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Old Jul 2, 12, 5:30 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 200
Great experience so far as US Gold

Listen, we all know that flying is not what it used to be and that airlines could certainly do a better job managing their FF programs, but I wanted to relay my personal experience and my kudos to US Airways:

I decided to pay to upgrade my status from silver to Gold preferred at the beginning of 2012- being a business owner I justified the expense and paid through my company- effectively using pre-tax dollars!

So far my experience has been great-

1) Gold phone number answered quickly and staff always efficent and helpful
2) Had to fly United because of non-stop flights- received all of my * alliance benefits and bonus miles
3) In the past I would fly SWA a lot but they are no longer a discount airline- instead I used US PHX-SAN and found myself in a first class reclining envoy seat with footrest- lucky I know but what a difference over SWA cattle call !!!
3) Went to Cabo and upgrade available both ways - including two additional upgrades available on return for my companions
4) Award availability looks decent

So anyway I am happy so far, which I know can be a rare things on these boards, one question:

When deciding which level to buy up to I chose Gold because I couldn't notice a big difference between Gold and Platnum on the "benefits" chart. Any thoughts or similar comparisons?

Thanks for reading
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Old Jul 2, 12, 5:40 pm   #2
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I didn't do the same buy-up, but I did a Trial Gold. I decided that Gold was the right level for me: lounge access for some int'l flights during the Trial period, a solid upgrade rate on my domestic flights, and good enough recognition by United when I have to fly them. I too felt that was the bigger jump up than Gold-Plat.

Case in point: I showed up to SFO a few weeks back for a nonstop United flight, my first on UA metal since the merger. Two pax, five bags, I figured my Mileage Plus Silver status was good enough for four of them and I was willing to pay $25 for the fifth. They were award seats, I already had E+ seat assignments, and I wasn't even thinking about my US status.

Much to my surprise, Silvers had their baggage allowance cut in half during the whole merger process. Fortunately, I recalled that *G had a bigger allowance, so I gave the agent my US number. The allowance became 3 bags each, so all 5 were no problem. That Gold Trial saved me about $100 cash on the spot right there! (Figure with my UA Silver they would have hit me for $25 + $35 + 35 ??)
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Old Jul 2, 12, 5:47 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
I didn't do the same buy-up, but I did a Trial Gold. I decided that Gold was the right level for me: lounge access for some int'l flights during the Trial period, a solid upgrade rate on my domestic flights, and good enough recognition by United when I have to fly them. I too felt that was the bigger jump up than Gold-Plat.

Case in point: I showed up to SFO a few weeks back for a nonstop United flight, my first on UA metal since the merger. Two pax, five bags, I figured my Mileage Plus Silver status was good enough for four of them and I was willing to pay $25 for the fifth. They were award seats, I already had E+ seat assignments, and I wasn't even thinking about my US status.

Much to my surprise, Silvers had their baggage allowance cut in half during the whole merger process. Fortunately, I recalled that *G had a bigger allowance, so I gave the agent my US number. The allowance became 3 bags each, so all 5 were no problem. That Gold Trial saved me about $100 cash on the spot right there! (Figure with my UA Silver they would have hit me for $25 + $35 + 35 ??)
Good point- the benefits on United are worth a lot- when you HAVE to fly them
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Old Jul 2, 12, 7:07 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: PHL
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You got it exactly right

Quote:
Originally Posted by off2rome View Post
When deciding which level to buy up to I chose Gold because I couldn't notice a big difference between Gold and Platnum on the "benefits" chart. Any thoughts or similar comparisons?
I mean, if you happen (as I do pretty often) to end-up a Platinum, sure, you take it.

But the distinction between Gold and Platinum is by far the slimmest of them all. The year I spent bouncing between the two convinced me of that.

BTW, if you do int'l to Europe (and aren't a US club member), Gold (= *A Gold) is a big help for lounges before flights at both ends.
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Old Jul 2, 12, 8:26 pm   #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Florida
Programs: US CP, MR Gold, SPG Gold, Hyatt Plat
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Glad to hear it has been going well. It looks like I am going to make gold after open jaw EU trip in August which will be a new all time high for me. Although I have been really happy with silver this year. I am 17-19 on domestic upgrades and the two that I missed were the first flight out Monday morning from JAX-CLT. I have made some pretty good upgrades too TPA-PHX-TPA, CLT-SJO-CLT etc. I remember some people saying at the beginning of the year that they heard there would be a big drop off in preferreds because of no HSJ promo. Looks to actually be the case...

Go Gators
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Old Jul 2, 12, 8:59 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
Glad to hear it has been going well. It looks like I am going to make gold after open jaw EU trip in August which will be a new all time high for me. Although I have been really happy with silver this year. I am 17-19 on domestic upgrades and the two that I missed were the first flight out Monday morning from JAX-CLT. I have made some pretty good upgrades too TPA-PHX-TPA, CLT-SJO-CLT etc. I remember some people saying at the beginning of the year that they heard there would be a big drop off in preferreds because of no HSJ promo. Looks to actually be the case...

Go Gators
Sorry, what is "HSJ promo"?
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Old Jul 2, 12, 9:17 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by off2rome View Post
Sorry, what is "HSJ promo"?
2010 Hop Skip Jump promo
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Old Jul 2, 12, 10:01 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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(whispering) Keep this good news stuff on the j-low. We don't want any unhappy UA and DL flyers coming over and competing for our upgrades.
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Old Jul 21, 12, 8:28 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 200
Unreal!

So had to post a follow up. I am taking the family to Hawaii next Saturday and I have been calling about upgrade with miles availability. Well just managed to get upgrades for ALL 4 of us. Yes I know I had to use a few miles but just finding this kind of award for 4 had always seemed impossible. Once again I am thrilled with US gold so far. Can't see what anyone could complain about! Lol
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