Should/will AA go to a four tier elite model?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by ma91pmh, Aug 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ma91pmh
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    ma91pmh Silver Member

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    With all the fuss about the rumored new United elite levels and benefits I got wondering if AA is now ahead or behind the competition in having only three as opposed to four elite levels? As I see it the competition is Delta and United as of 1/1/2012. I really can't take US Scareways seriously and am sure they will be engulfed by someone else (possibly AA) at some point. So now both DL and UA have a "Diamond" tier above the old top tiers. I am wondering if AA will be tempted to go to a model with an EXP-Lite at 75k and a full EXP at 125k?

    The one thing I think makes this interesting for AA is a fourth level would allow them to get away with diluting benefits for the current second tier. I am pretty sure AA feel they probably have too many lifetime platinums who are harder to extract ancilliary revenue from and this may just give them the chance to lower the benefits to this group without in any way removing their "lifetime" status

    Thoughts?
     
  2. demkr
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    demkr Silver Member

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    Perhaps Jeff Smisek will be the first CEO in the industry to bring AAnother competing airline to profitability. Having just switched from AA, this would bring me back in a heartbeat and make my complaints quite moot compared to what the rumored changes are.

    In the short term, I would think because of AA's financial situation that they would want to attract many new customers as possible-so I don't see any changes being made to the elite program for next year.
     
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  3. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    If AA created a fourth tier, there would be a new lifetime tier at 3MM. Maya left it clearly that the top tier will never be at the lifetime benefit, but a level beyond that will. As regarding to the fourth tier itself if expands the benefits of current EXPS at 125k I think it's valid, what would be a good thing, but if they simply shift the EXP's benefits to new top tier and creat a mid one at 75k with mid benefits between platinum and EXPS that would be bad for current EXPs members!!!
     
  4. MJonTravel
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    MJonTravel Silver Member

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    I'm personally not a fan of having too many tiers. I think AAdvantage is just fine the way it is.
     
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  5. KtownTraveler
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    KtownTraveler Silver Member

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    +1
     
  6. msny

    msny Gold Member

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    +1. No changes needed..
     
  7. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    Three tiers are fine. If a 75K level is added, more members would be hurt than helped.
     
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  8. moa999
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    moa999 Gold Member

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    Qantas has soft announced a new tier called Platinum One which will need 3600 Status Credits (versus the 1200 for Platinum / oneworld Emerald)... Doesn't start till later in the year and additional benefits are still unclear.

    Equivalent to 10 J/C-class SYD-LAX returns!
     
  9. samh004
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    samh004 Gold Member

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    Though it’s more a case of giving extra benefits to those that fly double and then triple Platinum/Emerald, instead of crediting elsewhere, than a separate level, at least from what they’ve said so far.

    There are many airlines that have a tier beyond what most would strive for, something hidden a lot, giving great service, but never really talked about. I could see AA doing something like that, but am not sure if OneWorld would ever get to the stage of recognising all those secret levels so airlines could offer the very best across each other, rather than private agreements worked out between certain airlines.

    Some might argue CK is just that level.
     
  10. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    With all respect. CK is worse than Platinum Level on AA and it's not available anywhere!
     
  11. ma91pmh
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    ma91pmh Silver Member

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    I'm not thinking of this from a consumer perspective. I am thinking of it from an AA perspective. To me adding a fourth tier is a great way for AA to dilute benefits to the hoards of lifetime plats and gold that Citi created by allowing credit card churning, and restricting the current EXP benefits to a smaller audience. And with UA and DL both now at four levels, it gives them the air cover they need. Not saying it's a good thing for the average milepointer but I would not at all be surprised to see it happen (hence my use of the should/will in title)
     
  12. duxflyer

    duxflyer Silver Member

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    I agree. As a happy ExP member, the current three tiers system is just fine for me. AA needs to be careful about biting the hands that feed them. As DL and rumored UA moving towards the four tiers system it is a great opportunity for AA to differentiate itself from the rest. Go AA...
     
  13. basiface

    basiface Silver Member

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    Hey why don't we delete this thread before we put some ideas in someone's head, lol
     
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  14. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    I agree with basiface!!!
     
  15. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    I'm not clear on the "ahead or behind the competition" inference, "_______ (insert airline name) is doing this, why doesn't AA?". I agree with the previous posts re: AA setting itself apart, distinguishing its program, vs.the line-across-the-race-track.
     
  16. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    If a fourth level is added, the best implementation would be that the new mid-tier would still be attainable by a higher MM threshold, perhaps 4MM or 5 MM.
     
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  17. samh004
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    samh004 Gold Member

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    That’s why I say some might say, while the reality is different. Same for Qantas talking about offering a higher level, but it might turn out to be not much more.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I prefer an additional published level to some secret level with unknown qualifying criteria. Transparency is good.
     
  19. Microwave
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    Microwave Silver Member

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    I'd support a 4th tier only if it has higher qualification requirements than EXP, and offered additional benefits (with the caveat that EQP/revenue-only based qualification would make me irate). I'm OK with it if it also involves watering down some existing EXP benefits to make the new level more desirable and worthwhile, but in the end the new super-EXP tier would need to offer more than the current tier or risk alienating extraordinarily frequent flyers.
     
  20. firstglobal

    firstglobal Silver Member

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    There is enough differentiation in the three tiers already. A lot of the people I know who have Gold status are qualifying with segments (expensive short hops) or occasional (also expensive) TATL flights - and they deserve every bit of the priority boarding and small (25%) mileage bonus that they get. Many of the Platinum folks I know spend a LOT of money with AA, much more than the $2-3k EPs I hear about on, err... that "other site".

    I'm sure AA understands how much Delta's MQM numbers are severely inflated by earning methods other than flying. Maybe UA intends to follow them down the same path - and honestly it may be the most profitable one as our airlines turn into credit card brands that also happen to fly airplanes. If those of us who actually spend time on those planes matter to them, though, there should be no need to water down the current benefits.
     
  21. mikeef
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    mikeef Silver Member

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    Keep it the way it is. AA has done a nice job of rewarding those who have generated it revenues over the years with its lifetime program (Those miles they sell to Citi are awfully profitable.) while maintaining the exclusivity of Executive Platinum.

    Mike
     
  22. Eloy Fonseca Neto
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    Eloy Fonseca Neto Silver Member

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    Yes, they did!!! But let's see till when they will allow all miles to accrual for MM program!!!
     
  23. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    As I understand it, CK isn't a level, but an orthogonal flag. So, you can be at any level (nothing, GLD, PLT, EXP) and additionally have CK or not.

    AA has done a good job of rewarding super-flyers, especially those who exceed the EXP threshold. Some years there is an explicit elite awards program, but even when not, those who exceed 125k EQP often get extra favors.

    In my view, AA is doing this right. They have an established elite level system with good separation and differentiation, they have additional rewards for super-flyers, and CK for those who spend a lot or direct lots of spending. A new, higher level would devalue the current levels.
     
  24. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    I think you may be anticipating (unless you consider UGS a 4th level)
     
  25. JDiver
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    JDiver Silver Member

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    Personally, I am fine with the way it is. After all, if a frequent flyer with EP / EXP earns 125,000 EQP (or more, in increments of 25k) they can already ask for (and receive) two more SWUs at each 25k increment over 100k. That's a decent incentive, and IMO better than a new status level, and much better than the Iberia Plus Platino 10 (which grants oneworld Emerald status for ten years to their highest producing flyers).
     

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