Finally Got A Call From the Executive Offices

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Pizzaman, Jun 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I've heard of other AAdvantage members getting these calls from time-to-time. I'm an EXP and have been for a number of years. A couple of people convinced me to switch to UA earlier in the year, so I've only had two segments on AA so far this year.

    Linda called, said she was from the executive offices. She thanked me for my business. She knew my lifetime mileage total, as well as a couple of other details of my account. She wanted to make sure everything was okay, and noted that I hadn't really done any flying with them this year. :)

    It was a very pleasant conversation. And, while I know AA has a motive to call me and make sure they get my business, it reaffirmed why I'll be moving back over to AA after I'm done with my ridiculous UA 1K challenge.
     
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  2. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    Pizzaman, I'm curious to hear about your "ridiculous UA 1K challenge". Are you located near a UA hub? What's made you decide to come back?
     
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  3. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    But the question is, did you milk them for something or did they offer any incentive for you to start flying AA again? :)
     
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  4. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    Hi Pizzaman, where are you based and what made you switch over albeit temporarily?

    I am SF based-- have considered switching to UACO many times and am currently "failing" the CO PLAT challenge. Maya Leibman herself is the reason why I'm staying with AA--sure they've got less destinations, less routes, cost cutting, among a few other things--but the changes they've implemented at AAdvantage with ability to earn miles and use miles (for things like hotels at a very low CPM, with a loyalty discount) has made me reconsider.

    I think AA has to continue looking for ways to better their FF program among the competitors--if growth and competition in the airline itself is not an option. If someone gets to talk to Maya, tell her I said this--whoever's in charge of the reachout to AAdvantage customers is moving in the right direction with customer retention efforts!
     
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  5. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I asked for a status match on December 27th of 2010. I was told no, since there was no policy to status match from EXP to 1K. On Jan 1, they started status matching. I asked, they told me to go pound sand. I went through a few frustrating months as Prem Exec without getting that many upgrades. I was ready to switch back, and asked one more time if I could match to 1K. They told me if I flew 35,000 miles, I could. I confirmed it was 35,000 EQMs, since I buy some high dollar tickets occasionally that would qualify me for more EQMS. Nope, had to do 35K miles, NOT EQMs. So, me paying $1,000 for a $300 advance fare ticket didn't seem like a good value proposition for UA. :)

    My buying pattern doesn't get me that many upgrades on UA. I buy tickets fairly close to departure, so upgrades are hard to come by. I'm still only clearing about 70% of the time as a 1K, which is better than the 35% as a Prem Exec. But, since I cleared 113 out of 114 on AA last year, 70% really blows. :p

    Chuckle, I did not. I'm ready to come back to the place I've called home for almost 3MM lifetime miles.

    I am based in DC and was flying to DEN a lot. Flying UA meant I could get home to pick my daughter up from school. But, with my daughter's school schedule changing, less of an issue. And, there really is a noticeable difference in service between the two airlines, IME.

    You're absolutely right about Maya. What a refreshing change. Sure, some things in the program aren't as good as they used to be. But, I can honestly say that if the grass looks greener, it's spray paint!
     
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  6. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    I feel UA is better than AA in many areas: in compensation for inconveniences, flexibility during bad weather, irregular operations, on time departures/arrivals, and treatment of 1Ks. The incentives that they have to keep their customers feel like they're not the spawn of satan I think is very good. They excel in this. AA is better I suppose in slightly better onboard service ("refreshments" and "N/A" flights definitely not included in this!) -- and the current reach out to elites via Leibman.

    I honestly wish we could get the best of both worlds-but that would be unrealistic :) I hope AA can think long term with finances and not short term, because they can really continue to earn our loyalty with the incentives as big UA and DL overtake them in route structure, partners, hubs, and hard product.
     
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  7. Pizzaman
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    I think reasonable minds could disagree on most of your points. However, on treatment of top elites, I have no evidence to support that UA cares one bit that I've dropped $15K so far this year with them.
     
  8. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    Wow. Telling to see that. I will say that until Leibman came along I have not seen evidence of it from AA either. Time wil ltell!
     
  9. Pizzaman
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    My experience as an EXP has been great. I'm sure there are EXPs who don't get treated as well, and I do consider myself lucky for that. But, I've run into so many instances where UA employees just can't be bothered. I'm sure it's a YMMV thing, but my experiences as of late have given me the view that UA is a bus company that gets me home sooner, and AA as a company that continues to try to earn my business. The only UA benefit I've seen is the route network. In the beginning, I was seeing nicer planes on my routes (777s here and there). But now, I'm down to 757s, 319s and 320s. I see no difference between those planes and the MD-80s and 737s I flew last year on AA.
     
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  10. AmericanAirlines

    AmericanAirlines Official Representative

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    Wow demkr, what a nice post. I’m honored and accept these comments on behalf of the entire AAdvantage team (since they’re the ones that really do all the hard work :)). We’re definitely listening to you and hope you’ll be pleased with some announcements we hope to make in the next few months on a variety of new initiatives around earning, redeeming, and elite benefits.

