Speculation: Reciprocal Status AA/US

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Mike Reed, Jun 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Looking at how UACO handled things, one would expect USAA to offer reciprocal status while they operate separately during the merger. Given that both programs roll membership, etc in Q1, I'd hazard a guess that would be a good time to make this happen... and to allow miles on either to count for status.

    Of course that means aligning programs and tiers, and its on the assumption that the Q3 approvals happen.

    Thoughts?

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  2. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    Seems reasonable, but perhaps tricky, given the middle tiers are divided in DM and not in AAdvantage. Also, have the UDU/E-500 issues which might be tricky to harmonize. Interesting days ahead ...
     
  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Looking at how UACO handled things, one would hope AAUS do a few things differently. ;) I can certainly think of some risks to promising status without the andantage of integrated membership database. There may be some benefits too, if there are enough passengers anxious for this to happen. On balance, it's probably not urgent to risk a screwup here.
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I would bet that the move to make US a oneworld affiliate ASAP will address many of the issues. Not upgrades on domestic flights, but pretty much everything else.

    And until they announce what they're going to do for upgrades it is hard to know how they'll make the coexistence work.
     
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  5. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    I like the reciprocal status idea.

    I think it's too much to ask to get SWUs or the mileage bonuses out of both programs (but would be an amazing surprise).

    But, getting priority boarding, bag check fees waived, award fees waived and being on the upgrade list on either airline would be amazing. I think it's too much to ask to integrate policies, but as an US elite, I wouldn't mind buying 500 mile upgrades (I still have some left in my AA account from way back) to get upgraded on AA.

    Yes, there is no equiv to US Plat at the 75k level on AA, but everything else slots fine. I'd say AA Gold <=> US Silver, AA Plat under 75k EQM or EQP or equiv EQS <=> US Gold, AA Plat over 75k EQM or EQP or equiv EQS <=> US Plat, and AA EXP <=> US Chairman.

    Seems like a quick easy way to start integrating and realizing synergies of the combined network sooner.
     
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  6. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Sometime within 6 months of closing the merger I would guess they would offer either (1) honoring each others' elite benefits, or (2) offering status matches between the programs. Technologically speaking I'm guessing that #2 would be easier as it wouldn't require reprogramming all of the upgrade lists, wait lists, etc on both systems.

    One also imagines (since this wasn't just an option with UA/CO but also DL/NW and even US/HP) that they'll offer the ability to transfer points between the two airlines.

    Of course they're talking about a rapid exit from Star for US Airways and expedited joining of oneworld.

    And they could well decide not to offer transferability of miles until the alliance switch (letting you redeem miles from both programs for awards in both alliances could increase their redemption costs).

    Lots of open questions, not clear that they know the answers yet themselves.
     
  7. Gtitan
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    Gtitan Gold Member

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    As usual W.A., complete and total agreement with the foregoing. Analysis is spot on.
     
  8. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    A 120K US award of USA-HKG-Europe-USA with stopover in Europe and a lot of segments in CX F would be pretty sweet... ;)
     
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  9. zphelj

    zphelj Gold Member

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    This gets my vote. Behind the scenes this has to be a complex balance between the finance, marketing, legal and tech folks. There's a bunch of people going slowly crazy from meetings on all this.
     
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  10. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    If they offer early status matching, it has the potential to temporarily mint a lot of new *G members; if they can also transfer miles, then there could be a lot of new competition for *A award space. But the new AA *G's might as well come and sample *A during the transition.
     
  11. chrislacey
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    chrislacey Milepoint Guide

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    I'm thinking that's why Wandering Aramean pointed to expediting US moving to OW. I can't imagine matching all higher tier AA elites with *G status. Will never know for sure...strange things happen in the airline world...but I would think this would be more of a liability than it's worth.
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If it is only for 3 months who cares?
     
  13. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    My guess is this will be like the UA/CO alliance shift/merger, except speeded up. US will probably leave *A before doing any status matches.

    What will be interesting is whether or not people can buy CP late in 2013 and thus buy their way to EXP during 2014... ;)
     
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  14. zphelj

    zphelj Gold Member

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    I've no idea how to factor it however it occurs to me that if one of our butts is taking up a *G seat that means there's an open EXP seat on the other side of the house.
     
