I’ve been looking up some flights recently for some travel in the middle of 2022 and I’m constantly disappointed. The flights in my price range are all with Star Alliance airlines and I’m a oneworld frequent flyer.
I don’t fly enough to hold high status in all three alliances, though it is a badge of honour to some. I have a SkyTeam card that I never use, and I never got around to joining a Star Alliance programme, so on the rare occasions I’ve flown one of those airlines, I’ve not accrued any points (sacrilege, I know!).
How Much Cheaper Are The Flights?
Flying from Europe to Australia, the most I will realistically pay for a business class ticket is about €2,500 return. Anything under that I consider to be good value and that’s where I’m a price taker. I don’t care about connections, journey time or the starting city – for me it’s all about the cost.
Star Alliance are offering a fare of €2,336 return with SWISS and ANA from Europe to Sydney, which is very tempting. The closest fare on a oneworld alliance airline is €3,280, which is virtually a grand more expensive.
Not being made of money and yet liking to fly in a flat bed for the long trip to Australia, I like to pay as little as possible. As we all do, I suppose! I’ve been able to get fares for around €2,300 on Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways in the past, but there’s nothing available right now.
I’m finding it impossible to justify paying an extra thousand Euro for what is going to be a similar enough experience. Instead, I’ve been pricing up Premium Economy one way and Business on the return to stay in my alliance and pay less than €2,500. That means flat beds only one way, but I’ve done it before, so it’s not going to kill me.
Star Alliance is often cheaper than their oneworld equivalents. I see it all the time on intra-Europe pricing, with Lufthansa and SWISS frequently coming out cheaper than British Airways, Finnair and Iberia. Has the positioning of oneworld been that successful in attracting a price premium?
What would you do in my situation? Jump and take the Star Alliance flights, or wait to see if a oneworld airline matches the price? Or just book Premium Economy one way and Business back to stay in my alliance?
It’s an interesting one to me anyway, and yes, a total first world problem, but that’s where I live. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Kambui via Wikimedia Commons.
ANA 777 by Masahiro Takagi via Wikimedia Commons.
Perhaps do a status challenge? Can you maintain status with 2 alliances?
Could do, but it’s still not worth it to me really, as I’d still not fly enough on another alliance. It’s not the lack of status that stops me flying other alliances. It’s the fact I like to accumulate my miles and so on in one programme where I know I can get the benefits of it. So being high status in another alliance is not really a solution for me. Though I have to say, I have considered status challenges and status matches on more than one occasion 🙂
The cheaper flight is also 10 hours longer, so that would play into my consideration as well. I do love Swiss business but ANA is hit or miss for me. Just think about the overall experience and pick what works best. I’d still sign up for the mileage program just because you can get a ton of miles from paid business and even economy plus. Having done a trip to Australia from the US in coach once, Ill never do it again.
I’m with you, I’ve also done economy class to and from Australia a couple of times, and 20 hours plus in the air plus a stop makes for a grueling experience. If I was going with the Star carriers for the flight to Australia I would sign up for the programme. The other flights I’ve taken with SAS, Lufthansa and Swiss have just been the odd European flight, so it’s not like I’ve missed out on hundreds of thousands of miles. I’ll probably sit on things for a little bit and see what happens. Perhaps I’ll get lucky, but we’ll… Read more »
Maybe oneworld knows your loyalty and figures you’ll just cough up the extra cash. I was recently looking at travel in late November and my two FF programs (DL/WN) were kind of pricey compared to UA/AA, whose FF programs I do not belong to, but that was points vs. cash. It appears that sometimes breaking loyalty pays off!
Haha! I’d say that’s the entire point of a loyalty programme 🙂 I much prefer it when it’s the other way around, but I do often find other airlines are cheaper regularly enough, and that’s even before you start counting the low fares airlines. You are right, sometimes it does pay off indeed!