Is AA "monetizing" First Class (a la Delta)?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by John777, Jun 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    In my research of fares for a few work trips, I've noticed that "Instant Upgrade" and "First Special" are not much more than buying a coach fare and paying for stickers to upgrade (if PLT). In some cases it's significantly less.

    For example, in some cases First is about $130 more on BOS-DFW, and as low as $8 more (yes, $8) on DCA-ORD. If I had none left, I'd be paying $160 for stickers on BOS-DFW and $60 on DCA-ORD.

    I have seen this for Business Class to Central America at times, but can't recall this ever being the situation on domestic flights. What gives? Seems like a no-brainer to buy First, but is this the direction they are moving in? I won't say the sky is falling, but this would likely be bad for our upgrade rates.
     
  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    Money is king, points / miles are for loyalty!;)
     
  3. Pizzaman
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    A good friend of mine pointed out a flight he was trying to book from IAD to MIA. IIRC, it was $150-ish one-way in coach and just over $250 in Y. I told him then it was the first time I recall seeing the prices that close for a deep discount ticket.
     
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  4. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Looking at current published fares IAD/MIA, there's a 30-day advance purchase K-UP fare for discounted business 583 ow, and coach fares as low as 99 ow. If your friend saw a price of half that, then there was definitely something going on.
     
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  5. Pizzaman
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    Agree. I didn't believe him at first, but he read me the categories on the screen and he does know what he's talking about when it comes to fares. Could have just been a bug.
     
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  6. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    I've never been offered LFBU on international, and domestic I always use my EXP upgrades.
    But, I don't see too many kettles in F/J.
     
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  7. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    I don't think the examples given have anything whatsoever to do with LFBUs.
     
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  8. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    My point was that there would be fewer of your domestic EXP upgrades available if this becomes the trend. In addition, I would think that even EXPs would consider confirming a seat in F for a minimal incremental spend.

    What is a kettle?
     
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  9. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    And this was time of ticketing? That's a pretty insane price if so.
     
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  11. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    This is actually in the milepoint glossary. If you highlight the word, the definition shows up in the top right of your screen.
     
  12. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I find it quicker to just double click. :)
     
  13. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    I love that "kettle" is listed in the MP glossary! So Funny :D
     
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  14. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    What an incredible feature! I never knew. So cool!
     
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  15. choppah4

    choppah4 Active Member

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    Just booked a ORD-BOS ticket for 6/24 .... first class SOLD OUT for one of the flights; only a single first class seat for sale on the subsequent departure. Obviously this could be total coincidence, but I suspect this is a consequence of the fares you highlight above.

    Quick q -- are all of the mainline domestic carriers equally bad about this? If it gets bad enough, is there any source of refuge?
     
  16. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Certainly makes MP very user-friendly for travel newbies, except... no one knows the feature exists. ;)
     
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  17. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    Well I pulled the trigger for F on the DCA-ORD route for $65 more each way. Stickers would be $60 and it's a difficult upgrade, so this was a no-brainer...
     
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  18. DeacFlyer1
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    DeacFlyer1 Silver Member

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    That's really cool--I had no idea Milepoint did that when you highlighted a word!
     
  19. Pizzaman
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    That would seem like a no-brainer, especially if you're not EXP.
     
  20. chitownflyer
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    chitownflyer Silver Member

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    Can somone please add LFBU to the MP glossary. The MP highlight a word feature for definition is really cool.:D

    Also, is the consensus that ExPlats do receive complimentary upgrades regularly, or is AA exploring and implementing DL's and other airline's buy up schemes?
     
  21. Pizzaman
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    Out of over 300 segments the last 4 years I've missed 3 upgrades as an EXP. They may be thinking about it but I'm still clearing on a regular basis. My two cents on this is that I do think AA highly values the EXPs. If they were going to start monetizing first I would guess they would focus on the lower level members. It wouldn't surprise me to see an increase in the price of stickers.

    I'm not sure what portion of EXPs buy stickers for their travel companions, nor am I sure how much revenue AA makes off lower level elites buying stickers. But, I've gotta think if they're looking for more sources of revenue that stickers will go up.
     
  22. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Since it's not in there yet, for all confused, like I was, LFBU = Load Factor Based Upgrades.
     
  23. AA_EXP09

    AA_EXP09 Gold Member

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    Kind of like how on AC it's referred to as LMU.
    YUL-YYZ I've seen for $99 though which is too much.
     
  24. swag
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    swag Silver Member

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    I've seen this before on certain routes. A few years ago when I was flying DFW-ATL regularly, the "instant upgrade" fares were never much more than coach, and on one occasion, I remember the cheapest available ticket was for first (for coach, only full Y was available, priced higher than the available xUP fare).
     
  25. John777

    John777 Silver Member

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    ORD-LAX in First is $425 e/w a few weeks out. In a lot of cases this is just $179 above the lowest coach fare. Same situation to SFO. I can't recall ever seeing F fares that low...is there a sale going on or could this be the new norm?
     
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