My Move From UA to AA - A Snapshot

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by KenInEscazu, Jan 12, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Coming up on 90 days into my 1k to EXP match/challenge, some here may be interested in hearing the perspective of those of us who have made the jump, so I thought I would go ahead and kick off a formal place to do it.

    Out of 20 total flights, two have been on RJs. E145s ORD-SUX-ORD which UA doesn't serve, and it save me a fortune compared to flying into FSD. It was also much more convenient to my ultimate location (Yankton, SD).

    I have 6 more flights booked this week, and that will wrap it up, but I hit the 25,000 points today. That should post tomorrow.

    Complete disclosure, I'm booking mostly premium cabin, but not all. On those where I have not (SJO-MIA-MCO, DFW-SMF, LAX-DFW, DFW-ABQ-DFW), I am 100% on CPUs at the 100 hour mark.

    Most aircraft have been 737-800s and MD-8Xs, with a couple of 757s and 321s, and one 763 in the mix. I have my first CR200 tomorrow from SMF-LAX, and I don't think any airline can put enough lipstick on that pig, but it's one out of 26. Overall, a huge improvement.

    The aircraft you'd expect to be old, are, but I just remind myself that they aren't RJs, and I'm getting real food. I'll take any of the old seats over any of UAs new slimlines. The older configs feel more spacious, too, so theres another trade off. Plus they have wifi, and it's reasonable by subscription.

    I'll have to give UA a slight advantage on customer facing customer service on the ground, and AA gets it in the air, but there are exceptions on both. One entire flight crew was so bad that I wrote in about it just so they would know, and I got a supervisor to help me out of a jam that AA created this morning when a TA couldn't have possibly been more apathetic and just wouldn't even try to help me. The supervisor saw that they had caused my problem and fixed it in 5 minutes, and was very professional about it all.

    The food on AA is better. I wouldn't stop at a restaurant that serves it, but it's still better than UA. Closer to what I am accustomed to on Copa, and I like being able to reserve it 30 days ahead.

    I still miss what UA was, but since that's not what it is, I'm very pleased with my decision. AA would serve itself well to come up with an answer to the 1kvoice email contact.

    More things will surely cross my mind, but I'm hoping others will share their experience here for anyone considering accepting the match. I got this kind of info here and TOBB, but not in such a concise format.
     
  2. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    Good luck with that flight. I was on it Friday coming home from JFK (upgraded business) in the other direction and we diverted to Fresno for a pressurization issue. 3 hours on the ground and then a 3 hour/184 mile ride to the Sacramento airport in the back of a cab made it one long day. Surprisingly, not a word from AA. I had expected at least an e-mail apology for the diversion.

    I sat next to an incoming Qantas passenger who missed his original AA flight before mine due to his QF flight being delayed. He missed a planned business meeting in Sacramento in the afternoon and was due out the next morning to somewhere else. Felt sorrier for him than me.
     
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  3. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Yes, it does. :D

    Anyways, glad you've found a patch of greener green on the other side of the fence.
     
  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Given the "market penetration" of AA into Latin America, I'm curious as to why anyone living south of the US borders would bother with flying with UA in the first place? That is, if I'm reading your post correctly, and that you had received an AA challenge match due to your UA status. Every time that I've flown south of the US, it's been with AA, simply because it's so easy to do, with multiple flights to many destination cities.
     
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  5. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    It sounds like you have some harder rural locations you fly to which makes it harder to compare in many cases. I think moving over to AA is a good choice but I'm afraid they will follow Delta and United down the same roads at some point in the future.
     
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  6. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Good point. In fact, guess who UA runs to when they need to get passengers to South/Latin America when they can't because of an irrop: AA. About 3 years ago, I was scheduled to fly to EZE on UA from LGA through IAD, but then a horrendous downpour forced UA to cancel my flight to IAD, meaning that I would not have been able to catch the flight to EZE. UA's solution was to call AA to find out if they still had availability on their daily direct fight to EZE that was scheduled to depart that same evening but two hours later from JFK. Lady Luck was with me as AA still had available seats. I jumped into a cab from LGA to JFK and got there in plenty of time to catch the direct flight, which was an even better deal than my original LGA-IAD-EZE detour on UA. The most memorable thing about that trip happened after I expressed to the AA agent checking me in my regret about being forced by the rain to fly in coach when I could have flown in C since I had been upgraded. She simply said "let me see what we can do for you", and then she proceeded to assign to just me an entire unoccupied 5-seat row at the back of the plane!
     
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  7. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    A great story! Thanks for posting, NYCUA1K! And as you say, it never hurts to speak with and also to be kind to the gate agents. Every once in a while, you may just get a welcome surprise! ;)
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    You can say that again...!
     
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  9. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    COPA, TACA and Avianca.

    Hint: look at OP's username, and recall that until very recently, COPA and CO (and then UA) shared the same loyalty plan. ;)

    It's not at all illogical to want all the miles going to the same place...
     
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  10. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Then the OP is struggling with the same thing all of us are, trying to make the most of being a frequent flyer when some airlines change their rules. :(

     
  11. Phorever

    Phorever Silver Member

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    I used to fly AA a few years ago before changing jobs and now fly United 99% of the time. As a gold, you can imagine my upgrade percentage is horrendous.

    I had to laugh because last year I had to fly one segment on Delta, United was so expensive that I flew Delta home. I walked to the Kiosk to print a boarding pass and the Delta attendant asked me where I was heading... I told her "Chicago on the 7:15". She said, why don't you take the 6:00... You're early. I can put you in first class, no charge.

    Not only did Delta change my flight for free with no status, but they put me in first class.

    On days like today, when my flight is delayed due to a flat tire on the 'ol United hog.... I think back to that experience and question my loyalty.
     
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  12. ssullivan
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    ssullivan Gold Member

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    You should.
     
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  13. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Exactly. CM leaving M+ was just an affirming action to a decision already made.

    If I can't maintain status on CM and AA, I'll have to depend on my UC card to get me back and forth between Colombia and Costa Rica in the future. Hopefully that won't be the case, as the cancelation fees would make planning those trips much more difficult than it is today.

    For those who don't do it, understand that flying intra-Latin America can be insanely expensive compared to what we are accustomed to in North America. Awards are the only way to make it practical.
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And in your case, between Colombia & Costa Rica the main carriers which allow for a reasonable travel time are all *A, right?

    So tell me again why you're leaving. :confused:

    I'm also curious how you're enjoying the slimline seats on AA's 738s given that they're quite similar to UA's slimline seats.
     
  15. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    Why I left includes a long list of reasons. I don't hate UA like some on these forums, but I do hate flying so many RJs. The routes I fly domestically are served by a lot of them on UA. Yesterday, AA even moved me from a RJ connection to a mainline non-stop when I showed up to check in.

    I find the slimline seats in AA's 738s to be be much more comfortable in F/J than those of UA, and that's almost exclusively where I'm seated. In fact, although it has only been 3 months, I have yet to be in Y on an AA mainline. Whether that be paid or upgraded, the resulting impact on my aching old body is undeniable. Next year I'll just have to live with the loss of free award cancelations - assuming I don't get that benefit from status w/CM.

    Still hoping to hear others' stories, as mine is only one sample. As we all know, YMMV, so I'm sure that this isn't the solution for us all. Just glad it's working out for me so far.
     
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