The basics of earning and accumulating your frequent flyer miles will include knowing your airline alliance and the different classification of your air ticket. Having equipped with these information will allow you to make full informed decision and empowering you to capitalise on your ticket purchase.


1. Know your airline alliance

It is pertinent that you know the different airline alliances to maximise the opportunity to earn more frequent flyer miles. Airlines within the same alliance will usually allow the accumulate of miles across the different airlines. For example, Singapore Airlines and ANA are both under Star Alliance, thus miles accrued under ANA can also be accredited to Krisflyer (Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program).

Major airline alliances include the following:

a.  Star Alliance

– Largest airline alliance
– Major airlines include Singapore, ANA, Lufthansa, Scandinavian, Thai, Turkish & United Airlines
– Other airlines include Adria, Aegean, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, BMI, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, Egyptair,  LOT Polish Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, Swiss, TAM, TAP Portugal & US Airways.
– A total of 27 airlines under the alliance

b.  One World

– Major airlines include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines & Qantas
– Other airlines include American Airlines, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Malev, Mexicana, Royal Jordanian & S7 Airlines
– A total of 12 airlines under the alliance

c.  Sky Team

– Major airlines include Air France/KLM, Delta & Korean Air
– Other airlines include Aeroflot, AeroMexico, AirEurope, Alitalia, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Kenya Airways, Tarom and Vietnam Airlines
– A total of 12 airlines under the alliance

d. Others

– Not all airlines are under an alliance
– Some airlines operate an independent airline partnership (e.g. Emirates partners with Japan Airlines, Jet Airways, United Airlines etc)

2. Non-Airline Partners

Most major airlines will have deals with car rental and hotels to award miles when patronising these non-airline partners. Check on the airline’s website to find the list of participating partners.

Top Tips in Earning More Frequent Flyer Miles

  1. Have a preferred airline. Usually your national carrier which have an extensive network of destinations and more frequent promotional fares. For example, Singapore Airlines.
  2. Always travel with preferred or partner airlines if possible as miles can be credited across partner airlines
  3. Find out non-airline partner with your preferred airline. E.g. Car rental or hotels. Miles can sometimes be accumulated as well.
  4. Some major airlines have a co-brand credit card with a reputable bank to accumulate decent frequent flyer miles efficiently. Check out my post on best credit cards to earn miles.
  5. Most promotional fares (especially Singapore Airlines) do not award miles. Do check the class of the tickets or the terms and conditions accordingly.
  6. Some airlines (e.g. Singapore Airlines) offers discount off online miles redemption.
  7. Try purchasing tickets online to earn more miles. Applicable to some airlines.
  8. Certain airlines (e.g. Singapore Airlines) sometimes offer miles redemption discount. Sign up for newsletter or look out for promotional messages.
  9. Unless miles are expiring, short haul or regional trips may not be the best destinations for miles redemption as most times, these locations will be on promotional fare. Use miles redemption for destinations on regular fares.

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