Category Archives: Airlines

Airlines

Etihad’s fourth alliance and its uses

photo by curlmedia

The Idea

  • Although not officially an alliance, Etihad’s diverse range of reciprocal mile earning and benefits arrangements make Etihad Guest a potential accrual option outside of Krisflyer
  • Due to is wide range of partners, oprhan miles can be accured in an Etihad Guest account and cashed out via PointsPay virtual Visa cards
  • Etihad Guest miles can be earned in Singapore through Citibank PremierMiles Cards

The Details

We mentioned previously that there were 3 airline alliances- Star Alliance, OneWorld and SkyTeam. These airlines have previously courted Etihad, informally or otherwise. What’s worth noting is that until Qatar joined OneWorld, none of the Big 3 Middle Eastern airlines (Emirate, Etihad, Qatar) was aligned with any alliance. The closest candidate would be Saudia with SkyTeam, but that’s hardly a prestige partnership.

But Etihad has never shown any serious interest in joining one of these alliances. Instead, it’s been working to form networks and partnerships of its own. These partnerships are not alliances in the strictest sense of the word- there’s no reciprocal benefits given to elites in Etihad’s FFP for example (with some exceptions- see below). However, the basic blueprint of reciprocal mile earning has been established, and that’s why Etihad’s “Fourth Alliance” is so useful. It can be a dumping ground for orphan miles which would otherwise go to waste. Miles deposited here can either be used to redeem Etihad awards or cashed out via PointsPay

Mile Accruing Partnerships

Etihad currently has reciprocal mileage earning agreements with 22 other airlines. Yes, that’s right- 22 other airlines, which would put ahead of SkyTeam and OneWorld if this were a proper alliance on its own. This large network is also the reason why Etihad Guest is one of the best FFPs to dump and cash out on orphan miles, because you’re quite likely to be able to find an airline going your way that partners with Etihad.

Reciprocal Benefits Partnerships

etihadguest

With the partners listed in the previous section, you’ll be able to cross-credit miles but your status doesn’t carry over. Which means that an Etihad Guest elite flying with ANA won’t get extra baggage allowance or lounge access.

Etihad has equity partnerships with several other airlines. These go one step further than mere mile earning. When you fly with

  • Airberlin
  • Jetairways
  • Aer Lingus
  • Virgin Australia
  • Air Serbia
  • Alitalia
  • Air Seychelles

Etihad Guest elite members are eligible to enjoy perks like lounge access, priority boarding and priority baggage.

Remember that if you’re an existing elite member in an FFP, you can get an Airberlin status match, as mentioned here in  a previous post I’ve done.

Earning Etihad Guest Miles in Singapore

The only way to earn Etihad Guest Miles with Singapore-issued credit cards is via Citibank PremierMiles. Citibank PremierMiles cardholders will earn Etihad Guest miles at a rate of S$1=1.2 miles locally and S$1= 2 miles overseas. Citibank PremierMiles has some lucrative bonus earning opportunities with Kaligo (S$1= 10 miles) and Agoda (S$1= 8 miles)

However, you can also boost your Etihad Guest miles account by writing a hotel review at Hotelcheck for 200 miles (maximum 12 reviews per year)

Etihad Guest Status Match

From time to time Etihad has a status match offer for members of other FFPs. The last offer was in Feb 2015. It’s no longer available but if it goes live again I’ll be sure to update you. I got my Krisflyer Gold matched to Etihad’s Gold tier, which gives me a mileage earning bonus on Etihad flights as well as the usual elite perks.

Why Krisflyer’s new Tigerair and Scoot redemption options are a waste of time

photo by andy mitchell

The Idea

  • SQ has started offering the option to redeem Krisflyer miles for Tigerair and Scoot vouchers. 3,200, 5,300 and 10,500 miles are needed for S$30, S$50 and S$100 respectively
  • These redemptions value a Krisflyer mile at ~0.95 cents, which is extremely poor value
  • You should not redeem your miles for vouchers unless you have a very low mile balance which will soon expire

The Details

Krisflyer is generally one of the more restrictive mileage programs out there. Other FFPs give you the option of redeeming your miles for a whole variety of things, from car rentals to holiday stays to gadgets, watches etc (a very poor value). Krisflyer on the other hand, only allows you to redeem your miles for flights.

scoottiger

Singapore Airlines owns stakes in Tigerair and Scoot, and has recently announced a scheme allowing Krisflyer members to redeem Krisflyer miles for travel vouchers on these 2 airlines. As you might expect, the value offered is extremely poor. Below are the options

KrisFlyer miles required for redemption Value of voucher (SGD) Implicit value of 1 KF mile (in Singapore cents)
3,200 30 0.9375
5,300 50 0.9434
10,500 100 0.9524

Any way you look at it, this is a terrible use of your miles (recall the value of a mile- covered here). Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to have more options for using your miles. But the only scenario in which you should be considering this is when you have a small number of miles about to expire. Otherwise, stay well, well away. Budget airline tickets are so cheap anyway, there’s no reason you should be using your hard earned miles for this.

 

Get 4,000 bonus miles on your next hotel booking

photo by alan levine

The Idea


The Details

rocketmiles promo

On the Pages section, I’ve explained how milesback sites work. To summarise, milesback sites are like cashback sites- when you make a hotel booking through them, the site gets a commission from the hotel chain. The site then passes this commission on to you in the form of miles.

Rocketmiles recently started partnering with Krisflyer, and they’ve got an ongoing promotion now where you’ll get 3,000 bonus KF miles with your first completed stay via Rocketmiles. This is on top of whatever miles your stay would normally earn, usually 500-1,000 miles.

What you can do is click on my link to register with Rocketmiles– this will give you 1,000 bonus miles when you make your first purchase. You then select Krisflyer as your preferred earning partner when booking a hotel and enjoy the 3,000 bonus miles, giving you a total of 4,000 bonus miles.

Remember if you’re a Citibank PremierMiles cardholder you will earn 10 miles per S$1 spent at Kaligo.com. Even so, it’s worth it to make a single booking with Rocketmiles to take advantage of the 4,000 bonus miles, especially if you can find a cheap rate.