Changing Airline from BA... Recommendations?
January 29, 2015 6:43 PM   Subscribe

What airlines would people recommend that fly out of London (LHR or LGW) to New York, Mumbai and Shanghai - my three normal destinations - and have a decent loyalty program? I've heard good things of Emirates and Etihad... any others?

I've flown with BA for a number of years, mainly because they were for a long time the only carrier out of London that served all the places I visited regularly. But now they're going to slash the airmiles they award for economy flights by up to 75%, and increase the airmile 'cost' to many destinations.

I fly economy for business and like to use the airmiles and hotel loyalty points to take Mrs. 43rd away for breaks to say thanks for managing the home base while I'm away, so I'm looking for a better deal on airmiles.
posted by 43rdAnd9th to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Star Alliance is pretty strong in China with Air China being the dominant local partner. This would open up the possibility to fly i.e. via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines or Frankfurt on Lufthansa or Zurich on Swiss or Air China direct. The Turkish Miles&Smiles program has a pretty low barrier to Gold Status and if you already have status on BA/Oneworld then they may very well match it. Consider looking at the forums, go to the airline subforum and look for status match posts. Remember that staying at Hilton and renting cars from Avis will get you a bunch of bonus miles, too. Your other destinations should not be a problem to reach as well but since you have to go West I do not recommend Etihad or Emirates because they would require you to take massive detours on the NYC route.
posted by krautland at 11:23 PM on January 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm having the same dilemma myself too, having flown BA for a number of years. I don't know the answer to the question (will be watching this thread!), but what I do know is that it's not Emirates, as they have worse redemption rates than BA.
posted by moiraine at 12:52 AM on January 30, 2015

Seconding star. I'm London based and like United (star alliance) though I'm usually flying other airlines in the alliance. I also fly economy and have managed to get about a trip a year or hotel stays out of the programme, I like that you can spend miles very easily on non-flight awards worldwide. For US trips, United has improved a lot since the merger with Continental IMHO.

Don't think you'd have a direct Skyteam option from London to Mumbai, so that alliance probably won't work for you.

I had little loyalty to BA before the Avios change, and you can bet it's gone now.
posted by wingless_angel at 7:44 AM on January 30, 2015

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