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Which airline to accrue miles with for Europe?

CATBinCO

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I've been playing online games and getting frequent flier miles as my prizes. Usually I select American Airlines but I'm wondering if I should go with a different airline if my goal is to use the miles for frequent flier award tickets to Europe. Not sure yet whether it would be to the UK or the Mediterranean areas.

American, Delta, US Airways are the biggest airline choices.

All 3 of them serve my hometown as well as the next closest city to me, so all 3 would work for me.

Any suggestions as to where I should pool my miles?
 

x3 skier

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AA is in the OneWorld alliance Delta is in SkyTeam and Useless Airways is in Star Alliance.

I have had the best success getting tickets to Europe on SkyTeam, primarily Delta and Air France followed by OneWorld. The choices in Star Alliance seem pretty bad to me but YMMV. Check www.flyertalk.com for some other views on the best FF programs.

Hope you are a good gamer since it will probably take at least 50000 miles for a European ticket, IF you can find one at that level.

Cheers
 

pointsjunkie

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we are planning a trip to rome next year so all my efforts are going to Delta. we need 170000 for 1 first class tic x 2. we are not that far off. eating at idine restaurants a lot and doing alot of shopping on-line. dh need 37000 miles and i need 73000 miles. can take them out of my starwood account but will see how well we do with the rest first. playing the game got my first 2500 miles and sent those over to delta. that takes forever and a lot of my time. putting off going back to it.
 

Jimster

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miles

I have never had any trouble with either American or United. I have had free tickets to Spain (2 times), Paris, London, Ireland and Italy. It all depends on what you want. I like American because they allow an open jaw and a stop over.
 

mlfrancis

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I always travel to Europe on either USAirways or United - and they're both part of Star Alliance so you can use the miles from one account to travel on the other airline (if they can get access to the seats). United will usually have more "saver" awards than the other airlines, who usually want standard (i.e., double) miles for the ticket.
 

beejaybeeohio

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For 70g miles total I have booked First/Business on Delta to Dublin (except for the CLE-JFK leg) with economy return from Lisbon via Paris on AirFrance direct to CLEon CO for next spring using Continental OnePass Miles. I am pretty happy with this booking and DH has it as well.

If you are diligent, Cat B in Colorado, you can get first class at a lower mileage rate, eg our outbound leg was only 45g miles!!
 

scotlass

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Be aware that for economy seats, AA requires 10k more miles than Delta, USAirways or United: 60k for AA and 50K for the others.

Passing on our experience using USAirways from Boston to London: For the past two summers we have used USAirways miles to book flights which ended up on Air Canada. NEVER AGAIN! Air Canada is the most disorganized airline! Both times we had our flights from Canada to Boston cancelled and, this past summer, we didn't get out until the next day. (We were told after we got back that we were low priority for limited seats on the next flight because we were using ff miles). I know all airlines are in chaos, but this was our experience with AC. Even the Customs Agent said to avoid Toronto although we had similar snafus in Montreal the year before. We got to know the customs agents well as we had to go through customs and immigration 3 times due to AC telling us we had seats, didn't have seats, had them but they had no idea where our checked bags were. This, accompanied by jet lag coming in from Dublin, made for a nightmare. However, I kept telling myself that, in the end, we still had money in the bank by using ff miles, so it wasn't all bad. Having said that, given other options, I would choose ANY airline over AC.
 

Carolinian

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DL has just raised the miles required for a ticket to/from Europe to 60K, as well as adding a fuel surcharge for award tickets. The 60K applies all year. They are definitely back to the Rob Borden days of hosing their ff members. I would avoid them like the plague.

AA has always been 60K for high season tickets to Europe, BUT for shoulder and off season it is 40K. I always prefered travelling in shoulder season, so this lower range is appealing. The two strikes that AA has IMHO, however, are having to deal with BA and Heathrow. BA is far from fully integrated as an ff partner, although I enjoy flying them. Heathrow is the worst pit of an airport in Europe, and is AA's usual connecting airport.

CO has recently said that they are keeping their milage levels for award tickets, not inflating them like DL. They are the airline I am looking at moving to on the sad day that DL swallows NW, which has had the best ff program.
 

x3 skier

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Heathrow is the worst pit of an airport in Europe, and is AA's usual connecting airport.

Just back from a trip via LHR and CDG (again). While LHR is definitely a zoo, I prefer it to Charles DeGaulle and the rat's maze / cattle buses they require to make most connections. Not to mention the time a whole section of CDG collapsed.

Cheers
 
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