Additional Questions from MilePoint Live Chat Q&A

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by AmericanAirlines, Jul 24, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. AmericanAirlines

    AmericanAirlines Official Representative

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    Good Afternoon!

    Thanks to those of you who participated in the recent live chat with Suzanne! Once again, your questions and feedback proved to be incredibly valuable to the AAdvantage team.

    Suzanne has taken some time to answer additional questions that were submitted. We've copied the answers for you below. Thank you for your patience while we put this together!

    Here are the additional answers!

    Additional Questions from MilePoint Live Chat Q&A

    Thank you to all who joined for the Live Chat on June 19, 2012. It was a huge honor for us to have so many of you logged in and sharing your time, questions and feedback with AAdvantage. Based on the volume of questions coming across during the chat and some of the post-chat commentary, we wanted to respond to the complete list of questions here. We’ve grouped questions by theme below.

    AAdvantage Program Benefits
    Q: (dailycavalier) Suzanne - what do you think sets AAdvantage apart from other airline loyalty programs? What are the best benefits and what do we have to look forward to? I'm a frequent Delta flyer, but I'd love to know why I should switch to American.
    AAdvantage was the first loyalty program in the industry. In May, we celebrated our 31st anniversary. Over the years we have won awards for customer service, elite programs, promotions, etc. In April, 2012 we were recognized by customers just like you and were honored to receive three Freddie Awards and two FlyerTalk awards. We are committed to delivering exceptional value to our members.

    The MilePoint AAdvantage forum provides rich commentary about program features that our members value relative to other Loyalty programs. One benefit that our Executive Platinum members consistently mention that they find particularly valuable is the 8 one-way system-wide upgrades they receive at qualification, which may be used on any published fare. Another area where we consistently receive positive feedback is our customer service.

    Q: (Alex Martinez) Evening Suzanne. I know you had a mountain of questions but maybe one that might be important is how you maintain the AAdvantage program currently as the favorite among frequent fliers (including myself) and fresh for people to keep coming around and to have so many awards during the years. What is the recipe or what are the ways to keep the program current and so loved by so many fliers? What can you tell us about the new additions of AAdvantage without spilling the beans? Any other projects AAdvantage is doing without telling state secrets? As the restructuring goes forward how do you envision the AAdvantage program into the future?
    We are very glad that customers continue to find value in the AAdvantage program. In order to ensure that continues, we stay connected to travelers like you, through this and other forums, so we can hear what is or is not working for you. Customer feedback is a key element we consider as we strive to constantly innovate and improve the AAdvantage program.

    Recent examples of initiatives that we have launched to keep the program fresh include Dynamic Air Awards for Elite members, car and hotel awards and expanded online booking for partner awards (AS, BA, HA and as of last week QF). MilePoint live chat participants were the first to know about our news to offer online award booking for Qantas… and I can only spill so many beans at one time!

    If you have other ideas for things we should be considering, please send them our way via the following link: http://www.aa.com/contactAA/viewEmailFormAccess.do?eventName=customerRelations

    Or, send us a message via the AAdvantage channels on Facebook, Twitter or MilePoint.com.

    Earning and Redeeming Miles
    Q: (Derek) Have you considered offering a Wi-Fi Membership - where frequent fliers can pay a flat rate for an annual or semi-annual pass good on all flights? If you were to partner with a hotel (so that I could use this both on AA and SPG), this would be something both I and my expense report would be in favor of. Just a thought.
    Be sure to check-out www.aa.com/wifi for all of the inflight Wi-Fi options available today. I like the way you think … leveraging all aspects of travel to ensure consistency! I'm listening and will take your ideas back to our team here at AAdvantage. In the meantime, you can get unlimited monthly access on our Wi-Fi enabled aircraft for $39.95 per month.

    Q: (Manik) First, congrats on all the good work. Are you considering reduced mileage redemptions to match Star alliance?
    From time to time we offer discounted mileage awards. Recently, we had some very nice discount mileage offers in the market for travel between the U.S. and Japan. Additionally, we keep an eye on our competition to ensure we aren't missing any opportunities. When we do offer discounted mileage award opportunities, you'll find all of the information on aa.com/offers.

