Partner Availability?

Old Apr 4, 16, 6:32 pm
  #1  
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Partner Availability?

Ok, this is pretty simple: I'm Gold on VX and we're getting dragged into this program. Yaaay...

FWIW I did not start earning points/status on VX for "internal" redemption...the angle was always redemption on VS/VA/[HA?]. Without regard for the moment on how the points will convert precisely, does anyone have a feel for premium cabin availability on those and/or other airlines tends to be? I borderline could-not-care about domestic availability since that never was the point of racking up the points.


(And obviously I'm not too concerned with, for example, space availability on Ethiopian...though others might be of interest.)
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Old Apr 4, 16, 6:33 pm
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Welcome to the family! Once the two year engagement is over, of course

You might find this recent thread useful: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...lights-aa.html. Availability on partners from AS isn't really any different that partner redemptions anywhere else.

Neil
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Old Apr 4, 16, 6:35 pm
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This is kind of like asking how far is up. Most of those partners listed aren't AS partners for awards. Lots of searchable content here on the various partners:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...6-edition.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...ska-miles.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...ard-chart.html

There isn't a dedicated AA thread; unlike VX, you can actually see partner availability on the AS website.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 7:53 pm
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Can AS members begin booking international travel with miles with VX partners? AS listed in the announcement all of their international partners they are now going to acquire.
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Old Apr 4, 16, 8:12 pm
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It will likely be 2 years before there is any merger of the frequent flyer programs.

Neil
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Old Apr 5, 16, 5:53 pm
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Alright, I'll give credit where it's due...I like the ability to find award bookings on the website. The ability to book a relatively last-minute ticket on BA002/004 is also probably the single juiciest award I've ever come across (even if it's expensive as heck, those are literally the only flight numbers I know on sight).

Aside from that, though...sigh...decent coverage but not the airlines I've been wanting to book. I've got more use for a root canal than AA, for example.
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Old Apr 5, 16, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
Ok, this is pretty simple: I'm Gold on VX and we're getting dragged into this program. Yaaay...

FWIW I did not start earning points/status on VX for "internal" redemption...the angle was always redemption on VS/VA/[HA?]. Without regard for the moment on how the points will convert precisely, does anyone have a feel for premium cabin availability on those and/or other airlines tends to be? I borderline could-not-care about domestic availability since that never was the point of racking up the points.


(And obviously I'm not too concerned with, for example, space availability on Ethiopian...though others might be of interest.)
GrayAnderson I get your post but do not understand the tone especially because we are all in the your shoes too. Just this morning I started researching VX because I had the same thought you did "OK, a new FFP to learn - how do I get the most out of it?" Also, no it is not obvious that you are not interested in availability on Ethiopian because they are not a partner of this program you are "getting dragged into." As was noted up thread there are pages for each of AS's major partners, EK and CX pages are especially active as they are the most sought after.

I haven't been flying AS long enough to welcome you to the family with much authority but on behalf of frequent flyer mega-merger refugees.....welcome to Mileage Plan
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Old Apr 5, 16, 9:54 pm
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(1) I listed Ethiopian because the "flying better together" page (http://flyingbettertogether.com/customers/) listed them. I presume there's a random codeshare or something somewhere. Honestly, a narrower listing of "partners who you can actually get something out of" would probably be of use (though obviously the mix of said partners may change by merger day).

(2) The tone is a bad byproduct of a horrid experience with the AGR overhaul [1][2] and deeper questions as to whether AS is a carrier I want to deal with. This is not to speak ill of Alaska in many respects (I expect there is a good soft product), but what I see on SeatGuru (36 inch pitch) does NOT thrill me in the least compared to the hard product on AS. [3] I've heard alright things, but comparing 55-inch F on VX with 36-inch F on AS leaves AS a clear loser even if that 36-inch F came to me free (at least vis-a-vis a coach ticket). The ability to get that superior F product on every flight on VX is the primary reason I chose VX as my preferred carrier, so...as backhanded as it may sound, there's a good chance that trying to optimize behavior on AS simply won't be worth my effort. There are plenty of cases where if my choices are either a lousy product or not taking a trip I'll take the latter.

(3) As to the internal/external value point, as far as I'm concerned VX doesn't offer redemptions on their own metal. Compared with availability/pricing on VS (and even if there were an Emirates-level hit on that the value would still be better) I've never had a reason to seriously examine booking a redemption on VX.

Anyhow...basically I've got a sour attitude because of a major burning that's still overly fresh in my mind combined with what looks like a serious downgrade in the hard product.


[1] Most notably the "surprise" aspects of said overhaul which weren't announced until after-the-fact...while there was room to excuse Marketing being overly flowery with the initial presentation, failing to note the inclusion of "penalty" award prices in the overhaul (when the shift was very explicitly indicated as a shift to a fairly straightforward revenue-based system and the sample points calculator indicated as much).

[2] Basically walking in to news of a massive partner devaluation didn't help things. Yes, I know, they're swearing it's a one-off...but the AGR incident has made me very leery of such behavior.

[3] IIRC I had a ride in 38-inch F on Delta a few years back. That was one of two experiences which grossly soured me on Delta.
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Old Apr 5, 16, 10:48 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
(1) I listed Ethiopian because the "flying better together" page (http://flyingbettertogether.com/customers/) listed them. I presume there's a random codeshare or something somewhere. Honestly, a narrower listing of "partners who you can actually get something out of" would probably be of use (though obviously the mix of said partners may change by merger day).

