Mar 15, 2014

Switching Airlines: Goodbye Aeroplan Hello LH Miles & More

Air Canada has decided to change their points system and as of 2013 made it nearly impossible for the average joe to accumulate enough miles to make Star Alliance Gold. After being Elite Gold for several years I was more than a little disappointed to see that my Elite Silver was basically useless. I still retained Gold like abilities with Air Canada... first class check ins, use of the lounges, etc etc... but unfortunately Air Canada doesn't fly everywhere in the world and they only have 2 international lounges. I was back to being Joe Bloe checking in with the rest of the "normals" and no ability to enjoy lounges as I travelled around the world.

When I made an even lower status in 2014 I officially decided to leave the Aeroplan point system entirely, and got my Lufthansa Miles & More card in the mail.
I figure if I"m gonna be Silver I may as well do it with an airline that has lounges in almost every major airport in the world!
Lufthansa also flies into Thailand and almost every country I travel to and through, so it's a lot better for me.
It's just the same difficulty to achieve status with either airline.
I'm also opening doors to new partners, as LH has a few that AC does not.
So here I am flying with EVA airlines out of Vancouver to Bangkok... One of the roomiest economy seats I've ever had, and probably 300$ cheaper for a one way flight than Air Canada but the same amount of points.
Air Canada also changed the flight booking classes so unless you double the cost of the ticket you basically get 0-25% of your travel miles... I could fly first class with EVA for the same price as 50% miles with AC. Fuckers.
I'm more than a little disappointed by this... Not having a jetsetter job basically takes away the desire for me to pay several hundred dollars more when I get so much less in return. I did try to voice my opinion, I have written letters, but basically they just responded "We haven't changed things in 10 years it's time we do to keep up with other airlines." Well, Air Canada, other airlines offer more have better flights and itineraries better customer service and a generally better track record than you, so why the hell would I stay loyal after all these years when you're going to turn around and tell me I am not worthy?
So here I am.
I will spend this year flying with the status of Lufthansa, and if by the end of the year I make any gains I will stick loyal to their program and get rid of my Aeroplan credit cards etc.
I've also heard that upgrading and buying tickets on points has gotten a lot less appealing... me thinks that Air Canada is going to notice a huge difference in their passenger numbers these next few years. Stupid move on their part.

So where do I fly usually? At least a couple domestic Canadian flights between AB and BC. 2 flights to Europe, 1 to Asia, and maybe one or two randoms. That's not enough loyal flying for me to notice any benefits of sticking with Air Canada. Well that sucks balls.

I only hope that when I make silver with LH that they at least give me a little more motivation to stay loyal to them! We'll see, I suppose.

I was informed the best airline to reach Gold status with is AGEAN the Greek airline, unfortunately I need my status to be valid internationally. But who knows, maybe I'll switch again if LH is too hard to achieve, and also when I'm flying within Europe it could open up the doors...

What about non Star Alliance flights? Is it possible to build miles flying internationally for other airlines? I would love to end up like George Clooney and just get points for everyone cuz I fly so much! It would be a dream come true. Minus the married with kids lady that played him on the road... That was stupid on his part.
I guess I just have to find a job that allows me to do it lol...

Well I better get my ass in gear, I'm in the Taipei airport with an hour till boarding for Bangkok, and EVA airlines has been dear to me so far this flight. Although I am secretly hoping for the next leg to be on a Hello Kitty plane!

I will continue this rant as the year progresses and my knowledge of these sneaky airline points system progresses along... Wish me luck!