    Q: (Hans Weber) As a 30-year AAdvantage member I've seen the value of the mileage points dramatically deteriorate. I've given up using miles for free travel. I use them only for upgrades and annual Admirals Club membership renewal. Are there any plans to enhance the free flight value of the mileage points?
    In 2011, 8.3% of American Airlines passengers traveled on a free award, one of the highest numbers in the industry. In addition, AAdvantage members redeemed more than 166 billion miles to claim more than 7.5 million awards, a 5% increase compared to the previous year.

    AAdvantage members enjoy the ability to book one-way combinable awards, which offer substantial flexibility in selecting the dates and times that best meet their needs. Additionally, we continue to make more of our partner awards available online, providing even more options when redeeming AAdvantage miles for flights. Online awards are currently offered for Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, British Airways and Qantas.

    Q: (Max M) Hi, Ms. Rubin. Why do some AAdvantage awards require there be a "published" fare on American in order to be able to acquire such an award, if an award starts at an AA city, but there's no "published" fare between the two destinations?
    We actually allow members a lot of flexibility when booking award travel on AA. The "published fare" requirement applies to participating carriers and is directly related to what they offer to their members in their own rewards programs.

    Q: (Manik) Any plans to match award redemption with Star alliance (i.e. 120K miles for Business and 160K miles for First Class?
    We continually evaluate our award pricing from a customer perspective as well as a competitive perspective. At this time we do not anticipate any changes to award pricing.

    Q: (kwai) Is there any discussion on increasing award stopovers to locales that are not North American gateway cities?
    We are not considering any changes to the stopover rules on award travel at this time.

    Q: (Derek) Suzanne, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the new Dynamic Air awards. FANTASTIC. Are you looking at any other options to access the front cabin – possibly as a benefit to elite or high-revenue passengers?
    Thanks, Derek! Good to hear how much you’re enjoying the Dynamic Air award option. As far as other options, we currently offer upgrades as an elite benefit to access the premium cabins. And if we come up with additional options, we’ll be sure to let everyone know.

    Q: (HouseofV) Are there any future changes occurring to the Dynamic Air awards feature? I have found it to be very cumbersome to use and, to be honest, the only dynamic part has been fares going up!
    Dynamic Air awards are one option in a suite of options available to elite members who want to redeem miles for award travel, and we’ve seen a lot of positive feedback from members who have benefited from this type of award. Ultimately, each customer must decide what best meets his or her needs. While the current separate booking path solution isn’t ideal, our goal was to get incremental redemption options into market sooner. We will continue to enhance the booking process as usage of these awards warrants.

    Q: (Nick H.) Are there any plans for new ways to earn and spend miles in the future (24-36 months)?
    Our goal is to ensure the AAdvantage program remains valuable and relevant to our members. From both an airline and non-airline partner perspective, we have ongoing active discussions with companies that reflect our customers’ needs and interests to realize ever more value from AAdvantage. Our recent announcement of partnering with WestJet is such an example.

    Q: (nonemac) You know what additional redemption option I would love? The opportunity to spend miles for Flagship Check-In and guaranteed expedited TSA screening!
    We think this would be a fantastic option and are evaluating additional AA and AAdvantage products and services that may be purchased using AAdvantage miles. If we open up these types of services for redemption, we will have a distinct focus on balancing demand for finite resources such as the two options you mention.

    United 1K Status Match
    Q: (Guest) Do you have a program for dejected UA Million Miler flyers, who, after decades of loyalty to ... well, you know the story, don't want to set foot on that carrier again, but don't really have the wherewithal to earn yet another million-plus butt-in-seat miles again in this lifetime? (I am referring to something other than a one-time status match.)
    I am certainly sympathetic to your situation. At this time we have no plans to go beyond what we're currently offering.

    Q: (Karung99) I am also an ex-1K UA customer who just reached Executive Platinum status with American. Is there a way to get more than 8 SWUs for international travel?
    We have an offer in the market for Executive Platinum members to receive additional systemwide upgrades called Elite Rewards. If by the end of the year you earn 125,000 elite qualifying POINTS, you may choose two additional rewards. One of the rewards offered is 2 systemwide upgrades. You may choose that reward twice or choose something different as your second reward. Check out aa.com/eliterewards for more details.

