AAmerican Experts Feedback on AAmerican compared to United

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by chitownflyer, Jun 23, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    I received AA’s 1K status match offer to Executive Platinum. I am curious as to MP members input as to how the loyalty programs and travel experiences compare to each other. I will continue to be a United 1K, but I am indecisive as to whether I should pursue the requalification of AA Executive Platinum status.
    On the positive side of AA, SWUs can be used on any fare even discounted Business class and Emeralds get access to the Flagship and international OneWorld First class lounges. ExPlats get unlimited complimentary domestic upgrades, and AA does not seem to be engaging in the TOD upgrades scheme. Platinums continue to earn the 100 percent RDM bonus. AA also really seems to wish to earn the customers business and is taking great steps to do so.
    On the negative side, I start out with a zero AA mileage balance. AA’s routing network seems to be extremely limited internationally when compared to United whose network is massive. From my current domicile, there are few AA flights to the west coast. IMHO, a major drawback is that a potential AA-US merger would likely lead to major changes in the AAdvantage program and reductions in benefits.
    I appreciate feedback from AA loyalists whether they only fly AA, switched from United to AA, or if they have 1K and Executive Platinum on both airlines. Is the AAdvantage program and Executive Platinum status worth the expenditure for the benefits and experiences in the long term?
     
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  2. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I maintained both 1K and EXP for several years, and when you added on award travel (mostly international to Asia/Australia for me---always found the AA paid codeshares out of my price range to get full miles), it was just too much time in the air. As I could not use my UA systemwides (just won't buy-up for the chance), I made the decision to keep top tier at AA and drop to midtier at UA. With the recent devaluation of midtier at UA (50% bonus miles), I have not booked a single paid flight this year and don't expect that to change. I'm already over 150K EQM with AA this year but some of that is from promos. Will probably hit 200K year end where 150K or so will be real miles without bonuses.

    You really need to look at your travel patterns and what you get if you fly 200K between the two. Will you have time to redeem 400K or more on a regular basis? Do you want to be in the air flying 250-300K each year when you add in award redemptions? That's what I ended up basing my decision on. I just got tired of so much time in the air and something had to give.

    I'm just not sure AA's program will suffer with a US merger. For example, midtier at US earns 50% bonus miles while AA earns 100% bonus miles. If AA goes with the US model ,they look just like UA at midtier. AA has not jumped on a number of things in the UA model (systemwides on W or higher, unlimited upgrades for all elites, changes to elite bonuses), so I'm hoping even with a US merger we keep a good portion of value in the program from the AA side. Of course, if you look at UA, who would have predicted all the changes there if asked a year ago, everything from 1MM benefits to premier seating for silvers. Anything if possible.

    If you're happy at UA, by all means stay with them. Use AA as your backup carrier and maybe consider midtier (Platinum with 100% bonus miles). to keep your miles diversified.
     
  3. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    Thanks for the reply Tom. I am concerned US might get rid of a lot of the benefits like the 100 percent RDM bonus for Platinums and SWUs for Executive Platinums.

    How are the award redemptions via the AAdvantage program for One World carriers? Is it possible to get a QF F A380 award or are these all blacked out? Are there other great premium cabin OneWorld award redemptions?

    The redesigned AA C & F cabins have the potential to be the best product in the sky for a US based carrier, but this will take several years to implement. How is the current AA C product compared to the United C product?
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Qf a380 f is not blacked out. It is tough to find us/oz, but is more regularly available sin-syd/Mel.

    BA f is quite nice. Concorde room access at lhr/JFK. Very nice onboard product. Cx f is great product and decent/good availability to/from US. BA has YQ, but has excellent availability. (I just booked 4 f tickets from the Persian gulf to ny over Christmas!). JL f nice too, but more limited us availability (not blacked out though).
     
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  5. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I've only done F on Cathay this year and found plenty of availability there two weeks out. Have never looked for F awards on Qantas - all my Australia trips have been in business and just need to keep an eye out as seats open up. I have done two One World awards combining Asia and Australia, one in coach and one in business, and have found them a good value.
     