(2) The tone is a bad byproduct of a horrid experience with the AGR overhaul [1][2] and deeper questions as to whether AS is a carrier I want to deal with. This is not to speak ill of Alaska in many respects (I expect there is a good soft product), but what I see on SeatGuru (36 inch pitch) does NOT thrill me in the least compared to the hard product on AS. [3] I've heard alright things, but comparing 55-inch F on VX with 36-inch F on AS leaves AS a clear loser even if that 36-inch F came to me free (at least vis-a-vis a coach ticket). The ability to get that superior F product on every flight on VX is the primary reason I chose VX as my preferred carrier, so...as backhanded as it may sound, there's a good chance that trying to optimize behavior on AS simply won't be worth my effort. There are plenty of cases where if my choices are either a lousy product or not taking a trip I'll take the latter.

(3) As to the internal/external value point, as far as I'm concerned VX doesn't offer redemptions on their own metal. Compared with availability/pricing on VS (and even if there were an Emirates-level hit on that the value would still be better) I've never had a reason to seriously examine booking a redemption on VX.

Anyhow...basically I've got a sour attitude because of a major burning that's still overly fresh in my mind combined with what looks like a serious downgrade in the hard product.


[1] Most notably the "surprise" aspects of said overhaul which weren't announced until after-the-fact...while there was room to excuse Marketing being overly flowery with the initial presentation, failing to note the inclusion of "penalty" award prices in the overhaul (when the shift was very explicitly indicated as a shift to a fairly straightforward revenue-based system and the sample points calculator indicated as much).

[2] Basically walking in to news of a massive partner devaluation didn't help things. Yes, I know, they're swearing it's a one-off...but the AGR incident has made me very leery of such behavior.

[3] IIRC I had a ride in 38-inch F on Delta a few years back. That was one of two experiences which grossly soured me on Delta.
Sestguru doesn't tell you that seat pitch is going to 41" on AS F.
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Old Apr 6, 16, 1:43 am
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Ok, that's fair. 41" certainly beats 36" (the latter compares poorly with Amtrak Regional Business Class...when I'm more comfortable on an Amcan doing semi-local service that was ordered when my parents were in high school than I am on a shiny new plane in "First Class", we need to talk) and I think that should be a bit more workable. Is there any discussion of legrests and the like (e.g. what do the seats look like)?
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Old Apr 6, 16, 4:10 pm
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Well the partner availability story is really garbage.

AS's site is useful for finding some availability, but searching on it is impossible. You look for international business class and they force all of these mixed rewards into your search. You search LAX to CDG. That gives you a business flight to SFO and then coach to CDG. Exactly what you were looking for.

Also, plenty of their partners aren't available on the website. Do they tell you this? Of course not.

There are also phantom rewards that are available on the site. There's a nice first class flight LAX to SYD on Alaska on November 8th. There's likely been thousands of people trying to book this. It doesn't exist.

The Alaska program is good in theory, but the practical implication of it is that it needs a lot of improvement and there's NOBODY at AS who gives a sh*t enough to do anything about it.
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Old Apr 6, 16, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
Ok, that's fair. 41" certainly beats 36" (the latter compares poorly with Amtrak Regional Business Class...when I'm more comfortable on an Amcan doing semi-local service that was ordered when my parents were in high school than I am on a shiny new plane in "First Class", we need to talk) and I think that should be a bit more workable. Is there any discussion of legrests and the like (e.g. what do the seats look like)?
There's no information so far other than the new pitch; the new F was announced during an investor presentation late last year, alongside the Y+ news.
Also, plenty of their partners aren't available on the website. Do they tell you this? Of course not.
The fact that CX and LA awards have to be booked over the phone is clearly stated on the award charts and the partner information pages. Don't mind this poster much, OP--he frequently complains about things that he's flat-out wrong about.
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Old Apr 8, 16, 2:47 am
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Thanks for the welcome. I mean it. And duly noted, though I've been known to kvetch a bit (see above).

I'm going to be doing a more-than-slightly crazy VS status run on DL next weekend...but this is equal parts a "defensive move" (If I'm being honest with myself, I'm frankly not expecting to be able to pull off anything beyond MVP) and attack for a trip I'm taking this coming winter (where travel on SQ, VS, and/or VA is going to be in the mix...basically a whole suite of VS partners). After that...I'll eyeball Alaska, but trying to chart out 40-50k miles I'd travel by air, period, isn't the easiest thing in the world for me.
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Old Apr 8, 16, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson View Post
(2) The tone is a bad byproduct of a horrid experience with the AGR overhaul [1][2] and deeper questions as to whether AS is a carrier I want to deal with. This is not to speak ill of Alaska in many respects (I expect there is a good soft product), but what I see on SeatGuru (36 inch pitch) does NOT thrill me....
AS being an airline you want to "deal with" is only for you to answer. Regarding some of your frustration coming from SeatGuru information that is an issue because they are consistently inaccurate.

This meter may be the beginning of the end of some great LLC's nipping at the heals of the big 3. No one knows what it will look like or where we will land.
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