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Star Alliance or Oneworld

New York City, New...
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Star Alliance or Oneworld

I am a Oneworld Sapphire Member, but I am considering changing to Star Alliance. Which is better for my needs?:

- I fly from JFK, which is a bloodbath between Star, Oneworld, and Skyteam

- Primary Intl' destinations include:

- HKG (direct using CX)

- SIN

- FRA (direct using LH, UA)

- TXL (direct using AB)

- ZRH

- LHR

- NRT, HND (NH, JL...)

- SYD, AKL

- Primary Domestic destinations include:

- ORD

- IAH, HOU

- LAX

As you see, I have a clear usage for either on many of these destinations.

What I need is a good Business Class product when I fly, in addition to lounges and other comfort enhancers. I would like to have Wi-Fi when I fly, since I conduct business as I go. I don't mind having to connect flights, unless if it is more than 2 stops. Also something is that I would really prefer not to have Skyteam as my alliance due to nightmarish experiences with DL. I also understand that it is up to each person's individual needs, but someone else's insight would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

For me, the Business Class product on short hauls or domestic isn't a priority. As you stated, it's up to ones preferences as numerous partner airlines cover all your destinations quite well. Star Alliance have a very strong group of airlines, but ultimately for me, the frequency in which you travel to those various destinations and the product available for those routes would have a fair significance - especially the longest of the flights.

Personally, I'd stick with Oneworld in your situation.

Edited: 12:03 pm, September 06, 2013
Worthing, United...
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2. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

I'm definitely a OneWorld or Skyteam man. Hold FF accounts with both. I just find that service with Star Alliance seems so impersonal (picky I know), but all airlines in that alliance seem to have a lack of warmth.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

If you were flying from EWR I'd say Star might be a better choice; but given your JFK preference and routes I think Oneworld gets the nod. No, you can't get straight to FRA but most other routes are pretty well served. The longhaul business class products on the various Oneworld carriers you'd use are generally very good, certainly the differences aren't (IMO) big enough to warrant a whole alliance change.

Depending on the frequency of your travels to various destinations, I think you would be VERY well advised to look at Oneworld RTWs as a way of managing your premium-class travel. The prices vary according to the country of purchase, but for example starting a 4-continent Oneworld Explorer in business class in, say, Israel or Jordan, would give you 16 business- or first-class segments for under $500 each - up to four flights in Europe, Asia, SW Pacific, S America or Africa, up to six flights in North America, plus intercontinental. The ticket's good for a year; you can also earn enough FF miles (using AA) to cover another RTW in business class after one paid one.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

I'm an ex-OneWorld (AA) and now Star (UA). My decision to switch was coverage, from PDX (AA cut service drastically around 2003).

Assuming for FF programs you'd be choosing between AAdvantage and United MileagePlus, I'd say both are very good. For top tier benefits, American has the edge, though for hard onboard product United is well ahead with flat bed business class and Economy Plus.

Re the alliances, both have excellent partners. Star has Singapore, Asiana, ANA, though for Europe I'm getting disappointed with Lufthansa. 1W has Malaysia, Qatar (soon), and BA is a better airline ex-Europe.

Overall, if you're currently OneWorld (AA), I'd stay there. Unlike me, I don't see a compelling reason to switch on your case.

Edited: 12:43 pm, September 06, 2013
New York City, New...
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5. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

Our company has contracts with both AA and UA, and both offer competitive prices. However, AA's service and catering is nothing good. When I fly business, I don't expect orange juice in a plastic cup. Or are my standards too high?

Star Alliance is quite tempting, and I really don't know which way to go. Another thing is that when flying to mainland China, which I do around 3-5 times each year, I overfly my destination by going through HKG. Flying through Air China's (star alliance) hub in Peking solves that problem.

One can also recommend Skyteam due to its excellent coverage, but I truly dislike DL. The last time I flew them was when I lost my luggage, got pushed around by several representatives, not getting a refund...

Personally, I like Star's LH, LX, OS... in Europe versus oneworld's BA, IB and AB. The coverage is better and the product on most of those airlines is better than BA. BA's business class is extremely cramped with the 2-4-2 arrangement. Plus, Lufthansa's FRA hub is well positioned.

In Asia, its a total draw. Star offers me CA, NH, SQ... Meanwhile, oneworld provides me JL, CX, and MH. I've also grown much attached to CX and their nonstop JFK-HKG that I fly around 4 times each year.

In Oceania, it is no competition. Oneworld with Qantas takes the cake.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

My major dislike for RTW itineraries is having to fly in only one direction. For instance, to fly to HKG, I would have to get JFK-HKG, then HKG- i.e. LHR, then LHR- JFK. Plus, company pays. :)

uk
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7. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

I'm not sure if this is possible but if you joined the BA programme, you'd get lounge access on US domestic flights regardless of class.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

I'm afraid that AA and all other US carriers charge for their lounge access, no matter your status. For instance, I am AAdvantage Platinum, and yet AA still charges me for this.

And yet AA still goes bankrupt!

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

>>>When I fly business, I don't expect orange juice in a plastic cup. Or are my standards too high?<<<

Not particularly, again its up to the individual. Personally I don't care if it comes in plastic, ceramic, glass - as long as its cold, fresh and of quality.

I still don't think you have a solid enough case to swing across. Going by regions, the score card is even. But two of your preferred longest haul (JFK-SYD & JFK-HKG) carriers are with Oneworld. The difference is the physical products isn't substantial enough in my books.

Just my $0.02 (ex GST, airport tax, fuel levy)

Edit ->>>For instance, I am AAdvantage Platinum, and yet AA still charges me for this<<<

But your company pays right?

Edited: 3:55 pm, September 06, 2013
New York City, New...
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10. Re: Star Alliance or Oneworld

Company does but I am only stating an example.

I can fly JFK-SYD with UA too, via SFO.

My main case is regarding AA's future. IF the merger doesn't go through, UA and DL will finish off AA. I have a lot of miles with AA and I have no interest in losing the miles. I earn miles with corporate travel, and redeem them with personal travel. What I am considering is doing a status match with UA as a safeguard since it is quite unlikely that UA will go under anytime soon. But is it worth it?