    Sincerely,
    Maya
     
  11. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Fantastic to have this type of support and leadership linking Milepoint with AA.
     
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  12. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    Thank you!! I look forward to it :)

    So glad to see the MilePoint/AA forum be a space like this
     
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  13. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Couldn't agree more. I hope that with some time and care MPers and AA can develop a great relationship. There are many benefits to all parties if done correctly!
     
  14. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    Thanks Pizzaman for spelling it out. I have been going back and forth with switching back to UA all year. AA's prices and the limiting of promos has had me frustrated.

    I still will decide what to do in the new year, but for now have shut down all flying and will settle for PLT this year instead of the EXP i had planned on and reevaluate then. But I did appreciate reading a recent AA-UA switch story.
     
  15. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Wow... I had the same thoughts about switching to UACO, but never a representative got so close to me on a forum! I look forward to the announcements and will be with AA till them, I had so much travel this year that I'm already at 120K miles now, and expect at least 4 more Intl Flights till the end of the year. I hope those announcements from Maya bring me and my business some benefits... therefor I'm an international customer, perhaps I'm getting to exciting for nothing. Let's wait!!!
     
  16. miamigrad
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    Thank you, Maya and the whole AAdvantage team, for your participation in these forums.
    During the online chat session in May, I asked about AA getting more involved in social media (mine was the 3rd question asked! :) ) ... this type of participation is exactly what I had in mind!

    I'm crAAzy about the AAdvantage program and look forward to those announcements!
     
  17. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    I guess you have a lot of time on your hands as you'll loose a couple of hours every time you have to connect in Dallas or Chicago, time that can be spent doing business or with your family.

    I think any reasonable person would admit that airline experiences in north America will sometimes suck with any airline. The sooner everyone gets off their airline's Kool-aid and come to terms with that, the better.

    I'm certainly not going to add 300 hours to my total annual travel time just because someone calls me and tells me they miss me. :)
     
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  18. Pizzaman
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    In the beginning of my experiment with your favorite airline, their flight schedule was getting me to and from DEN sooner. They've since changed that schedule no less than 3 times. They pulled the 6am IAD-DEN off the board for a while, then brought it back with a smaller plane. The last two times I tried to book it, it was already sold out. So, the schedule benefits for the times I want to travel have been somewhat diminished.
     
  19. Philphactor
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    Philphactor Silver Member

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    +1
     
  20. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    As a STL flyer, I have to connect to go anywhere except AA's focus cities. I'm willing to do the connections to stay with AA. AA has been "bery, bery good to me", as Chico Escuela would say. Sometimes, things happen, but when they do, AA does what they can to make it right or at least better. Of course, it helps that I take my family with me, and that I fly to a lot of different places, not one place over and over again, so no airline would eliminate connections for me.
     
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  21. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Hmmm one cant but wonder what the UAL fans (in including the obvious potential ones) here think of the current fiasco? (call or no call) :D
     
  22. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    Wonder if there's enough $500 e-certs to go around to please the inconvenienced 1Ks. Otherwise, they may not maintain their statuses!
     
  23. Travel2Food
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    Likewise. I am DC based and AA gets about 80% of my traffic. The rest goes to B6 and DL.

    Yeah, prices have been up this year over last, but not just on AA - it's everyone. I find that AA takes much better care of it's elites - especially compared to DL. UA flys more non-stops from here (IAD), as does WN out of BWI, but I'm usually flying to LAX, Boston, Dallas, Chicago or internationally. But my experiences on UA - even as a PE/CO Plt purchasing a paid F ticket - have not been nearly as good as AA. As an EXP, I am treated quite well on AA.

    I do wish that AA still had the DCA-BOS nonstops (I ended up on B6 yesterday) or had a full code-share/EQM earning with B6. And I do wish that AA had ORD flights from IAD (one more option in IROPS). Connecting for an international flight is no big deal for me.

    I am very pleased to see Maya and her team participating here with interest in improving the program. I see the improvements made so far, and I look forward to more in the future. AA's made a believer out of me over the last 4-5 years.

    Now if we can also fix the pesky TSA, flying would be fun again.
     
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  24. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Since the chat with Maya I didn't see any news on it's program (AA) and she said amazing things were to come. Now I ask when? Next year or next decade? Despite their opinion I find my lifetime very short. I'm sure I have no more than 30 years to live, that's the terrible truth! Since no one lives forever I think they should enhance their MM program and stop all the rumors about it!!!
     
  25. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Actually, AA hasn't been spreading rumors about changes to their MM program, we have been doing that. All that Maya has done has been to share all the information she had that could be shared at that time, for which we should thank her. It seems likely that there has been a delay due to unforseen implementation problems, most likely IT problems. When I have seen similar problems in business, it is difficult to estimate how long it will take to solve them - often solving one problem leads to another.

    Since the changes will probably make it more difficult to achieve MM status, why are you in such a rush? Any delay will likely work to your advantage.
     
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