AAdvantage on Vueling (optima fare)

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Canadalentin, Apr 27, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadalentin

    Canadalentin Active Member

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    Hi ! Here's my first thread, and English isn't my first language, so I'm sorry in advance if I make any newbie mistake...

    So, I'll soon move from France to Canada (YUL), and I'll get to travel on domestic North-American routes like 2 or 3 times a year. Then it'd be idiotic not to join a FF program, right ? I'm already a member of AF FlyingBlue that's great for TATL flights and French domestic flights (given that as I'm under 25 I'm eligible for FB "Jeune" which is kind of generous), but DL isn't often the cheapest airline out of YUL. US Airways or AA often is. So when AA and US merge it will certainly be the #1 choice for the routes I'll get to fly (mostly to MDT or PHL). Also, it seams that I could gain AAdvantage on any WestJet route, and that could be a great alternative to AC. So I was considering joining AAdvantage. What do you think of that ?
    And I was thinking of joining AA now as I'll be flying Vueling on an "Optima" fare in June, and this specific top-tier fare lets me gain Iberia Plus miles. I've heard that IB+ is kind of crappy, is it true (given that I won't ever fly IB) ? I guess I can also gain OW miles then, but I'm not sure, so do you know if I can gain AA miles on Vueling with an Optima fare ? I couldn't find any info about it online... So I could start either IB or AA program with this Vueling flight.

    Essentially, what do you think of my strategy ? Will AAdvantage be the best program in my case (No TATL with OW, only 2/3 domestic trips a year out of YUL) and can I gain AA miles on Vueling (with an Optima fare) ?
     
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  2. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Hi Canadalentin, welcome to MP!

    Joining a North America-based FF program does seem like a good idea if you are going to be doing most of your travel on this side of the Atlantic after your move. However if you are only taking a few trips per year, I might consider sticking with your current program and just accumulating the few miles you'd earn per year on domestic flights there. Two or three trips to PHL/MDT per year aren't really going to add up to much. You'd need quite a few years of those trips to earn even a domestic award trip.

    If you do think you want to go down the AA route, here are a few things I thought would be good to bring up....
    • While AA and US might be the lowest fares now, it's not a guarantee that the combined US/AA will still be the lowest. Once they stop competing with one another there's a possibility that fares in general will raise at that airport on the routes you're looking at.
    • AAdvantage is a very solid program when compared with AC/DL/UA. There are various pluses and minuses, but overall the earning potential is solid, the elite benefits (should you earn them) are not that bad, and the award potential solid. Remember that AA currently does not offer unlimited upgrades for lower level elites like DL and UA offer, and that award availability on AA has shrunk in the recent past.
    • You can earn AA miles when flying on WestJet (WS), but only redeemable miles. Unless you are on an AA codeshare, you cannot earn EQM/EQP/EQS for elite status.
    • You cannot earn miles on Vueling (VY) because VY is a non-Oneworld affiliated carrier. The only carriers in the IB group you can earn AA miles on are Iberia, Iberia Express, and Air Nostrum.
     
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  3. If you are still going to travel back to France regularly or eventually move back there you might consider staying with the AF program and using their US partners for travel in NA. Your minimal amount of flying won't get you much in the way of status on NA airlines so collecting AF points might make more sense.

    Welcome aboard....je suis Canadien.
     
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  4. Canadalentin

    Canadalentin Active Member

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    Thank you so much DestinationDavid for taking the time to write such an complete answer !

    It's true that I wouldn't be that much of a frequent flyer with OW ! Moreover I'll try to keep flying DL on domestic routes and AF/KL on TATL as soon as it's not a lot more expensive and the schedules are still convenient... Because I like those companies, I never had any serious problem, now I've gained quite a few miles with FlyingBlue and again, the Jeune (means "Young") version is pretty generous. But as Skyteam has no partner for Canadian domestic routes (impossible to book a codeshared WestJet flight if not part of a TATL trip, so typically there's no way go anywhere in Canada conveniently and gain SkyTeam miles in the meantime...), and sometimes DL is ridiculously expensive out of YUL, I sure will have to cheat on my beloved alliance sometimes...

    Then, should I benefit from the fact that I'll get to gain IB+ miles in June to keep using IB+ in North-America on my potential AA flights ? I mean, as I don't aspire to any Elite status (so far...) but just every possible mile to add up so I could use them for an award ticket in like a century, would it be that bad to keep using IB+ in North-America ?

    Thank you :)

    EDIT : Thank you guinessxyz for your answer. As I said, I sure will have to fly a non-SkyTeam sometimes because of price and/or conveniency reasons... So that'd be a shame not to add whatever miles I can ! Vive le Canada, united and strong !
     
  5. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    This is difficult to give insight into because it really depends on what the IB+ program will offer you for your miles, and I'm not knowledgable about that program. You may want to consider seeking out some folks familiar with the IB+ program to give you some tips. I know AA fairly well and many tidbits about OW in general, but sadly not the specifics of the IB+ program.
     
  6. Canadalentin

    Canadalentin Active Member

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    You're right, I'm gonna start a new thread in the IB+ section. Thanks again !
     
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