Moving to Den-Need help with best airline for status

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Dolphine, Apr 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dolphine

    Dolphine Active Member

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    Moving to Denver and I know United is the hub but have been reading posts about FF leaving United. I just lost my status on USAir and they will not allow me to do their trial preferred status so I was trying to see if I should be working on getting status on another airline or just stay with US. My husband will still have status with USAir but I will be traveling from PHL to DEN for the next few months without him so no perks for me. Getting status again this year should be no problem. I would appreciate any input if there is another airline I should putting my miles toward for possible status. Most of my flights have been on USAir due to always living near one of their hubs so I have little experience with other airlines. Is there an easy way to get status with a certain airline? Which airline would you say would give me the best benefits for Denver once I start flying in and our of there? Most of my flying is within the US and for leisure. I have tried to do research but I would appreciate any advice or help you could give. Thank you.
    PhlyingRPh and perryplatypus like this.
  2. Randy Petersen
    Original Member

    Randy Petersen Founder

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    As a local DEN flyer, actually hub out of COS most of the time I've actually had no problems at all with United 'cept for the abundance of RJ's out of COS. Anyway, there are caveats. Since in effect you will be starting all over, it may be a while until you rank enough to clear some of the longer lines for elite levels. DEN as with other strong hubs has a fairly large contingent of elites and while not as bad as SFO, you'll find on most direct flights like your PHL, that 60% of the gate passengers will be boarding via Premier Access and the spiffy blue carpet (anyone still grousing about the loss of the red carpet?) along with you. And because of that it really won't matter if you are US Airways elite or any other *A member.

    Now, having said that, unless you are in it for more miles, you really only have three choices on that route (OK there is another ...), those being US Airways, United and Frontier. You'd be more of a bigger fish by doing the Frontier choice but you'll only get TV and more legroom from that choice and from what we hear, no cookies any more. I like Frontier and have actually flown that route and do i miss snagging an upgrade from the other two carriers with the Frontier choice? Yes — at 3.5 hours, it is always worthy to consider. However, because of the limited competition, Frontier often costs me the same as UA/US so after price, comes the choices. Now, there are other things to consider. PHL is/was a stronger US presence and as such there are a higher number of elites coming out of that market coming to DEN while it's not that big a market for UA so you'll find that only 37% of the gate passengers are fighting you to board first. I think US is 38% but a percentage point can make a difference for that last standby upgrade. And I'm confortable with US on that route and generally the rest of things with them especially since they have now added soem elbow room on their RJ fleet.

    I'm good with UA so i may be blind to some of things that may have made others to leave the airline, but I can't think of a single thing they have done wrong to me that would cause me to leave, at least to the point comparing that same problem with experiences from other airlines as well. I'm still not happy that a few years ago US tried to gut their elite program and only the efforts of SaveDividendMiles makes it worthy of your current consideration. I'm still nervous that they may find something else to try that with again and we may not be so lucky next time.

    Anyway, just one flyers POV.

    P.S. If I might offer just a single bit of advice? You'll really need a Denver Bronco shirt/sweater to survive here, so might as well get that out of the way and you'll endure yourself to new neighbors much sooner, trust me.
  3. free101girl
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    free101girl Silver Member

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    Another COS/DEN flyer here. When I moved here 7 years ago from SAN, I tried to stay with AA (I'm a Million Miler/Lifetime Gold with AA). After a year, I couldn't help admitting that UA just had consistently better/more flight times and better connections out of this area. So I switched to UA.

    I have to say, in all this time I've really never felt UA was better than "okay." As Randy points out, from COS it's all RJ's -- but what he didn't mention is that you can get stuck on RJ's out of DEN, too. Also, I like to use my miles for international First or Business. Somehow I never felt the Star Alliance partners offered me great redemptions to places I wanted to go, while my AA miles have taken me around the world on great airlines, to some exciting places (BA to London and onward many times; Cathay to Asia; upcoming trip on AA to Quito for a visit to the Galapagos).

    Well, the recent changes to UA have driven me around the bend. The new website is FUBARed (not that the old site was good). Paid upgrades done online seem to be screwed up 100% of the time -- I've spent so much time getting those fixed lately that I'm ready to scream. I don't like the new boarding procedures (whatever they are -- they are totally inconsistent from airport to airport lately). I hate dealing with the Indian call center.

    So I'm back to AA. It's more inconvenient because I usually have to fly through DFW, which I hate because there are so many delays due to afternoon thunderstorms, or even tornadoes. I must be pretty mad at UA.

    So I think the answer is, there is no great solution. (Why, oh why, don't we have Virgin America in DEN?) Probably if you're mainly flying to PHL, UA is your best bet. Just pack your patience. Good luck!
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