  15. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    I doubt the merging of the US and AA programs will take place by March 1st 2014, so suspect we will see something similar to what happened with CO and UA through most of next year. In that case, we were urged to apply for an account in the other program if we didn't already have one, or if we did to link the two accounts. Once linked, we would have the same elite tier status in both programs (i.e. the higher tier would be reflected on the other account). So if we flew CO metal, we would get all the CO benefits (including upgrading and other priorities) of that tier but miles would go into this account and not our UA account. At the time of full merger into a single program, all miles would be combined and final status for the next year calculated from those combined EQMs. (AC did the same thing when it merged with CP, but the FF programs took about a year to transition to a single program.) Of course the major difference with the AA/US process and the CO/UA one is that the latter were both STAR carriers so one could still book CO flights using one's UA account, though in such a case you'd have no upgrade possibility as this was not a reciprocal STAR benefit...so it was best to book with the CO account. Given there is no reciprocal recognition between STAR and ONEWORLD, this would pretty much dictate having an account in each program.

    So I would expect to see the same thing, so as an AA ExecPlat I'd get the US top tier status match. Both airlines will continue to fly under their own identities and flight numbers for a while, so when I booked and flew US flights, I'd use this new status-matched account. (US/AA singular flight codes will also take a while to emerge, so not sure we'd see many joint itineraries immediately.)

    I know a number of UA STAR fliers who, having hit the status tier they want for next year, have opened US accounts and are putting their STAR flights into that account, anticipating this will give them AA status when these things finally happen. Some also have small AA accounts for when they fly AA or ONEWORLD so also expect the merging will combine EQMs and thus up their status tier for 2014 or 2015.

    All very confusing, and of course quite speculative albeit based on previous experiences with other such mergers.
     
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  16. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Most STAR carriers have blocked prime award inventory from US because of its rampant cheap selling of miles. I expect US will announce it is leaving STAR early in September to coincide with an end date of either January 31st or February 28th (or 29th if next year's a leap year).
     
  17. chrislacey
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    chrislacey Milepoint Guide

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    Because they'd have to deal with implementation, getting *G cards sent out for lounge access, educating the AA customers about the benefits of *G, etc. Seems like a crazy amount of work just to provide reciprocal benefits for a few months. I would expect any shared alliance benefits coming only after US has left *A. Shared benefits on AA/US ... maybe.
     
  18. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    There's also the possibility of outright buying US CP later this year or trial status challenging for it after June 30, and seeing if that can parlay into AA EXP.

    Also, does US have an equivalent to EQP? What do you do if a flyer has 95k EQP from AA premium fares 5000 US PQM from discount fares? Are they a 100K tier flyer?
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nope.
     
  20. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    One of the few things I would be happy to see die at AA. Buying a higher fare is much more generously rewarded at UA.

    For my two pennies of speculation, I wonder if there's any chance they'll roll out combination of EQMs between US and AA in 2013 for recognition of 2014 status. This feels like the type of thing that would come later, but it's possible the merger is finalized at a curious time (August) where it could potentially serve them well to figure something out for this. Much later in the year and I don't think it would make sense to invest the time for the reduced chance that a US or AA elite would patronize the other brand when they couldn't book on their primary carrier.
     
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  21. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    I wouldn't mind seeing EQP die as well. Way too complex. But, the resulting system will likely be AA's system, so I would expect quite a bit of their infrastructure to stay.

    Increasing EQM for premium cabins/full fare and or simply adding bonus EQM for last minute flights would do far in providing a good substitute. The tricky part is that if you're in a system where all EQM is a RDM, EQP is a way around rewarding more for status purposes from the airline without incurring the liability of miles.
     
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  22. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I agree that there could be complications. But, I think it's likely they have solved this issue, though for other reasons. When they released the Citi Exec card, they also built the ability for certain spend to earn EQMs and other spend just earned RDMs. It would seem if they put in that plumbing that they've got the code to drop something just in the EQM bucket and not in the RDM bucket as well.

    That being said, nobody would accuse the airlines of being on the bleeding edge of technology, so it's perfectly likely the current system doesn't allow such a modification.
     
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  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    It is sortof complex but if you fly a lot of high fares it is a good way towards higher status faster. UA does 150% PQMs on high fares, similar to AA's EQPs, but UA is slightly more flexible in that they mix in 100% at the low end, not 50%.
    Just killing EQPs doesn't help reward them more at AA. ;)

    UA matches the 150% credit towards elite status and is rather more generous in RDMs in some cases. Other than the RDMs I don't see too much difference to the full fare customer.
     
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  24. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    :p

    I agree this is an area where UA exhibits much more generosity than AA. Hoping Doug Parker's affinity for copying UA on many things makes him excited to do something here. :D
     
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  25. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    EQP deters you from looking at J fares. Or at least it does me.
    If I got bonus EQM instead of EQP, I might sometimes "pay for the upgrade" by buying J instead of Y.

    I am with you and others that want EQP to go away.
     
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