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  6. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    I am one of the 1Ks that matched over to EXP and my flying has been on AA since mid-May. I am only booking AA for the balance of the year (where feasible) and the only flying I plan to do on UA is what I booked previously to matching.

    One thing I miss that UA has that AA doesn't is the confirmed SDC benefit. The SDC benefit would have been useful a few times.

    I have only missed one UG out of 15 segments flown since May, not too shabby. I did enjoy the snack and beverage offered to me though on that one flight. My UGs have cleared as early as 100 hours and as late as a few hours before the flight, and once at the gate.

    I received the SWUs when I matched over and I am looking forward to taking advantage of them. Much nicer than the UA W fare restriction to redeem a SWU.

    The EXP desk is much better than calling the "1K line" aka Premier Desk. Calling UA has been painful, where as the EXP desk is much easier to deal with. I called in this morning to book a CX F award ticket. I was done within 5 minutes. The last time I called UA to book an award ticket, I was on the phone for 45 minutes.

    Just a few thoughts...
     
  7. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    Last year, I did 100 EQM with AA on June, so I tryed a match-up on United and did a GIG-IAD flight RT both with upgrade cleared. I hope that was my last time with United. I don't know if I'm used to AA, but I found AA much better than UA. After that I'm now flerting with DL. I should be 100 EQM with AA next month, and then I do some international flights with Delta, but this time I'll send my uncle first with my GOL miles and wait his evaluation before taking the risk!!!
     
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  8. Silver Springer

    Silver Springer Gold Member

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    Mr.Silver Springer and I have been very pleased with our limited experience with AA. Liked the service on flights, upgraded 3/4 times. On one flight I made a mistake booking a date and the EXP desk made the correction graciously. The three AA club passes were very nice as were the offer of 15 go-go codes. So far, so good--we have a total of 30K miles of trips booked through August and will be doing more in the Fall.
    Cheers, Mary Anne.
     
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  9. MJ-bos

    MJ-bos Silver Member

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    Same experience here-- UGs are clearing >90%, people are just WONDERFUL - call center, agents, AC, FAs, GAs... just a totally different attitude. Have enjoyed the in-flight drinks & snacks when the upgrades didn't clear.

    AC is far better than UC at ORD, BOS, LAX -- more desks, more plugs, better seats ... the free food isn't as good as UC (never thought I'd say that!) but the full menu offering trumps that.

    I'm in BOS now so losing the Eagle hublet kind of sucks, merging AA/US would really give JetBlue and DL competition.
     
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  10. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    I assume for ExecPlats, that unlike UA's PS service (JFK-SFO/LAX), AA's similar premium transcon service does provide comp upgrades from coach to business if there are seats open in the C cabin within the 100-hour NAmerican upgrade window, or at the gate.
     
  11. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Yup!
     
  12. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Thanks. Have a couple of these this summer and through the fall. Nice to know what extra comforts lie ahead for me now that I've returned to the bright side. (Curiously AA website offers me YYZ-JFK-LAX or SFO and return as a normal YYZ-LAX/SFO-YYZ routing at the same cost as the more usual nonstop or ORD connection. Great way to get to the west coast if I have a day to spare for the outbound.)
     
  13. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Executive Platinums on American are actually top tier, whereas 1Ks on United are below Global Services for upgrades.

    AA doesn't have as much internet penetration as Delta, but it's pretty widespread, something I value a lot.

    AAgents are consistently helpful and friendly. And on occasion when my upgrade doesn't clear FAs thank me for my business and per policy comp not just cocktails in back but also buy on board snacks.

    I admit, an exit row + free snack/cocktail + wifi is pretty good. And if that's all it was AA would be competitive for me. But I'm going to clear my upgrades far more frequently on AA than I would UA, in large measure because on UA full fare silvers trump mid-fare 1Ks for upgrades, not so with AA.

    And mileage-wise, I value 3-cabin international first class redemptions, and AA is much better for that than UA is these days.
     
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