Spouse doesn't travel too often

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by ChicagoEric, Mar 13, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ChicagoEric
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    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    I am a fairly new AA convert. I travel frequently, have an AAirpass and AA made me EXP fairly quickly. So my travels and experiences on AA have ranged from nearly painless to very positive.

    My wife also travels for business, but far less frequently. She has also switched to AA and her experiences have been less positive. Nothing terrible, but she stuck in the back of the bus, poor seat choices, etc.

    In the past, on UA, I was able to 'gift' her Premier Associate status, which gave her access to E+, etc. As near as I can tell, there is no equivalent on AA. Understandably, in her eyes, the transition to AA has been a step down.

    My question to those more experienced than me: is there any way my status with AA can help make my wife's travels without me less painful?

    - As near as I can tell there is no way to gift gold status
    - I racked up something like 32 500-mile certs that are still in my account. As near as I can tell there is no way to give them to her or for her to use them. Correct? (Sidebar: What am I supposed to do with these now that I am EXP? Do they convert to miles?)
    - SWUs are an option, but seems like a waste to use them for domestic travel
    - Using miles is an option, but the co-pay seems ridiculous.

    Am I missing anything? Short of buying her mileage runs for travel (not particularly practical as we have a 1 year old) is there any way to help her?

    Appreciate any thoughts...
     
  2. sukn
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    sukn Silver Member

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    What are your wife's travel patterns? Can she cluster a couple of trips within a 90-day period? Is so, she can sign up for a GLD or PLT challenge. More info here: http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php/Challenge_(AA)

    As for your 500-mile-stickers, you can use them for a companion that is traveling with you.
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    For the most part you have it correct. AA's EXP benefits are designed for the person who earns them and those who are traveling with them. There isn't an avenue to filter those benefits to someone you designate who is traveling without you. Two years ago AA offered a promotion to individuals with excessive EQM/EQP (125,000+) which included an option to gift GLD status, but that was not repeated this last year and I hardly think it will be offered with frequency.

    There's a lot of variables here. It really depends on what status your wife has (is she GLD? PLT? No status at all?). It sounds like she has no status from your description.

    The real difference between most US carriers is the service and perks they provide to their elite members. If you're an infrequent traveler in coach, there really isn't much upside, particularly if your'e coming from UA where your gifted status provided E+ access. GLD and PLT on AA have the opportunity for first upgrades (just like UA/CO) but for the times when she's stuck in the back she won't be seeing E+ leg room unless she was able to snag the exit row.

    As for your 500 mile certs, you can use those to upgrade your wife (or any other traveling companion) when they travel with you. Otherwise I think I remember hearing you can convert them into AA miles with some restrictions (you cannot transfer them to your wife). There's a thread on the other site about it.
     
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  4. neuatomic
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    neuatomic Silver Member

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    To address your sidebar, I suggest you let them sit there and wait for the inevitable day - gulp - when you are no longer EXP. Unless of course you're pretty sure that day is in a far off future.
     
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  5. ChicagoEric
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    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    Good point - nice that they do not expire

    And the wife and I do sometimes travel together [​IMG]
     
  6. moa999
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    moa999 Gold Member

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    In terms of "gifting" status on oneworld, Qantas (QF) has that option at a super Platinum / oneworld Emerald level.
    At present needs 2100 SCs, soon to increase to 2400 SCs,

    A long road in discount Y, but relatively achievable on 600+ mile F segments (23 needed)
    http://www.qantas.com.au/fflyer/dyn/program/status-credits
    Also the benefit of domestic AC access.
     
  7. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    That strikes me as a lot of time and money with little benefit. Wouldn't the OP be better off paying the minimal fee for AA's GLD challenge and paying for a MR or two to get his wife status? Much less then buying F segments in the grand scheme of things.

    Plus, if he's US based and collected on Qantas, he gives up his free EXP domestic upgrades (which as much as he loves his wife, I highly doubt he'd be willing to give up for her to have a few flights in the exit row....).
     
