AA flyers at SEA

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by kw335, Jul 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. kw335
    Original Member

    kw335 Silver Member

    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Status Points:
    975
    Hi folks-

    I'm relocating to Washington at the end of the month, and upon looking up fares for future travels (on AA.com), I discovered that AA codeshares its LAX flights with AS, making it impossible for me to go to any cities on the west coast or Hawaii without flying on AS metal (which translates to flying in Y and no EXP recognition). How do you SEA folks do your travels and still staying loyal with AA?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    AA has such limited service in the Northwest that I doubt there are many AA flyers left in Seattle. Who wants to be stuck for 4 hours in an MD-80 to DFW ?

    Do a status match to AS and fly using your AS MVP Gold status.
     
    demkr likes this.
  3. kw335
    Original Member

    kw335 Silver Member

    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Status Points:
    975
    Getting stuck on a 4-hour flight to DFW doesn't really bother me. The fares do, however!
     
  4. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I've found the fares to/from SEA to be pretty darn reasonable most of the time. There's enough competition just about everywhere, and I really like that AS makes every fare one-way, so no Sat night stays needed, and you can mix and match airlines when it makes sense.

    I used to fly UA almost exclusively, but UA cutbacks and AS growth kind of make it a requirement to make AS part of your repertoire - often they have the only non-stops or the best schedule. On the whole they run a good operation, and their on-time performance and flight completion rate is excellent. The first class is pretty low-end nowadays, and the seat recline and pitch may be the worst of any first product. But they carry a microbrew (Alaskan Amber) and the Boardroom in SEA is pretty good. And they do status matches.
     
    kw335 likes this.
  5. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    I split time between SEA and LHR, and am EXP on AA. At SEA EXPs have access to fast track through security, AS permit partner elites to board early (at no cost), and my AmEx Platinum card now gets me in to AS Board Rooms in addition to ACs. In addition, if you book your AS flights as AA codeshares, you can call your elite status line and ask to be assigned an exit row on that flight. There have been reports of folks getting AA elite desks to assign exit rows when buying the AS code on AA stock (i.e. buy the flight on aa.com with the All Carriers option selected) although I've never personally tried that. I primarily fly transcontinentally and to Europe, and for that AA works fine for me. There's a page on the FlyerGuide wiki that appears to be mostly up-to-date; check it out here.

    Since the AS routes I fly are relatively short (LAX is only a couple of hours in the air), I'm content with exit rows, priority security, priority boarding and Board Room access for those flights in exchange for better service and upgrade rates on the longer flights (for example, even AS MVPG 75Ks have trouble upgrading SEA-EWR, but my SEA-JFK flights on AA got upgraded consistently when I was AA Platinum and I've never missed it as an AA Executive Platinum and I fly that route more than a few times a year). All told, upgrades are the most important thing to me, so I would trade a 2 hour upgrade to LAX with substandard catering and Costco-by-the-case wine for very high upgrade rates on 4 and 5 hour domestic flights with edible meals and good wines, and very good rates on 8-15 hour international flights.

    If all you'll be doing is flying to AS destinations west of the Rockies, maybe being an AS elite makes sense. If your flying includes destinations east of the Rockies, or international destinations, it may make more sense to stick with AA, especially if upgrades are important (AS do have some transcons, but just like EWR they are all pretty tough upgrades for even higher-level AS elites).
     
    travelinmike33, boxedlunch and kw335 like this.
  6. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    It really depends on your flying patterns. If most of your travel is north/south on the west coast, then going over to AS really makes the most sense, unless it's just SEA-LAX/SFO, in which case there's a very strong argument to be made for switching to VX, since both their Y and F products are so superior to AS', and their prices, especially in their great F cabin, are usually significantly less.

    The other thing is to do some serious number crunching and look at VX/AS F fares on the coast and SEA-Hawaii. Especially look at AS fares from hula to apple or Vice (and vice versa) in F, remembering that you can stop over at Starbucks en route for months at a time. End of hint.

    I've pretty much given up going for EXP, and just keep hovering at Plat. The last couple of years when I was EXP (up until this March) I found that using eVIPs was getting harder and harder. But everyone's travel patterns are different.
     
    eponymous_coward and kw335 like this.
  7. kw335
    Original Member

    kw335 Silver Member

    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Status Points:
    975
    I think this is what I will end up doing. My travels are going to be primarily coast-to-coast, so the SEA-LAX segment on AS is going to be inevitable (with the exception of connecting via JFK). I was just freaking out at first since I have never flown on AS before, and never knew that they honor AA statii for priority boarding.

    Thanks for the advice!! :)
     
  8. ord_a380

    ord_a380 Silver Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    111
    Status Points:
    375
    Travels up and down the west coast, AA isnt really a viable option. If you are def doing west coast to east coast flights then i would stick with AA on the jfk shuttles if you are going to NYC as the upgrade from coach is much more worth it, unfort you have to connect through SFO/LAX. Another Option is use LAX as your connecting point instead of DFW, for about 20 cities currently. All depends on your travel patterns. Virgin America has same issues on the west coast with limited flights.
     
  9. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    I'd suggest making use of the JFK flights as much as you can, as they're not too tough to upgrade and they get the upgraded transcon catering. Especially as the fleet of 752s go through the CIP, which offer more seats in F and an updated interior, this will be a good flight (you may see me on there every now and then!). When you're unable to book those, I'd suggest avoiding SFO and LAX as a transfer point in favour of DFW, as DFW has very frequent and well-timed service to and from SEA, and AA serve just about everywhere from DFW--SkyLink is convenient, and all concourses have ACs, whereas LAX will involve either a not-short interterminal bus transfer or a walk past TBIT to reclear security at T4. ORD is also an option with decent service to SEA, but ORD can sometimes involve longer walks, weather delays, and the like.

