Welcome to a weekly feature on the Renés Points blog. Each week this series covers in a “rookie” way either a Delta or travel related theme and attempts to break down to a basic level each topic. You can read up on all the previous posts HERE. Now on to this week’s feature.
I was speaking with a rookie the other day and asked if they were signed up for other Star Alliance airlines frequent flyer accounts since she had purchased a ticket on SAS with FlexPerks points. She said no, she credited the flight to SAS.
That, to me, was a mistake and she could have credited the flight to other partners like United (or another one if you wish). To me, SAS Eurobonus is one of the worst for a US based flyer to pick. Why? Look at these two points in the T&C with the program:
2.12 “If a member does not earn any points for 24 months, SAS has the right to terminate the membership provided the member has no valid, usable points in his/her EuroBonus account.”
4.5 “…the member’s points expire four (4) years after the qualification period during which they were earned…”
Now the first one is no big deal. Sure Delta SkyMiles do not expire ever, until you die, but creating activity with a shopping portal purchase or some other way to make SOME activity in frequent flyer program accounts is just no big deal. But the second point is the killer, that is, points expire even when you stay loyal and keep flying the airline. No thanks!
But this is regarding a revenue or paid ticket (yes FlexPerks points tickets count as paid to the airlines). What about frequent flyer tickets?
Now first off you may say HOLD ON, I know that frequent flyer tickets do not earn points. Why does it matter what frequent flyer number I put in? Well there are pro’s and con’s for changing your frequent flyer number to another alliance partner. First the pro’s and why I do this most times.
If you do happen to put in, say, a KLM Flying Blue number when flying a Delta award, you may just get Flying Blue credit for the free award ticket (we are NOT talking PWM or pay with miles tickets here btw). Will it happen every time? No, but often it works. Same goes for other airlines like when I put in my Lufthansa number on a United 1st class ticket and got FULL 1st class points including bonus points for class of service (love that).
So that is the reason why to do it – the chance for some free bonus points on a free ticket. But what are the reasons NOT to do this. There a several.
The first one is what happened to me just yesterday (or could have). I was flying on a Delta business class award (LEVEL 1 clearly) but as a Diamond I get 3 free bags checked. As a KLM Ivory, even in business class, I only get two. They had to “swipe” my Diamond Medallion physical card (happy I had it with me) and it changed it over in the record and I got the 3 bags free I needed for this trip. Had I not needed the extra free bag I would have left it KLM IVORY.
Other things that are issues. I ONLY do this when I have already booked an award in businesses or 1st class. When in coach, especially with Delta, I want the shot at a medallion upgrade that would go away if I put in another partner’s frequent flyer number. Also, once you do put in a partner number, the trip “disappears” from your “My Delta” most times. Sure you can still pull it up with the PNR number (or record locator number) but that is a pain. Again, if coach and Delta, stick with your SkyMiles number.
Bottom line, always think of partnerships. Think on both paid and award tickets just what frequent flyer number you want in the record for the max perks or points you can or could get for any trip you take! – René