    Q: (kwai) For those UA 1Ks contemplating the jump after being matched to American Airlines, what is the biggest draw for the program and/or inflight experience?
    Q: (kathy reddick) Loved the 1K match. Thanks AA. How can I maximize my new status?
    There are many ways you can maximize your status – from upgrade privileges to airport benefits – and some of the most valuable insights actually come from MilePoint users, who are a wealth of information on this topic. American will also send you a series of educational emails about your elite benefits covering upgrades, reservations and airport benefits.

    Q: (Guest) Are you getting positive feedback from the United flyers who have taken advantage of American Airlines promotions offering a fast track to elite status?
    We have received positive feedback from former United customers who are enjoying the benefits of the AAdvantage program, inflight products such as Wi-Fi and complimentary food/drink on select flights, our fleet renewal and of course, our people and our network.

    Q: (Timothy) How do you expect to continue delivering value to Executive Platinum members who earned their status from 100K+ butt-in-seat miles when you are giving away the same status (and SWUs) to UA 1Ks?
    This is a great question and I know one that many of you may be asking. First, we take a very deliberate approach to all status match requests and evaluate each request on a case-by-case basis. American has consistently had the most conservative status match policy of any domestic carrier and that remains the case today. The vast majority of matches that we have granted have required that SWUs be earned through a standard travel challenge. This is meant to ensure that we are only delivering full benefits to those members who demonstrate the actual flying behavior required to earn these valuable benefits.

    Q: (Wandering Aramean) How is "One of our primary objectives is to continue delivering value to all of our elite members," clearing anything up?
    Our goal is to maintain balance in the program to provide continued value for our members. Managing the size of the elite population is critical to achieving program balance. Examples of things we have done that support this include the recent changes we made to the Million Miler program as well as the challenge based structure we use for status matches. Future decisions we make will continue be evaluated based on the ability to maintain this balance.

    Q: (Rizwan) Thank you from a United 1K who matched over and loves the change. Wi-Fi, happier people, and solid upgrades. This is what being a top-tier elite should be like.
    Many of us were matched far later during the match periods, and missed a solid 60 days towards their 30K miles for their SWUs. I get that these are stretch goals, but I'd have to resort to mileage runs in order to fly 30K miles, without EQM promotions, during the expensive summer period when my travel is far reduced. Are you considering allowing those of us matched in June a little more time to meet these goals, since processing the match took up to 4 weeks for a number of us?
    We have established an accelerated path to Executive Platinum for 2013 in view of the shortened period. If you earn the requisite elite qualifying points by December 31, 2012, you will earn EP through February 2014.

    Q: (Storyteller) Most of my miles come from flying. As a United 1K, how do I get my status matched to AA so that I can spread some of my business towards AA?
    Please contact AAdvantage Customer Service at 1-800-882-8880 and they will review your request for an elite exception.

    Q: (ikonos) i just joined this chat. Not sure if any one asked this or not, but are there any plans to offer an Executive Platinum status match to Delta Medallion members like the one you offered to United 1K?

    Our decision to match a customer’s elite status on another airline is made a case by case basis. Please call 1-800-882-8880 and speak with one of our excellent AAdvantage customer service representatives who will assist you with your request.

    Q: (Canadi>n) How successful was the status match for UA elites? Seems like a gold rush, particularly from lower tiers so you had to limit it after a couple of days to 1Ks and GSs.
    We are carefully monitoring the results of the status match. So far we are encouraged by the observed flight activity and the feedback received.

    Fleet Renewal
    Q: (Kevy) Hi Suzanne, thanks for taking time to answer all of our questions! I was just wondering what the latest status on AA's Fleet Modernization Plan is. We're all excited about new and refurbished birds coming our way!
    Glad to hear you’re so excited! The feeling is definitely mutual. We’re transforming our fleet over the next five years into the youngest fleet among the major U.S. carriers. As for the latest and greatest information, I can share that we’re currently taking 737 deliveries every month; we’re looking forward to our new 777 aircraft later this year; we expect to begin taking delivery of our 787-9 Dreamliners at the end of 2014; and next year, we’ll take delivery of our Airbus 319 and Airbus 321 aircraft.

    Q: (steve) I wanted to ask about seating configuration on the new 777. Is 3-4-3 the final layout in the main cabin?
    Our new 777-300ER deliveries will have a 3-4-3 Main Cabin configuration and to ensure consistency across the fleet, we intend to change the seat configuration on the 777-200ER to match.

