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WebFlyer Home > Programs > Ratings & Reviews

Ratings & Reviews

(Program Reviews - Side by Side Comparison - Website Reviews)


Air China PhoenixMiles


4.25
(13 ratings)

*

This program was reviewed and rated by our editors in June 2010. Changes in the program past this date are possible, especially program partner information. We recommend you subscribe to the #1 source of frequent flyer information, Inside Flyer Magazine, to get the most current information possible.

Air China 4C

Beijing's Air China operates around a "4C" philosophy: credibility, convenience, comfort and choice and is a proud member of the Star Alliance since 2007. PhoenixMiles boasts that it was the first frequent flyer program in China and that it currently has the largest number of active members. Along with Beijing, Air China has hubs in Chengdu and Shanghai. The airline states that over 71 percent of their guests are business and commercial passengers and there are over nine million PhoenixMiles members.


EARNING ABILITY:

5.53
Our
Rating:

6.50
The easiest way to determine the kilometers you'll earn for a particular flight is to use the program's Mileage Inquiry tool on the Air China Web site. For example, a flight between Beijing and Los Angeles earns 15,031 kilometers in first class (F, A, P), 13,027 kilometers in business class (C, D, J), 10,021 kilometers in economy class (Y, B, M, H, K) and 5,010 kilometers for discount economy class (L, Q, G, S, V, U, Z, W). This equates to 150 percent of actual kilometers flown for first class fares, 130 percent for business, 100 percent for economy and 50 percent for discount economy class fares. Some fares do not receive credit including O, I, X, R, N, T and E. There is a minimum of 500 kilometers for all qualifying economy fares and a minimum of 800 kilometers for business and first class fares. Partner airlines follow a similar earning pattern of 150 percent of kilometers flown in first class and 130 percent in business class and 50-100 percent for economy class with the same minimum kilometers of 500 and 800 depending on class purchased.

Members can also earn kilometers with partner hotel stays and when spending with the co-branded credit card, or through mobile phone services and travel services.

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AWARD CHOICES:

4.46
Our
Rating:

7.00
Air China serves 143 destinations with 870 daily departures, and with the airlines' membership in Star Alliance, members can redeem their kilometers for destinations worldwide. One-way flights are offered on Air China award flights only, but at a higher cost than half a roundtrip. One-way economy class award flights between Beijing and Los Angeles are 60,000 kilometers and roundtrip are 100,000 kilometers. Business class between Beijing and Los Angeles are 90,000 kilometers one way and 140,000 kilometers roundtrip. First class on the same route are 130,000 kilometers one-way and 190,000 kilometers roundtrip. The redemption in kilometers is the same for flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Vancouver (zone H).

Closer to home, members can claim award tickets for economy flights between Beijing and Shanghai for 22,000 kilometers roundtrip or 12,000 kilometers one-way. Business class awards between Beijing and Shanghai are 28,000 kilometers roundtrip and 16,000 kilometers one-way. First class roundtrip awards are 30,000 kilometers roundtrip and 20,000 kilometers one-way.

Upgrade awards are also offered. Between Beijing and Los Angeles an upgrade from M, H, K economy class to business class is 50,000 kilometers one way; from full Y or B class is 35,000 kilometers and an upgrade from C, D and J business class to first class one way is 50,000 kilometers.

Note that when there are no direct flights between two zones, the kilometers you'll have to spend will be calculated as two one-way awards. Members can also spend miles at the PhoenixMiles Shopping City.

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PARTNERSHIPS:

5.69
Our
Rating:

7.50
Along with the partner airlines of the Star Alliance, Air China also partners with Cathay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Dragonair, ShanDong Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Members can earn kilometers with a wide range of hotel partners including Marriott, Shangri-La, InterContinental, Hilton, Mandarin Oriental, WORLDHOTELS, Starwood, Wyndham, Accor and others. The earning rate varies by hotel partner. For example, stays at Marriott earn three miles for every US$1 spent at Marriott Hotels Resorts and Suites; Renaissance Hotels, Resorts and Suites; Marriott Conference Centers and Marriott Vacation Club International and one mile per US$1 spent at Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites. The miles are converted to PhoenixMiles kilometers at the ratio of 1:1.6. Members can exchange Starwood hotel points to PhoenixMiles kilometers at a 1:1 ratio. Hilton, InterContinental, Shangri-La and most select other hotel group stays earn 800 kilometers per stay.

Members can earn kilometers through spending on the PhoenixMiles Visa credit card. Every 18 yuan or US$2 spent on the card earns one kilometer and members can call the Air China PhoenixMiles Membership Service Center Hotline for reservations and free ticket delivery.

