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Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Mike Reed, Nov 14, 2013.
Can't wait to see what he does to the EXP desk.
F*&k, there goes the new popcorn machine. It would have been nice to have some fresh popcorn while we enjoy this twisted ride we're all about to take.
I'm probably being Poukie-Lou-Anny here but think that at the EXP level we're probably going to do okay. Mike, I think you said it that AA's program will rule. That's what we need and AA is the marque/better airline IMHO. Better info is appreciated. I can still qualify elsewhere if not.
In this deal AA elite levels add some interesting routes from USerror to the Carribean and Europe and better city coverage on the East Coast. We introduce better planes to South America, Hawaii and Asia, with less wifi to their customers. AA keeps some of their hubs for three years or more then kill them off like they're St. Louis. I hope Platinum level does well too but EXP has an advantage for sure. I did not call you surely.
I hope we all want to sit down with some popcorn afterwards.
Sure, until Doug has IT block all the CX redemption except for coach seats... then everyone will be up in arms and it will be too late.
Here's hoping that oneworld actually puts rules in place that forbid member airlines from blocking each other's award availability. A statement of such from Bruce Ashby would go a long way here. I'm not sure if his long history with US, though, helps or hurts here.
I am taking a patient approach to the merger to see what will change. As a Gold making PLT at year end, the only thing they can do to really annoy me is change the requirements before I reach that point. The realistic side of me says that a devaluation could make my new status insignificant, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed and waiting it out.
The sneaky blocking mentioned above is a little worrying. If they react to things like that, how much are they going to micromanage and reduce everything else?
Google US Airways blocking Lufthansa for all you want to know about what Doug will do to us...
I second that motion...
It's not clear to me (probably from my own ignorance) why the issue of accessing or blocking partner award space would be of interest or importance to the members of an alliance. There's an assumption that the alliances naturally include full reciprocity in all aspects of the partners' frequent flier programs, but I'm not sure the airlines see it that way.
Which would you prefer: higher award costs or inventory blocking?
My understanding is that LH has jacked up award costs for partners lately, far more than others in *A. That's one of the main reasons for the recent UA changes and correlates with US trying to limit access to those same seats.
Then again, if CX or whoever are not charging so much more then the rates can stay the same. The math is pretty simple with this stuff, really.
US has been blocking LH redemptions far longer than the recent LH changes - long before the UA changes. When that didn't work and long-sells were still getting seats, US took additional steps to stop that, as well. It's anti-customer, denying a customer the ability to use their miles on an airline that's publishing award space.
They want to publish different rates and attack it that way? Fine. Backhanded, under-the-table approaches to make things disappear? That reminds me of the mob...
The alliance could put in rules that essentially say "if you're going to be a member, you're going to act like a member and not a 'rogue state' acting alone." US has shown little interest in being a true member of StarAlliance - happy to take the feed, not willing to allow redemptions equally.
Define "far longer". I redeemed for LH C using US DM as recently as last year. My understanding, having been an active participant in the *A redemption thread on the US board on FlyerTalk, is the problems with LH C/Y (aside from LH F) are something that has cropped up in the past few months.
Also, go look up "Starnet blocking" for a bit of a history lesson on UA.
Part of the reasons they haven't been allowing long sells is that various bloggers/award redemption services have been using them to get around the program rules that say "No LH F". That thread on FT still has plenty of very good redemptions showing up in it.
Finally- most of the wacky stuff that exists on US, the classic "I'm going to go from Europe to Australia through South Africa/I'm going RTW through North Asia from North America" are non-issues in the AA award chart. You can't even go to India from North America on CX on one award, let alone get a stopover outside the USA international gateway.
I have two Australian friends who have been buying the maximum annual number of US DM and then using the purchased miles to buy J and F (not sure of *actual* fare category) tickets on every airline BUT US. Making the miles themselves worth so little means US has, if anything, caused this to happen themselves. Anyone have an idea how much LH charges US to redeem those awards? I am willing to bet it is more than what the miles cost to purchase outright. I do think award redemption should be allowed at equal or close-to-equal levels, but if US really wanted this to stop happening, maybe they shouldn't flood the market with miles and they'd be worth more?
That problem will also go away once the merger happens. I've never seen AA miles for sale at below 2 CPM without some kind of transfer hocus-pocus (like Wyndham->AA during Discover America).
I will say that given that US can see LH flights on certain days but not others, it's probably some kind of technical problem, similar to how NQ (Air Japan) doesn't show for them sometimes (and really, who is going to block a domestic FRA-MUC/HKG-NRT flight in Y, but let you book NH/OZ/TG F?)... and of course US isn't going to spend any time on it, this is a small, tiny slice of their awards, and they kind of have this merger they need to plan for, satisfying FTers out to churn cheap miles into caviar and Dom is pretty low on the priority list.
