Royal Orchid Plus, the frequent flyer program of Thai Airways, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. To reward its members, Royal Orchid Plus is offering 25% bonus miles whenever you fly on Thai Airways. Registration for this promotion is required and begins only from 1 April 2018. The registration link can be found under “Other Services” in your Royal Orchid Plus profile after logging in.
25% bonus miles for all Thai Airways international flights
In this promotion, you’ll be eligible to earn an additional 25% bonus miles when you fly on Thai Airways internationally. Meaning if you were to fly intra-Thailand i.e Bangkok to Chiang Mai, you won’t be earning this 25% bonus.
Crediting your Star Alliance flights to ROP under this promotion would not net you the 25% bonus miles. Here’s the table which shows accordingly the booking class and total miles accrual rate:
Taking the example of a Bangkok – London return trip on Thai on the lowest miles earning economy ticket, you’ll be earning 5,928 miles (50%) from this promotion instead of 2,964 miles(25%). I’m not too sure what is the bonus miles you’ll be getting on the Singapore – Bangkok leg if you’re on the lowest fare bucket as Thai Airways has a minimum miles earn rate of 500 miles per sector. So even though the one-way flight from Singapore to Bangkok covers a distance of around 800 miles, you’ll be guaranteed 500 miles for each flight.
Currently, Thai is running a promotion with Mastercard where they’re offering an additional 5% off fares, so this would fit in nicely with your DBS Woman’s World Mastercard 4mpd masterplan. Paid fares on their Singapore – Bangkok – London route start from S$1,350.10 in the lowest mile earning fare bucket under this promotion for departure in May 2018.
However, if you’re willing to pay a little more, their Flexi Saver fare is going for S$1,468 and will net you 75% of the miles flown and the additional 25% bonus.
Faster way to elite status
Royal Orchid Plus shares similar mileage requirements with KrisFlyer for elite status. Here’s the amount of miles you’d need to fly before hitting each status level in Royal Orchid Plus :
- Royal Orchid Plus Silver (Star Alliance Silver): 10,000 miles in 12 months / 15,000 miles in a 24 month window (Yes you’re reading this right)
- Royal Orchid Plus Gold (Star Alliance Gold): 50,000 miles in 12 months / 80,000 miles in 24 months
- Royal Orchid Plus Platinum (Star Alliance Gold) : 80,000 miles in 12 months and miles are calculated only from Royal Silk and Royal First flights
Royal Orchid Plus has the lowest qualification requirements for Star Alliance Silver at just 10,000 miles. Meaning one round trip to London on Thai during this promotion with a 75% miles earning ticket would already net you Star Alliance Silver. While nothing much to shout about, with Thai it confers you the following benefits when flying on Thai Airways :
- 3,000 Threshold Bonus Miles each time Silver status is attained or retained.
- Priority Baggage Handling
- Additional Baggage Allowance – 10 kgs. (except when the piece concept applies and may not be available at all THAI destinations)
Compared to having KrisFlyer Silver, Royal Orchid Plus Silver confers you much more benefits even at that level! Good for those of you who make frequent trips up north for your annual Bangkok shopping spree if you take Thai Airways.
Redemption options on Star Alliance
Although you might be worried about ending up with orphan miles should you choose to head off for a mileage run with Thai, their award chart is actually quite reasonable. I managed to pull up their Star Alliance award chart and Thai Airways chart. I must say mileage requirements are rather reasonable. Singapore falls under Asia 1, making a round trip business class Star Alliance ticket to Europe just 144,000 miles.
In addition, a return business class ticket from New Zealand to Hawaii (i.e Auckland to Honolulu) only costs you 60,000 Royal Orchid Plus miles on a Star Alliance carrier. That’s insane value. Granted their terms and conditions mentions that you have to take the most direct route, but Air New Zealand which flies direct from Auckland to Honolulu rarely/never releases award space on their long haul flights. Thus your next feasible option would be to route to Narita and then onwards to Honolulu as this is the next shortest route on a Star Alliance carrier. (although it’s a massive detour but hey, more time to enjoy the comforts of business class I guess?)
(Edit : CTAN mentions that you can theoretically do AKL-BKK(stopover)-NRT-HNL and then HNL-NRT-BKK(stopover)-AKL. If anyone has done this before do hit us up!)
Redemption option on Thai Airways
On their own Thai award chart. If you and I are reading this right, it only costs 170,000 miles to fly between Europe and Australia via Bangkok in business class. That’s still very good value compared to the likes of what Singapore Airlines charges (i.e SYD-LHR 210,000 KrisFlyer miles).
Granted Thai may troll you and put an angled flat bed product on their Australian routes, but hey that’s still business class, and you’ll be getting their Rimowa (Samsonite?) amenity kit.
Although fares are still on the pricey side and this promotion can’t beat what Malaysia Airlines was offering previously, if you have travel planned (be it corporate or leisure) between 1 May 2018 and 30 June 2018, do take a look at this promotion and see if it could benefit you!
That Star Alliance Silver with qualification set at 10,000 miles does look tantalizingly good.