Like many of us wait for the Nobel Prize announcement in early October, Frequent Fliers know of flying nefarious routes to accumulate the necessary miles to preserve their Elite Flying Status and the rush begins just about this time.
Being an Elite Top Tier Flyer has multiple benefits.
On a recent flight, I was able to use the Lounges at
Brussels, Istanbul, Colombo, Kuala Lumpur, Siem Reap
All because of the Elite Flyer Status. It was nice to sip a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at the Siem Reap Airport Lounge while waiting for a flight to Kuala Lumpur!
There are some lounges that are out of this world. Istanbul one is truly magnificent. There are shower facilities in many of these lounges to freshen up
Unlimited upgrades to First Class on Domestic Flights when available.
Domestic airfares are not as cheap as they used to be, but if you are upgraded on a regular basis, the fare burden becomes bearable. During this year of flying within the USA, I have to be grateful to have been upgraded almost all flights. My destinations are not exciting: Omaha, San Antonio; so the upgrades and the free drinks that come with it calms one down.
If you are not a regular flier, or if you are not an international flier, these things matter very little. US based airlines are not known for their in flight services but they are partnered with excellent airlines form other lands.
So far this year, I have been given the courtesy of flying Turkish Airlines, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Air Nippon, Qatar Airways.
To reach the top tier of Frequent Flyer Status, one has to fly 100,000 miles i.e. five round trips to Asia from the USA or 10 round trips to Europe from the USA. There are other ways to achieve this level, but it involves a lot of domestic flying within the USA.
I must admit that my Executive Platinum Status with American Airlines has been more than satisfactory during this year. During this coming year, I would like to attain an Elite Flyer status in a Persian Gulf based airline, and I have chosen Etihad, as it presents intriguing possibilities for me!
For those who are so inclined, here is a short summary of flights in the first 9 months of this year.
Remember the paradox of Frequent Flyer Status!
To reach the upper levels you have to pay and fly a lot and then you accumulate lots of miles and you get to fly a lot FREE! All means flying more!
I have a simple rule
I accumulate flying within the USA and to Europe and then use the miles to fly Free to Asia.
In summary, the fringe benefits of Frequent Flying are:
Upgrades to First or Business Class on long haul flights
Chance to fly, efficient Asian or Turkish or Qatar airlines! My preference among the Asian airlines are the Japanese ones: JAL and ANA
Of all the 19 long hauls flights this year, I have been upgraded to Business Class on every flight.
The longest flights had been
New York to Hong Kong
Chicago to Hong Kong
Hong Kong to Chicago
All around 14 to 15 hours.
Shortest long hauls have been
Japan-Singapore/Jakarta/Kuala Lumpur
Doha-Brussels
The most frequent has been USA to Europe, then USA to Asia
For me the most pleasant airport to arrive,
In the USA, it is definitely Miami and in
Europe, the laurel goes to London Heathrow.
The best airports to transit: Narita in Tokyo, Changi in Singapore, Doha in Qatar and Istanbul for their lounges.
In the next three months, I hope to pass through the following airports:
Brussels, London Heathrow, Miami, DFW, Omaha, Rapid City, Narita, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangalore, Jakarta, Casablanca, Doha; some of them more than once.
By 31 December 2014, I would have achieved Frequent Flier Elite status on both
One World and remain loyal to American Airlines
Star Alliance. I do not plan to fly Star Alliance in 2015 but shift my loyalty to Etihad Airways

Bon Voyage and Gracias for being able to be a Frequent Flier