PhoenixMiles members can also earn kilometers through telecommunications partners such as GoTone Beijing and SK Telecom. Six thousand GoTone Beijing Mobile points can be exchanged for 3,000 PhoenixMiles kilometers or 23,000 points is equal to 12,000 kilometers. For every US$1 spent when renting a SKT handset, members earn five kilometers.

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ELITE-LEVEL PROGRAM:

4.92
Our
Rating:

7.00
There are three elite levels: Silver, Gold and Platinum. Status kilometers are awarded when taking a flight that is operated by Air China or a Star Alliance member and flight status segments are awarded for CA-operated or CA-coded flights where kilometers are earned.

When a member earns 40,000 kilometers or 30 flight segments in a year, they will be upgraded to Silver status. Silver status comes with a 25 percent flight bonus, priority reservation waitlist and check-in, access to business class check-in regardless of class flown, more baggage allowance, you can redeem miles for lounge access (1,500 kilometers for domestic flights and 2,000 kilometers for international) and when a flight is cancelled or delayed, a Silver member is entitled to the same standard of food and accommodation as a first class passenger. To maintain your Silver status, you must accrue 35,000 kilometers or 27 flight segments. Silver members receive Star Alliance Silver benefits.

When members reach 80,000 kilometers or 50 flight segments, they'll get Gold status. Along with all of the benefits for Silver members, Gold members will receive higher reservation and check-in priority as well as award ticket and baggage handling priority. Gold members have access to business class lounges and can invite one guest who is flying any of the Star Alliance carriers on that day (if business class lounge is not available, member and guest can visit the first class lounge). To maintain your Gold status, you must accrue 70,000 kilometers or 45 flight segments. Gold members receive Star Alliance Gold benefits.

When members earn 160,000 kilometers or 90 flight segments, they will earn the highest elite status--Platinum. Platinum members get a 50 percent flight mileage bonus, more baggage allowance and the highest check-in, boarding, baggage, awards and upgrade priority. Platinum members and their guest, with a flight on a Star Alliance carrier that day, have access to first class airport lounges. To maintain your Platinum status, you must accrue 145,000 kilometers or 80 flight segments. Platinum members receive Star Alliance Gold benefits.

PhoenixMiles members who earn one million kilometers will get lifetime Platinum status which includes top-tier Star Alliance benefits.

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RULES AND CONDITIONS:

3.23
Our
Rating:

6.50
Award tickets are fully transferable but miles cannot be combined or transferred, except through the Family Bonus program. Miles have a shelf life and are valid for three years. Once ePassengers 12 years old and over are eligible to join Air China PhoenixMiles. Phoenix Junior allows membership for travelers between the ages of two and 12. Kilometers expire after two calendar years after posting and members must collect at least 20,000 kilometers before they can redeem their first award. Kilometers flown on Air China or partners before membership in the program are not eligible to be added to the PhoenixMiles account.

When a new member has flown two flights or accrued 5,000 kilometers on Air China, they will receive a membership card by mail. If you need a membership card replaced, it is free for Platinum or Gold members but all others must redeem 800 kilometers to get a new card. Account consolidation is 500 kilometers for Silver and non-elite members.

Missing credit can be claimed for up to six months from travel date and award tickets are valid for one year.

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SERVICE SUPPORT:

3
Our
Rating:

8.00
Members can email PhoenixMiles customer service at ffp@airchina.com or call the member service hotline. We emailed a question and received a complete and detailed answer within a couple of days--we were also wished a "sweet day." There are also overseas service locations throughout the world such as in Bangkok, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and more. Members we've heard from report good service via the phone and lackluster service in person.

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ONLINE SERVICES:

2.92
Our
Rating:

6.00
PhoenixMiles members can shop online at PhoenixMiles Shopping City and have the item delivered to the location you designate.

Currently, members cannot book award tickets online. You can enroll online and will receive 800 kilometers as a welcomer.

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PLUS FEATURES:
Because PhoenixMiles is a member of the Star Alliance it offers a wealth of earning and award options for members. One of the best features of the program is the ability to earn lifetime Platinum status, which comes with lifetime upper-tier status on Star Alliance.

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MINUS FEATURES:
The two-year expiration policy is a bit harsh and makes it difficult for not-so-frequent flyers to save up the miles for a free flight, and although one-way awards are offered, they are more than half the amount of a roundtrip flight. It would be helpful for members to be able to book award flights online.

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INFORMATION:
Air China PhoenixMiles
PO Box 100071-666
Beijing, China 100071
86-10-84597799
4006-100-666
ffp@airchina.com

  Earning Ability Award Choices Partnerships Elite-Level Rules & Conditions Service Support Online Services Overall Rating
Our
Rating:
6.50 7.00 7.50 7.00 6.50 8.00 6.00 *
Member
Rating:
5.53 4.46 5.69 4.92 3.23 3 2.92 4.25

(13 ratings)

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