    On a related note, we plan to outfit our entire mainline fleet (including our new 777s) with Main Cabin Extra, which will offer more leg room as well as priority boarding. American plans to begin installations this year, and over time will update all of our existing aircraft.

    Q: (Derek) Suzanne, are you considering any "member only" activities around the delivery and inaugural revenue flight of the 777? I know I'm looking forward to seeing the plane in the AA livery and it might provide an opportunity for a unique "Elite" benefit... just a thought.
    We love the idea of offering exclusive experiences for our Elite members and we are evaluating opportunities like this for the future.

    Mobile App/AA.com
    Q: (Switch2) What new options are you planning to have on the iPhone app? Comparatively, the AA mobile app has a 90's user experience.
    Q: (Timothy) Will your mobile app ever include more day-of-flight information, such as the airport upgrade list?
    Q: (Switch2) How/where do we give you suggestions for the AA app?
    Q: (Guest) Suzanne - Any plans on enhancing technology (e.g., apps) to improve AAdvantage members' experiences?
    Q: (JB Vick) How would I propose the idea of a mobile app game to you?
    Clearly lots of interest in our Apps. American has more apps on more devices than any other airline and we're constantly listening to the feedback our customers like you are providing. So let us know what you would like to see next and stay tuned for new features in the coming months!

    In the meantime, send us your feedback at this link: http://www.aa.com/contactAA/viewEmailFormAccess.do?eventName=customerRelations

    Q: (oirrio) Any plans to let Executive Platinum members see their additional award inventory available to them online? At the moment we have to call the Executive Platinum desk to double check.
    Q: (juan) When you purchase last-minute tickets on Delta, you are able to see if the upgrade is available on the spot for tickets purchased within your elite status window. Have you thought about allowing this to be viewable on AA.com?
    Any updates to online or mobile functionalities will certainly be communicated as they come along. We continue to expand the functionality of website and mobile apps and we always appreciate your feedback on what AA.com and mobile functions are most useful for you. Be on the lookout for some exciting new options in the near future.

    MegaDo
    Q: (Nusrey) What is a MegaDO?
    http://milepoint.com/forums/wiki/event-information/

    Q: (ZPaul) What does BME stand for?
    Best. MegaDO. Ever.

    Q: (Horse) Judging by the amount of interest in the last oneworld MegaDo, I hope to see AA as a large part of the next one. Do you think for the next MegaDo that there could be a special incentive for new AAdvantage members or those without status to encourage them to use AA as their primary carrier?
    Thanks for the suggestion. I was thrilled with the interest we generated through the first oneworld MegaDo. The two challenges we offered as a part of this year’s MegaDo were geared toward fostering greater AA travel among all participants – long time AA loyalists as well as those who are new to AAdvantage and American. We will certainly consider additional opportunities like the one you suggest as we design future MegaDo plans.

    US Airways Merger Speculation
    Q: (Guest) I have several thousand points and would like to know if i will be able to use them if American merges with another company.
    Q: (daemon14) There have been rumors of an AA/US Airways merger. As a participant in both programs, I find value in both programs, more so AA at the moment. Has the thought of having to combine two different mileage/elite programs come to mind and, if so, what goes into the process of deciding what stays and what goes?
    Q: (ZPaul) Hi Suzanne, (wearing my AA vest as I ask this): I'm sure you know the buzz about a merger between US Airways and AA. How do you see AAdvantage versus their program?
    I know we touched on this during the chat, but I wanted to emphasize that American is currently focused on getting through the restructuring process and any speculation about a possible merger would be premature. Rest assured that we’ll continue providing safe and secure airline service, exceptional customer service and a competitive loyalty program.

    MilePoint Chat
    Q: (swag) Randy, how do we enter tonight's drawing?
    Q: (Joseph White) How do we register for the free miles you're giving out?
    Q: (Joseph White) I somehow missed how to enter for the miles you are giving away.
    All those who logged into the live chat were entered to win and the good people at MilePoint selected the winners.

    Q: (Elliot) What dictates the release of award inventory?
    Q: (Roger) Suzanne, Executive Platinum member and United 1K here. Can you open up more domestic saver award seats in the week before travel, like United does? I have trouble redeeming my AA miles.
    We take careful consideration to ensure there’s a balance between available award seat inventory and the revenue objectives of the company. Customer demand on particular routes also plays a role.

