Which program to use this year: US or AA?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by traveltoomuch, Apr 11, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I'm trying to decide which program to credit my infrequent USAir (and possibly AA) flights to this year, and I want to hear MilePoint's wisdom.

    I'm a long-term UA customer, and my answer for years has been "UA Mileage Plus, to get EQMs toward status and get the perks of star alliance gold". I have reasonable balances in both Dividend Miles and AAdvantage, and I'm not accumulating toward any specific award in either program. I'm perhaps more likely to redeem from the US account because of the cheap F awards on domestic three-cabin service and the 5k discount from the Barclays credit card.

    I will probably fly too little on both carriers combined to even get first-tier elite status, though that's not entirely out of the question. I presently have status on neither AA nor US.

    Is there any advantage to one over the other? Is either more likely to play nice with TSA PreCheck?
     
  2. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    What are your most frequent travel routes?
     
  3. bucketlist
    Original Member

    bucketlist Silver Member

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    Agree w/ flyforawg.

    As for TSA - if there's even one, or perhaps none, international trips likely per year, go for Global Entry and you can self-nominate for TSA precheck. TSA offers a standalone "product" for $85 for 5 years, but it's an incidental benefit included in Global Entry, which is $100/5 years.

    As for status - if you want to try the benefits of elite status, and that airline, say US, has flights which meet your needs, it could well be worth it. The US credit card, w/ the reduced 5K miles on award tickets is nice and the certificate for 2 companions at $99 each has at times been usable - tho this could easily change. The sign on bonus on the US card was enuf to make it worthwhile to apply for it - but it may already be phased out.

    Am a UA 1K defector to AA (sometimes US) and am EXP and happy w/ my choice.
     
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  4. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I credit to US because I have status there and my status on AA ran out but it's bad because many of my flights this year have been AA flights and AA doesn't do much on upgrades so far for US elites in my experience. I agree with the routes you need and the primary carrier. Just make sure to pick one or the other.
     
  5. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    On US/AA: mostly US shuttle routes. BOS-DCA, BOS-PHL. I may do a transcon (BOS-SFO) using the 2-for-1 cert from the credit card, but that may force me onto US metal again.
     
  6. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    Based on their website, TSA does not have pre-check for US in BOS [edit-ahc19081 has first hand experience it is present, so that trumps a website that clearly isn't updated]. Personally, I'd rather walk across hot coals than go through the grope fest (I refuse to use the nude-o-scope), so I'd counsel only flying AA out of BOS for your non-UA flights.

    If you think you have more redemption options for US, buy the tickets on AA and credit to US, but be sure to research the award availability first. I've heard US is hard to redeem on, but have no personal experience. With AA you could always use an anytime award which will give you a spot on any airplane offering a seat for purchase.

    Ultimately, the miles will all end up in AA once the merge is complete, so placement of miles should be all about your redemption strategy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014
  7. ahc19081

    ahc19081 Silver Member

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    There is Pre-Check for US in BOS—at the Shuttle gates, with access to all US gates in Terminal B. Just used it Friday.
     
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