  8. ctporter
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    ctporter Silver Member

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    the title of this thread made me think of my DH, and how many times I get the question "what does your husband think of you traveling so much? -Mine says "go go go, get those miles to take us to someplace fun on vacation!" all the while humming that old tune "how can I miss you if you don't go away" by Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks. LOL!
     
  9. Tenmoc
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    Tenmoc Gold Member

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    I would say the mileage run to get her to at least Gold is a smart idea. I see you're in Chicago and that limits the effectiveness, but take her to SF for the evening on a saturday for dinner. Route it through DFW if you can. Consider MKE for departure instead of ORD. Can she pad any of her work travel with an extra segment?

    There are plenty of ways to get Gold. Even the challenge is fairly simple at only 5000 points. I was no status as recently as last year again and I know it really isn't fun, but the options are there to get it fairly painlessly.

    And as much as this goes against the culture of a mileage run, but if you have trouble justifying it or getting her to agree, book a saturday night hotel and take her dancing in Miami, dinner in SF or NY. Shopping at Harrods in London. Etc. The need is miles, but you don't have to spend the weekend only flying if that's not your thing.
     
  10. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    You are correct - except that you missed that the QF Platinum status would get Flagship Lounge access when travelling even on entirely domestic US itineraries. (I was BA Gold/Emerald for a few years, and this was a nice benefit, frankly.)

    I suspect the suggested approach wouldn't, however, be easily implemented by the OP. I draw your attention to rule 20.1.5 of QF's Terms and Conditions (http://www.qantas.com.au/fflyer/dyn/program/terms). Absent annual travel to Australia not mentioned by the OP, the OP will not meet the requirements for any elite status on QF. 20.1.5 The travel required in each Membership Year to attain or retain Silver, Gold or Platinum status level must include a minimum of four Eligible Flight Segments where Qantas, QantasLink or a Jetstar Airline is the Marketing Carrier.

    To the OP, I don't think there's a practical way to share your status beyond having her use some of your SWUs. Perhaps redeem your points for F tickets to OGG or CDG (in J) - that usually makes a girl happy.
     
  11. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Sidebar for curiosity's sake- Does any know if Qantas actively enforce this regulation? I know AA has the same stipulation but from my recollection hasn't really enforced it....
     
  12. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I believe they do (at least thats what mates in oz say).

    BA has a similar 4-segment minimum which they did enforce upon me. I hit the 1,500 tier points requirement to requalify for gold - and they declined me and said I only had 3 BA segments (which was correct). I appealed in writing - as a multi-year gold pax seeking to renew and who had met the tier points minimum - and they said no. Really ticked me off and I haven't been on BA in 18 months (though, in fairness, ive only been to London once in the last 18 months). My company pays for premium cabin travel so AA EXP segment upgrades don't really help me. With BA gold, i get (got) flagship access at JFK, mia and lax for domestic flights which I quite like. (Now as an EXP,due to ba's fuss on segments, I find that I quite like AA's expanded award availability and appreciate the higher accrual bonuses that AA offers for elites.)

    A lot of people say AA doesn't enforce the requirement - but can anyone point to a pax who has status on AA and not flown on 4 AA marketed flights? I can't.
     
  13. ahow628
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    ahow628 Silver Member

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    I haven't seen anyone mention it, but you could always have all your credit card spending and Bank Direct miles go to her account and she would hit 1M for lifetime gold. This would far and away be the cheapest route (spending and saving you do anyway) and would be permanent, unlike a MR on a challenge. On the other hand, it could take a year or five to get that many miles, depending on how hard you hit it.
     
  14. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I don't know anyone personally (actually I don't know anyone personally who flies AA), but the other website has a thread were a few members mentioned they were AA elites without every flying AA flights.

    Take that for what it's worth, being anonymous internet posting and all. I can't draw on experience because I'm literally the only person I know who flies.
     
  15. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    BusinessExtrAA has an award of Gold status to an individual. It costs 2400 BE points. I'm not sure how BE coordinates with AAirpass, but it costs nothing to try it out. Just get a BE number and put it in the BE field in your AAdvantage account (and hers), then make sure it is in there when ticketing.
     
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  16. ChicagoEric
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    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    This is really interesting - - thanks - - will try this
     

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