    Main Cabin Extra
    Q: (swag) Does the survey option on redeeming points (for non-Platinum, non-Executive Platinum) “using miles to purchase Preferred Seats or the upcoming Main Cabin Extra seating product" mean that Main Cabin Extra won't be extended to AAdvantage Gold members after 2013?
    At this time, we’re offering Main Cabin Extra seating to AAdvantage Gold members and up to eight of their companions traveling in the same reservation at time of booking for seats reserved through Dec. 31, 2013. We’re currently evaluating the policy for AAdvantage Gold members beyond 2013.

    Network, Alliances
    Q: (Will) With Qantas pulling out of US-New Zealand routes, award availability has dramatically decreased to the South Pacific. Any thoughts on how this could be increased? Perhaps opening up other routings, such as US-South America-South Pacific, or US-Asia-South Pacific, on a US-South Pacific award?
    Customers can fly from the U.S. to South America to the South Pacific on an award. For example, LAN currently offers nonstop service from Santiago to Auckland, which is an option for AAdvantage award travel. This would, however, require claiming two awards – one from the U.S. to South America and a separate award from South America to the South Pacific. The requirement for two awards is tied to how the airlines serving these markets file these routings.

    Q: (Alex Martinez) The codeshare agreement with Chinese Partner Hainan Airlines was made not so long ago. What is the mission of American Airlines and oneworld to capture the Chinese market?
    China is clearly an important market and we continually evaluate our options for expanding into Asia . oneworld was the first alliance with a member airline from greater China (Cathay Pacific) on board, and our combination of Cathay Pacific, Dragonair (regularly voted the best airline serving Mainland China) and their Hong Kong hub, and the growing Chinese networks of our other member airlines meets the vast majority of our customers’ needs – and offers high quality airline service for travel from or within China. Mainland China is a growing and rapidly changing market and we believe there will be further opportunities for oneworld there.

    Q: (Rob) Speaking of Australia, any chance of making US to Tokyo to Australia a valid single-award routing as opposed to paying the US to North Asia plus North Asia to Australia combined price?
    There are many factors that impact AA and our participating carriers for awards that are offered to AAdvantage members. We are not considering such a single award routing at this time.

    Q: (gpapadop) Any plans to expand out of Detroit? We Delta Platinums would love to have AAdvantage Executive Platinum challenges and leave Delta behind once and for all!
    Thanks for your enthusiasm for our program. American and American Eagle already serve many key markets from Detroit. In fact, we have nearly 20 departures per day from DTW to four of our five hubs including DFW, LGA, MIA and ORD. Any additional flights would likely be an added frequency to one of our major hubs.

    JetBlue
    Q: (tom911) Where do you see the JetBlue relationship going in the future? Could we see AA miles offered on additional JetBlue routes?
    Q: (TheBeerHunter) Suzanne, can you speak to any expansion of American’s partnership with JetBlue and whether the elite benefits for specific flights might get expanded? I am an Executive Platinum member based in SJC/SFO, where AA has been cutting back.
    We continually evaluate opportunities to enhance the relationships we have with our AAdvantage partner airlines. And as you might expect, any potential for change requires thoughtful and measured evaluation. Rest assured that you will be among the first to know if we have any news on that front.

    Qantas
    Q: (Justin B) Qantas offers quite a bit of service from the US to Australia and even flights to Auckland. But their availability is awful. Currently, Qantas loads their schedules almost a year out, and there’s sometimes award space when the schedules load. Does American Airlines have any plans to provide members with the ability to use their AAdvantage miles to book Qantas awards one year out, as opposed to just the standard 330 days currently supported?
    Q: (Max M) Currently, other oneworld partners such as British Airways and Qantas release their awards to their own frequent flyers before AAdvantage customers can book awards on their airlines. Is there any way AA/AAdvantage would consider in the future giving AAdvantage customers preferential access to awards before seats are released to other oneworld carriers' frequent flyer programs? This would put AAdvantage on an even playing field with other oneworld carriers’ redemption methods.
    Q: (daemon14) In regards to booking Qantas flights online, will AAdvantage members be able to book 365 days out (when Qantas seems to open up their schedule) or will they only be able to do so 331 days out (the current window at which AA awards open).
    Q: (Bradley) Can we get access to Qantas awards as early as Qantas members?
    Unfortunately, AA is limited to 330 days for booking reservations on AA or any of our participating carriers. This issue is a result of a systems limitation. I understand your concerns and appreciate your suggestions. We will continue to look for an opportunity to improve this issue but it isn’t likely to be resolved in the near future.

