UA/AA elite dilemma

Discussion in 'Mileage Runs/Travel Hacking' started by Mirror74, Sep 13, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mirror74

    Mirror74 Gold Member

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    I would love to hear your thoughs on my dillemma... I am Premier Plat on UA and primarily fly with *A, also because *A is stronger at majority of my closest airports... (Europe)... I also registered for AA fast track offer, and I will make Platinum with long flight paid by employer... I would need to do some 17k additionally to reach ExPlat... but here is the thing... I am not sure that it is especially worthy to me, as I do not fly OW too often, only BA or AA from time to time... and fly usually with UA TATL flights... also I would have hard time to keep both elite statuses... even UA Plat and AA Plat will be difficult... what do you think?
     
  2. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    I posted in the thread I thought this question was in, but maybe not. If you think that OW will become more competitive in your area because of QR joining them, or if they have a big enough presence for that to matter, then go for it...otherwise enjoy the Platinum benefits for a year and a half, and be okay with your UA status...
     
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  3. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    Platinum, the 50K tier at AA, gives you 100% bonus miles. You're not even getting that now at the 75K level at UA which only gives you 75%, and if you drop down to Gold there only 50%. Figure out your long-term plan and how mileage redemptions play into that. How much weight do you want to give to redemptions vesrus convenience with UA? Only you can decide that. In my case I don't mind some odd routings to hold onto EXP (and systemwides without a buy-up).
     
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  4. jetsetr
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    jetsetr Gold Member

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    Speaking both as a 1K and EXP, I think that the answer depends on what your travel pattern will look like for the next one to two years. Yes, as tom911 mentioned, as an AA Platinum, you would get 100% bonus miles (but my prediction is that as soon as the merger with US closes/gets over the DOJ hurdle, that the "new" AA will move to a four-tier elite model and offer the same 25/50/75/100% bonus starting in 2015). And I certainly like the 8 AA systemwide upgrades that are good on any fare (but only for use on AA metal, of course). The only problem is that AA has such a relatively weak network that using the systemwides is limited to certain routes and destinations.

    But assuming that Platinum is the highest tier you can or will be able to earn on UA (75K PQM) or AA (via the challenge), I would say that in general, I still find UA miles to be more valuable than AA miles because the AA award routing rules can be very funky to deal with. For example, on UA, I have fairly liberal routing rules on award tickets, and a wide variety of carriers from which to choose, and of course, no fuel surcharges. AA has this rule for award tickets that says that the operating carrier must publish a fare between your origin and destination, so if you wanted to go from XXX-YYY, but the carrier only operates XXX-ZZZ and ZZZ-YYY, you would need to utilize two awards. And of course, since you are based in the EU, there is a stronger chance than not that a good deal of your oneworld partner flights will be on BA (high fuel surcharges) or IB (lower than BA, but still fuel surcharges).

    Where AA shines is its "Explorer Awards," which are a great value for distance-based awards (but I predict that this too will go the way of the dodo bird when AA and US complete their merger).

    Bottom line: If I were in your shoes, I'd enjoy the benefits of AA Platinum for as long as it lasts, but if you cannot keep both statuses beyond 2014, then I would maintain focus on retaining UA Platinum, based upon your stated travel patterns.
     
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  5. Mirror74

    Mirror74 Gold Member

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    Thanks guys, my thoughts exactly... I also think that UA has better C inventory on most of TATL routes (I would obviously like to persue C awards with both UA and AA)..., AA only has lie flats on a handful of routes, but admitebly AA's new C is better that anything on UA... but as most my award redemptions are likeky to be on EU-Asia routes, I believe that UA and *A partner network is better choice...
     

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