    On the whole, I avoid AS flights completely unless I'm both originating from and going to places west of the Rockies. But, when I am just headed to Los Angeles or the Bay Area, AS is a good option due to exit rows, priority boarding, elite security at SEA, WiFi and the relatively short block times of these flights. It's also not hard to find friends and family in the Seattle area that can gift you MVP Gold upgrade certificates, which are great to use on these flights at time of booking when U inventory is available. Let me know if you have any questions about life as an AA elite in SEA and I'll help as best I can!

    AA operate a daily 752 between SEA and JFK--there's no need to go to SFO or LAX to get to New York from Seattle. Doing so adds considerably to the travel time (it takes 3-4 hours longer to do SEA-LAX/SFO-JFK than to just take the non-stop), and while the 762 is a more comfortable plane, I'm not sure it's worth an extra 3-4 hours just to get to New York.
     
  10. kw335
    Original Member

    kw335 Silver Member

    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Status Points:
    975
    Do they ever send 75L out on this route at all?
     
  11. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    I've never seen it scheduled to run. Last winter the route was operated with a 738, and I've seen a 763 subbed in after the originally scheduled 752 went mechanical, but never seen a 75L. That would be a hard bird to sub into this route, since the 752 has several more premium seats that they'd have to downgrade quite a few people to fit F into 16 seats.
     
  12. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    The best plane from AS is a 738, yes I still prefer AA to make the SEA Flights!!
     
    Microwave likes this.
  13. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Downgauged to a 738 from mid-November 2011 on.
     
  14. Travel2Food
    Original Member

    Travel2Food Silver Member

    Messages:
    445
    Likes Received:
    374
    Status Points:
    535
    That was going to be my comment, too. Since they removed the 757s from the IAD-LAX route and replaced them with 738s, upgrades have become a LOT harder (even as EXP), especially on AA76. I would expect the same SEA-JFK.
     
  15. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    Just like last year.

    I still made all of my JFK flights as EXP, although I almost never fly Mondays and Thursdays. Everyone's travel patterns are different.
     
  16. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,901
    Likes Received:
    2,975
    Status Points:
    1,470
    The thing is that I don't think I've missed a Gold upgrade on SEA-LAX or v.v. in years, save for ones where I changed flights (deliberately changed a flight time that took me out of F, or used BUR/SNA/LGB/LAX coterminal rules to my advantage) and had to stand by for F at the airport. And even then I'm something like over 50% lifetime standing by into F at the airport.

    It's really, really hard to beat getting F at Y prices. Even if it's AS F. ;) You won't be doing that on VX- it's cash on the drumhead only. VX still gets some of my business (I'll be flying them this Monday because the Y fares were better at the time I bought by over $100), but AS gets the bulk of it. I use my Gold benefits a lot, like no fees (it's like having WN with an F cabin, and I mean that in the best way possible- I loathe nuisance fees), free same-day change and so on.

    But I fall into the category of "most of my travel is up and down the coast"- and I have a high enough upgrade rate on midcon/transcons (save for SEA-EWR :() that AS works for me. I would think that someone doing a lot of NYC/midcon/international travel might well be better served with AA... plus AS is still trying to get AS/AA reciprocity to parallel AS/DL reciprocity...
     
    Microwave likes this.
  17. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    Lol, stranded at PDX due to a maintenance issue. I will probably won't make in time for my connecting. So much for applauding AA MD 80s.
     
  18. demkr
    Original Member

    demkr Silver Member

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    310
    I think it's getting much harder to justify AA flying from the "Left Coast." While we in SFO have had our complaints, SEA has it even worse than we do with just 3 destinations and all 738/M80s making for hard upgrades. It is nice that AA metal flyers will get Board Room access though with AS
     
    Microwave likes this.
  19. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    In my opinion. AA should improve their routes and frequency to the upper West Coast. Or perhaps upgrade their aircrafts such as 762s/263s. Because I can see the flights departing and arriving from SEA are always full, and I fly SEA a lot!!! I'm really beginning to think about changing to AS or even Delta as an option! But to tell the truth I have no idea how Delta is doing on that route!
     
    demkr likes this.
  20. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    We have it plenty bad :), but at least (for now) the JFK flight is a 752. As has been pointed out, it went 738 last winter and will almost certainly do so again this winter, but it does spend a majority of the year as a 752, which is one of the easier upgrades.
     
  21. demkr
    Original Member

    demkr Silver Member

    Messages:
    110
    Likes Received:
    80
    Status Points:
    310
    ex-SEA:

    DL: 12 destinations
    UA/CO: 10-11 destinations (1 seasonal)
    AA: 3 destinations

    Awesome job keeping up with the Joneses!
     
    Eloy Fonseca Neto and Microwave like this.
  22. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    That's why I'm studing the Delta program for a possible change. I usually travel 10-12 times from GIG to SEA per year!
     
  23. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    I'd do just about anything to avoid going back to DL, and AA fly GIG-JFK and GIG-DFW, both of which have service to Seattle on AA (frequent service, in the latter's case). For some flyers, defection makes sense, but I seriously doubt DL will do you any better than AA will on this route. Just my 2 pence.
     
  24. Eloy Fonseca Neto
    Original Member

    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,024
    Status Points:
    870
    I don't know, never flown on DL, but with them I can get early to SEA and leave late!!!
     
  25. kw335
    Original Member

    kw335 Silver Member

    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Status Points:
    975
    I was actually only hoping that AA would fly its own metal on the SEA-LAX route, even if only one or two flights per day that enable us to connect easily onto JFK/BOS/MIA flights on the east coast, or intra-California and Hawaii flights.
     

Share This Page