Those EXP Upgrades are Nearly Worthless

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by IPBrian, Aug 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. IPBrian

    IPBrian Silver Member

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    I thought I would share a funny story from the weekend. I still consider myself pretty new to the miles and points acquisition game. I was at my local regional (national officially) airport this weekend renting from Avis (for the miles of course) and I thought I would pop by the AA counter and inquire if the agents regularly saw any reasonable rates out of SGF (something that would qualify me via segments rather than miles or points for AA elite status).

    Another man was there obviously very friendly with the 4 AA agents and listened in as I inquired about low fares and my desire to finally make AA elite status. When I was done he said...I am executive platinum and those upgrades are nearly worthless. I about fell over backwards and I still kicking myself for not saying, well if you have some SWU's you don't think are worth anything I really want to fly something like ORD-MIA-NYC-NRT-SIN and I think I can put them to some good use. I was just too shocked to say anything in retort.

    Are there really that many EXP's out there who don't find much value in their status? I assume this guy fly's excessively for work and for vacation is REALLY happy to stay home.
     
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  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Or he's only looking at the BA availability... :)
     
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  3. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    That wouldn't be me. I've used 8 systemwides so far this year. Maybe he's flying last minute where there's just no availability.
     
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  4. IPBrian

    IPBrian Silver Member

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    My other thought was out of SGF we are all RJ's, so perhaps he is connecting through ORD or DFW to another small airport where is is also flying an RJ.
     
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  5. Juanefny

    Juanefny Silver Member

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    But even then you get free booze and snacks in the back...
     
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  6. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    You would be (or seem to be:)) amazed at how clueless a very high percentage .. nay majority of the poeple who actually do fly a lot, are about FF programs or even their own preferred program.

    For some time I have given up try to tell even friends and family about this stuff.
     
  7. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I have to agree with this. I recently tried to become active in a social group for EXPs on another social media site and its a bit shocking how little many of the individuals in the group understand the program.
     
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  8. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    Maybe he sits up front on his companies dime already and EXP doesn't make much diff either way for him.

    Plus the pessimist in me also thinks he might want to try and discourage you not to get hit so he has one less person to compete with for upgrades.
     
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  9. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    If this pax is looking to fly NRT-SIN and use SWUs, they are out of luck.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, AA SWUs are pretty much the most valuable upgrade instrument offered under United States-based frequent flyer programs.
     
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  10. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I think IPBrian knows that and he was suggesting he'd use the 3 segments per SWU for the ORD-MIA-NYC-TYO portion.

    Agree on your 2nd comment. AA's SWUs are one of the main reasons I stick with them. If the rumored YQ addition on AA's partners comes through, any changes in the SWU policy that moves away from making them easy to use might be the nail in the coffin for my loyalty sadly.
     
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  11. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    I have to agree with the comment, "I am executive platinum and those upgrades are nearly worthless."

    I have flown 41 segments so far this year and have only been upgraded on 40! Oh yeah, in September, I am doing LAX-LHR-LAX and used SWU's to get into F...

    Yep, pretty darn worthless if you ask me... :cool:
     
  12. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Yup..... glad he didn't realize it, less competition for me;)
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    If AA made an SWU policy change, all it would likely do is put them on par with their two other principal domestic competitors when it comes to SWUs (and probably still more favorable than DL's policy).

    Are SWUs the only thing keeping you with AA? Unless you connect a lot, or live in Chicago or lower Manhattan (in each case, where UA is a viable alternative), wouldn't schedule or company contracts dictate your carrier more than SWU policy?
     
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  14. kw335
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    kw335 Silver Member

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    I've used up all of my 2012 SWUs by April. And now I have to suffer from sitting in J :mad: Pretty worthless, eh?
     
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  15. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    SWUs and the use of AA miles keep me with AA. I'm not a business traveler, I'm pretty much 100% leisure, so schedules don't matter to me and I have no company contracts to abide by.

    If SWUs end up being less useful and more AA partners end up with YQ on award tickets the value of the AA program decreases quite a bit for me. At that point I'd consider *A due to size and network.

    I don't think AA will make any changes drastic enough to their SWUs that will make me jump to be honest. It was a hypothetical.
     
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  16. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Let's hope not, David!
     
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  17. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    As do both of you, I know a few who could care less. I have four colleagues who have been EXP. DL Diamond and US CP all at the same time, as have I. Three even tracked their programs at all. Another colleague, also with all three, began to track theirs for them, and mine too. They became interested only because there were five of us with the same status and they began to enjoy the competition. Oddly, we're in the same hotel programs too, but they do watch those probably because of breakfast, internet and suites.
     
  18. IPBrian

    IPBrian Silver Member

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    Exactly!
     
  19. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Not if you pay for all your travel out of your own pocket :)
     
  20. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    "worthless" likely as in "worthless to me."

    He may be based out of SGF and fly solely domestic US itineraries, for which SWU's aren't needed.

    Earning EXP solely on domestic US and solely out of SGF would mean a lot of time on planes, including (as already posted) constant RJ connections, and doing those to/thru/from smaller airports with no lounges, no clubs, no huge differences in "priority" services....perhaps the last thing he wants to do on vacation is get on another plane.

    Lengthy business travel may be on his company dime already in paid business. If the planes he takes are two-class, he wouldn't "need" the SWU's for those. And, if he's already got the status, and already flying up front, further research into FF programs, etc. may not be a necessity for him.

    Sure, to some that earn EXP thru much travail, and/or thru much personal travel, that may seem strange, yet as already posted, there's people in that scenario.
     
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  21. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I'll take them off this OP's hands.
     
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  22. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Time is the one thing we can't get more of. Even when traveling on my dime, I will pay more to avoid connections (if necessary) and wasted time in airports.
     

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