    TAM
    Q: (Alex Martinez) Suzanne, thanks for taking the time for sit down and answer our questions. What’s the status of the oneworld LAN Chile and the TAM Brasilla relationship? Are we getting a codeshare on TAM, too? Can you talk about the possible entrance of TAM Brasillia into oneworld? If so, can you tell when TAM might join oneworld?
    Q: (Eloy Fonseca) Do you have any updates on LATAM airlines? Will it be possible that they could join oneworld soon?
    American is currently awaiting LATAM’s alliance decision as it works toward a successful implementation of its merger. We enjoy a long-standing and successful partnership with LAN, the leading airline in Latin America, and look forward to potential opportunities to strengthen our bilateral and oneworld partnership in the future.

    Other AAdvantage Participating Airlines
    Q: (Guest) In researching destinations for some upcoming award travel, I was surprised to learn that I could use AAdvantage miles to fly on Air Tahiti Nui. It's not a oneworld partner, but apparently it is SOME SORT of partner. Could you share with us other non-oneworld airlines on which we could book award travel?
    We have several non-oneworld airlines that participate in the AAdvantage program. You can earn miles and redeem miles on Air Pacific, Alaska Airlines, El Al, Etihad, Gulf Air, Hawaiian Airlines, Jet Airways,,and Kingfisher. Additionally, you can redeem miles on Air Tahiti Nui and Cape Air and you can earn miles on JetBlue when flying on applicable routes. As of last month, we added WestJet to the list of carriers you can earn AAdvantage miles on. For more information go to www.aa.com/aadvantage and click on Earn Miles or Redeem Miles.

    Q: (Darren) I flew my first ever flight on American during the MegaDo, and you'll be happy to know I currently have four more trips planned on AA for the year! Just curious if you can comment on your partnership with WestJet, as American doesn’t fly to my city. I will rely on them or another alliance to get me to an AA gateway!
    Q: (Michael) Why don't Canadians have any more AAdvantage benefits or earning opportunities.
    Hopefully you saw last week’s news about American and WestJet’s reciprocal mileage earning opportunities. Now AAdvantage members and WestJet Rewards members can earn AAdvantage miles or WestJet dollars when traveling on flights operated by the other airline. Stay tuned for additional opportunities for members of each carrier’s loyalty program.

    Fees
    Q: (Checkerboard) While it's understandable that AAdvantage members must pay government imposed taxes on the awards they redeem, largely, AA award bookings remain a great incentive to accumulate AAdvantage miles - and I'm glad for the chance to do so. However, with some AA partners, (BA in particular, and to a lesser extent IB), the fuel surcharges added to the award cost make those mileage redemptions feel merely like a slight discount off the normal ticket cost, and thus comparatively less rewarding. This is especially true since for revenue tickets, these same fuel surcharges are treated as non-refundable parts of the fare. For a long time, AA did not charge these fuel surcharges on BA or IB Awards. Can you imagine any possible way to make awards like these once again free?
    We are thrilled to be able to offer BA and IB awards as additional options for trans-Atlantic award travel. Each carrier has its own specific rules and the application of fuel surcharges are BA and IB policies. These policies are consistently applied to all customers of AA, BA or IB.

    Q: (Norman) Why are the taxes and fees so high when redeeming AA miles for international flights on British Airways?
    British Airways establishes the fees associated with award travel on BA. There is more information about BA's policy on www.aa.com/aadvantage.

    Q: (Andy B.) What is AAdvantage's current educational model for customer-facing employees? For instance, it can be frustrating to book an award ticket while being told YQ (now YR) must be paid.
    I’m not certain I completely understand this question. Fuel surcharges do apply to BA awards according to BA policy. If your question is about something else, please reach out via http://www.aa.com/contactAA/viewEmailFormAccess.do?eventName=customerRelations.