And about "if you're going to be a member, you're going to act like a member and not a 'rogue state' acting alone"... you mean like how SQ doesn't allow partner redemptions on the A380 and 77W in premium classes? Or how LX and LH are going to COMPLETELY shut off *A partner redemptions in premium classes in 2014? Like how UA had *Net blocking for years?
Sounds to me US completely fits in with the rest of *A...
Don't look to Bruce Ashby for help, he is former US.
And why would I care about his "help"? Employees of a corporation are going to be looking out for their employer. As Upton Sinclair would say, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it."
The original 'no long sell' memo at US Airways came out in 2010, around the time that the airline systems stopped seeing transatlantic first class award space on Lufthansa.
Higher award costs being charged by Lufthansa is different than the story United folks have been saying that "Lufthansa made them increase the prices" and it certainly doesn't explain the massive increases in first class partner awards to Asia (they could have simply said the higher price applied only to Atlantic crossings enroute to Asia).
When did UA claim that LH specified award prices? They have said that partner awards are much more expensive in many cases but I don't believe they've claimed that a partner is setting UA's redemption rates.
Sorry, I should not have written that (I hadn't had my coffee yet, which isn't an excuse) -- they have not written publicly that LH insisted they increase award prices. That came from multiple conversations, not from public statements.
Again, Google is your friend.
Once you understand who he is, his "help" becomes a factor. He's got a business to run, too, and misbehaving children don't give him the reputation he needs to succeed.
So, do you have any evidence that oneworld was in the slightest bit perturbed when BA completely redid Avios? Or added fuel scamcharges? Both of which I would argue sucked far more value out of the BA program that US's computer problems do: because those things impacted everyone in the program, not just people trying to book Lufthansa. (Hint: you actually are not required to fly RTW when you spend 90,000 US miles to go to Hong Kong. It's really easy, in fact, not to: OZ, BR and NH have pretty awesome business class availability.) BA's fuel surcharges also make coach longhaul redemptions completely useless (and though a lot of people in the FT/MP world will go about this... I think a coach longhaul redemption is hardly the worst thing you could do with your miles, given that a decent amount of the time you're looking at a $500-1500 ticket, especially when things like stopovers/openjaws get put in. Two AA tickets to Europe that can turn into an add-on one-way to Hawaii or another domestic location, for 80K, less than any single business class redemption? That's pretty decent value if you ask me).
No? No protesting from oneworld? So what makes you think they are going to care about newAA's loyalty program (whatever it ends up being) very much? Remember, oneworld is, in essence, an industry association that is controlled by the member airlines. They are de facto owned by AMR, IAG and so on. So what makes you think they're going to bite the hand that feeds them? Did *A say "boo" when SQ said "no 77W or A380 premium classes for our partners"? No. Did they protest when LX said "premium class redemptions after 1/1/14 are only for M&M members, and F is for Senators+ only"? No. Have they pitched a fit about UA's new award chart or AC fuel scamcharges? Did Skyteam say anything about SkyPesos devaluation? Not so much. So I'd say place not your faith in princes... there is no evidence that alliances consider member airlines hosing their FFers with fuel surcharges, devaluations and other shenanigans "misbehaving children". As far as I can tell, it's considered a business norm.
Just to address this one point: you do realize that the ticketing carrier keeps the fuel surcharge, right? In effect, it's a marketing bonus designed to incent other carriers into marketing its flights as alternatives.
By and large the marketing for the Avios program in the UK is designed towards "buy a ticket, use Avios to upgrade" for BA flights.
Of course I realize it. That's the point of calling it a "scamcharge", and why AA is making own-metal flights much harder to come by than BA flights in their award availability.
Needless to say, the existence of these (and oneworld's silence on how value is being removed from FFers) doesn't exactly make me optimistic that they're going to spend a nanosecond protesting if and when AA devalues their program. What makes you think they'll care?
Whoa....Low down dirty shame
This is total speculation, but I feel like more United and US flyers use their miles for *A partner redemptions than their own metal. I know many US people do. Given the difference in partners and the fuel surcharges by BA on redemptions, what's the take on AA and OW. What's the split on miles redeemed on own metal vs alliance partner?
I'm not too sure about that. Most of us mileage junkies probably do use our miles more for partner awards than for US/UA metal. But I think we overestimate the number of people like us. I think a majority of flyers are probably redeeming for domestic routes, to take the kids to see grandma, or what have you.
Pretty sure I'm not going to like the outcome. I just want it to all be over ...