United's Response to Dynamic Air Awards

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by HeathrowGuy, Aug 2, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    American Airlines -- a deeply-troubled member of the non-peer oneworld alliance -- today announced Dynamic Air Awards, a new type of flight award redemption for its elite members. In a nutshell, Dynamic Air Awards allow for domestic redemptions with last seat Economy Class availability tied to the published fare currently in the market, as opposed to the fixed values assigned in the award charts. AA claims that Dynamic Awards will require fewer miles than AAnytime awards, and in some instances, may even cost less than a MileSAAver award.

    How should United respond to this?
     
  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    These awards are better than paying full freight though rarely a good value. I don't mind them as-introduced but do worry about their spreading and a shift towards a Delta-style three tiers. I hope that United doesn't respond.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    From their announcement in the AA forum:

    "The number of miles needed is based on applicable published fares. As fares vary so will the amount of miles required. There are no black-out dates or inventory restrictions. If there’s a seat available for sale with cash, you can use your miles instead."

    I know they are retaining the existing options, but i wonder if the secret plan behind this is to get travelers used to award pricing based on revenue fAres... And eventually get rid of fixed cost awards.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    They remind me of DL's pay with miles option for DL AmEx cardmembers where you can use miles to pay for part or all of a ticket priced at regular revenue fares. The downside is that as soon as you use miles for even a tiny fraction of the ticket price, it no longer earns any redeemable or status miles and it is considered as an award ticket for upgrade purposes. Unless you're trying to dump some orphan miles, it's a bad deal.
     
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  5. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    Something I would love is the ability to have both award and paid travel on the same ticket, for two cases:
    -international trips where it'd be nice to do an award one way and paid the return (or vice versa) to take advantage of round-trip pricing (most domestic fares are priced as one-ways, most international fares are priced as round-trips)
    -trips where award space is available for a long-haul segment, but not for a short connection that happens to be cheap (alternately, if you're spending a crapload of miles on an international award, say BOS-HKG in F, allow some amount of domestic connections to be at the standard award level if saver space isn't available)
     
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  6. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    United should respond by only providing it as another option for booking reward travel and not a replacement or change to the current tiers. Options are always a good thing but they shouldn't make their award structure as unfavorable as Delta's is outside the low reward.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sounds like the "Choices" feature of the Chase UA cards.
     
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  8. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    Well I thought that UA's standard awards had last seat availability which is probably better than this, though I seem to remember that they now do in fact have some capacity control.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    UA has last-seat availability. CO has limits for non-elites. Going forward these limits will apply to non-elites who also are not holding a co-branded CC.
     
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  10. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I would say similar, though with a few key differences:
    "Choices" allows you to earn the full miles on the tickets, as the miles are used for a cc reimbursement, rather than a direct purchase with miles.
    You can also -only- use miles earned via credit card spend (including any sign-up bonuses), though the accounting gets a little complicated.
     
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  11. adambadam
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    adambadam Silver Member

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    So does that mean there is no general standard award equivalent on CO or the award just doesn't book into Y ( it uses some other high fare class instead that could theoretically be sold out before the plane is actually full)?
     
  12. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The old NW PerkChoice was much better in that it allowed you to use miles one way and buy a revenue ticket for the other direction as part of a round trip with RT pricing. You earned miles on the paid portion, which could also be upgraded according to the normal rules for purchased tickets.
     
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  13. winecountryua

    winecountryua Silver Member

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    In the UA Chase Choices program, the tickets are mileage earning & upgradeable (since the tickets are regular purchased tickets). And you can redeeming Choice points for part or all of the trip.
     
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  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Earning miles and being eligible for upgrades are also features of tickets from AmEx MR of the US Bank Visa (Perks?) card, the one that used to be affiliated with NW. However with these cards, you get a 100% free ticket which to the airlines is a regular revenue ticket. It works for most carriers.
     
  15. What does this mean??? :confused:
     
  16. RichardInSF
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    RichardInSF Silver Member

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    I'm not at all sure that these AA dynamic awards even need a competitive response, it seems unlikely they'll be used much at all.
     
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