Which frequent flyer number should you use for a flight?

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❤️ Wow… southwest is already offering another sale. this time, you can save 25% on award flights by using code SAVE25… but only for today. Check it out here.

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❤️ Wow… southwest is already offering another sale. this time, you can save 25% on award flights by using code SAVE25… but only for today. Check it out here.

Good morning from 39,000 feet over the Indian Ocean.

I’m making my way back to Southeast Asia just barely after adjusting to East African time… because I like to torture myself like that.

Jet Lag meme

But I’m not too jet lagged to bring you another week of travel fun. Here’s what we’ve got today:

✈️ How loyalty numbers work on partner flights

Here at Daily Drop, we’re always telling you about excellent ways to get benefits on planes and at hotels through elite status.

Occasionally, there are status matches to airlines that don’t always seem like they should matter.

For example, I recently told you about how I matched to British Airways Gold Status.

British Airways elite atatus

I also mentioned that I can use that status to get benefits with other airlines like Qatar.

So today, I want to tell you about how you use status to enjoy benefits from other airlines.

Let’s start with the basics.

Generally speaking, you can use your status with multiple airlines by earning alliance elite status.

For example, I have Star Alliance Gold status, which comes with amazing benefits when flying on any Star Alliance airline.

Star Alliance Gold benefits

The way you earn Star Alliance Gold is by having high-level elite status with an individual airline in that alliance.

For me, that is Aeroplan 75k status with Air Canada.

Each airline has different levels that correspond with alliance elite status (Star Alliance Gold, in this case), but not every level of elite status will earn you status with the alliance; it usually needs to be a higher level.

Aeroplan elite status tiers

Each of the levels in the red box will earn you Star Alliance Gold status

So now, let’s look at how that works in practice.

Right now, I’m flying on Ethiopian Airlines from Dar Es Salaam to Jakarta via Addis Ababa.

When I booked this cash ticket online, I saw a field like this in the booking process:

A screenshot showing where you insert your loyalty number when booking a flight

Whichever loyalty number you add here will result in the following:

  • Earning points in that program

  • Using the benefits associated with any elite status with that program

So, by putting my Aeroplan number in when booking my Ethiopian flight, I’ll earn Aeroplan points and also get the following benefits thanks to my Star Alliance Gold status:

  • Priority check-in

  • Priority boarding

  • Checked bags

  • Lounge access

The last point is definitely the highlight for me…

Being able to access business-class airline lounges even when flying economy is an AWESOME perk of alliance status.

For example, last year I booked a flight on ANA from Tokyo to Osaka, a short flight that cost about $50.

Sample flight from Tokyo to Osaka on ANA for $54

But thanks to my Star Alliance status, I was able to enjoy the ANA business-class lounge before my flight because I added my Aeroplan number when booking.

ANA business-class lounge in Tokyo

ANA business lounge in Tokyo Haneda

Last week, I flew on Qatar Airways from Jakarta to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, also in economy.

However, because I added my British Airways number upon check-in, I was able to enjoy the amazing Qatar lounge in Doha during my layover.

Qatar business-class lounge in Doha

Qatar business lounge in Doha

I also found out that Qatar has some other cool benefits for elites…

When I boarded my flight, I was offered a pre-departure drink and snack, priority meal selection, and the crew was regularly checking in with me during the flight, even though I was flying economy.

This was all because of my Oneworld Emerald status via British Airways.

Oneworld Priority Benefits

But this brings up another point… When you book an award flight, your loyalty number with that airline is generally automatically attached to your booking.

For example, when I used Qatar Avios to book my Qatar flight, my Qatar loyalty number was automatically attached to the booking.

In this case, you should add your other loyalty number (British Airways, in my case) to the booking upon check-in rather than when booking.

In fact, even if you check in online and forget to add the right number, you can always go to the check-in desk at the airport and have them change it.

So here’s the bottom line:

When booking or checking in for a flight, it’s important to use the airline loyalty number associated with your best elite status or the one where you want to earn points.

💳 20% transfer bonus to Aeroplan

In that last section, I mentioned Aeroplan quite a bit…

As the airline I fly most often and the program with my highest level of status, I am ALWAYS earning and redeeming Aeroplan points.

And now, you can earn lots of Aeroplan points, too.

Until July 31st, you can transfer UR Points to Aeroplan with a 20% bonus.

20% transfer bonus to Aeroplan

Aeroplan is one of the single best programs in the world for a number of reasons:

  • They allow stopovers for just 5,000 points

  • They have over 50 airline partners

  • They have a very generous award chart for solid redemption rates

  • They don’t have fuel surcharges

Being able to get 20% more is certainly a good deal, and I’ll give you some examples of why.

Later this year, I need to book a flight from Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to Tallinn, Estonia.

It’s a weird itinerary, and Samarkand is a small airport with only a handful of airlines operating there.

But of course, Aeroplan saves the day by offering this deal on Turkish Airlines for just 25,000 points and $64 in taxes and fees.

Aeroplan flight from SKD-TLL for 25,000 points

Considering this is about 10 hours of flying time and the cash cost of the ticket is over a thousand dollars, this is just an EXCELLENT use of points.

With the current transfer bonus, however, I’ll only need to shell out 21,000 points to book this ticket.

And because of my Star Alliance Gold status, I’ll enjoy the amazing Turkish business-class lounge during my layover. 👇

Turkish Airlines business-class lounge

Turkish business lounge in Istanbul

I’ve talked about Aeroplan so many times that there’s no need to say more…

If you fly with any of Aeroplan’s many partners and want to improve their solid redemption rates by adding a chunk of bonus points, this is a great opportunity.

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Avgeeks will find this very funny

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That’s all for today, folks! I hope you found today’s section about loyalty numbers useful.

It’s easy to talk about all of these excellent benefits, but sometimes, we forget to talk about the tiny details of how to use them hands-on.

Take care, have a great day, and I’ll see you tomorrow ❤️

Mike Dodge
Head Writer, Daily Drop

8°54'43.4"N 66°43'49.4"E

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