    Upgrades
    Q: (Mark) Suzanne, I’m a member of Delta and American frequent flier programs at the Platinum level. Why, when American wants to keeps members on AA, do you still charge to upgrade to First Class when Delta "moves" us up 96 hours before travel without charging our frequent flier accounts?
    Q: (Mark) As a Platinum member that is also a Delta Gold member, has AA thought to use an upgrade program like Delta instead of requiring to pay for an upgrade moving the person to First Class 96 hours prior to the flight?
    We get mixed feedback on this issue. Many of our customers have shared that they prefer our current upgrade policy and they want us to keep it as is. They recognize the value of the product and understand that increased demand from a DL/UA-like policy would jeopardize the upgrade opportunity for those willing to pay.

    Q: (Guest) Please tell us that AA does not plan to introduce “tens of dollars” upgrades like UA. These upgrades are offered on individual segments to non-elites - diluting UA’s elite upgrade program.
    Our goal is to ensure that we deliver the benefits and experience our elite members value. To that end, we do all possible to ensure our elite member upgrades are accommodated prior to offering upgrades to non-elite members.

    Q: (Bradley) With the new aircrafts and the new Business Class, will there be greater challenge in using SWUs to upgrade? Please note that the ability to upgrade using SWUs for any fare class is one of the biggest benefits to being an Executive Platinum member.
    We do not anticipate any impact to our customers' ability to use their systemwide upgrades as a result of our fleet renewal efforts.

    Million Miler Program
    Q: (Ryan) The changes to focus the Million Miler program on butt-in-seat miles seem contrary to the general direction of frequent flier programs, including AA, which is putting more focus on frequent flier programs as profit centers, regardless of where the miles were earned. Why the discrepancy?
    Q (Alex Martinez) As an AAdvantage member who utilizes the Citi / AAdvantage credit card, I was sad to see that we couldn't count our miles for elite status. Is there any pilot program or anything at all that could benefit the credit card road warriors?
    Q: (Alex Martinez) Suzanne, I like the new benefits of the Citi Platinum / AAdvantage card, but miss the elite qualifications from the card.
    It is important to us (as I’m sure it is for you) that the AAdvantage program is delivering value to all of our members. The rewards of the Million Miler program, vested AAdvantage Gold or AAdvantage Platinum status, are extremely attractive rewards and it’s incumbent on AA to ensure that we don’t create more demand for benefits associated with elite status than we can fulfill. Our changes to the Million Miler program are consistent with that objective.

    Promotions
    Q: (Jason) Hi Suzanne. Might there be another DEQM promotion within the next year?
    Always happy to see our promotions generate excitement among members. We know how much you value elite status and double elite-qualifying miles as a way to get there. I'm sure you can appreciate the need to balance the promotions like this with the ability to deliver finite benefits such as upgrades.

    Mileage Aggregators
    Q: (Sam) I am a fan of tracking my loyalty programs on AwardWallet.com and was disappointed with AA's decision to not allow tracking of AA miles on Award Wallet. What is the reason for this and is there any possibility AA will change its mind?
    These sites are accessing American's data and websites without our authorization. Our preference is to enter into commercial agreements with these sites that recognize American’s rights and control the unauthorized dissemination of American's customer data. Short of such an agreement, we intend to protect our rights in our data and the operational integrity of our websites.

    Credit Cards
    Q: (Gabe) Transferring credit card miles to award programs is a huge topic among frequent flyers. Any plans to partner with any of the credit cards like AMEX or Chase any time soon?
    The Citi / AAdvantage card is the best way to earn AAdvantage miles on credit card purchases. If you don’t have one yet, you should definitely visit www.AA.com/Citi. And, in case you hadn’t heard, we just introduced fantastic new benefits to the Citi Platinum / AAdvantage card product, including free first checked bag and priority airport privileges. Check it out!

    Q: (Alex Martinez) Why did AAdvantage take so long to implement the new card benefits? Was it because of the schedule or because other things?
    Changes as substantial as those we made to the Citi Platinum Select /AAdvantage card take time to develop and implement. We are excited to see our customers’ feedback on the new card benefits.

    Q: (Eloy Fonseca) Are there plans to expand the specialty cards worldwide? I'm from Brazil and they only have the Citi / AAdvantage Gold and Platinum cards!
    American appreciates your interest in additional AAdvantage credit card products. In Brazil, Citi also issues an AAdvantage Black-level card with faster mileage accrual (up to 1.5 miles per USD) and many other premium benefits, such as Priority Pass access and competitive insurance and rates. For more details, you can go to www.citibank.com.br.

