Friday, October 26, 2007

Frequent Flyers

I just enrolled with Thai Airlines Royal Orchid Plus frequent flyers. The card I'm meant to print out with my membership number looks very very dodgy, I'd be quite embarrassed to actually present it at flight check in or something.

But looking at points awards etc, Royal Orchid seems to be the best one in the region. And the real good thing is I don't have to pay a membership fee like Air New Zealand or Qantas. Whether it'll actually help me obtain flights at another date is another thing altogether. I think the most I'll get out of it is probably a return flight from Bangkok to Shanghai.

I was looking at discount Asian flights today and bloody hell some legs are really really cheap. Like Singapore to Shenzhen for 32 singapore dollars, which is like $25 bucks. And Darwin to Singapore is only around $40. But then you look up prices from Sydney to Darwin or Melbourne to Singapore, the prices jump way into the hundreds. If the government would just deregulate the airline industry in Australia and open it up completely to the Asian airlines, travel in this country would be great. (Okay I take most of this back since I just checked the airfares WITH TAXES, and $40 jumps to $200...FER CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!)

But so far Qantas is allowed to hold it's monopoly on the big cities and really the Macquarie Bank takeover of Sydney airport has really pushed up costs, I mean Sydney has one of the highest airport taxes in the world, but it's still a shit airport with the only good thing going for it is that it's really close to the city compared to most other international airports.

Supposedly Singapore Airlines was knocked back by the government on the trans-pacific route as to preserve the duopoly between Qantas and United. Sheesh, can you imagine having the comfort of Singapore Airlines on the 14hr flight to LA? HEAVEN. Instead I'll have to endure crappy ancient United with projection screens.


John said...

I'm with Asia Miles which includes many of the major airlines servicing Australia such as Qantas, Cathay Pacific, JAL and I think Singapore as well. However, some of them have their points halved through Asia Miles so the in-house airline reward program might be better for you.

I'm only with Asia Miles because my credit card goes to Asia Miles. I assume you're taking a credit card so hope it will contribute to your reward points.

LJ said...

The ticket I'm going on is the Star Alliance RTW, so presumably I had to pick a Star Alliance Airline. I don't think Thai includes credit card. But oh well, i'm not too fussed, award programs are mostly useless, the only real reason I'm joining with frequent flyers is it seems a waste to let 26,000 miles go without a freebie at the end. The fantastic thing is Thai is free, unlike money grabber, qantas, which is I think $80 for membership?