    Miscellaneous
    Q: (Gabe) Did the movie Up in the Air, increase the popularity of the AAdvantage program?
    It certainly spurred a lot of interest in our ConciergeKey program!

    Q: (Tommy Z) The link for the Summer Miles Challenge on Facebook doesn't work on the AAdvantage Facebook page.
    Links to the Summer Miles Challenge all appear to be working correctly at this time. If you’re attempting to access the challenge from a mobile device, this may be the problem. Unfortunately, the Facebook platform doesn't support the tab/app functionality from mobile devices. We encourage you to check back in with us from your computer and apologize for the inconvenience.

    Q: (Gil Fonseca) Any plans to expand the AAdvantage program to the Brazilian market?
    AAdvantage has been proudly active in the Brazil market for more than 20 years and continues to grow. With new routes and frequencies added (we now have direct service to seven cities in Brazil!), new/upgraded airplanes (AA’s first 777-300 to serve Sao Paulo-Dallas starting in December), and with Citibank and Credicard credit card products, you have many easy ways to earn miles fast and redeem them for your next dream vacation.

    Q: (Perryplatypus) I know you must be very busy and must get limited time off, but what is your favorite AA destination for vacation?
    Any tropical island. US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla are some of my favorites.

     
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  2. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I am sorry that my travel schedule caused me to miss the chat. It was very nice of Suzanne, her team at AA, and of course MP to provide us with the chat and follow up with these additional answers.

    There will always be some gap between how much we want to know and how much they can comfortably share, but I appreciate all efforts at mutual communication.
     
  3. Lewis

    Lewis Active Member

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    Hugely impressive that AA took the time not only to do the chat, but to post the follow-up answers. And hugely atypical of today's large companies. I hope folks realize how special AA is.
     
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  4. swag
    Original Member

    swag Silver Member

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    Thanks for the answers!
     
  5. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    No changes anticipated to the award chart. Thanks!
     
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  6. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    I don't know. Call me skeptical, but I really would've liked a "... In the next -----" (year, month, millennium) tacked on there. :)

    Although I agree with what you've stated earlier, that it really doesn't behoove them to make changes to their award chart right now. Bad PR!
     
  7. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Well, I think you have to assume they're going to make changes to their award chart at some point in the future. Maybe not anytime soon (not within the next few years, or whatever), but we can't expect redemption levels to stay at their present levels forever.
     
  8. mrredskin
    Original Member

    mrredskin Gold Member

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    maybe i'm in the minority here, but there seem to be a lot of "canned" responses, as well.
     
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  9. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Right. The ambiguity of the "whatever" is what I wanted to avoid ;)
     
  10. TheBeerHunter
    Original Member

    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    I agree, although in fairness, Suzanne was being asked pretty pointed questions that she doesn't have the authority to answer.
     
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  11. mrredskin
    Original Member

    mrredskin Gold Member

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    aye. tough position to be in.
     
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  12. DJP_707
    Original Member

    DJP_707 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the answers!
     
  13. skyhook
    Original Member

    skyhook Silver Member

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    I called the aadvantage # to ask about the "case by case" status matches from United.

    The agent quickly shot me down, saying that there are no elite offers available. No mention of a challenge, even.

    I even mentioned that I had read an "article" from Ms. Rubin regarding a possible match.

    I would hang up and call again, but if I'm going to keep playing that game, may as well stick with United? ;)
     
  14. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Seems the currently case in the above "case by case" is that they're not currently offering status matches. ;)
     
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  15. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    For 90%+ of requestors that is the case-- which really means 100% for all intents and purposes, if ya know what I mean. (i.e anyone who a) hasn't already gotten a match and, b) is asking here as opposed to through channels.)

    Virtually anyone calling in today and not having a very, very unique set of circumstances will be offered challenge, only a challenge, exclusively a challenge and nothing but a challenge. Challenge (Gold and Plat) is what's available and all that will be even acknowledged as available at this juncture, again, barring very unusual circumstances.
     
  16. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Perhaps, but I thought the answers during the live chat were canned far worse than these. The live chat answers, I thought, were basically useless.
     
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  17. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    oh, I was mistaken. I thought these were the questions from the chat. This was just the excess not covered in the chat, then? Glad I didn't attend!
     
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